Low-cost materials such as plywood are great for CNC milling with ZMorph VX. Read the guide below to learn some tips & tricks for CNC machining plywood sheets, and find out about the features of this material.

CNC machined plywood samples
Various plywood samples CNC milled on ZMorph Multitool 3D Printer

What is Plywood?

A question that some of you will know the answer for, but others might find it intriguing. Plywood is an inexpensive material made up from thin layers of wood veneer glued together. The wood sheets are rotated at 90 degrees to one another. This way the engineered wood is less prone to split when nailed at the edges, and exhibits more dimensional stability than regular wood. 

Plywood features include excellent machinability, versatility, and low weight.

Plywood sheet mounted on ZMorph VX CNC Worktable
Plywood sheet mounted on ZMorph VX CNC Worktable

How to CNC Machine Plywood?

To CNC mill in easily machinable plywood with ZMorph VX it’s best to use Voxelizer software. Although there’s no plywood preset you can use the wood settings instead as the materials present similar characteristics. Follow the article to find out how to set up your machine to CNC mill in plywood.

CNC PRO Milling Toolhead and plywood sample
CNC PRO Milling Toolhead and part of an architectural mockup.

Voxelizer Settings

Open Voxelizer and choose ZMorph VX > CNC PRO toolhead. Decide whether you want to CNC mill in 3D (STL files) or 2D (DXF files) and select the option. Set up the material dimensions and upload your file. As we mentioned before, you can use the wood preset for working with plywood

Don’t forget to save the file afterwards. Generated G-code can be send to ZMorph VX via cable or on an SD card. 

Workpiece Holding

Improper material mounting can destroy your whole project. To learn about tested options read our guide to workpiece holding

CNC PRO toolhead and VX CNC worktable
It’s best to use plastic clamps for mounting plywood sheets.

It’s best to use plastic clamps to mount plywood. A double-sided foam tape in more complex and demanding projects won’t be enough and might not withstand the applied forces. 

End Mills

Check out our online store for a wide variety of end mills ready for CNC machining plywood. 

CNC machining plywood on ZMorph VX
CNC machining plywood.

Other

We recommend closing the plastic covers of ZMorph VX while CNC milling anything as some small particles may get out of machine. When working on bigger projects, vacuum the inside of the machine from time to time. 

Plywood Applications

Plywood has a lot of practical applications such as boxes, packages, modeling, mockups, and constructing. It can be also used in art projects. See some CNC machined samples below.

Samples

Plywood notebook cover and ZMorph CNC PRO toolhead
Plywood notebook cover.
Plywood watch stand.
Multi-material architectural mockup made of plywood and PLA on ZMorph Multitool 3D Printer
Side view of a multi-material architectural model
Plywood vacuum forming machine
Vacuum forming machine. Check the link below to learn how to make one.

Health & Safety

Plywood is a fairly safe material that doesn’t emit dangerous fumes while CNC machining. Rarely you might stumble upon splints that can get under your skin. 

As far as the machine is concerned, never touch any moving parts of ZMorph VX while it’s working. It operates on high speeds and touching it may cause serious injuries. 

Various plywood samples made on ZMorph All-In-One 3D Printer.
Various plywood samples made on ZMorph All-In-One 3D Printer.

ZMorph VX Works with Almost 50 Engineering Materials for Manufacturing

Did you know that ZMorph VX All-in-One 3D Printer supports 48 different materials for both subtractive and additive manufacturing? We’ve tested them all and you can find the outcome in ZMorph Materials Library where we provide technical data, most important features and sample applications. Be sure to regularly check our blog as we publish extensive articles about different materials. This is one of them.

ZMorph Materials Library
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Content Manager at ZMorph

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