18 DIY CNC kits from mini to mega
Ponoko offers an online, on-demand CNC routing service where you can upload your design file and we’ll send you the CNC cut pieces.
But we know that lots of you makers would like your own CNC machine. So I’ve put together this guide!
This is a pretty thorough guide with brief introductions, images, and links to 18 different do-it-yourself CNC kits available for purchase. I’ve tried to give the cost of the complete kit (not including shipping) next to each kit name, and kits are ordered lowest price first.
If you know of any other complete CNC kits available for purchase, please leave info in the comments.
Also, I couldn’t have put this list together without the wealth of information available at the excellent and very active CNCZone forums.
1. ShapeOko — $335
Open hardware CNC & 3D printer kit.
ShapeOko is the result of a successful Kickstarter project, months of hard work, and lots of community support. It features extruded aluminum rails from MakerSlide, custom laser-cut steel plates, and an 8″x8″ cutting area with a Z axis height of 3.5″ The $175 kit comes with everything but the electronics. And there’s a super good wiki support page. :: ShapeOko
2. MYDIYCNC — $445
Successful Kickstarter project now offers complete kit for under $500.
MYDIYCNC began as a Kickstarter project at the start of the year. The project was funded 465%, and now, nearly one year later, the MYDIYCNC is available for purchase. The kit is $445 and comes with the Construction Plans and Comprehensive Builder’s Manual (which can be purchased separately). A pre-assembled machine can be ordered for $580. :: MYDIYCNC
3. Contraptor Mini CNC — $500
Affordable & well supported project; perfect for beginners new to CNC.
Various Cartesian robots can be assembled from Contraptor: XY plotter, mini CNC mill, 3D printer etc. You can have a complete CNC by ordering the Mini CNC subset and the Electronics & Motors subset. This is an excellent site/project perfect for beginners new to CNC machines. There’s even a series of Google SketchUp tutorials for working with 3D models of Contraptor components. :: Contraptor
4. micRo-kit™ — $699
Carve, print, and plot with this “precision fabrication system.”
This is the flagship CNC robot from Lumenlab. It’s a desktop machine that gives you a 12.75″ x 11.75″ x 3.75″ working area. You also get a lifetime warranty on the special “monolithic blocks” that come in the kit. Unlike the larger m3 kit listed further down, you do not have to drill your own holes into the base. :: Lumenlab
5. DIYLILCNC — $700
The kit is $225 and comes with lasercut panels only.
Hardware and electronics must be sourced separately and will run about $475, for a total of about $700. Cutting area is 10″x10″x2″. The DIYLILCNC is raising funds through Kickstarter for an improved version 2.0. :: DIYLILCNC
6. Zen Toolworks CNC 7×7 Complete Package — $756
Includes everything you need and takes 3-4 hours to assemble.
You can get just the carving machine kit for $330, but this complete package comes with the kit, Mach3 CNC control software (licensed copy), 3 axis stepper motor driver board, power supply, spindle kit, emergency stop switch, and 6 limit switches. :: Zen Toolworks
7. micRo m3-kit — $999
A “precision fabrication system” for plotting, printing, and cutting.
This sleek looking machine comes with a lifetime warranty on micRo’s “unique monolithic blocks.” There’s a working area of 19 x 19 x 3.75 inches. And assembly will take several hours, especially since you’ll have to drill your own holes in the aluminum base. :: Lumenlab
8. Zen Toolworks CNC 12×12 Complete Package — $1,082
Includes everything you need and takes 3-4 hours to assemble.
You can get just the carving machine kit for $600, but the complete package will get you the machine kit, spindle power supply with variable speed control, Mach 3 CNC control software (licensed copy), 3 axis stepper motor driver board, power supply and spindle kit. :: Zen Toolworks
9. WhiteANT CNC/3D printer — $1,060
The kit is $590 but you’ll need about $470 in parts from MakerBot.
There are videos for every step of assembly for this all-in-one 3D printer & CNC mill. But if you want to build one from scratch, you’ll need to buy the book. :: WhiteANT CNC/3D printer kit
10. Joe’s CNC Model 2006 — $1,200
Kit is $550 and includes MDF and HDPE parts only.
