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6. Large format CNC (computer controlled Machining)

This week we worked on bigger scale designs and used the CNC Machine to cut it.

General information

What is CNC Machine?

A computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine uses a program to control the operation of machine tools such as lathes and mills. It takes a raw material (metal, plastic, etc.) and cuts, grinds, drills, turns, mills, and/or shapes it into parts that meet exact specifications.

CNC Machine parts

Safety requirements

Testing the CNC Machine (GROUP WORK)

Click here to see tests

Create something (INDIVIDUAL WORK)

I decided to make a small bookcase with inclined shelves.

Design phase

First, I prepared a draft drawing of the pieces I need for my design.

Then I chose AutoCAD to draw them digitally

The drawing process went fast and smoothly but unfortunately, when I saved it as a DXF file and transferred it to the computer connected to the CNC machine I faced many problems and one of them is that the scale got damaged and I had to redraw the design in another software. Therefore, I moved to Fusion360.

This time I didn’t face any problems while importing the file and the scale stayed as it is.

CNC software sittings

Cutting phase

Before starting the cutting operation, we had to make the wooden panel stable (the type of wood we used was MDF)

We fixed it with some small nails

We started the cutting operation and it took around 20 minutes

Pre-assembling phase

First, I had to clean the pieces from any impurities so I started to sand them with the help of my colleagues and we used different tools such as sanding paper, wood file and electric planer.

Sanding inside the fitting holes was the hardest but the most important at the same time, because if you don’t sand them you won’t get their true size and pieces won’t fit together.

Then I decided to coat the all pieces with transparent varnish to protect the wood from outer effects and I used a towel to do it.

And I left them for 24 hours to dry.

Assembling phase

When I started to assemble I noticed a small problem, which is a small protrusion in shelves pieces and it caused an intersection between the pieces when assembled.

I had to use a saw to cut these protrusions

Now it is time to finally assemble everything together, we needed to use a hammer because it was hard to make some parts fit inside the holes easily, I think we faced this problem because I didn’t sand the holes well.


Despite all the obstacles, the final outcome was more than amazing.


Base piece

Main stand


Support piece

Last update: January 19, 2022