CNC Routers

By: Damin P. Lukas A. Tim M.

What is a CNC Router?

A CNC routing machine takes an image off of a computer and uses X, Y, & Z coordinates to carve out that image of a material. Routers can use a variety of hard materials but the most common thing to use is wood. Before they implemented the CNC software routers would have to cut manually. A CNC router follows a computer numeric code on a path while cutting. A CNC router is able to rotate much faster than a CNC Mill because it cuts wood and has a lot less force of vibration.


CNC technology was started in the 1950s by John Parsons with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They were first used for military manufacturing. Military aircraft required intricate parts that needed very precise cuts that would be easier to make on a CNC machine. The first machines were not as high tech as today’s machines. The early machines were fed a numeric code by a punched paper. Today computers can directly import code to the CNC machine.


Here are some variations of the CNC technology

CNC Lathes- A lathe spins the work in a spindle while a fixed cutting tool approaches the work to slice chips off of it.

CNC Milling Machines- in a mill, the cutter is placed in the spindle where it rotates. The work moves past the cutter so chips may be sliced off. Routers are similar to milling machines but they usually spin faster than mills

Benefits in the Workplace

There are many benefits to a CNC router. First off is the fact that it is a machine and doesn’t require human skills to create the work. This solves a large problem of user error and inaccurate cuts. Since it is a machine it doesn’t need someone constantly watching over it, besides when it needs maintenance of course. Machines are going to be running based of code so it will be easy to predict how long each part is going to take to be completed. Probably the best quality of a CNC machine is it’s repeatability and ability to make the same outcome many times.


There are many parts to a CNC machine but these are the main and most important parts.

Spindle - for faster rotating speeds

Remote - for controlling the internal programming

Work table - for placing the piece of material being cut to be held in place

Motor - runs the machine

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