Machining Carbon Fiber on the Shapeoko

Let me start by saying working with Carbon Fiber is hazardous, heres a link that gets to the point quickly;

Ok, lets continue.
Making Carbon Fiber parts for Drones or photography rigs on the Shapeoko is very tempting,
I wanted to test a method to cut CF on the Shapeoko with the Dewalt 611 without building an airtight HEPA flltered air management system.
I tested this method first on the Nomad, which doesnt have the airflow issue due to the brushless spindle, and it worked well enough for me to attempt the same method but on a larger scale with the Shapeoko.

Heres the short Video:

I have no way of measuring if any dust escaped the waterbath and was present in the air during or after cutting the CF sheet, so I cant recommend doing this. But it got done.

The Idea was to completely submerge the Carbon fiber sheet in water and test if the air from the Router would disturb the water to a point where the part was exposed to the air.

I purchased a plastic artbin tub from amazon:

First I drilled and inserted m6 threaded inserts to match the Nomad threaded table mounting locations into my wasteboard:

Using the 7 inch spacing in the Nomad threaded table I drilled holes and inserted grommets into the floor of the plastic tub.

The grommets are from McMaster, but you can probably find these locally as well, basicly something like style 1;

I attached the Nomad table to the Shapeoko bed, sandwiching the plastic tub in between.
I applied even pressure to each of the corner bolts and did a quick test of the levelness of the Nomad table with the cutter in the Dewalt, it was level, and I continued.

Using HDPE clamps to hold the 1/8th Carbon Fiber strip. Note the 1/8th acrylic being used as a spoil board to protect the Nomad threaded table.

Job done, part still in the water.

Here is the final part and setup taken apart. Note what happens when you go through your spoil board into the table. ouch.

Pro Tip: when you don"t attempt this, reduce your tool retract hieght so the tool does not rise up out of the water.


Wow that is brilliant. iv been looking for a good (cheap) way to use so3 and mist collant without screwing up the waste board… Maybe I might modify this idea. Thanks!

I set up my Shapeoko 3 to machine carbon fiber.
I built an enclosure to safely trap the dust. It works extremely well.
If anyone is interested in seeing the enclosure I will up load some pics.



Hi Aaron, when you can please do share your Carbon fiber setup.

The dust collection system is fairly simple in design but works very well. An inexpensive bathroom exhaust fan that is mounted on the back side of the enclosure draws clean cool air into the enclosure from outside through the vent at the lower right side. It then pulls that air in a path across the cutting area and draws the dust that was not collected by a vac system through the HEPA filter on the back wall. That air which is now clean is sent to cool the vacuum system motor which is in its own enclosure that drastically reduces operating noise. The vac system is connected to the black hose and the cutter bit enclosure to collect the bulk of the fiber dust as it is being created.



Couldn’t really tell from the video, but how much water did the router shoot around? I would love to see more videos!

Any feedback on my enclosure setup?


Your enclosure looks well planned, Ive studied your pictures and keep seeing more neat details.
If you ever wanted to do a more detailed overview on your hazardous dust control setup it could literally save lives.

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What bit did you use Apollo? Such a clean cut.

I used the 3 flute .25" endmill from the Carbide 3d store.

Which endmill is it: #102 or #201?

201 is the Square .25"

102 is the square .125"