CNC Router

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Revision as of 14:36, 10 March 2014 by DavidCary (talk | contribs) (yet another relatively low-cost CNC that could be used as a RepStrap)
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Please do not add to this page. (It is slightly overcrowded as it is.)

This Page Contains multiple RepRap development projects and should be split up. Each individual project/design/improvement should have its own development page within an encompassing category.

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CNC Router

Release status: unknown

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CAD Models
External Link
This page has been flagged as containing duplicate material that RouterStrap also attempts to cover.
These pages should be merged such that both pages do not attempt to cover the duplicate topics.

general design ideas

A router (subtractively) shapes solid materials using the sides of a rotating cutter. It is used to cut material that starts out as large flat slabs.

A router has a flat sole plate that presses against and slides over the face of the material.

A router both

  • (a) pushes a toolhead in the X and Y directions through the raw material, enduring significant forces in the X and Y axis (often both simultaneously), and
  • (b) requires precise positioning in the X and Y axis. (The Z axis is either "all the way up so nothing touches the raw material" or "all the way down with the sole plate against the material).

This is difficult, but not quite as difficult as a CNC Mill milling machine which requires strength in all three X, Y, and Z axis.

There are at least 2 ways that a router-based RepRap can help build its next generation:

  • Using a router bit that protrudes from the sole plate much less than the full thickness of the raw copper-plated FR4 raw material, a router can cut copper trace patterns and isolating gaps between them as part of Automated Circuitry Making.
  • Using a "straight" router bit that protrudes from the sole plate slightly more than the full thickness of the raw material, a router can be used to cut out FlatPack parts. (In this case, you need a sacrificial board under the raw material).



  • Cartesio is a reprap printed CNC machine


  • Eiffel is one of the CNC router projects. (Eiffel will also be a 3D printer.)



  • BigRap aka MegaRap may be the name of a large, room-filling CNC Router able to handle raw materials that come in a "full-sized sheet" of 1.2 m × 2.4 m ( 4 feet × 8 feet, aka "four by eight") slab. It may be a PourStrap. See Development Pathway#MegaRap.

Other CNC Routers

These are generally non-self-replicating, non-GPL. (Boo, hiss!)

Despite this, they're very handy as RepStraps, bootstrap positioning systems for a RepRap extruder head, and will make great 3D printers.



The ShapeOko is an opensource, hobby-level CNC machine using aluminum MakerSlide. ShapeOko 1 and ShapeOko 1 use Nema 17 motors and an Arduino based controller running open-source software, like most RepRaps. (It runs Grbl on the Arduino).

FireBall CNC Router

The FireBall CNC Router is a commercial, hobby class CNC router. It is made from MDF, rather than aluminum or steel. On the other hand, it is inexpensive, and this is very helpful, because we don't need a 150 lb unit to move a RepRap extruder around.

They're somewhat popular, and probably a decent buy.

If you are getting one to just use as a RepStrap, bargain hard with the salesperson for a 'naked' machine, without the stepper motors, electronics, and so on, and use the RepRap electronics and motor.

Without Motors, Electronics, Etc.

  • Base Price ~600USD.

(pre-shipping from US, pre-tax, etc.)

With Motors, Electronics

  • Price ~1000USD.

(pre-shipping from US, pre-tax, etc.)


See main article K2

Location: US K2 has good-looking machine, made from aluminum, and they're a mature brand (in internet years), so they may be quite reliable. They're rather expensive, as are their 'extras' but who knows, you may get great support with that. Also, they're probably turnkey systems that _just_work_, and this may justify the cost.


Nema-23 motors, steel rails, HDPE frame.

The entire machine is bolted together with Allen-head machine bolts so every part is replaceable. Zenbot has several CNC routers for under $ 1 500 (not including the spindle). Made in the US.