A design for a small, portable 3-axial CNC-mill.  The miniCNC was developed and built at timelab in 2010-2011, with Kurt Van Houtte. It was published as an open-source kit and sold for less than 700 euro.




The machine features a handle and an open floor. It was designed to sit on top of plywood sheets and mill things such as  logo’s into large tables or other flat surfaces.

As a design exercise it was a study in how to create a rigid and stable machine, using accurate-but-not-so-strong lasercut panels and combining these with not-so-accurate-but-sturdy steel parts.

The entire XY-drive system is less than 6cm high, the low center of gravity results in a machine that is stable and doesn’t even need to be fastened onto the surface it is working on.


We never got around to making a second version, and we discontinued selling kits as the original electronics (Makerbot Cupcake motherboards)

became unavailable. The machine was low-power and slow, but looking back I still really like the design choices and the overall concept.


I presented this machine at several open-source conferences and at art exhibitions.

Both Kurt & I are buzy now with our respective labs & other projects, but if I would make a new version I would spend a bit more on higher-pitch screws and more powerful motors.


And I would make a version in matte black plexi 🙂


Documentation and project log can be found at













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