CNC Router plans

CNC Router plans

We’ve covered a lot of CNC router projects and plans – this one looks pretty interesting, but the plans are for sale for $20. If a maker out there promises to build it fairly soon, we’ll pay for the plans ($20) as long as you make it, review it and take some photos – Link.


  • Computer controlled CNC machine @ SEARS – Link.
  • CNC router project – Link.
  • MAKE VIDEO PODCAST: Computer Controlled CNC Etchasketch – Link.
  • HOW TO – Make a CNC machine – Link.
  • Homemade CNC machine (video) – Link.
  • 3D LEGO CNC router / milling machine – Link.

42 thoughts on “CNC Router plans

  1. bencbond says:

    I would definitely built this one if you guys pay for the plans. I’ve been looking for some good CNC plans. I have a photo studio and access to video camera so I can document it well.
    Please contact me

  2. philliptorrone says:

    send me an email…

  3. trebuchet03 says:

    I’d totally build that if I had the $200 — even if Make: didn’t pay for the plans :P

    I’ll have to talk with some buddies and see if they want to go in and split the cost – that design looks decent and it matches out no access to specialized equipment requirement :P

  4. unterhausen says:

    there are free plans and lots of info at

  5. Tercero says:

    There are lots of free plans, but free isn’t always good. I’m build the plans by David Steele (Solsylva). His are probably the best I’ve seen so far.

    Tercero ~ cnczone member.

    //also take into consideration. You’re going to need a 3 axis controller, and the motors (200 oz minimum). Plan on spending an addtional $500

  6. trebuchet03 says:

    Tercero, you can get a 200oz 3 axis from for $215 shipped.

    The design here uses 100oz steppers and their results look acceptable (hobbycnc has a 127oz kit for $20 less). Of course, building your own controller will save a bit more (and in the spirit of homemade tools :P). As good as a more expensive model? Perhaps not, but acceptable for many applications :)

  7. Tercero says:

    It’s deceptive to say it’s $215. You’re not taking into account the power supply (sold seperately), the case to put the elements into.
    $80 for the P/S plus shipping and tax
    $45 for the case, plus shipping and tax
    $20 for the multi-meter if you don’t own one (plus tax)
    $20 for the soldering iron (plus tax)
    $100 for the extras you never count on (plus tax).
    $50-$200 for your router/dremel, depending on which model you choose
    $10-100 for bits.

    And 127oz motors won’t do it. You’d have to set your step rate so low, you’d end up burning your material. Yah, it’d probably do if you were only using this to drill pcb’s, but realistically there’s probably so much backlash and the speeds are so low, it’s practically useless.
    The hobbycnc controller (which I do own by the way – 4 Axis HCNCPRO Driver Board Kit) has to be built. It’s parts that come to the customers, you have to assemble it, and believe me when I say this. A LARGE percentage of the people who build this, fark it up the first time. Daves kit is good, but certainly does not have all of the bugs worked out (the vref seems to be the hardest part to nail down for some, and crossing the wires after it’s built destroys a hell of a lot of boards). It’s also deceptive in that you buy the driver in his kit. BUT, that doesn’t include the capacitor and motors, and a lot of the essential parts (like the case and p/s). And Dave’s yahoo site is not the best for support. Dave’s a tech, and he lacks the necessary CSR skills to help people a lot of the time.

    You should be upfront with costs to these people. It adds up quickly.

    Time will tell though. I guess if someone builds this, we’ll see the overall rating/costs. But for my money, wouldn’t waste my time on this, unless someone paid the expenses.

    Hey Make/Phillip. I’ll build this if you’d like, if you put the cash up or buy ALL of the necessary parts to get this built. We’ll work something out. I have the experience to make this work the first time out, access to a home shop, software (Mach3 (lic) and vcarve (lic)) experience at building these, the time, and a really great camera to take professional pictures, plus a background in broadcast.

    Tercero at g mail dot com

  8. Tercero says:

    Oh I forgot. To point out the glaring obvious. You can design and build your own controller. It’s difficult and there are some FREE plans available, but I can guarantee it’ll be crap, that’ll burn out, not work at all, or destroy your beautiful router table in the process.
    Why do you think so many designs recommend buying your controller from hobbycnc or xylotex?

  9. vonSlatt says:

    Anyone interested in DIY CNC should check out, the homepage of the free CNC program EMC2.

    EMC2 can handle a number of different controllers including DIY parallel port stepper controllers and full on servos with encoder wheels.

    I’m just beginning my own CNC project which you will likely see here sometime later this year.



  10. NickCarter says:

    I love my Xylotex controllers (one on a Taig mill, the other on a Sherline lathe) – easy to set up, smooth and relatively powerful.
    I run with Mach3 which is $150, but the demo lets you run 1000 lines of code so it’s good for most smaller projects.

  11. atouk says:

    For rock solid controllers that have the advantage of being open source, and in kit form, look at the LiniSteppers by James Newton.

