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How to Make Money With CNC Machine

How to Make Money With CNC Machine

If you have heard of the awesome capabilities of the CNC machine, then you should be aware of its ability to create exciting objects from various materials. It’s interesting to know that there is more to the CNC machine than exploring your creativity and testing the machine's capabilities.

Did you know that you can make money through the CNC machine? Yes, you can, and lots of it. Are you skilled in the use of a CNC machine? If you are, then you should consider exploring its financial potential. If you have a talent for conceptualizing various useful and exciting objects and haven’t fully understood the workings of a CNC machine, this article is also for you.

The rest of this article will cover the money-spinning potentials and a brief understanding of the operations and manufacturing capabilities of the CNC machine.

What Is a CNC Machine?

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. The CNC machine, also called the CNC router, is a computer-controlled machine that works on the Computer Numerical Control machining principle, utilizing software to create material results.

For example, the CNC router can program instructions from the computer to create objects from wood, plastic, foam, and glass.

How Does the CNC Machine Work?

The CNC machine operates a subtractive manufacturing process. In subtractive manufacturing, the machine takes out layers of a material one step until the desired result is achieved. This means that you can provide a stock material for the machine to work on and tell the device to implement your wishes on that material.

The CNC router has a collection of tools that do specific work on different areas of such pieces of materials. The subtractive manufacturing process is the opposite of the additive manufacturing technique, a major attribute of 3D printers. The computerized nature of the operations of the CNC machine ensures that it produces precise results. The machine gives you exactly what you tell it to.

The way to tell the machine what to do is through computerized controls through software. First, using the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, you can create models of the desired product complete with its precise specifications. Next, the operator converts the CAD file to the IGES or STEP file formats that the CNC machine can interpret.

The computer then probes through the converted file and, with the Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, receives the geometric properties of the design and constructs the codes which will guide its operations.

Making Money With the CNC Machine

If you intend to gain financial profit from CNC machining, then you should be prepared to put in what it takes. And it should take some huge financial investment to build a profitable system around your CNC machining activity if you do not already have one. The bulk of this financial investment should buy a befitting CNC machine. Getting a CNC machine that will help you deliver the kind of products you desire is one of the steps towards commercializing your skill.

1.    Getting a CNC machine

How much should you spend on a CNC machine? The answer is the amount to purchase a device capable enough to produce market-friendly and commercially-viable products. The CNC machines that can deliver most of these market-relevant products should cost you about $50,000 and above.

Alternatively, you could opt for a used CNC router, especially if you have a limited financial budget. Aside from the benefit of spending less on a CNC router, the lower cost of a used machine will allow you to break even within a shorter period than the turnover period if you opt for a new product.

2.    Get a shop

To accommodate the demands of the commercialization of your business, you will need a shop. You need a shop for more than a venue to display and sell your products. Your shop can have a section that can serve as your work area. It will be a great idea to have your work area close by.

This way, you can easily move your products to the display area and avoid paying transportation costs. Having your display and work areas in the same place also means taking time to have direct interaction with your customers.

If renting a shop isn't something you can afford to do, you can sell your products on the internet and from the comfort of your home.

3.    Choose your preferred product or range of products.

You can decide to fabricate various possible products with your CNC router. However, there is a need to choose carefully. There are right and wrong products for every location. What products are in higher demand in your community?

If you can find an answer to this question, then you would have found the right products or range of products to concentrate on. Another factor to consider when choosing a niche is competition. Are there relevant products that are scarce in the community?

Your enterprise can provide solutions to the needs of your community by making these products available. Here are some products you should consider producing for your community.

  • Signage
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Jewelry
  • Phone cases
  • Custom engravings
  • Car badges
  • Board games
  • Interior decorations
  • Steel Aerospace parts
  • Metal automotive parts
  • Various kinds of prototypes

If you find it difficult to identify your target market, simply take note of the dominant industries in your community. Signage could be a great idea if your community is a commercial hub and hosts many small businesses. You can design eye-catching signs for companies that need a more compelling brand presence.

You could also decide to produce toys and board games that appeal to the younger generation. Other toys include dollhouses, mini furniture, comic figures, and mini animals. You could also serve a wide range of industries through prototyping.

These industries include aerospace, electronics, medical, automobile, and industry. All of these industries need prototypes. For example, the medical sector requires prototypes for customized human parts. The automobile and aerospace industry will also require vehicle and aircraft prototypes.

You can tailor your CNC machining towards producing jewelry such as brooches, earrings, cufflinks, and necklaces. All of these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of CNC machining products you can produce commercially.

4.    Reach out to clients

You can attract more patronage and boost the profitability of your CNC business with an effective marketing campaign. There are sure-fire ways to build an army of loyal customers around your business. Have a friendly relationship with your customers, go the extra mile to make them happy, and employ digital marketing strategies to spread the word. As a result, you can make advances to industries that require your services and submit proposals to them.

How Much Does a CNC Machine Cost?

How much does your CNC machine cost? If you bought a new one, you must have spent a fortune. CNC machines are quite expensive. There are hundreds of CNC machines in the market today, and their prices vary depending on several factors.

Some of these factors are the strength of the machine, the quality of result it produces, the type of material it can work on, the speed of production, and how many kinds of different operations it is capable of performing.

There are three common operations that CNC machines can perform. These are;

●     Milling 

The machine removes materials from the stock piece while rotating it during milling. You can employ the milling operation to produce wood, glass, plastic, and even metal materials. Milling is the CNC procedure that makes threads, slots, and holes. While the milling process performs most of the finishing operations of part of a machined product, the process can also perform CNC machining from start to finish.

●     Drilling

Drilling is a CNC machining operation that involves feeding rotating drilling into stock materials. It consists in feeding drill bits perpendicularly or angularly into stock materials. This procedure forms cylindrical holes in specific and desired parts of the material.

●     Turning

Turning is a CNC machining operation that removes layers from off the surfaces of stock materials while they rotate in contact with the machine. The machine’s workpiece makes linear contact with the rotating workpiece and removes layers around the material.

Depending on what you want in a machine and the range of operations you require from it, you could spend between $200 and $800,000. While this price range is a general overview of the market costs of CNC routers, don’t be surprised to find prices that are above the range. If you do, they are almost always from retailers and agents and are usually subject to negotiation.


The CNC machine can produce wealth for you. You only need to ensure that your machine is in good shape and capable of producing a significant range of items. Also, spend time conducting market research to discover the fallow grounds in your community.

Then, choose the most relevant niche, and spread the word. There are many opportunities to make money with your CNC machine. You will find the relevant items to produce. Add a brilliant marketing strategy, and you will oversee a super-profitable enterprise.

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