CNC woodworking

How to get creative with your CNC router? 

Over the years, the expense of mass-producing commodities has skyrocketed with the advancement of technology and innovation. Irrespective of how many cost-cutting measures brands implement, market prices continue to rise.  

However, CNC machines have proven to be a feasible and economical alternative to mass-producing your own custom goods⁠ rather than paying high prices to mainstream brands.

CNC machine router

Tips to get creative with your CNC router

Small-scale CNC projects are simplistic DIY approaches limited only by your creativity. If you own a CNC router or are browsing for some valuable ideas when you buy one, check out these creative CNC router projects:

Office supplies

As the culture of working from home has bloomed, the demand for home office supplies has increased exponentially. Besides that, office supplies typically stay in demand throughout the year, with frequent repeat purchases due to accidental damages or lost products.

Check out these unique ideas for CNC-created office supplies:

  • Pen Stands

A fancy pen stand/holder helps home office employees express their personality. Pen holders involve minimal design requirements, implying that they offer several stylistic possibilities. You can opt for a design that features simple engraving⁠ or an extravagant desktop sculpture.

  • Desk Planners

These small boxes placed atop a table have divided compartments to store objects such as charging cables, notebooks, or easy-to-lose stuff such as car keys and coins. Desk organizers are inexpensive and practical purchases for most people.

  • Charging Docks

Office worker or not, many people today have several devices that require charging a couple of times a day. With a CNC router, you can craft charging docks –  small structures that keep your accessories and charging cables organized in an easy-to-access space.

CNC woodworking

Home decor 

One cannot go wrong with home decor products if you are starting a CNC business. Buyers value exclusivity and uniqueness, which puts small retailers at an advantage. Home decor products look attractive and add aesthetic value to people’s houses. 

Check out these home decor product ideas –

  • Wall art

Wall art provides creative freedom and can get customized in several ways. You could pick a familiar template, such as the US flag, or pursue something detailed or abstract.

  • Shelving

With CNC machines, you can craft complex shelving systems, simplistic individual shelves, or bigger shelving units. You can add creativity and uniqueness to shelving by minimizing the use of conventional designs and going for something bold and new.

  • Furniture

When it comes to furniture, there are no limits as to what you can do. However, even basic furniture routing designs such as end tables, wooden benches, accent chairs, and desks have entered the spotlight in the market.

Cookware and BBQ items

The market for global cookware is predicted to exhibit a compound annual growth rate of a whopping 6.9% from 2021 to 2028, implying that the demand for kitchen and barbecue items will shoot up rapidly. 

Check out these kitchen and barbecue products which you can craft using a CNC machine:

  • Wooden Serving Utensils 

You can easily find CNC woodworking designs for wooden serving spoons and bowls, which can get altered according to your branding. The typical buyer behavior is to purchase items to match, which you can monetize by selling utensil sets.

  • Kitchen wall decals

The workplace of chefs is their kitchens, where all the food magic happens. Therefore, they wish to enhance its visual appeal by decorating it with wall decals. You can create and sell kitchen wall decals with inspiring quotes, funny slogans, or imagery of mouthwatering food items.

  • Serving Trays

While the only purpose of wooden serving trays is to transport food and drinks, they also add a distinct accent to the decor of a dining room. For this purpose, people have started considering them as a unique gift idea for their friends and relatives.

CNC machine router pattern

Games and toys

A CNC router machine is more than capable of crafting fancy games and toys, which you can sell to young children. You can create your own sets of action figures or dolls which are not readily found in other stores. 

Check out some popular toy and game ideas:

  • Letter blocks

Children must learn the basics of grammar and spelling, which is essentially why alphabet blocks continue to be timeless children’s toys. You can get creative with wooden blocks by inlaying them with shapes, numbers, or even animals and birds.

  • Board games

Popular board games such as cribbage, chess, checkers, and backgammon fall in the public domain; therefore, anyone can craft and sell their pieces. Boards for these games can also act as decorative add-ons in a cafe or restaurant. 

  • Puzzles

Puzzles have become increasingly popular since the pandemic and continue to grow stronger. CNC machines are just what you need to craft custom puzzles, such as carving a flat design into pieces or creating unique 3D puzzles.

Final words

If you are looking for ideas to start a business in the CNC domain, invest in a small CNC machine such as a milling machine and pick a niche from the above ideas. The key to gaining success in the CNC business is to start small and offer something unique and creative to the buyers.

Whether you sell office supplies, home decor, cookware, toys, or other commodities, invest time in designing them and ensuring their longevity to reinforce the customers’ trust in your brand. 

About the Author:

Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs is the Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters. He is actively involved in manufacturing processes and regularly contributes his insights to various blogs on CNC machining, 3D printing, rapid tooling, injection molding, metal casting, and manufacturing in general.

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