Architectural Millwork

Architectural Millwork

Grant Bailey, project at ShopBot

Tempo Carpentry & Design

Brook's CNC Routing

Rogers Millwork

Jim Lohmann

CNC Routers for Millwork

Architectural millwork encompasses a wide range of products such as trim moldings, corbels, turned and fluted columns, arches and sophisticated 3D relief designs such as classical crowns, carved acanthus leaves and mantelpieces.  When it comes to producing these works of art, there are typically two schools of thought: One group subscribes to the idea that CNC-machined parts are manufactured looking and another thinks that hand-carved pieces just take too long to be cost effective.  These ideas may have been valid in the past, but with the development of powerful and easy-to-use software and a CNC router, just about anyone can carve beautiful parts, even if they are not a world-class hand carver.

One great advantage a CNC router can bring to architectural millwork is time savings.  Rather than completely carve a part by hand, a part can be cut 95% of the way on the CNC, and then the hand carver could add those special finishing touches indicative of a hand carved part.  This practice can save hundreds or even thousands of man hours over the course of a year, with no degradation in the quality and craftsmanship that your company is known for.  The extra time that your CNC tool affords you can be reinvested towards new, more complex designs that were previously not cost effective or within the reach of conventional woodworking tools.

Once your designs are created on the computer and toolpaths are generated, they can be reused at any point in the future, much like investing in a mold that lasts forever.  This ability allows you to catalog your work and draw upon it as needed with no additional layout of time, aside from cutting the parts.  This ability to use on-demand production in your shop will go far towards a lean manufacturing strategy with increased throughput and reduced overhead.

Click here to learn more about 3D work with CNC tools


No discussion about architectural millwork would be complete without addressing cylindrical parts such as turned columns, barley twists, ornate spindles and posts.  With the optional ShopBot indexer, you add 4th axis capabilities to your existing 3-axis ShopBot. This accessory allows you to create both simple profiled turnings, much like a standard woodworking lathe, in addition to ornate 3D relief carvings and parts not possible on a traditional lathe.  Literally any design that you can think of can be incorporated into your cylindrical parts, including your existing 3D reliefs that you cut conventionally.  This opens up new opportunities for your customers and your design team alike.


The versatility of a ShopBot CNC doesn’t end when the cutting is done.  With the addition of the optional 3D digitizing probe, you can easily scan 2D shapes and 3D reliefs into the computer.  Once setup with the correct parameters, your ShopBot scans your part, capturing even the smallest of details automatically.  You can go about your business while the ShopBot scans your part.  With the proper software, you can scale or modify your part if necessary and produce a 3D toolpath to cut your new parts.  This offers a great advantage to shops who frequently do restoration work.  The old parts can be scanned, repaired, modified and even mirrored in software and then outputted to the CNC, creating perfect parts.

Who's Using ShopBot CNCs?

Brooks CNC Routing, Andy Brooks -  Oakwood, GA - Cutting, 3D carving, engraving and custom CAD/CAM design

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Each new ShopBot tool comes bundled with two powerful software programs to create CNC projects.

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