There’s plenty more that CNC routers like the LongMill are capable of doing once you’re comfortable with the process of going from an idea on a piece of paper to a final product. If you’d like some inspiration, we spent some time putting together a categorized list below of all the items we could think of that can be made on a CNC router:
If you’re looking for some more inspiration, or would like to start by making some pre-made projects, there are plenty of places online which offer pre-made artwork, drawings, and 3D models that are either free or can be purchased. In order to start you off, we put a list of some of these places together. Please note that we’ve done our best to filter out reliable file sources, but downloading any files online can pose a risk so be sure to only get files from sources that you trust.
There are a few more internally designed projects that you can also try out if you wish. Each project has a download which contains both the g-code files made for each specific project (pictured) and the original 3D files if you want to CAM them yourself. There are even more designs that we’ve made for use on the LongMill, they can be found here: LongMill Demo Pieces
The following box was designed by Andy. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and fits together nicely. The hardness of wood varies by species and other factors, however most commonly available woods such as pine, oak, cedar, maple, or cherry are quite easy to work with. A depth of cut of about 3mm at around 1000mm/min should work well for any type of wood with the router at around 20,000RPM.
Material: Any species of wood you wish, at least 22mm tall for the base and 13mm tall for the lid. The pre-built g-code is made for a piece that’s approximately 23mm tall
End Mill: 2-flute, 1/4″ end mill
Cutting Time: 20 minutes
Acrylic is a sturdy and useful plastic, commonly used in robotics applications due to its functionality, availability, and looks. At the right speed, acrylic and other soft plastics can be smoothly milled to yield very beautiful results. Generally, you’ll want to aim for an 1000mm/min feed rate at a 2mm depth of cut. You’ll notice that there are burrs and debris left behind on the cut surfaces if the right speeds and feeds are not selected. Choose spindle speed around 24,000 RPM and adjust these settings as you need to get the best results.
This gear train was designed from scratch by Chris. If cut properly, minimal drilling should be required to use two M4 bolts and washers (or 8-32) and thread them into the gear train base.
Material: 6mm acrylic
End Mill: 2-flute, 1/8″ end mill
Cutting Time: 14 minutes
Aluminum comes in a variety of alloys, but the most common is 6061 Aluminum. It’s a fairly hard and strong material and can be found in aerospace components and bikes. The trickiest part of milling aluminum is preventing the aluminum chips from melting and binding to the end mill, which will stop the end mill from cutting. In order to carry the right amount of heat away via the chips, we recommend a 1000mm/min feed rate at a 0.8mm depth of cut. The plunge rate is also slower, about 100mm/min.
Choosing the right spindle speed for milling aluminum is a highly debated topic for hobby CNCers. Traditional machines set their spindle speeds at around a few thousand RPM, however most routers can only go as low as 10,000RPM. To get around this, less flutes are used (one or two) with shallower cuts and faster feed rates.
Both of these fully functional bottle openers were designed by Chris. They have a sleek, industrial feel and are certainly conversation starters in any scenario.
Material: 1/4″ and 2.15mm 6061 aluminum
End Mill: 1-flute, 1/8″ or 3mm end mill
Cutting Time: 12 minutes and 2 minutes