A CNC router is a machine that leverages computer-driven technology to make seamless cuts and patterns much smoother when produced. It increases overall productivity, minimizes waste of materials, and creates plenty of items in a much smaller span of time than other machines.
Some models are very big in size and actually take up a huge amount of space. However, these days, you can find newer desktop routers that are much smaller and can be placed on a big table. But have it in mind that there are not as powerful as their industrial-sized counterparts. So, it’s a good option for small businesses and home applications.
There are many ways you can make money using this machine, so this list below shouldn’t hinder you from exploring other opportunities and some of these products listed below can be offered together or separately, as you choose.
50 Best CNC Router Business ideas & Opportunities for 2021
With a CNC router, you should definitely consider starting a business that manufactures clocks. We all need them, and the market demand and product acceptance from consumers have been proven for well over a century.
Note that the components needed to build the clock can be purchased on a wholesale basis, while the housing for the clock itself can be manufactured by your business. The key to success is to make the clocks different and appealing to consumers.
These toys not only appeal to children for play, but also to adults for home and office decorations. Manufacturing wooden toys is an ideal home based business opportunity that can be activated for peanuts and has the potential to grow and return big profits.
Note that marketing the toys can be achieved by way of wholesale sales to merchants, the internet, mail-order catalogues, craft shows, mall kiosks and home shopping parties. Traditionally, popular wooden toys include trains, jigsaw puzzles, cars, numbered building blocks and wooden soldiers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The only limitation to the different kinds of wooden toys that can be designed and manufactured is your own imagination.
- Canoe Paddles
Countless people in the united states enjoy canoeing as an outdoor recreational sport. A business that manufactures wooden canoe and kayak paddles can be established right from a home-based garage workshop, and requires only a small investment into woodworking equipment to get going.
Moreover, canoe paddles can be sold on a wholesale basis to recreation retail stores, as well as directly to consumers by displaying the paddles for sale at outdoor and recreation trade shows. Additional revenues for this type of manufacturing business can also be achieved by manufacturing and selling related canoe and kayak products such as yokes, canoe replacement seats, and custom wood gunnels trim kits.
- Mould Making
Note that many different products require a mould in order to be manufactured. Canoes are made from a mould, lawn ornaments are made from a mould, many car body parts are made from a mould, and these are just a few examples.
Starting a business that specializes in making moulds for clients is not hard. However, there is definitely one main requirement: you or an employee must be able to design and build numerous styles of moulds. Typically, moulds used in manufacturing are constructed from fibreglass, so a well-vented workshop will also be a requirement for this business.
- Woodworking Class
This business can be operated from a home based workshop or from a small industrial rental location. Woodworking classes can be taught in a group format or a one-on-one basis. In addition, you can offer various levels of woodworking instructional classes ranging from beginner level all the way to an advanced course for the serious woodworker seeking to master the required skills to complete more complicated woodworking projects.
Additional revenues for a woodworking instruction service can be gained by providing students the option of purchasing wood for their projects, as well as purchasing woodworking tools once they have completed the course.
- Aluminium Door and Window Manufacturing
Making aluminium storm windows and doors is a relatively simple process that can even be conducted right from a well-equipped home-based workshop. This business start-up will appeal to entrepreneurs with some construction and mechanical aptitude.
Note that aluminium storm windows and doors are easy to manufacture. The same basic procedure is used for constructing both aluminium storm windows and doors. Additionally, glass cutting experience will also be required.
However, this is also an easy trade to master and most stained-glass retail shops even offer glass cutting courses at nights and weekends. Equipment requirements include a router, a compound mitre saw, flat glass-cutting table, a few basic hand tools, and, of course, a small initial inventory of aluminium extrusions, glass, and mechanical parts to get started.
- Tree House Kits
You can also start a business that manufactures tree house kits for the do-it-yourself homeowner to purchase, assemble, and install. The tree house kits can be packaged and sold to retail outlets on a wholesale basis or directly to consumers via advertising the tree house kits for sale on the Internet, newspapers and publications, and by creating a display model that can be exhibited at trade shows.
Strive to establish a joint venture with companies that are already in the business of manufacturing and wholesaling children’s toys and playground equipment, as there will be the possibility to capitalize on their customer base, distribution channels, business expertise and experience.
Right from the introduction of snowboards about a decade ago, there has been no looking back for the sport, as snowboarding now rivals skiing in terms of popularity, and it appeals to just about every age group, from 5 to 100.
