Though there are numerous CNC project files available on the Internet, some are really expensive, and it can be a real challenge paying for each individually. However, this doesn’t mean you should drop your CNC machine and give up on your creativity.
That is why we have taken the pain to research high-quality and free CNC projects you can use for your subsequent work.
Here are some valuable and free CNC project files that can help you make lovely items with your machine.
What is a CNC machine?
CNC means Computer Numerical Control. It is a technology used to automatically control machine tools by embedding software in a microcomputer attached to the tool for producing metals, plastics, and wooden products or product parts.
Where can I find free CNC project files?
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There are numerous sites to find free CNC project files. Some of them are:
3axis.co is one of the best sites to visit for CNC project files. Their files are available in PDF, DXF, BMP, CDR, STL, and DWG formats and have filters for the categories, to help you choose the type you need.
On this site, you’ll find lovely free CNC projects, and some of them can be used for school science projects.
When searching, go beyond the first page. There are numerous and really creative free CNC projects on other pages. When you find a project you like, click on it to see the short description and download button.
The CNC techniques on this site include plasma, router, and laser, and they have about 20,000 free CNC project files.
- DXF for CNC
DXF for CNC is a great place to find free files, but they focus on DXF format. This site shares both free and paid CNC projects, but you can find a substantial amount of free options.
Their free CNC projects include ornaments, wall art, 2D models, and plaque, and they have approximately 453 files. Their CNC techniques are laser and router.
Dxfproject.com focuses on numerous formats, including DXF, SVG, PDF, and AI. This site mostly shares free CNC projects, including toys, decorations, and puzzles, with only a small collection being premium.
To download a design, click on the image or title, and it will lead you to the design’s page. There, you will see the number of people that have viewed and downloaded it. When you scroll down, you’ll find a download button.
They have approximately 800 free files that use laser and router CNC techniques.
- File CNC
The File CNC user interface works like 3axis.co, except that File CNC has no menu organizing its categories. However, you can find what you need through a search bar.
They share their CNC projects for lasers, routers, and plasma, and these files are available in DXF and CDR formats. They have a very straightforward download process in which you just select the project you like and find the download button window.
- CNC cookbook
Besides finding free CNC project files, the CNC cookbook gives detailed guides and directives on numerous CNC technologies. However, their files are only available in DXF formats, or you can download them as a zip file.
On this site, you’ll find numerous projects like animal ornaments, maps, and toys. Click on the design image you like, and it will automatically start downloading.
Their CNC techniques include plasma, router, Lisa, and Waterjet, and they have about 500 free CNC files to download.
Some of their designs are suitable for CNC, and you can find numerous CNC projects for electronic components and 3D printers.
To download a file from this site, click the download button, and you’re good to go. You will also see the number of people that have downloaded the file, and some of the projects come with manual instructions and assembly too.
Their files are primarily available in DWG, STL, and DXF format, and their CNC techniques include laser and Router.
GrabCAD is a massive community of engineers, makers, and designers focused on 3D modeling. They also share high-quality CNC files to help their members grow.
To find free CNC projects on the site, search for keywords like milling or laser cut, and they will appear in different formats, including STP, STEP, STL, and IGES. You will mostly find projects on router and laser techniques.
They have numerous high-quality models, and some of the 3D models can even work for mechanical projects.
- CNC Designshop
If you are a lover of waterjet projects, you’ll find CNC Designshop interesting. This site has multiple 2D files, and according to them, they can work with your machine.
They also have many paid files that you can view by using credits.
You can filter your project by categories, collections, and machines. Also, you can quickly navigate to what you need by using the general
Their files are only available in DXF, and they have Waterjets, routers, plasma, and laser CNC techniques. There are about 200 free files on CNC Designshop.
12 Free CNC projects for beginners
- CNC Christmas Table decoration ornaments
One of the most elementary items to make with CNC is Christmas ornaments. Some ornaments include Christmas snowflakes, Christmas tree, Christmas star, the word Merry Christmas, or even Santa Claus. For this project, you need some thick wood, glue, and a mini CNC router.
A CNC router makes it easy to engrave the material with high precision.
- Bottle openers
Beginners will find this CNC project fun. It is one of the best crafts you can use to test your CNC machine on wood to know how it works. However, remember to use plywood like birch. It is softer and will quickly give you the desired result.
You can do this project in different shapes and sizes. It could be your company logo or the map of your state. Whatever shape you make is appreciable.
- Wooden organizer
With this wooden organizer, you can carefully pack your personal belongings into a single space. On it, you can store your wallet, watch, phones, and other stores neatly on the desk.
This is the free wooden organizer DXF file.
- CNC Christmas tree decorations
Christmas trees are more beautiful when you decorate them with all kinds of ornaments. With a CNC router, you can make Christmas wreaths, Christmas stars, Santa Claus, snowmen, or even Christmas bells.
This Christmas tree decorations made from CNC are even more unique than those sold at the store.
With some wood, plywood, acrylic, MDF, paper, leather, plastic, and the rest, you can make your lovely Christmas tree decorations in various types. Also, you can even cut some soft metals like copper and aluminum.
- Hanging signs
One of the most unique gifts we receive during Christmas are hanging signs. This could be as ornaments or wall hangers, or even door hangers. However, it is difficult to make the most memorable hanging ornaments with your hands. That is why you need a CNC machine.
It is pretty easy to make ornaments with a CNC router. You need acrylic, wood, or thick paper and engraving the pattern. Hang your sign on your door, wall, or as an ornament for a tree.
