Computer numerical control, or CNC, is the automated control of machining tools via computer. A CNC machine processes a piece of material (metal, plastic, wood, ceramic, or composite) to meet specifications using a coded programmed instruction without a direct manual operator.

Some machines that work with CNC include drills, lathes, mills, and 3D printers. Our machine is a CNC 3D milling machine. Unlike the 3D printer, objects are created through a subtractive process that allows for finer details.

CNC Mill

CNC Job Consultation

StudioLab is now offering the CNC Mill as a service rather than as a tool for general use. We discovered that teaching the machine and the nuances of prepping jobs for it to be to steep of a learning curve for our guests. 

Don't dismay though. If you have a project, we'll run the job for you and you're welcome to join us for the process.

If you're interested in using the mill, consider the restrictions listed below and send us an email at [email protected]. We check our CNC job queue every Wednesday, so you can expect to hear from us then.

Milling Considerations

  • No metals allowed. 
  • We offer high density urethane (HDU) foam, wood, or machining-grade Delrin plastic at no charge.
  • Other materials will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Largest-machinable stock is a 270mm (L) x 110mm (D) cylinder or rectangular block that can be circumscribed by a 110mm circle. See diagram to the right for clarification
  • Typically, holes can only be drilled on 2 to 4 of the 6 sides of a rectangular workpiece.
cnc technical info


Two types of software are required for using a CNC machine: CAD (computer aided designing) and CAM (computer aided manufacturing. You'll make your model using a CAD program, whereas the CAM program tells the computer how the model should be built.

We'll be using the milling machine's company's suggested software for all of our CAM needs. Otherwise, you're free to model using whatever program you like. Included below are some of the modeling programs that are installed on our computers.

Program Type
VPanel Calibration and Status
SRP Player Toolpath Generator
Virtual Modela Toolpath Simulator
ClickMill Freeform Milling
Dr. Engrave Simple Engraving
3D Engrave Advanced Engraving