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CNC routers are computer-controlled machines that carve and cut wood, composites, foam, and some plastics. It’s a basically a spinning drill bit that removes material. While 3D printers represent additive forms of fabrication (they slowly add material where none exists), CNC machines represent a subtractive form of fabrication (because they remove existing material to create a product). 

Equipment

photo of ShopBot Desktop Max, a CNC router with a large cutting surface, and router mounted above it on an aluminum rail

ShopBot Desktop Max

photo of the OtherMill Pro, a small-form CNC machine used primarily to design custom circuitboards. It's similar in appearance to a 3D printer, but with a router in place of a hot end extruder.

OtherMill Pro

What can I make with a CNC router? 

You can make all types of things with a CNC router – from furniture to jewelry and more – similar to the laser engraver. The difference is the CNC router can handle thicker and larger material. 

We have two CNC routers for two different purposes. The small OtherMill Pro is designed to make custom circuit boards. It can engrave other materials but for most CNC projects, the larger ShopBot Desktop Max is the better choice.

Location

Maker Hub – Downtown

Access

You must attend a 90-minute Basic Training and Safety training before you can use the ShopBot CNC router. See www.elon.edu/MakerHub for a list of upcoming trainings. After attending training, you can use the ShopBox CNC during regular operating hours. It is first-come, first-serve.

Training is not required to use the OtherMill Pro.

Safety

The ShopBot is located in the Safety Zone so please review the Safety Zone rules on our policies webpage

Tutorials and resources