- CNC Christmas tree
Christmas is never complete without a Christmas tree, and most people are tired of the regular Christmas trees. However, not everyone can make lovely Christmas trees, so they buy the regular ones from a Christmas store.
However, with the STMC machine, you can cut your regular wood and carve them into lovely Christmas trees.
With a CNC router, you will make high precision cutting, and you will not be disappointed when you’re done with the work. This will make it work for the high class, and if you are to sell, you will make lots of profits from it.
- CNC snowflakes Ornament
Snowflakes are beautiful and create a romantic atmosphere for homes; but they are short-lived. However, with a CNC machine and some suitable materials, you can make lovely snowflake ornaments that will stay for a longer time.
One of the best materials to use for your snowflakes ornament is acrylic. It is transparent and durable, and you can quickly make exquisite patterns that look just like the natural snowflakes.
- CNC Halloween lights
With a mini CNC router, you can make this lovely free CNC project. Plywood, wood, or MDF material make beautiful lights when engraved with Christmas or Halloween patterns. Also, you can create different kinds of light shades by the way you assemble them. When you’re done with the work, add a yellow light source into it and let it illuminate the house.
With the light source in your engraved material, your carving will reflect around your room to beautify the home.
- Cookies stamp
Everyone loves to make fancy-looking cookies, but without the creative cookie stamps, it would be challenging to make cookies. You can make this cookie stamp a seasonal item by designing it to suit the season, Halloween and Christmas alike.
However, you can also see the video above on how to make the cookie stamps with a CNC machine.
- Holiday wreath
You can make holiday wreaths of different diameters with a CNC machine. You can even carve a bow to add to your wreath for a more stunning look.
These wreaths can be made in different sizes; they could be big enough to hang on your door or small enough to make it to your Christmas tree.
- CNC sheep coasters
The CNC sheep is a pretty easy project with a CNC milling machine. Though it looks complex, it is simple and great for beginners.
For the project, you need to create a CNC program that will carve out the sheep’s outline on your material of choice. Though any material will do, go for wood until your programming skills are good enough for high quality steel.
You can download the free CNC project file.
- Christmas sled
The Christmas sled project is adorable and can improve your festive décor. This sled can be hung on a door or a wall. You can also keep it in a corner or against a wall, or rest on a flat table. Whichever you prefer, it serves its purpose.
Vectric files for CNC projects
- Festive luminaria
This project is also called festival light, but it is a suitable outdoor display for many seasons. Just drop in some candle sets with light into a decorated paper bag, and your festive luminaria is ready.
This project is available for every user of Aspire 4.5 and VCarve Pro 7.5.
- Big Buck Bank
The big buck bank project is created with the carving method of engraving on materials. For this bank, you will engrave a dollar bill on the front and back of the bank.
This project is available free of charge for VCarve 8.0 users and Aspire 8.0.
- Cheer home wall plaque
You can make these lovely and encouraging wall decorations for your home or as gifts to friends. The project has five VCarve word plaques with a textured background designed within the software and machined with a tiny ball nose bit.
You can convert this craft to a seasonal item by giving it the season’s theme. You can also choose to glue this item together to make it a permanent structure or use 10 wood screws to be disassembled for easy storage.
VCarve 8.0 and Aspire 8.0 users can assess this project.
- Irish blessing box
The Irish blessing box is a two-sided decorative project. This free CNC project file has two lovely side panel designs for you to choose from.
You can find this file alongside the PDF tutorial. It is accessible by everyone with Aspire 4 and higher software.
- Celestial trundle toys
With Vectric’s VCarve software version 9, you can create these fancy celestial trundle toys that will entice kids and keep them amused.
You can get the free CNC project file. It is Accessible for people with Aspire version 9 or VCarve version 9.
- Yummy cake pedestal
With Aspire version 9 or VCarve version 9, you can make the yummy cake pedestal from Vectric’s free project file. This cake pedestal is suitable for weddings, housewarmings, holiday gift-giving, and birthdays.
The yummy cake pedestal project is free.
- Face plant planter
This is a unique one from Vectric, and can be made to suit any season. It looks great for front porches and works even better as an indoor planter.
You can do the face plant planter if you have the Aspire V9 software from Vectric. The free project file is available.
- Holiday snowman dish
If you’re looking for a fun CNC project to do this Christmas, then you should try the holiday snowman dish. It’s a highly functional item that will serve numerous families during the festive season. Besides, the project is quick and easy to do and can be used as a suitable holder for nuts, candies, and other holiday goodies.
You can use this dish as a part of your decor in your home and to serve guests. You can also make it as an item for sale or a special giveaway to your loved ones.
The free CNC project file and instructions are available for users with Aspire V9 or VCarve version nine.
- Spring wreath
With Aspire version 8.5, you can make this spring blossom wreath project. This wreath is made from pansies, zinnias, petunias, and numerous leaves put together to form a ring.
The free file and instructions are available.
- Flowerpot Terrace
This flowerpot terrace is such a lovely decorative item for any home. It is made from cut-outs placed around 2 standard 4-inch flower pots.
The project file and instruction is available for Aspire 8.5 or VCarve 8.5 users.
- Gate keeper’s key holder
This project has four antique-like padlocks merged with a wooden plaque that acts as a wall key hanger. You can create these padlocks with Aspire, with reference photos of real padlocks as a guide for your modeling process.
This free CNC project file and tutorial is accessible by Aspire 8.5 users.
There are numerous free CNC project files available, but if you need something more spectacular, don’t forget to check any of the sites listed above.
Beyond getting free CNC project files for work, it is important to sharpen your skills with the CNC projects for beginners and then move on to even more challenging projects shared on CNC websites.
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