All about CNC Routers

A CNC router is basically a router mounted on a mechanism that allows it to travel on an X and Y axis as well as up and down.  This movement is controlled by a computer or laptop.  CNC stands for computer numerical control.  This basically means that the machine uses mathematical formulas to move and cut.  You don’t need to know math but the software does.  A CNC router uses scalable vector graphics to cut from.  Sign cutters (vinyl plotter) also use vector files but a CNC router file also contains data that controls the depth of the blade.  In other words, the router will cut in 3D.

CNC routers can create a huge variety of products.  They create foam letters, aluminum parts, cabinet doors, integrated furniture, wooden signs, stencils, 3D art, guitars, plastic parts, toys, engraved products, picture frames, switch plates, stamps and dies, plaques, and much more.  If you can imagine it, a CNC router can cut it.

If you create the right products and keep your router productive you can easily make $50 – $200 per hour.  It really depends on the products you are making.  Sometimes the more boring products like name plates will make you the most money.  The key is customization.  Duplicating easy to find products like toys or furniture will make you a little bit but creating hard to find custom products for industrial or commercial applications can make you a lot of money.