    I’ve built a handfull of these with no problems. These also make good projects for new kit builders because all parts are through hole, and circuit boards are exceptionally well made.

  12. Grudge says:

    yep – i’m planning on building a cnc myself. Even if make doesn’t pay for the plans I’ll still build it. Been wanting to do this for a long while now. But if you guys want to pay for the plans let me know – tvdbon (at) sce dot co dot za – before I make a plan and buy the plans myself ;)

  13. dculberson says:

    Tercero, you make some good points, but including the soldering iron and multimeter in the costs? Not really neccessary. If you don’t have those, you need them to build anything electronic. That’s like including the cost of a screwdriver or hammer when telling someone how much it costs to hang a picture.

  14. Tercero says:

    Throw it into the misc. catagory I guess. Never did hear back from Phillip/Make. I’m still interested in building this, and will document it correctly if you want to pay the expenses.

  15. philliptorrone says:

    Tercero – everyone who emailed me i replied, and i sent the plans for two makers to build – your mail could have got caught in spam filters?

    we can’t pay for parts, we did pay for the plans for a couple folks.

  16. Tercero says:

    Thanks Phillip.

    I’d be interested in the final results. It looks alot like Joes CNC, the one found at the site. I’m not a fan of delrin, prefering precision ground lead (ACME) or ball screws. I even like the belt driven design by David Steele.

  17. troy_1337 says:

    We have just finished building one of these. the cost in materials is about
    16.00 MDF
    107.00 for the steel rods, bushings and nylon rod
    84.00 for the linisteppers
    14.00 for the lead screws and misc hardware

    not included in the price
    1.stepper motors (I took some from old panasonic printers)
    2.power supply (used a computer power supply I had laying around) to put everything in
    4.solder, wire, glue,jb-weld and heat sinks(once again from my possibles box)
    5.printer cable (I had one lying around)
    6.dremel tool

    Now as for the review

    1. It Works! but
    2.Everything seems to be working and calibrated. I will start cutting parts soon, but I will have to cut slowly because if it is ran at high speeds it binds.
    3.It was hell getting the guide rods parralel and the axis tables cut so that it would not bind. I had to rebuild each axis at least twice. I finally redesigned the x/z axis to get it working decent. I will use the finished router to rebuild a new table with more accuracy so that I might be able to route at higher speeds.
    4.The suggested layout for cutting the MDF was not thought out at all. I had to lay it out on my own so I could make fewer and more accurate cuts.
    5. I saw many ways that this router could be improved. This is not a project for a beginer. We had three people working on this project together as a learning expierence. I cut the read the directions and built the actual table, the other two guys built the linisteppers and the parralel interface.

    I thought that for a company with so many years of expierence the plans should have been more clear with explanations for the first time builder and/or cnc noob. The plans were only 20.00 so I guess no fowl.I was hoping to get on that we will pay for your plans deal, That is what made us choose these plans over others. I have pictures and video I will gladly upload and I may be able to get my cohort to even do a podcast. Tell me if you all are interested.

  18. CNCbuilder says:

    I have to say the above comments are only partially accurate. We have build 6 of these none of which were difficult. All were made in a singe week-end each. The alignment issues are usually caused by improperly adjusted equipment used to make the cnc router.
    Stepperworld sells a 110oz kit that is complete with everything needed for $259.
    The plans are very simple especially for any one with the mechanical ability to build a cnc router.
    The cnc router easily handles a Dewalt trim router. Cuts 1/2 acrylic stock patterns very easily and accurately. For anyone looking for a very beginner cnc router project this is a good one.

  19. Adam says:

    We have built several CNC Machines and Routers over at .

  20. John says:

    I built the CNC over a year ago and I would have to say, the machine is still going strong, and cut’s accurate, rockcliff machine has given a newbee like myself a great start to cnc and support, like no other company I have ever delt with,

    Anyone looking to get into CNC, Rockcliff Machine designs are the way to go.


  21. tony says:

    if your plans are genuine im a fultime artist the devinci of this centry im retired now and want to build rapid protyes for my inventions and cant afford to buy one as my last bussiness when bust and all i have are my dies and a packing machine which could get me back on my fett but have no way of making packing dies to use it so i started looking for a cnc milling machine only to realise i could start new bussines for what it costs im a profession student so and the main couse im doing is enginerring and we have to build a project to pass and i would love to buil this to show me how they are built so i cn design my own but first i need either plans or reverse engineer one as i dont have funds to buy one to reverse engineer so if those plans are real ill use my professional skills as filmaker and do you first class review not only from the aspect of artist but that of a stauding engineer im 50 now andd this course is most probable my las chance of rejoining the work force as well as helping with my own designs so if the offer is fair dinkum ill not only build it ill give you the plans for the one i design for free to give away also are theree the electronics schmatics for the electronics as i have done electronics a one of my previous subjects as i want fully conectable to computer so its set and forget cnc machine
    all improvements i make to next one i will give back for free
    thanks and ill even start building it the day the plans arrive as only study one day per week

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