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7 Ways to Make Some Side Money With a CNC Router – 2024 Guide

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CNC machines are a great way to generate some side income and learn a new craft. Besides, since they’re so pricey, wanting to recoup some of your investment is perfectly natural. Luckily for you, there are many different ways to make money with a CNC machine, even though they might not be so obvious to you now.

So, in this article, we’ll help you learn how to make money with your newest CNC router without breaking a sweat!

But, first of all, what is a CNC router and how does it work?

A CNC machine stands for Computer Numerical Control machine. It’s used for fine-cutting and designing in many different industries. The machine is usually controlled by software, which reads the provided inputs to start cutting with extreme precision. We recommend you carefully read the user manual to learn how to use the software properly, so you can start crafting your products as soon as possible. Learning to use the router isn’t extremely difficult, but it still requires some training and practice, so keep that in mind.

1. Sign Crafting

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You’d be surprised at how huge the sign market is nowadays. You can make bathroom signs, bar signs, welcome signs, and so much more with your CNC machine! All you need is a little bit of creativity and some CNC router skills. Finding your customers might be a bit hard at first, so we suggest that you focus on a single market niche for starters. After your skills get recognized, you can always broaden your niche to start making even more money.

You can craft signs from any type of wood, bronze, or plastic materials, which are all quite inexpensive to acquire. Start building your business network locally, and you’ll quickly see you’re making a whole lot of money. Besides, you can always switch to something else if the sign market is overly underdeveloped in your local area.

2. Wooden maps

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Topographical wooden maps are quite popular nowadays. They look excellent in any setting, so it’s no wonder the demand for these products is rapidly increasing. You can sell them at local fairs or an online store: there’s always someone out there interested in buying these!

Of course, making these with your CNC router will require some skills. Make sure to choose quality wood for this project, as you want the map to look visually appealing, especially since it’s mostly used as home/office décor. Try to find potential buyers even before you start creating the maps, as it will take some time and effort to make them.

3. Christmas ornaments

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Seasonal holidays are the best time for making some side money with your CNC machining skills. Christmas is perhaps the biggest holiday of the year, as everyone will be rushing to buy some last-minute presents for their loved ones. So, why don’t you take advantage of that and set off your crafting career in a true holiday fashion!

If you truly want to expand your business in the future, we suggest you start building your online presence as soon as possible. No matter how skilled you are, it will all amount to nothing if no one knows about it! Try to make a name for yourself in your local community and promote yourself on social media as much as you can.

4. Theatrical sets

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You can find some intricate architectural structures at almost any stage of your local theatre. These can be refined and created by-you guessed it- using a CNC router. So, give your local theaters (or perhaps even movie sets!) and inquire about the designs they need for their next show! They can become your best customers if you set your prices properly. So, do some research and contact the theatres in your area. Even if they do not require your services at the moment, you have nothing to lose! Besides, putting your name out there is always an excellent step ahead for your business.

All in all, you can make a lot of money by using your skills to help out local theatre productions create their sets. Make sure to refine your skills and create a portfolio of sorts before you contact the theatre, though. It will greatly increase your chances of getting your offer accepted.

5. Get a high-quality CNC machine

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Before anything else, acquiring a high-quality router is the only way to truly make money with your CNC skills. The more refined and precise your work is, the better your chances at success are. So, make sure you’re getting your router from a reliable supplier, and do some research before making your investment.

You can find excellent reviews and shopping guides on websites such as elephant-cnc, so remember to research all of your options thoroughly. As you already know, these machines can be quite pricey, so choosing the “right” one is of the utmost importance.

6. Furniture milling

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There’s no limit to what type of furniture you can mill with a high-quality CNC router. You can produce cabinets, tables, shelves, even chairs! Of course, this is a fairly competitive market, so doing proper research and preparation is incredibly important. Besides that, finding the right materials and business partners can be a bit difficult when you’re only starting out. However, it’s still one of the best ways for making those big bucks with your machine. So, ultimately, all the effort will be completely worth your time, especially in the long run.

7. Jewelry

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While creating beautiful jewelry takes a lot of time and creativity, it’s still one of the most popular ways to make money using a CNC machine. Earrings and pendants are probably the most popular option, so you can start from there!

The bottom line

Your CNC machine can bring a lot of profit once you start using it properly. Make sure to prioritize quality while buying one, and practice with different designs before you start selling your crafts.
While we listed several different ways to start making money with your router, it’s not all there is to it. Be creative and you’ll certainly find some amazing ways to turn your skills profitable!

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