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CNC Milling

Computer Numerical Controller (CNC) Milling is a machining process that utilizes rotary cutters in order to remove material. Similar to drilling and cutting machines, milling allows the user to achieve many of the same operations. However, the CNC Mill is able to move along multiple axes, thus creating different shapes unable to be obtained readily on conventional drilling and cutting machines.

Essentially, any material that can be cut and/or drilled can be machined by a CNC Mill. However, most of the work performed on the machines used at Rutgers Makerspace is in wood and MDF.

  Bantam Tools (Othermill)* Shopbots**
FOAM Yes no
MDF no Yes
WOOD Yes Yes
PVC Yes no
Rubber Yes no
Plastic Yes no
PCB Circuit Board Yes no

*Othermill Pro nominal cutting area: 5.5" × 4.5" × 1.35"
**ShopBot Buddy nominal cutting area: 24" x 48" x 3-4" depending on bit
**ShopBot PRS Alpha nominal cutting area: 96" x 48" x 11" depending on bit

Using Our shop

Access and Safety

The wood shop contains equipment that can be very dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. The CNC's are no different.  The online and hands on portion of the Safety and Basic Use trainings for Woodshop 1 and the CNC are required prior to machine use.  Once you have completed these you will be provided swipe access to the room and the CNC.

Purchasing Materials

While we have a small collection of materials available for purchase in our Maker Store, we recommend that users provide their own materials to complete their projects.  Feel free to reach out to us to see if we might have the material you are looking for.

How do we use the CNC mill?

The first step is to take our online Safety and Basic Use course.  It can be found here.  Once you have completed that training you are able to use the machines! You will need to use appropriate CAD software in order to design the 2D/3D image and save the file accordingly either as a .dxf. There will be some post-processing that has to be done to get the correct toolpaths built. Once this is completed, our staff can assist you in ensuring you have set up your material correctly to mill the design.

What is CNC milling?

Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) milling is a machining process that utilizes both drilling and cutting in order to achieve the complex shapes desired in the part file. The computer analyzes the G-code and moves the drill bit along different axes, in order to make various shapes and holes.