How do you make sure that as little goes wrong as possible during the production of your design? Below are three tips that you can already take into account when drawing your wooden parts in 2D or 3D.

Tip 1: Organise your structure tree

This may sound obvious, but many designers regularly deliver a drawing without a structure tree.

A good production-ready file has an organised structure tree, where each part is defined separately and has a logical name. During production, parts are often labeled with a name. A good name gives a lot of insight into what exactly is being made, even if the CAD file is not present. This helps prevent errors on the shop floor.

Tip 2: Colour your parts

If there are multiple materials in your design, it is helpful to give each material a separate colour in your 2D or 3D model. It doesn't matter what colour you chose, as long as there is a clear difference between the colours. Colour coding reduces production errors by making your file clear and easy to read.

Tip 3: Follow design rules for CNC

Last but not least, there are a few rules that you need to follow when you are designing a product that needs to be CNC milled. Below are a few we deal with daily:


When drawing cutouts and holes, the ideal depth should be no deeper than four times the width of the cavity or ten times the diameter of the router. Why? Deeper cavities require the use of a larger diameter router which can affect the radius of internal edges.


Draw corners of recesses and holes with an internal radius. A router head has a cylindrical shape with a round or flat head, making a sharp internal angle almost impossible. You will always see a slight rounding, the exact radius depends on the diameter of your router.


Finally, it's helpful to keep in mind that the router has to enter your design somewhere. That means you can't just have a hidden cavity in the middle of your part unless you glue two separate pieces together. So no secret chambers in your design!

These design tips will help raise the production quality of your wooden parts for CNC, save your Maker time and ultimately reduce errors and cost of production.

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