A CNC router is a computerized woodworking machine - basically a router mounted on a positioning system. While it may also be able to handle other materials than wood depending on the bits you use, a proper CNC mill is more precise for machining parts out of metals and other non-wood materials.
There is also an interesting new approach of handheld CNC routing coming out which may remove the size constraints that come with any fixed-frame machine.
Ooznest WorkBee CNC
|Synonyms:||DE: CNC-Fräse, Portalfräsmaschine|
|Used with:||1/4" (maybe also 1/8"?) end mills|
|Status:||under construction (see issue #8)|
|Manual:||product page, click "documentation" tab|
|Similar (More or Less):||router, CNC mill|
We built the 1500mm x 1500mm version of the WorkBee CNC, which is based on the Openbuilds OX. It can cut sheet material of up to 27mm thickness on a work area of approximately 1250mm x 1250mm.
Details on setting it up can be found in issue #8 - maybe you would like to help?
The router mounted to it is a Dewalt D26200 (GB). It came with a 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) and 1/8 inch (3.175 mm) collar, this are the sizes you need to consider when buying your router bits.
As 1/4 inch bits are difficult to obtain in Germany, we also ordered 6 and 8 mm collars.
The collars of the DW613, DW620 and DW621 also fit the router and are easier to get in Germany.
After creating the tool paths in a suitable CAM software (e.g. Fusion 360) they need to be sent to the router in real time via the serial interface (USB). Here is a list of tested G-Code senders that work with our setup:
Tips & Tricks
- to avoid tear-out at the edge of a sensitive workpiece, it may be worthwhile to surround it with some sacrificial material (like MDF) before routing 
Other spaces with (somewhat) similar machines and good approaches/documentation: