Adafruit Learning System Weekly Update: CNC Router Projects

This week on the Adafruit Learning System we are going to take a look at a whole bunch of guides that use a CNC router. Take metal, wood, and even circuit boards and use them to take your electronics projects to the next level with a CNC router. Learn CNC best practices, Fusion 360 tips, and get inspiration for your next electronics project. But first lets take a look at what’s new on the Adafruit Learning System.

Favorite New Guide

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This week John Park released a guide showing you how to drive a CRT or other composite video TV/monitor from a QT Py. This is my favorite guide this week. Learn how to make to make a Video Nub Shank:

You: an 80s-style cyberpunk hacker who’s got to spread your video message to the people. Jam this tiny, battery powered video nub shank into a state-of-the-art composite video input of a “television” and run!

Use the QT Py ESP32 Pico to build a stylish vaporwave clock, NTSC SPMTE color bar test pattern generator, or other lo-fi/hi-style video applications.

Thanks to the incredible coding efforts of rossumur, bitluni and marciot, it’s possible to generate an analog composite video signal with the original ESP32 chip’s 8-bit DACs.

CNC Router Projects to Turn Materials from RAW to Rad

Click here for the CNC router projects group page on the Adafruit Learning System.

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CNC Joy Bonnet Case

The Adafruit Joy Bonnet is a tiny add-on for the Raspberry Pi W that features a 2-axis joystick and 8 buttons. It’s great for making retropie projects. In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to use the Othermill Pro to mill a case out of wood. We’ll also walk through the design process.

This tutorial covers some of the basics for learning how to use CAM tools in Autodesk Fusion 360. It walks through the setup process and shows how to create tool paths for machining parts using Othermill Pro desktop CNC. We’ll also take a quick look at material preparation and planning.

CNC Wooden Building Bricks

This project shows you how to turn scraps of wood into wooden building bricks. These wooden building bricks are LEGO compatible, so they can be used in LEGO builds and showcase their beautiful wood grain.

This CNC milling project covers using the Bantam Tools PCB milling machine and Fusion 360. Learn how to CNC a two-side part using an alignment bracket and LEGO base plate as a holding jig.

This guide covers setting up wooden stock material, facing and milling operations for the top and bottom side of a 2×4 lego compatible brick. The techniques and process used in this CNC project can be adapted to create unique bricks and maybe even those rare types that are hard to come by.

CNC Milling Wooden Keycaps

In this guide you’ll learn how to CNC mill keycaps for mechanical key switches.

This part require a custom fixture in order to machine the internal and exterior geometry of the keycap.

You’ll need to use Fusion 360 to customize the tool paths and stock for your desktop CNC machine.

Double-sided PCB Milling

This little milling machine is great for quickly making prototypes of PCBs and parts. In this guide we’ll take a look at the process of milling double-sided PCBs. In this project, we’ll make a breadboard adapter for the Adafruit Circuit Playground.

ALS Deep Cut

With so many guides on the Adafruit Learning System, some amazing guides of years past get buried and lost. ALS Deep Cuts brings these guides back up to the surface. This week’s guide is from back in 2016.

Create a Raspberry Pi Pokemon Finder

In this project we’ll show you how to find Pokemon with the Raspberry Pi. It looks like a lure module, but instead of attracting Pokemon, it lets you know when they’re close.

It like getting a notification when Pokemon are nearby. This can be really useful, especially when you’re at work or stuck in class. So now you don’t have to keep your mobile device open or keep checking every ten minutes.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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