Recently updated on August 17th, 2023 at 03:00 pm
Get tons of ideas here for your next CNC Router Project!
Most of these are cnc wood projects, but I have scattered a few simplified metal projects too that might be suitable cnc projects for routers. They’re all things that just about any CNC Router, even a DIY CNC Router, can do.
1: Make a Fun Sign
Among CNC Router Projects, signs are pretty easy if they’re just lettering. And there’s lots of inspiration available on the Internet. So make up a fun sign to hang somewhere at your house.
2: Make a Game for the Kids or Grand Kids to Play
There are a lot of simple games you can make out of wood and a few other things that make great cnc projects.
Metal too as far as that goes:
Those Old School ball mazes could take hours to solve, but great for improving your eye hand coordination.
4 in a row is popular…
4 in a row is always a popular game. Make a table top version, nice CNC Router project. Make it from aluminum and brass–stunning and unique.
Got a bigger machine? Make a big standup version that sits on the ground.
World Map or Game of Risk?
Some people see a map. I see a nice beginning for a fancy board for the game “Risk”. Imagine making it from aluminum? Paint the countries. Or, do some kind of inlay to call them out. You can get as fancy as you like.
I like games turned up and mounted on walls. You can do it with almost any game. You just need a way to secure the pieces. I’ve seen chessboards that have a little shelf at the bottom of each square. You could do a big scrabble board and use magnets to hold the tiles in place.
This scrabble game is a project from Jen Woodhouse (lots of fun things there.
Imagine your guest’s surprise and delight if they come over for BBQ and find something like this waiting for them!
For lots more game and toy cnc router projects, try my Pinterest Board.
3: Make a Simple Modern Clock
It’d be great to do one of the fancy wooden gear skeleton clocks, but that’s not a quick afternoon. On the other hand, these simple designs for cnc router clocks are if you acquire a clock movement and just need a case:
Plenty of line art available free to do something like those animal clocks for a kid’s room.
4: Organize Your Kitchen Drawers
Glue together some stock as you would to make a butcher board then create custom cut outs. We all have those drawers in the kitchen filled with junk and kitchen gadgets. If something in the drawer gets cocked, it catches and then you can’t open the darned drawer. Imagine the look on your spouse’s face if you organized the drawers like this and she opened it for the first time without expecting it. BTW, this is called “French Fitting”, and it is often done for tools using Kaizen Foam. I love the idea of doing it cutting board-style for the kitchen!
5: Personalized Coasters
No end of personalization is possible, and people love personalized CNC Router Projects. Make the coasters from wood, acrylic, or metal and engrave a personalized design.
6. Tiki Bar
How about a Tiki Bar in your backyard? Wouldn’t that be fun?
But you’re wondering how Tiki Bar’s and CNC Machines go together?
I have a friend who owns a shop in Hawaii. He made a lot of the decorations for Disney’s Aulani Resort using his CNC machines. Talk about Tiki! The two go together just great. In fact, a Tiki Bar isn’t just one project, it’s a whole slew of decorative cnc projects.
Let’s start with a sign. You’re going to need a good sign for your Tiki Bar. Cut out the various shapes, paint them, and assemble to make some like the one pictured above.
Or maybe more like this one. Mine would say, “Trader Bob’s”:
Tons of designs are available online. Or make your own design.
More art to hang on the walls or perhaps on the Tiki Bar itself. Again, tons of inspiration online.
Simple carpentry will get you a bar. People build them out of plywood, pallets, and bamboo. Use a little imagination and your CNC machine to create the details that will “Tikify” it:
And now, for the Big Kahunas out there. You know who you are. You want to go above and beyond the call!
Well, if you have a CNC Router with a 4th axis and large enough travels, the Tiki World can really open up for you!
Imagine being able to do Tiki Bar Stools like these:
The sky really is the limit when it comes to decorating your Tiki Garden backyard. Lots more ideas on my Tiki Bar Pinterest Board.
Making cnc router projects can be fun, but when we’re talking furniture, they can also be very functional.
3D sculpted furniture like this hammock almost has to be done with CNC Routers.
Extra guests? You may need extra chairs. Hang ’em on the wall.
These furniture ideas could be some of the most profitable cnc projects too if you’re into selling your work.
If you can imagine it, a CNC machine can help you create it. CNC Projects are fun!
8. Let’s Get Ambitious!
This is all cool, but how far can we push the envelope with a machine like the Shapeoko? It turns out pretty far. You’ll be amazed as I was at some of these router projects!
Mason Jar intricately machined from wood. It was made by gluing up blocks, machining the halves, then gluing them back together. So cool!
Wooden Skeleton Clocks are perennial crowd pleasers and entirely doable on a machine like the Shapeoko…
What D&D Dungeon Master Wouldn’t Want a Puzzle Box like this to carry dice and other accessories in? Secret compartments and a locking mechanism made from a padlock are just some of the clever details worked into this box…
Did I mention you can make anything with a CNC machine? I had no idea until I started digging through the Shapeoko Forums just how inventive folks could be. How about this gorgeous 8 shot rubberband gun complete with a fitted presentation case?
Surely this must be the king of wood cnc projects.
9. Cutting Boards
There are endless CNC Ideas available just from making cutting boards. In fact, I have an entire Pinterest board that’s nothing but cutting boards.
Here are a few examples:
Amazing how may different CNC router projects can be had just from the one area of cutting boards.
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Bob is responsible for the development and implementation of the popular G-Wizard CNC Software. Bob is also the founder of CNCCookbook, the largest CNC-related blog on the Internet.