OK, so I want to build a CNC machine. Mainly for RC-Model airplanes, but other uses may happen as well. In particular it would be nice to do some occasional 3-D printing as well. Nothing big though.

I am a newbie when it comes to CNC (and 3-D printing). I am pretty good with my hands, and do know my electronics and computers, but have not build a CNC machine before and neither have I used one. A few years ago, when the first ‘need’ for a CNC machine manifested itself, I did look around a bit, thus I have a rough idea of what’s needed. However many details need to be filled in.

It is my intention to chronicle my discovery trip into CNC-land on this blog. Entries may be big or small and may be incomplete and inaccurate. However I hope the picture becomes more coherent as time as time progresses. I intent to fix the big and obvious errors when I discover them, but do be aware that especially the initial posts may contain errors.


X: Wings and fuselage are both longish items, so the CNC must be long, but does not need to be very wide. I like the 2,5 m scale (100 inches) so ideally it should be able to create items that long. I realise that this may be an impossible goal, but I want to get as close as possible. The very minimum is 2 meters of workable area. (Wings are usually split into 2 halves when they get longer than 1,5m for handling and transport reasons)

Y: A width of 40cm (workable area) would be enough, but tight.

Z: Height is of secondary importance, most work will be sheet work, but for the occasional 3D printing I’ll pick 100mm.

Accuracy: Most work will be with wood. Woodworking, even for the small parts and the hardest woods, rarely demands 0,1mm. So that will be the target.

Price: ah, yes… it should be as cheap as possible, but no cheaper than necessary. Though I am not going to set a limit. It may become a killer for the project, I just will get going and see where it ends. I will of course estimate costs before I buy the first stuff. For now I will just be investing time.


I live in the Netherlands, hence all units will be in mm (= 1/25th inch), cm (= 10 mm) and m (=100cm). We also use a comma for a point and point for comma, hence 1,5m = 1500 mm (= 1.5m US or 1,500mm US)

Links for items that I want to purchase will often be to dutch sites. I prefer Dutch shops but will go international if the prices are (much) better elsewhere.