FREE PROJECT RESOURCES FOR YOUR CNC ROUTER, LASER, OR VINYL CUTTERS.
LOOKING FOR IDEAS TO HELP YOU MAKE PROJECTS WITH YOUR CNC ROUTER OR LASER CUTTER/ENGRAVER? WE’VE PUT TOGETHER A LIST OF WEBSITES WITH DESIGNS AND/OR RESOURCES THAT ARE FREE FOR PERSONAL, AND IN SOME CASES COMMERCIAL USE. WE HOPE THAT YOU FIND THESE HELPFUL OR INSPIRATIONAL IN CREATING NEW PROJECTS.
Disclaimer: If you use any of the resources at the following links for commercial use it is your responsibility to check the individual licenses and verify that you are complying with the provider’s terms. Companies may change the terms of their licenses at any time including after this page was published. Some of the sites on this contain a mix of resources that require paid licenses and/or are free only for personal use in addition to the free commercial use properties. Some licenses will allow you to produce artwork using the files but not share or redistribute the digital files. Check the terms of the license on each file you plan to use. In addition, if you plan on using these resources for commercial products common sense should be used. (ie. If someone draws an image of a well known copyrighted character, or duplicates a unique copyrighted font/image and uploads it to one of these sites for free commercial use it does not mean you wont potentially face legal action from the copyright holder of the original work.
FREE 2-DIMENSIONAL AND VECTOR IMAGES
- Maker Union 100% free DXF files that can be used commercially on physical products. A new collection of files is uploaded every week. Suitable for Laser Plasma CNC router waterjet and more. Registration (free to join) required to download files.
- OpenClipArt.org – about 170,000 files of vector clip art (SVG) that are listed as public domain and free for commercial use. They are not categorized, but there is a search bar.
- Craftsmanspace.com – thousands of free project plans, vector patterns, 3D models, and even links to free public domain E-books on crafting topics.
- Laser Assets – A collection files for a variety of laser projects. Many of these files could be modified for CNC router use too.
- Vector Portal – Free vector graphics that can be used for personal and commercial projects. Some files are public domain and others require giving credit (attribution) to the original author.
- Pixabay – Free vector art, photographs, illustrations, video, music, and sound effect that can be used for personal or commercial purposes
- PublicDomianVectors.org – 65,000 vector images (SVG) that are listed as public domain and free for commercial use. Categorized into 11 different sections and searchable.
- FreeSVG.org – 161,000+ vector images (SVG) that are listed as public domain and free for commercial use. They are not categorized, but there is a search bar.
- Vector Characters – Free (and some paid) vector graphics of people and animals that can be used for personal and commercial projects.
- Vecteezy – Free (and paid vector) graphics. Some licenses only allow a limited number of physical products to be made using free licenses. Check the individual license for each file.
- FreePik – Free and paid vector drawings. Check the individual license for each file.
- 123FreeVectors – Free and paid vector drawings. Check the individual license for each file.
- Files CNC – Free files suitable for Laser Plasma CNC router waterjet and more in several file formats. (DXF, CDR, DWG, PDF, SVG and more) Their DCMA policy mentions “non-commercial purposes” so you may want to contact them or research further before using the designs on products for sale.
- FileForCNC – Free files suitable for Laser Plasma CNC router waterjet and more in several file formats. (DXF, CDR, DWG, PDF, SVG and more) Licensing information is sparse and some models are listed as “non-commercial purposes” so you may want to contact them or research further before using the designs on products for sale.
- 3axis.co – 20,000+ free files in various formats (DXF, CDR, and more). We couldn’t find licensing information on the site, we recommend you contact the site owners if you want to use the designs on commercial products. The site is a bit “spammy” with advertising. Look for the small grey “Download” box near the file size and sharing links.
- DXF Projects.com – 920+ free files in several formats (DXF, SVG, AI, PDF, and more). Licenses vary from file to file so make sure to double check before using them on commercial projects.
- DXF for CNC – Free DXF files that can be used commercially for physical products. They also have additional designs for sale and offer custom design services.
- Ameede.net Lots of 3D and vector files suitable for 3D printing, CNC routing, laser cutting and more. License information is not clearly stated so we recommend you contact the site owners if you want to use the designs on commercial products. The site is a bit “spammy” with advertising. Look for the Captcha box midway down the page for the download links.
- Intarsia.com – A few free intarsia patterns that could be converted to vectors for cutting out on a CNC or laser cutter with a little work. Free files appear to be for personal use only. Contact the author for further information and licensing.
- Scroll Saw Workshop – Lots of free and some paid scroll saw patterns that could be converted to vectors for cutting out on a CNC or laser cutter with a little work.
FREE 3D RELIEF MODELS.
- Desing & Make – Vectric’s 3D relief clip art shop. They have a few collections of models for free. If you do not currently have CAM software that can create 3D carving toolpaths for your CNC you can give their free Machinist software a try. It will create tool paths for any of the free or paid models from their store.
- Craftsmanspace – a selection of free 3d models, some specifically geared towards CNC routing.
- 3D file repositories – Many of the 3D printing and CAD files repositories also contain free relief models that can be carved on a CNC router. Using search terms like “relief, bas relief, CNC, carving, terrain, etc. can usually give good results. These are just a few of many sites out there.
FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD ITEM PLANS
- OpenDesk Flat-pack Plywood furniture designs for CNC routing. Some designs are free for personal use only, but you can also register your business as a local maker on the site to make the designs for other customers. This page may help you identify which licenses are specified in each design (https://github.com/timrolls/Opendesk)
- Obrary – Several open and free plans for making furniture and other products with CNC routers and/or laser cutters. Free for commercial use with attribution.
