CNC Milling, Digi-Fabrication, DIY


self potrait of DIY LILCNC made with a ballpoint pen attachment

Milling Sample: Hardwood

Milling Sample: Foam

DIY LILCNC is an open source set of plans and instructions to build a DIY fully functional CNC milling machine for the price of $700. Made of laser cut MDF pieces, 3 motors, a dremel, circuit boards, and local parts from McMaster Carr, it is possible for anyone with the resources to build their own DIY LILCNC.

CNC devices are used to fabricate physical objects with a high degree of precision. Some CNC devices, including the DIYLILCNC, feature a gantry-mounted cutting tool (like a router) that can move in two or more directions. The operation of the tool is controlled by a computer, which is tasked with translating a digital design into actual tool movement

Created by Chris Reilly and Taylor Hokanson, two Chicago based artists who also teach at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Plans and instructions for building the DIYLILCNC are distributed freely and intended for wide distribution and modification with few restrictions. The plans are formatted to facilitate easy fabrication, especially for beginners. The DIYLILCNC can be built by an individual, a student group, or a class. Besides being immensely fun, building the DIY LIL CNC is a great way to learn about motion control and CAD/CAM/CAE.

The plans and instructions can be found on their site: