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CNC Guide

A guide to using the Shopbot CNC machine in MAKE ll at Library 21c

Contact the Makerspaces

Library 21c: 
    (719) 531-6333 x1549

East Library: 
    (719) 531-6333  x1372

Sand Creek Library: 
    (719) 531-6333 x7018

Manitou Springs Library: 
    (719) 531-6333 x7004

General Safety


  • Every location has basic medical supplies with (among other things), bandages, anti-septic wipes, and burn creams.
  • If you need anything, help yourself and if you need assistance, let a staff member know.
  • Inform the staff member on duty immediately, even if you treated yourself.
  • Note: The library cannot give any kind of ingested medication (including over-the-counter pain relief) to a minor. If someone under the age of 18 needs pills, a legal guardian will have to be present.


The library reserves the right to prohibit or stop any project that the staff deems a risk to people, the building, and/or the equipment.

Machine Specific Safety

Safety polices

  • The machine cannot be run without the lid fully closed. Therefore, any material that does not fit into the machine is prohibited.
  • Make sure no body parts, tools, or excess material is in the enclosure when machine is running.
  • Enclosure Guard must be down when cutting - if the Guard cannot be lowed fully, the material is not allowed.
  • Gloves are not required but are recommended when changing bits.
  • Ear muffs are available for use.
  • Monitor machine as it cuts.
  • Machine cannot be left unattended - if you must leave the machine, pause the current job. Staff cannot watch the machine for you.
  • Immediately STOP machine and tell a staff member if a bit breaks or the machine malfunctions in any way.
  • Vacuum excess wood chips and sawdust between cuts. If there is excessive debris during a cut, pause the machine and vacuum out the enclosure.
  • Clean up area and put away tools when finished.

Specific hazards

Sharp objects

  • Touching a moving bit can cause severe injury including loss of body parts. Do not touch a bit until the machine comes to a complete stop.
  • Debris and fragments from splintering materials can be thrown at very high speeds. Do not operating the machine without the Enclosure Guard fully down.

Burn hazard

  • Bits can become hot, especially if the wrong settings are used. Exercise caution when changing bits immediately after using them.

Electric shock hazard

  • Never open the insides of the machine. There are no user-servicable parts and any repairs or maintenance of the machine must be completed by a staff member.

Pinch hazard

  • Never touch any part of the machine while it is moving - wait for the machine to come to a full stop before touching any part of it.

Materials Policy

All woods are allowed, however be aware that some woods are extremely dense and may be difficult to work with. Additionally, acrylics and other plastics, foam board, and similar materials are permitted. Please see a staff member if you have any questions on what is usable.

Metals are not permitted as the machine does not have the proper coolant and ventilation systems necessary for metal work.

Materials must be under 24"x18"  so the front cover can close completely.