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Product Description

SMW3D's R7 CNC DIY Router Kit

Please read entire description prior to purchase.




The R7 CNC DIY Router Kit is an opensource 2.5D router build that is community supported. The machine is capable of routing woods and soft metals such as aluminum. The build is constructed by the maker post purchase and this kit includes most items needed, see below for more details. The R7 is a CNC based machine, meaning, once one has constructed the proper g-code and loaded this code into the machine it performs autonomously. The build is all aluminum with the exception of the gantry wheels and cable chains. All axis are driven via ACME screws and NEMA 23 stepper motors. Openbuilds C-Beam and extreme wheels provide smooth linear motion, in addition, allow for adjustments as the machine ages to ensure the fitment is always tight. The spindle provided with this kit is an 800w water cooled spindle with an ER-11 collet and includes the water pump and inverter all in 110v 60Hz configuration, no need to have 220 ran to your shop or garage.


SMW3D's R7 kit started as an individual effort and quickly moved to a community project. A final revision (seven, hence R7) came to be a release state ready CNC router. The build was put together by a group of beta testers and feedback incorporated into the build. To date, the build continues to see small revisions that increase performance and usability. SMW3D appreciates all of the help provided by the community and inspiration from other manufacturers in the industry. 

Build notes and instructions:

A website was constructed by one of our beta testers (Thanks go to Cedrick) for the R7 and has all the latest files and build instructions. The website can be found here: 

Usability and control:

The kit provided here is a mechanical DIY build kit. What does this mean to the end user? Included in the kit there are electronics such as stepper motors, heat shrink tubing, wire for all motors and spindle, spindle, inverter, and water pump. Electronically speaking, one will need a computer, interface cable and controller. One can get the controller in the kit by selecting the M1 or all in one controller option above. 

The M1 controller offers a simple solution to control the R7 in one board, no external drivers or software is required to communicate with the machine outside of a free software such as Chilipeppr,  bCNC, or CNC.js.  


All in one control box


Skip the wiring hassle! Add our amazing all-in-one controller; this makes our systems truly plug and play. Finish the mechanical build and plug wires directly into the plates, it really could not be any easier!


Add the option of the all in one simple controller and the last part of the build is really fun because you will have the control in no time. The simple takes all the electronics that control the machine and houses them in a box, things in the box, 4A drivers (4 qty) GRBL controller, 10A fused 110V switch, E-Stop, fan and power supply. Home the machine and start cutting in less than 15 minutes. Outputs are PWM (good for the laser), 0-10V (good for the 600W esc/psu) and Z axis probe, X, Y, Y, and Z stepper motor connectors and limits. The box will run all 3 axis machines. 


Go fully pro and don't worry about a Gcode sender program. The PRO has all things listed above plus a Raspberry Pi computer installed running bCNC, SSR controlled by M8 Gcode commands (good for mist pumps, etc) and a standard 110V out for things like your monitor. Add a monitor, keyboard and mouse (no internet required) and you will be ready to start cutting immediately. Works with our laser add on as well as the 600w spindle. Ready to start Z-probing and doing things all the others wish they could. Programmed for your build. If you can match colors you can plug this in and start cutting instantly.


The workflow for a CNC can be explained briefly as, first a maker creates a sketch is a CAD program. Google sketch up is free to download and with a simple extension produces .DXF files. There are other CAD programs that perform this work as well such as SolidWorks or AutoCad, and Fusion 360 is another option. The DXF is then imported to CAM software such as CamBam which is also free for a trial period. In the CAM program one will tell the machine what size end mill you will be using and set paths such as pockets or profiles. The file is then exported as a .GCODE file. This file is then loaded into the controller interface. If one chooses the TinyG option this code is dropped into Chilipeppr. After the user simply hits start and if the machine is homed correctly the R7 will start to machine the sketch originally created, changing a thought into a physical product. 

Who uses the R7?

The main use for the R7 has been by small businesses needing to end their outsource operations and makers in their garages alike. The machine is happiest performing prototype work and light manufacturing duties. The machine is not a CNC mill but a CNC router, what does this mean? One uses a CNC router to route works into wood and aluminum that is in sheet form, typically less than a 1/2" thick. If one desires to machine detailed profiles into steel and other harder materials above a 1/2" thickness a mill is a better choice of tools. In addition this is considered a 2.5D machine, meaning fine details can be added in the positive Z direction from the base. A true 3D CNC machine must be able to machine on all sides of a work piece without the work piece being re-positioned. 

What else is required?

If one chooses the TinyG option OR the M1 option you will need:

  • Work bench that is 48" x 48" with a 3/4" MDF top
  • 5 gallon bucket (for water pump)
  • 110v outlet
  • Basic laptop or computer
  • USB A to B cable
  • Basic hand tools including a square, level, and soldering iron
  • 6 wood screws

If one does not include a controller from the option above you will need stepper motor drivers as well as a controller. 

How does one build the R7?

The website link provided above for the R7 site has a folder called files, the build instructions and BOM can be located in this file. There are also 9 YouTube videos linked below that go through the build step by step. A note on the videos, several aspects have been upgraded and revised on the build, the videos do have out of date information which is captured in the word document instructions. 

Laser add-on?

One of the communities most admired laser can now be added to the R7 very easily. Kits that have this option will need to choose the M1 controller. Why? The J-Tech 2.8w will run off the TinyG, but the M1 GRBL controller has the ability for us to use standard routing g-code to do some pretty awesome stuff. When one is done routing a project and wants to complete the piece with a brand name or logo, one would simply load this new gcode, remove the end mill, enable laser through the control software and hit go. The use of GRBLs "laser enable" turns the PWM signal off during G0 moves. 

The laser add-on kit comes with everything you need to mount, hook-up and use a 2.8w laser on the R7. Details on the laser kit can be found here.


What do I do if I need support?

Smw3D is happy to answer questions, we also have a Google plus group that is strictly used by only R7 users. The group has been amazing at quickly responding to any questions builders have. 






The videos are labelled as such R7v1 is video one, R7v2 is video 2 ect.. and provided here: please note these videos are getting outdated and the document instructions are the most current revision.



Max travel speed 6000mm/m (suggested 1500mm/m)

Entire machine mounts to spoiler board

Full C-Beam construction

X & Y drives have adjustable tension ACME and adjustable tension ACME nuts to control backlash. 

All motors are Nema 23 2.8A/Phase

800W water cooled spindle (max size), inverter and water pump also included. 

Cutting path 790mm Y x 830mm X x [+90:-30] Z Built as shown. 90mm above spoiler board and 30mm below.

Outside dimensions: 1050mm x 1050mm x 500mm

Option for TinyG or M1

System is all 110V for US wall outlets.

Fully ACME driven




Add on M1 (includes bigfoot stepper sticks) with this you will have a controller to make the purchase usable after build. See more here.


Add our new All in one controller. We pride take pride in the R7 being one of the most versatile hackable lead screw machines on the planet, but is you wan to be plug and play, add this option. The difference between the simple and PRO is the PRO has a computer in the box. No internet required with the PRO. Plug and play, ready to go. See more details here.


Add on CamBam, with this you will have the software needed to create Gcode to feed to the machine. See more here. Note CAMBAM is not installed on the control box, this would be installed where you do your CAM work.


Add on a complete 2.8w laser system, route then engrave your brand for professional looking products. 




Check out the Google plus space for the R7, stop by and say hi!


Please note: The DIY build will have a typical 10 business day lead time from the date of purchase to ensure kit completeness. 


Photos provided by Eric Lien.