Making snowboards is not a difficult task. The work lies within the design and composition of the snowboard, making a snowboard manufacturing business best suited to individuals with a manufacturing and designing background.
An experienced staff can always be hired or brought in on a consulting basis to help implement the design and manufacturing process. The snowboards can be sold on a wholesale basis to national retailers, as well as directly to consumers via the Internet and at sports and recreation trade shows.
- Art Headboards
Headboards for beds featuring elaborate art or photographs are beginning to become increasingly popular in specialty retail stores across the U.S., as well as being featured increasingly in interior decorating magazines and publications.
This creates a terrific opportunity for the enterprising entrepreneur to capitalize on this new furniture fashion trend by starting a business that designs, manufactures and sells art headboards for beds. The headboards can feature original art paintings or enlarged photographs that are adhered to the headboard. The art headboards can be sold on a wholesale basis to furniture and decorating retailers or directly to consumers and decorating professionals.
- Dollhouse Manufacturing and Sales
Making custom designed dollhouses is an ideal part-time home based business. The dollhouses you build can be sold through retail accounts, flea markets, craft shows, mail order, and the internet and mall kiosks. Note that the only requirement for this business is your ability to manufacture good, high-quality dollhouses.
Design plans are available at any hobby shop for dollhouse construction, or you can create your own custom designs. The potential profits this business can produce are varied. But note that a well-established dollhouse manufacturing business should not find it hard generating annual sales in excess of $500,000 per year.
- Patio Furniture Manufacturing
Custom-made and manufactured cedar patio furniture is popularly sought after by homeowners who enjoy comfortable and fashionable outdoor furniture. A business that builds custom cedar patio furniture is a relatively inexpensive enterprise to establish.
The business can be run from a garage or basement workshop and requires only minimal woodworking equipment such as a CNC router, table saw, band saw, planer, basic power hand tools, and sanders. There are thousands of design plans available to assist in constructing the patio furniture, or the seasoned carpenter can certainly manufacture his/her own custom designs.
- Custom French Doors
Starting and managing your own business that manufactures, retails, and installs custom-made interior French doors is an excellent way to be self-employed and generate very lucrative profit returns.
Note there is very little competition in this business; yet the demand for high quality and unique French doors is very good, especially in the higher-end markets, such as expensive homes and professional offices. Consider working with homebuilders who are prepared to offer your French doors to their clients as an upgrade finishing option.
- Window Shutters and Blinds
Making interior and exterior wood window shutters is a very simple manufacturing business to establish and run. Note that only a small home-based workshop is needed for manufacturing space. The demand for wooden window shutters and blinds is huge, especially with recent news that plastic mini blinds can give off toxic fumes into a home.
The demand for exterior wooden window shutters used for home decoration and shutter replacements is also very large. The completed shutters can be sold to national home improvement centre retailers on a wholesale basis, or the window shutters can be sold directly to homeowners on a custom order and installation basis.
- Awning Manufacturing
As long as you have the workshop space and zoning permits, you can even manufacture awnings right from a home-based location. There are basically two types of awnings: residential and commercial. Residential awnings are generally constructed from an aluminium or steel frame and covered with a canvas or vinyl fabric shell.
Most times residential awnings are mechanical, meaning that they can be manually or electrically extended and retracted to suit weather conditions and the user’s needs. Commercial awnings are also constructed using an aluminium or steel frame and covered with a canvas or vinyl fabric shell. Most are stationary, and many also act as signage for the business or office and are often electrically backlit to illuminate the sign at night.
- Iron Sculptures
It’s time to start profiting from your talents by starting a business that produces iron art sculptures. The raw materials required for the sculptures can be purchased from metal recycling facilities for low or no cost.
Once completed, the sculptures can be marketed directly to art-loving consumers and art collectors by setting up a sales kiosk on weekends at malls and other community gathering places. Additionally, the iron sculptures can be featured and sold online and at local art galleries. But be sure to craft iron sculptures that have functional value such as weather vanes, coat racks and room partitions.
Since you already have a CNC router, this business can be started on an initial investment of less than $500 and operated on a part- or full-time basis from home. The completed mailboxes can be sold on a wholesale basis to retailers or directly to consumers via a booth at a busy weekend flea market or craft show.
Have it in mind that the financial goal of operating a business does not always mean that you necessarily desire a $100,000 per year income. Sometimes just the fact that you are making a few extra dollars operating your own business is all the financial reward and personal satisfaction you need.
- Store Display Cases
Starting a manufacturing business that specializes in custom-designed and constructed store display cases and fixtures is a wonderful business that can be set up and conducted right from a home-based workshop. Note there are many predesigned and prebuilt display cases available to retailers.
However, often merchants require display cases and store fixtures that have to be specially constructed to highlight or merchandise their inventory. There are some marketing techniques that can be used to advertise the business including joining retail business associations, networking with the association members to gather potential leads, and establishing alliances with companies that specialize in commercial store openings and renovations.
- Custom Play Sets
The demand for custom designed and constructed children’s play sets started to boom a few years ago, and these play sets still continue to be a hot seller today. Note that to compete for market share in this industry; you need some very elaborate play set designs and very ingenious marketing strategies.
The higher-end multi-station play centres seem to be the most popular, thus commanding the largest retail dollar. This may indeed create your niche. You can design and manufacture a smaller, more compact and affordable version of the large play sets to promote and market.
With a router already in place to make things easier, this business can be started for less than $500 and can be operated right from home. One of the major elements for this manufacturing venture to take off and succeed will be your ability to design and create very unique and different bookends.
One idea may be to capitalize on the ever-increasing environmentally friendly theme and manufacture all the bookends out of recycled materials. If this route is chosen, be sure to include the fact that your products are manufactured from recycled materials in all packaging and promotional material, as this can be utilized as a fantastic marketing tool.
- Sandbox Manufacturing
Custom sandboxes are the new hot cake in the children’s play equipment industry. Of course not the normal 5-foot by 5-foot poorly crafted sandboxes, but new mega sandboxes based on a theme, such as outer space, cowboys or race cars.
One manufacturer I recently spoke to expanded his operation of six full-time employees to more than ten, just to keep up with the demand of building and installing his custom ‘Sand Play Centres’ as he refers to them. This may be a great opportunity for you to introduce custom sandboxes into your area, given the number of children and backyards in this country. Even if there is competition, there should still be enough business to go around.
The manufacturing, sales, and installation of garden gazebos are an ideal inexpensive way to start your own business enterprise. The demand for custom-built gazebos has never been higher, and the demand continues to grow, especially for gazebos used to house hot tubs.
The business can be started for a very modest investment, and has the potential to return big profits. You can design your own line of gazebos to sell and install, or you can purchase plans for gazebo construction and use these designs to get started.
- Custom Doorsteps
Manufacturing custom designer doorstops is a very easy and straightforward business venture to set in motion. The key to success in this type of manufacturing venture is that the doorstops must be unique in design, and the marketing methods employed must be innovative and clever.
The demand for custom and one-of-a-kind home improvement and home-decorating items is gigantic, and this is the kind of product that has real potential to catch on in a big way. The doorstops could be fashioned after antique doorstops, or they could be manufactured from 100 percent recycled materials.
- Pizza Boxes
Owners of the pizza shop get their pizza boxes for 50 percent of the regular cost for allowing local noncompeting merchants to advertise on the pizza box, and this can potentially save them thousands of dollars each year.
Howbeit, local merchants that advertise on the pizza boxes receive low-cost highly effective advertising and the advertisement can be in the form of a cut out coupon featuring a discount for the merchant’s products and services. Consumers still receive a great-tasting pizza, plus valuable discount coupons that can be redeemed at local stores.
- Stained Glass
You start a business that specializes on teaching people how to make stained-glass items, such as lampshades and sun catchers, is a terrific low-investment business opportunity to initiate.
The business and instruction classes can be operated from a home-based workshop, or the classes can be provided for students and operated in conjunction with a community institution, such as a college, recreation centre, or community centre. One of the key requirements for starting a business teaching others how to make stained-glass products is, of course, the ability to make and teach others how to make stained-glass items.
- Antique Sideboard Vanities
Antique sideboard cabinets make fantastic washroom sink vanities, especially when used in heritage and Victorian homes. Transforming antique sideboard cabinets into washroom vanities is an excellent and potentially very profitable new enterprise to set in motion. The main requirements for successfully establishing and operating this type of business include:
A well-equipped workshop, Carpentry and construction skills and experience, Excellent marketing and promotion skills. Patience will be required, as obtaining the antique sideboards could mean spending a fair amount of time scouring garage sales, flea markets and auction sales. Potential customers or buyers can include custom homebuilders, interior designers and decorators, and contracting and renovation companies.
- Plaster Casts
Annually, millions of plaster casts depicting people, animals and objects are sold as home decorations. The materials needed to make plaster casts are inexpensive and readily available at most craft supply stores.
Many of these same stores also carry information, books and videos about how to make plaster casts and, in some cases, even conduct classes on the subject. The potential to earn an income or generate a profit from this unique business enterprise will obviously vary based on a number of factors.
- Belt Buckles
This business can be started with less than a $3,000 initial investment, and the long-term profit potential is sensational. The key to success in this type of specialty manufacturing business is to ensure the buckle designs are original and to utilize many marketing methods to ensure maximum exposure for the business and products.
In addition, consider utilizing recyclable materials such as metals and glass for the raw material to construct the belt buckles as not only is this a way to reduce materials’ costs, but more importantly, it can be used as a very powerful marketing tool.
- Rubber Stamps
Even with the popularity of easy to make and print computerized labels, there will always be a market for rubber stamps that are used for business purposes, as well as in the hobby craft industry.
The key to success in manufacturing rubber stamps is to be unique and make the stamps interesting. In addition to the traditional business rubber stamps, also manufacture stamps for use in crafts and for personal use. Right now, animal stamps are very popular and feature just about every kind of animal.
- Packing Crates
Making and selling custom made-to-order packing crates is a great business to start and has an almost endless supply of potential customers. Note that every year millions of products are manufactured and shipped in packing crates that have been specially designed and built to protect the cargo.
The easiest way to get new clients for a packing crate manufacturing business is to simply design and distribute a promotional package to all the manufacturers in your community. The information package should give details about your specialty service as well as include all vital contact information.
- Fireplace Mantels
Building and installing custom fireplace mantels is a great business to start for a person who has an expertise in construction, or more specifically, cabinetmaking. You can comfortably start this business with less than $1,000 and it can be operated right from a truck or van.
In terms of marketing the mantels, there is an endless supply of potential customers who can provide you with work, including homebuilders, interior designers, renovation companies, gas fireplace retailers, architects, and utility companies.
- Office Dividers
A business that designs and builds office dividers is a unique home-based manufacturing business to get rolling. The latest trend in office layout is no walls; only dividers to create a really communal workplace.
This means the time has never been better than now to start this type of manufacturing business. The office divider designs could incorporate handy features, such as adjustable shelving, built-in waste and recycling receptacles, and built-in message and white boards.
- Custom Buttons
If you already have a router, consider starting a business that specializes in manufacturing and selling custom, one-of-a-kind buttons for clothing. The buttons can be manufactured from just about every type of raw material, including wood, metal, seashells and glass.
A workshop, woodworking machine, and basic carpentry skills are all that you need to start building doghouses for profit. You can build doghouses from your own plans or purchase design and construction plans.
Consider incorporating recycled materials into the construction process, as you can play upon the benefits of recycling for marketing purposes. The completed doghouses can be sold to retailers on a wholesale basis or you can opt to sell them directly to consumers via pet fairs and craft shows.
- Junkyard Sculptures
Note there are two ways to make money in a junkyard sculpture business. The first, establish and sell art sculptures made from junkyard items. Secondly, supply art schools and artists with interesting junkyard items. In both instances, a little bit of innovation can make you a lot of money.
- Slate Tables
Slate and natural stone tables are becoming extremely popular, both as functional designer furnishings for residential homes and as bold furnishing statements for professional offices. Note that this demand creates a huge opportunity for the entrepreneur with creative abilities to capitalize by starting a business that designs, manufactures and markets slate and natural stone coffee tables, end tables, desks and boardroom tables.
- Fitness Equipment Manufacturing
If you already have a CNC router, then perhaps you should consider starting a business that manufactures fitness equipment. The main requirements for succeeding in this type of manufacturing business is to have a well-equipped workshop, design and construction experience, and good marketing skills. The fitness equipment manufactured can include weight benches, weight stands, and squat stands, just to mention a few.
- Jewellery Boxes
These boxes can sell for as much as 10 to 20 times of what it costs to build them, making this a potentially very profitable home-based manufacturing venture. This is the type of manufacturing business that will let you be very creative in design and in the materials selected for the construction process.
Or in other words, ‘think outside the jewellery box.’ Consider using materials that normally would not be used for building this product, like recycled items, seashells, glass, or plastic.
