CNC routers are computer-controlled machines that carve and cut wood, foam, some plastics and metal. It’s 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).
The CNC in the Maker Hub is the ShopBot Desktop Max.
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.
Maker Hub – Downtown
The ShopBot is located in the Safety Zone so please review the Safety Zone rules on our policies webpage.
Tutorials and resources
Learn more about our required CNC training on the Maker Hub’s Moodle site.
- Guide: ShopBot Desktop Max – this guide is a recap of what you learned in the training. This guide outlines the entire process of creating a file to cutting it, including important safety rules for the ShopBot.
- VCarve Pro Tutorials – video tutorials for using VCarve Pro, the software you’ll need to prepare your file for the ShopBot.
- Tutorials from ShopBot – videos and instructions for the ShopBot Desktop Max
- Adobe Illustrator is now available to Elon students and staff. Read more about downloading Adobe Creative Cloud. Illustrator files can easily be imported into VCarve Pro.
- Learn how to use Adobe Illustrator with Lynda.com tutorials. Free access for Elon users.
- Checksheet: ShopBot Desktop Max – Outlines steps to complete before starting an engrave or cut.
The ShopBot Desktop Max can accommodate materials up to 24” x 36” in size.