How to Build a CNC Router as a Beginner- Step by Step Guide


A CNC router is a great tool for any manufacturer because it helps you to cut and carve a range of materials accurately. The FDM 3D Printer resembles this computer, but it is replaced with a hot end by a router. CNC routers typically consist of three-axis devices and come in a wide range of types and sizes. How to Build a CNC RouterThe cost of a basic CNC router can be as low as $200 with almost no price limit. In this Article we are going to Guide you step by step about How to Build a CNC Router from Scratch.

How to build a CNC router

How to Build a CNC Router:

The tools necessary to construct a CNC router differ widely from layout to layout. You should have a well-equipped workspace if you are interested in construction and design of a CNC router, and a 3D printer is strongly advisable.

In this article we will take all the decisions and actions you will need to take in order to use a CNC router you have created.


You should first determine your budget, the machine size and the materials you want to cut.

The key limiting factor would be your budget. A CNC graver can cost as low as $200 a small (less than 300 x 300 mm) machine. Longer wood and aluminum carving machines (more than 300 x 300 mm) start to cost approximately 600 USD. High-end machines, with large work areas that can carve aluminum quickly, cost up to $1,000.

Existing Template

You have several choices when you build a CNC machine and don’t have to design yourself. OpenBuilds is an excellent platform to find CNC machine designs for open source systems.

The most popular open source CNC (MPCNC) is made with loads of tutorials on YouTube. Typically, all appropriate parts can be printed 3D or purchased online.

Creating new template

The development and design of an entire CNC machine from scratch is a very tough job that only experienced manufacturers can attempt. There are many things to remember if you want to take up the design process yourself.

First, before you start constructing the computer, you’ll want a solid model.

Before you start building, we will suggest drawing the whole Fusion 360 machine or similar CAD software. This is incredibly important because it means that the concept works and it can be quickly fixed when something doesn’t work.

The rigidity and the surface finish that the router offers is very critical in the entire construction.


Another important prerequisite is the structural material of your CNC router. Aluminum extrusion and steel pipe are the two most common choices for most designs (MPCNC).

For many durable 3D printers and CNC routers, aluminum extrusion is a common option because the rails included make building with them very easy. It is also great for sharing designs with uniform scale. The aluminum extrusion frames are bolts by special T-nuts.

Frame Type

There are two types of frame designs tested on several CNC routers:

  1. The designs of the “table” have a wide fixed bed and all three axis travel over railways.
  2. The designs of “Mill” are smaller and move onto the remaining axis and the router is mobile in one or two dimensions.

Again, it is highly recommended that you have access to a 3D printer, but you can do a CNC router without it. For this reason, most designs of OpenBuilds will have 3D-printed parts and 3D-printed STL files.

Table Design

The table style is used by virtually all large-scale CNC machines – more than 300 x 300 mm.

This design style makes a rigid building over a wide area. All three axes are related and travel across the whole region.

This design would be the one to choose from to build a big, stiff CNC router if there is a higher budget (over $400).

Mill Design

When you are working in a little bit, the “mill” style is a good idea. This configuration has a single or two-dimensional bed of the unit. Smaller means that the machine’s bed can be moved more quickly.

This form is commonly used in cheaper and smaller CNC routers for less than $400 or less with a bed of less than 300 x 300mm.


Irrespective of your system design and style, for your CNC router you need the same set of electronics. Electronics are given below;

  • CNC controller
  • Stepper motors
  • Drivers
  • Router
  • Power supply

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A standard CNC router is free of three degrees, so it can pass around three different axes. Linear actuators are utilized and aided by linear bearings to rigidly drive this movement (pictured above). With very little game or backlash each axis must be shifted in one dimension.

A ball screw connected to a stepper motor is the strongest and most powerful linear actuator. One can move specialized ball rollers very accurately in one dimension.

A cheaper alternative is lead screws that shift a specialized nut in one dimension. The threaded screws are trapezoidal and threaded. In 3D printers widely uses plumbing screws. The other most common alternative is to use timing belts and pulley stepper motors.

Linear bearings with one or more linear bears running parallel to the actuator are to support the axes. Linear bearings normally permit low friction on a circular rail. They are very inexpensive and used in most inferior machines.

Linear railways are a more premium choice using advanced flat guide rail rolling bearings.

A CNC machine can travel in 3 dimensions by connecting three of these axes to each other. As already mentioned, the CNC table-style machines are linked and move together across all three axes. The router is moved one or two axes to the mill-style machines, and the other one(s).


The surface on which the router operates is the bed of the unit. The machine’s bed should allow a consistent and secure clamping of the material.

Many people prefer to use the MDF (medium-density fiberboard), since it does not split the router bits if the unit is cut into the bed. Common equipment uses troughs or slots in bed to allow the installation and use of clamps in the bed.


Depending on your cutting needs, you can use a replacement DC motor, worksheet router or rotary tool.

A DeWalt DP611 is a perfect router for stronger computers, which can cut hard materials such as aluminum. A DW660 is still a rotary tool having adequate power for slightly weaker machines. It can handle aluminum comfortably at roughly half the price of the DP611.

No matter what router you have selected, the mount of the router is likely to be custom. To remove additional movement on the machine which can ruin the finish of the cuts, the mount should be as rigid as possible. The matching of the cutting bits for the router’s material and RPM is also extremely necessary.

Be mindful that the first time you use a bit; you should always be careful. To test the machine and bit, you will want to begin with a slow cut. You’ll want to minimize cutting speed and depth if the system sounds like it is difficult.


You should be able to start cutting material on the basis of your machine’s design choices. Now you can enjoy the advantages of your own CNC! If you learn how to properly use your computer, it is a great tool for your manufacturing space.

It’s up to you to use your CNC machine to the best of your ability. With these devices, you can personalize a range of materials, such as, engraving, gears, structural plates and many more.

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