Your Ultimate Guide About Carbon Fiber CNC Routing


Carbon is a multi-dimensional material used in several fields to curb out several finished products.Carbon Fiber CNC Routing involves the process of cutting a variety of materials. Due to their high strength and lightweight, they can be used for manufacturing lightweight materials.

Carbon is too expensive to suffer any wastage. For this, you need to make sure to buy a CNC machine before doing any manufacturing with carbon. Until you get your hands on it, you would not understand the usefulness of CNC routing. Like every other thing, it too exists with advantages and disadvantages. For a clearer outlook, read the post to learn more about carbon fiber CNC routing!

Carbon Fiber: In Brief

Carbon fiber is used where low weight, high strength, high conductivity, and look is demanded. It was first adopted in industries of aerospace. It can successfully replace alloys like aluminum and titanium that makes it more structural. It is also greatly used at medical work sites.

The aircraft, aerospace, and automobile industries exerted high demand for carbon fiber. The prime disadvantage of adopting carbon fiber is its high cost.


  • Lightweight
  • High tensile strength
  • Low thermal expansion
  • Exceptional durability
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Radiolucency
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Ultra-violet resistant


  • Carbon fiber can break or shatter when compressed with high force or pushed beyond its strength.
  • Relative cost of carbon fiber is a mark to match.

CNC Routing: In Brief

A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router is a cutting machine used for routing materials. The computer numerical control helps to operate the machine. The router can perform as a panel saw, a spindle module, and a boring machine in carpentry shops to perform several duties. A CNC milling machine is also similar to a CNC router.

CNC routing is preferably better than a stone router as it adopts grinding rather than just cutting. These routers also possess much better protection for the guide rails as the dust particles are usually abrasive.

Things to Know About Carbon Fiber CNC Routing

Being a part of many industries, CNC routing persists in some facts you should know.

Read below the highlighted points:

  • Availability of stiff and light carbon fiber – Carbon fiber should be the first preference to deal with if you are planning to do critical designing due to its stiff and light nature being better than any other material. This will have negligible plastic deformation due to the high degree of plastic deformation between plastic and carbon. Carbon fiber is not prone to rust or oxidize and is thermally very much stable. It is used almost in everything ranging from cars to drones is used to make strong, light, and cool parts that will satisfy your needs.
  • Zero tooling cost – The no tooling cost factor adds up to the benefit of designing with CNC carbon fiber. Not only 2D structures but also 3D structures can be made out of 2D shapes. Welding of metals might get costly and time-consuming, but the shapes can be attached using good adhesive.
  • Better look – For achieving a holographic look, it succumbs to be one of the common reasons for using carbon fiber. The tiny filaments of fiber contained in a complex weave-like strand produce a fine look. Due to these strands, the carbon radiates a lustrous look. Either the beauty of the performance is sure to impress you.
  • Depth of beauty – One or more raw material together combines to produce the composite material, i.e., carbon. The solid composite is due to the liquid resin and the fiber fabric. Several layers are outlined for the material specification and orientation, which determines the thickness, which means more layers piled up implies more thickness. The thickness of your CNC carbon fiber is your choice. Different weaves can be produced as they can be woven together. The factors that determine the variation in weaves are pattern, shape, the direction of the strand, and filaments in each strand.

CNC-Machined Carbon Fiber vs. Waterjet & Laser Cut

Based on speed, precision, and quality, there are several methods of cutting parts. In many industries, they use CNC-machine to cut carbon fiber for better edge quality. Hours are spent to achieve a fine quality product. Along with CNC routing, waterjet and laser cut technologies also exists. Know the difference between them. Continue reading!

Waterjet cutting is a fast process but fails to provide fine edge quality. It needs to be sanded down to avoid frayed-looking edges due to a high-pressure water stream that torn apart the composite structure. Its force decreases and gets deflected when going deep into the sheets, not producing finelarge carbon fiber sheets, making it another disadvantage of waterjet cutting.

Laser cutting produces high tolerance and small inside radii carbon fiber through its accurate process of cutting. This process, too, cannot beat CNC-machine cutting, but it is far better than waterjet technology. The epoxy’s characteristics can be affected due to the heat of the laser, which melts and wraps near the edges.

CNC cut produces a high-quality edge but still lacks concerning speed when compared to other methods. Depending on the size and cutting, it can pass through multiple thick carbon fiber sheets. Finding out the best cutting speed and tool paths can be complex and may consume a lot of time.

Ultrasonic Method

For composite cutting machines, the ultrasonic mode is adopted for gaining accurate frequency vibrations for optimal cutting conditions and high rates of feed. It also can cut out different angles.

How to Get a CNC Carbon Fiber Part Made?

You would require a 3D CAD model imported with CAM software to generate a cutting tool path. This path is converted into a g-code to be uploaded to the CNC controller and translated into movements. To cut fine shapes, the movements accompanied by the rotation of the cutting tool achieve all perfection.


When compared to a hand drill, a CNC router is much more precise and more material-saving. Now, as you the basics of carbon fiber and CNC routing, you must purchase a CNC router to avoid any material wastage as carbon is quite costly.

Are you done with all your doubts? Be convenient to go for carbon fiber CNC routing.


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