- Atfab – Free plans for flatpack plywood furniture that can be cut on CNC routers.
- Betterblock.org – Free flat pack furniture designs for non-commercial use.
- Zenziwerken.de – Plans for creating flat-pack furniture and helpful household items. Plans are free for personal use only, but the author mentions he is open to providing commercial licenses if contacted.
- OSBeeHives – Opensource Bee hive enclosure plans that can be cut on CNC routers.
- CNC Kayaks – Opensource plans for building Kayaks. Includes DXF and DWG files for cutting out parts on a CNC (if you have one large enough).
- CNC Workstation Cart – Opensource plans for making a CNC workstation cart published by the team at EvilMadScientist.com
- Woodworking.digital – A few free plans including a workstation, parametric bench, plywood thickness tester, and more.
- Linkerlogs – Free Interlocking plywood building pieces for kids that can be used to create playsets like the one seen here
- CNC Spring Joint Box – a cool box design with free downloadable plans from Popular Woodworking.
- Epilog Laser Sample Club – Lots of free project plans. These are geared towards laser cutters, but may of the files can be used for other processes too.
OTHER GREAT FREE PROJECT SITES
- Vectric Free Projects
- Rockler’s free woodworking plans
- Make: magazine
- HackSpace magazine
FREE WEB-BASED APPS
- Box Making Apps – A list of free web-based apps for generating boxes and project cases that can be cut out on laser cutters and/or CNC routers. Do to the larger diameter of an endmill, you may have to play with the kerf/offset settings or modify the vectors manually if using some of these apps for CNC routing.
- MakerCase – This app can generate shapes for making polygonal boxes with various numbers of sides, as well as boxes with kerf-cut rounded corners.
- Boxes.PY – This site can also generate files for boxes, shelves, drawers, trays, and more.
- Makeabox.io – A simple box making app that produces PDF files.
- Box Designer – An opensource box making app that produces PDF, DXF, or SVG files
- Laser cutter box – A box generator that has additional options to add dividers, rails for mounting shelves, frame openings, and sloped exteriors.
- Templatemaker.nl – This site has a ton of apps for creating various box shapes out of thin material like paper and cardstock. Suitable for cutting with a CNC using a drag knife, using a laser cutter, or Cricut machine, etc. The patterns could also be printed out and cut by hand as well.
- Vectric Box Making Gadget – Free plugin if you are using Vectric’s Vcarve Pro or Aspire. This CNC specific gadget includes the ability to create dogbone fillets for internal corners, as well as angled dovetail joints.
- bCNC (box plugin) – A free opensource G-code sender for GRBL based controllers. Documentation is a bit sparse, but the box plugin can be used to create G-code for CNC routing boxes, or to create and export the vectors as DXF/SVG for use with other CAM software. It can also add overcuts a.k.a. dogbone fillets for internal corners.
- Gear Making Apps
- Maze Making Apps
- Image processing apps
- https://www.remove.bg/ – A paid web-based app that uses artificial intelligence to remove the background from your images. Free accounts can process and download up to 50 lower resolution “preview” images for free each month.
- PicSVG – a free online image converter that will convert images over to a vector format (SVG)
- SVG-Edit – An online SVG editor with basic tools
- ImagR – A free web-based image processor to prepare photographs for laser engraving. A paid version with more features is also available.
- Pixlr – A web-based photo editor with some paid features.
- Free 3D Terrain Generators – Apps that generates 3d models (.STL) of terrain for 3D printing or CNC routing.
- Free Lithopane Generators – Apps that generates 3d models (.STL) of lithopanes from uploaded photographs. These models are geared towards 3D printing, but flat lithopane designs can also be carved with a CNC router.
- Other Cool Apps
- BeeHome – An opensource web-based app that allows you to design cool looking custom habitats for raising solitary bees. The app generates detailed instructions, a preview image and DXF files to cut the parts out on CNC routers.
- SK8cad – An web-based app for generating SVG’s for making custom skateboard decks and molds/forms
- Clock Tick Generator – A web based app for generating SVG’s of hours and/or minute marks for clock faces.
- Vector Ruler Generator – A free opensource app for generating SVG files of imperial or metric rulers.
- SnowFlaker – a free app for generating variable vector based snowflake designs.
- Joinery.com – An online app for adding different types of joints to existing vector designs. There is a good instructable detailing it’s features here.
- SVGnest – a free opensource app for arranging multiple shapes to efficiently cut them out of sheet material. A more advanced downloadable program is also available at Deepnest.io
DOWNLOADABLE FREE APPS
- Halftoner and Reactor – programs to convert images into halftone dots or patterns for cutting with a V-bit or ball nose endmill on a CNC machine. Vectric has a similar gadget for Aspire users. bCNC also includes a similar plugin
- https://fabrikisto.com/tailmaker-software/ – Some older free apps that are no longer in development by the author. Apps include a fingerjoint maker, maze maker, puzzle maker and more.
FREE COMMERCIAL USE FONTS
- Google Fonts – About 1,360 completely open source fonts that are free for anyone to use in any project.
- Font Meme About 14,000 different fonts that are free for commercial use.
- 1001Fonts about 5,000 different fonts that are free for commercial use.
- Fontspace about 16,000 different fonts that are free for commercial use.
- Fontesk About 3,500 different fonts that are free for commercial use.
- Dafont Free About 1,400 different fonts that are free for commercial use.
- BeFonts about 1,800 different fonts that are free for commercial use.
- FontSquirrel several hundred free fonts. They also have a font Identifier app that will try to recommend fonts that match those on uploaded images.