This kit is made from durable high density polyethylene, medium density fiberborad, and some aluminum and steel parts. Cutting area is X:48″ Y:24″ Z:4.5″ Plans for Joe’s 06 CNC Router are open-source and free. :: Joe’s CNC
11. blueChick version 4.2 — $1,525
All you need and a 12″x36″ cutting area. 3″ on the Z.
This latest version of the blueChick is an improvement over version 3.0 (which is still available for $1,385). Version 4.2 provides an alternative drive method, a relocation of the x-axis motor, a beefed up gantry structure, reduction in the overall height of the machine plus a roller chain drive mechanism. :: blueChick 4.2
12. FireBall V90 — $1692
A base kit is $600; the best options and upgrades total $1692.
You get a 12″x18″x3″ cutting area and assembly is apparently just an hour. MeschCam 3D CAM software is bundled with the FireBall V90 for $99. And there’s a Yahoo group for support. :: FireBall V90
13. blackToe 2′x4′ — $2300
There’s an optional table for $300, and you can get the kit w/o electronics for $1910.
This isn’t a desktop CNC mill, but a full on piece of garage equipment. As the website says, “Version 4.0, a solid, fast, attractive chain driven CNC machine. … The overall structure is solid with respect to stresses in all directions. … Chain drive for this CNC machine will allow velocities into the 800 to 1000 ipm (inches per minute) range.” :: blackToe 2′x4′
14. blackFoot 4′x8′ — $2,863
Software, router, and table not included.
The blackFoot is functionally and aesthetically impressive. There are 2 router mount sizes and the roller chain provides excellent precision. You can cut aluminum, wood, plastic, steel, etc. There are other purchasing options for the blackFoot as well, including just the plans ($400), just hardware & electronics ($1383) and just the hardware ($923) :: blackFoot 4′x8′
15. Pilot Pro Ex 2626DIY — $3,750
Made from milled aluminum and there’s an option for blue anodizing.
This all metal design gives you a cutting area of 26″x26″x4.5″ and comes with everything you need — hardware, software, and electronics. You can also get a pre-assembled machine for about a thousand bucks more. :: Pilot Pro Ex 2626DIY
16. Pilot Pro Ex 2642DIY — $4,250
A bigger version of the Pilot Pro Ex featured above.
Also made entirely of metal, this larger machine gives you over 60% more room on the Y axis. And you can get a pre-assembled machine for $5,200. The 2642 + blue anodizing option on the aluminum shown below. :: Pilot Pro Ex 2642DIY
17. Badog X2 — $6,117
A powerful compact machine cuts virtually any material.
The Swiss made Badog X2 kit comes with everything you need including their own Badog CAD/CAM software, but “can be used with almost any other control software on the market”. :: Badog CNC Suisse
18. Badog X3 — $10,399
Comes with an extra 4th axis motor. Cuts pretty much anything.
For 4th axis control you’ll nedd Mach3 software which can be downloaded for free on the Badog site. Definitely a pricey piece of equipment but all pieces are milled in-house — *on this machine*. :: Badog CNC Suisse
Bonus: RedBlueCNC — n/a (student project)
A mobile, modular CNC mill with various mounting configurations.
RedBlueCNC is graduate student project from Nick Santillan. It was a finalist in the James Dyson Awards and is currently in the running for a Core 77 Design Award. Read more about the versatility of this CNC mill. (It really is unlike any other CNC machine out there.) It’s not available as a kit, but it definitely should be! Good luck at the Core 77 Awards. :: RedBlueCNC
And now for a bit of self-promo: If you want to make stuff with CNC routing but don’t want to own the machine, you can use Ponoko’s online CNC routing services to have the pieces shipped to your door. To make your own CNC designs with Ponoko, sign up for a free account and download our 2D design starter kit.
UPDATE: As of 18 February 2013, Ponoko is suspending its CNC routing service. But please check out our 3D Printing service and Laser Cutting service! You can learn more by signing up for a free Ponoko account.