- Patio Covers
Patio covers are a great low cost, high value home improvement project, as not only can a patio cover be an attractive add-on to any home, but it can also provide protection and relief from the heat of the sun.
Note that the first step to marketing this type of home improvement business is to create the target market for the product. Potential customers will include residential homeowners with southern exposed yards and patios, and commercial businesses such as cafés.
Laminates, stone, ceramic tile, concrete, or metal kitchen and bathroom countertops can and are being manufactured from a wide variety of raw materials to suit every interior décor and budget.
Designing, manufacturing, and installing custom countertops are a relatively uncomplicated process that requires only basic tools and a home-based workshop. Notably, kitchen and bath renovations rank as the two most common home improvement projects carried out by homeowners and countertops are an important component of these renovations.
- Driftwood and Log Furniture
One of the key aspects about building a business that designs and manufactures driftwood and log furniture for the home and patio is the fact that much of the raw manufacturing materials can be acquired for free or for very little cost. There are literally hundreds of different household and patio furniture products that can be manufactured from driftwood, rough cut logs, or even waste wood.
- Decorative Partition Screen Manufacturing
For someone with an entrepreneurial spirit and creative talent, starting a business that manufactures and sells decorative partition screens may be just the moneymaking opportunity you’ve been looking for. Partition screens are commonly used in homes, offices and even outdoors as an added decorative flair or to divide and partition the space. You’ll need basic knowledge of carpentry, artistic talent and the desire to succeed in this business.
- Deck Building
Note that one of the fastest growing segments of the home improvement industry is designing, building, and installing custom sundecks. Many of the sundecks that are now being installed retail for as much as $15,000 and include features such as built-in planters, areas for sunk-in hot tubs, glass or cast iron handrails, and custom manufactured wood furniture to match the sundeck’s design.
- Plant Stands
Making and selling plant stands are not only an economical business undertaking to start, it’s also a business that can be easily operated from a home based workshop, with the potential to generate a sensational part-time income.
The key to succeeding in a part-time business that makes and markets plant stands for indoor and outdoor use is to ensure the stands are of an unconventional design and that the construction material used to build the stands is also interesting.
- Junkyard Furniture Creations
If you’re searching for a unique home based business that has minimal competition and potential to generate a six-figure income, then look no further. A business that manufactures and sells junkyard furniture is a very interesting venture. The key to its success is to create funky, yet functional furniture from discarded items typically found at a wrecking yard or junkyard.
- Hand-Painted Storage Boxes
With a lot of people looking for unique and interesting ways to arrange their personal belongings, home office documents and family keepsakes, hand-painted storage boxes are sure to fit the bill. The options are endless—using materials such as wood, metal and cardboard, you can create designer storage boxes to suit every décor. You will need to have some artistic talent, but with that said, arts and crafts classes are available in almost every community.
- Outdoor Bicycle Racks
This business concept is very straightforward. Simply design and build bicycle lock-up stands that can accommodate four to six bicycles each, and that can be securely fastened to the ground in outdoor locations. Note that the bicycle stands serve two purposes.
Firstly, they introduce a unique advertising medium by establishing an advertising space on the top of the stand that can be rented to local merchants and service providers. The second purpose of the stand is to provide a secure location for cyclists to lock up bicycles while shopping at community retailers.
The market demand for futons has been growing steadily for the past decade and shows no signs of slowing down. Futons are a functional, yet inexpensive piece of furniture that can serve a multitude of uses. A futon manufacturing business can be setup and managed from home. However, renting a small industrial location can serve not only for a manufacturing location, but also a ‘factory outlet’ for retail sales of the futons.
- Floating Docks
Building floating docks and swim platforms is a manufacturing business that can be started by just about anyone with construction knowledge and a well-equipped woodworking shop. Most of the components that are required to build a floating dock, such as the floats and anchors, can be purchased on a wholesale basis from the manufacturers of these products.
- Sign making
If sign making is one of your talents, then it might be the right time to invest in a router and see the fruitful rewards later. The machine is commonly used for carving signs in various materials, which include aluminium, wood, bronze, and plastic. You won’t have issues with 3D designs.
- Instrument production
Neck and body carving, fretwork, and inlays can be carried out with the speed and accuracy demanded by an artist. Therefore, allowing you to concentrate on finer details that make the instrument highly intricate and unique.