Making Money with a CNC Machine: Projects that Sell

Each day, more and more barriers to entrepreneurship come tumbling down. But until recently, one barrier still remained; the high cost of mass-producing goods. No matter how you cut it, mass production is expensive. Drop shipping websites and print-on-demand companies offer some branding options, but what if you’re looking to produce your own products? Is there a viable, low-cost option for mass producing your own custom goods

With the arrival of affordable CNC routers, the answer is yes.

As CNC routers have grown more compact and affordable, interest in handcrafted, one-of-a-kind products has flourished on online marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace. Since CNC routers can cut any shape out of a variety of materials, there’s an extensive list of products you can create with a CNC machine. Below we cover a few ideas to help get you started!

Home décor Products

Home décor products make great first-time CNC businesses. Buyers tend to put more value into uniqueness and exclusivity, giving an advantage to smaller retailers. Plus, there’s a unique opportunity to gain repeat purchases from buyers that value aesthetic and continuity in their homes. Here are some home décor products you might consider selling:

  1. Bookends – Bookends serve the function of holding books in place on a bookshelf. They must be heavy and sturdy—aside from that, there’s no real restrictions around what shape and design they could be. Some are complex works of art, while others are more abstract shapes meant to blend in with a wide variety of décor.
  2. Wall art – Like bookends, wall art can offer a lot of creative freedom. You could use a recognizable template, or something entirely new. It can be detailed or abstract, complex or minimal, and is adaptable to all kinds of branding. Since wall art exists on a flat surface, routing designs can be made much simpler, making wall art great for entrepreneurs just getting the hang of using their CNC machines to craft goods.
  3. Picture frames – Picture frames can be built from nearly any material, come in all shapes and sizes, and can be adapted to nearly any aesthetic, meaning there’s a huge volume of potential customers.
  4. Candle holders – Candles can be a feature of home décor in nearly every room, and nothing accentuates the calming glow of a flickering candle like a well-crafted candle holder. From sleek candlesticks to lanterns, there are all kinds of candle holders you can craft with a CNC machine.

Kitchen and BBQ tools

The global cookware market is expected to grow, meaning there will likely be a huge demand for kitchen and barbecue products. Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of competing with big box stores—much of the growth in the industry is attributed to those who tend to value one-of-a-kind products. Here are some kitchen and barbecue tools that can be crafted with a CNC machine:

  1. Cutting boards – Cutting boards are used every day, in kitchens all over the world. Due to its natural antiseptic qualities, wood has been the material of choice for cutting boards for centuries. However, cutting boards can be made from plastics as well. Since their function is quite basic, cutting boards are commonly customized by chefs who like to add a personal touch to the tools they use, opening up a lot of niching possibilities.
  2. Coasters – Coasters are great products to make and sell. Coasters can be crafted from a wide range of materials, giving designers a lot of creative freedom. While they’re often made from wood, coasters are also crafted from cork, bamboo, plastics, clay, marble, concrete, and even leather and fabrics. You might even consider crafting unique coasters made from multiple materials.
  3. Wooden serving trays – Wooden serving trays are typically used to transport food and drinks, but even when stationary, they can add a distinct accent to one’s dining room décor. This dual purpose has made them a great gift idea for people that often host guests.

Contact Custom Tool & Grinding

At custom tool and grinding we always make sure we learn new methods and so we can continue to grow as the industry does. This ensures that our customers receive the quality services and products they need. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.