How much does CNC routing cost?

CNC routing has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by offering precise and efficient cutting capabilities for a wide range of applications. However, one common question that arises is, “How much does CNC routing cost?”

Typically, CNC routing costs are calculated based on machine time, material usage, and any additional services required. For smaller projects or simple designs, you can expect a basic CNC routing service to start around $50 to $100. However, larger and more intricate projects can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

In this blog post, we will delve into the various factors that influence CNC routing costs, enabling you to gain a better understanding of the pricing structure associated with this technology.

Round plywood discs cut with a CNC router
Round plywood discs cut with a CNC router

Here are some of the factors that can affect the cost of CNC routing:

1. Complexity of the Project:

The complexity of your project plays a significant role in determining the cost of CNC routing. Intricate designs or projects with multiple steps and intricate detailing may require more time, specialized tools, and expertise. Consequently, the cost will be higher compared to simpler projects.

2. Material Selection:

The material being routed is another crucial factor in determining the cost. Different materials have varying properties and cutting requirements, which can affect the cutting speed, tooling, and setup time. For example, routing ebony wood will typically be more expensive than routing other common materials like maple or oak, simply because ebony is extremely hard and dense, requiring more routing to cut the same part.

3. Size and Quantity of Parts:

The size and the quantity of pieces to be routed also impact the cost. Large parts may require additional handling or machine time, resulting in higher costs. Additionally, the quantity of parts required can make a large difference in the cost per part. If you only need one part, the service provider will need to make a program, set up a fixture, and set up tooling all for one part. This will result in a much higher cost per part than if you had 100 identical parts, because the setup would only need to be done once for those 100 parts.

4. Machine Time:

CNC routing costs are often calculated based on machine time. Machine time includes the time required for setup, programming, tool changes, and actual cutting. Complex projects or those with intricate details may take longer to complete, resulting in higher machine time and subsequently, increased costs.

Another factor that can affect machine time is the quality of cut required. Some parts may have cut edges that will not be visible in the finished project. In this case, a tool can be used that can cut more quickly but may have a poorer finish quality. Because it takes less time to route the part, the cost will be lower. Conversely, requiring a high-quality finish may cost more as it may require an additional “finish” pass that results in a smooth finish.

5. Additional Services:

Additional services such as design assistance, file preparation, sanding, finishing, assembly, or specialized packaging can add to the overall cost. These services are often optional but can save you time and effort, especially if you require a turnkey solution.

MDF Cabinet Parts Cut with a CNC Machine
MDF Cabinet Parts Cut with a CNC Machine

How To Obtaining Accurate Quotes:

CNC routing service providers employ different pricing structures based on the factors mentioned above. Some may provide an hourly rate, while others offer project-based quotes. It’s important to communicate your project requirements clearly to obtain an accurate cost estimate.

Provide Detailed Project Specifications

Clearly communicate your project specifications, including design complexity, material type, dimensions, quantity, and any specific requirements. The more information you provide, the more accurate the quote will be.

Provide Digital Files if Possible

Whenever possible, includes digital CAD files or drawings with your quote request. Common formats include DXF, DWG, AI, PDF, or other solid model files. Including a file ensures that the service provider has the exact dimensions and specifications of the parts, ensuring there are no hidden surprises once manufacturing begins.


CNC routing offers precise and efficient cutting capabilities for a variety of applications, but the cost can vary depending on several factors. Understanding the complexity of your project, material selection, size, quantity, machine time, and any additional services required will help you obtain accurate quotes and make informed decisions. Remember to prioritize both cost-effectiveness and the quality of the CNC routing service to ensure the success of your project. By partnering with a reliable CNC routing service provider, you can unlock the full potential of this advanced manufacturing technology.

Wengerd Wood Inc offers CNC routing services for wood, plastic, and other composite materials. Request a quote or contact us to see if we can be a good fit for your manufacturing needs.