3D Printing AND CNC Fabrication

3d printing and CNC fabrication have been around for decades, but their popularity with home users has increased dramatically in recent years because of improved technologies, lower prices, and the availability of shared resources online and in community maker spaces. 3D printing is an additive process, meaning that shapes are created by laying down and fusing material. By contrast, CNC processes such as milling and laser cutting are subtractive, meaning they create shapes by cutting away excess material. Both use computer guidance to create precise pieces.


Make: book editor, Anna Kaziunas France (who also happens to be dean of the Providence Fab Academy) introduces you to CNC fabrication with a great-looking, versatile workbench for your workshop or office. The CAD file for the bench was created by a pair of award-winning architects and can be modified to suit your needs. When you’re satisfied with the design, you can cut it yourself or send it out to a service bureau.


Tyler Worman explains how CNC end mills work and provides helpful graphics and tips on what to buy to get you started.

Dan Spangler’s CNC air raid siren is guaranteed to attract attention. You’ll find his CAD files for the project on our website. Then all you need is an AC motor to spin some air. Dan discovered that the Maker Labs bench grinder was all he needed to create an awesome wail.


The multitalented Becky Stern is a frequent contributor to Make: magazine and our website at She’s also a clothing designer with a flair for creating wearable electronics, which is why she wrote the book Make: Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA.

Becky is here to show you how to transform flexible 3D-printed spikes into a luminous fashion accessory.

Have you ever heard of a pinhole camera? It’s one of the oldest forms of camera, dating all the way back to the 17th century. Pinhole cameras don’t have lenses; instead, they let light in through a small hole and can produce hauntingly beautiful photos. Todd Schlemmer has long been fascinated by pinhole photography. At first he built his cameras by hand, but eventually he began designing them with CAD software and creating them with a 3D printer. Here, Todd shares one of his designs with you and provides construction guidelines. Discover what kinds of artistic images you can produce!

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