Some of the amazing products that the artist known as R7 owners have made




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Product Reviews

Write Review

  1. Wow BadAss Releif Carver.

    Posted by on Nov 29th 2017

    This was an excellent machine to build. All parts were boxed in stages and only 1 missing part I found locally. Instructions were easy to follow and complete. I am very pleased with my machine

  2. The right CNC for me!

    Posted by on Jul 18th 2017

    I looked around for awhile in the under $10k price range for a tool I could daily for small jobs. I kept coming back to this design. I liked how sturdy it was and how helpful the community was. It was a hard choice to make without cutting on one. One of the things I noticed is people were using this mostly on aluminum. Since I work in wood I figured it would be extra stiff. Now that I have a few weeks of cutting softwood, hardwood, plywood, acrylic and MDF I am really happy with its performance.
    The packaging and the orginazion of the kit by steps made building the kit a joy. I can't say enough about how organized the kit was. It was theee solid days of building and I had the spindle jogging around the table. The next day I was running files.
    Since I use a lot of jogging to hold objects my only wish would be for more Z axis. It fits all my parts but having a little more freedom to have fixtures would be helpful for me. .

  3. So far, the kit seem pretty complete.

    Posted by on Jun 26th 2017

    Although I've not completed assembling the kit, it seems to be going together OK. The manual for the Inverter is in Chinese. It took me a long time to find the English version.

  4. Great Build for the Bucks

    Posted by on Mar 12th 2017

    Good solid build for the money. The only issue I ran into was that one aluminum wheel spacer was a millimeter short, but there were some extra 1mm spacers left over, so I used one of those. I would like to see a longer piece of vinyl tubing included. There is no way to make the included length reach a bucket on the floor if your table is standing height. The only other thing was the included solid-core wire for the stepper motors. Using solid-core wiring for an application where there is a lot of constant flexing may potentially cause some problems. I opted to purchase some stranded wire for those connections. Overall, it was a great learning experience and a lot of fun to put together. The parts were well organized and documented. I highly recommend it if your looking for a decent sized, quality machine with a lot of potential.

  5. The R7 is just the best

    Posted by on Aug 9th 2016

    Wanted to buy a CNC machine for a long time but couldn't quite bring myself to pull the trigger on a shopbot desktop at about $8,000 for the full package. By chance I stumbled upon this machine with a significantly larger cutting area the the shopbot Dekstop, not to mention a spindle and ball screws preventing backlash. If you have to put this together over a few days, you will have saved thousands of dollars and have made a machine superior to the shopbot in so many ways. This machine cuts beautifully (so far I have only cut wood) and quickly. I couldn't recommend it more.

  6. Easy to setup and amazing customer support

    Posted by on Jun 25th 2016

    I'm a first time CNC user and I had to learn a lot to be able to design my own projects and be able to then cut it.

    I purchased the R7 because it was the cheapest system I can find with a large cutting footprint and it brings 99.9% of everything you need to start working with it (only if you buy the TinyG with it). The only thing left to buy is a "spoiler board, bucket for water cooling and CNC router bits to cut your materials. Smaller systems all wanted almost two grand more for a smaller cutting footprint and you will still have to buy power supplies, etc...

    The customer service from SMW3D is second to none. They answer all of my questions within 24 hours or less...and believe me I had a bunch since this was my first time. The instructional videos were amazingly accurate and thorough with a bunch of "pro tips" within them. I have already made two awesome projects that I hope to publish soon.

    I can't say enough about this CNC machine and about the customer services from SMW3D. I hope they make an even larger version soon.

  7. R7 Beta test initial review

    Posted by on Nov 4th 2015

    Been searching for a CNC machine for months, but the turn key systems were out of my range A lot of the DIY CNC machines within my price range were made out of wood and did not meet my needs/requirements. The R7 met my requirements; had a rigid frame, linear motion accuracy, came with a VFD spindle, can mill wood/acrylic/metal, a controller that worked with USB (TinyG) and all within my budget. The kit arrived within 3 weeks and all parts will well packaged and broken down in stages/steps for assembly.
    SMW3D has kept me updated on all stages of the ordering process, firmware update/programing of the TinyG, testing of VFD/Inverter, replied to all my questions within a day (or less) and provided access to any documentation/information I had requested/needed. As well as, offered to assist/walk me thru the initial run of the R7 for the first time. Just from the customer support and follow up from SMW3D alone, I have given them 5 stars. Once the R7 is assembled and ran thru a few projects, hopefully I can update this review on the overall performance of the R7. I am very pleased with SMW3D and looking forward (excited) to start cranking some projects out.

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