Build your own CNC

Chris Reilly and Taylor Hokanson, two Chicago-based artists who teach at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, have just completed the DIYLILCNC, an open-source set of plans to make a fully functional CNC mill for around $700.

This lil’ guy is perfect for doing highly detailed three dimensional work on smaller scale objects like mechanical parts, circuitboards, and small sculptures. The machine can even make ink drawings, like this self portrait in ball point pen:

It’s clear that Hokanson and Reilly’s real interests go far beyond the build-out: their documentation is an open source gem, written so that others can replicate and understand what they’ve done. Their 65 page manual outlines everything from assembly to optimization.

As Reilly puts it, “building a DIYLILCNC is a great way to learn about the burgeoning field of digital fabrication; owning a DIYLILCNC is a great way to have personal access to the precision of a CNC device.” He’s right, of course, and it’s all drawn up for us now.

Visit for more info or hit the jump for some milling samples.


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