CNC Guide

The Fab Lab is home to a full-bed Multicam CNC Machine, providing CNC routing services in a range of materials.


A detailed understanding of the CNC routing machine and operational processes is necessary to design according to the machine's capabilities, and for correct file preparation.

A large amount of work could be involved to get a project ready for routing, and should only be attempted students who have read this guide in its entirety. If you are interested in using the CNC Router, please read this guide thoroughly and make an appointment with the Fab Lab once your file is at an appropriate stage.

All CNC jobs will require a consultation with a CNC technician prior to being approved.

Machine Summary

The Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Router uses a rotating drill bit to subtract material from stock in order to shape a part.

3 Axis means that the tool can move simultaneously in all three directions; X, Y and Z.

4 Axis can move in all directions of the 3 Axis but with an additional A Axis that rotates the material in 360°.

This is appropriate for parts that have doubly curved surfaces such as topography and curvilinear forms, or for 2 axis cutting of large materials.

The CNC router cannot achieve the same levels of intricacy that other fabrication equipment, such as the lasers would be able to. Typically, it is unsuited for the production of small, delicate components less than 200mm x 200mm without consultation with Fab Lab staff. It is best practice to submit a test job early in the semester to familiarise yourself with the CNC Routing process.

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