Hero Design | CNC Router Service
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CNC Router Service

This CNC machine can do some amazing things.

Weeks from now, you could be watching a team of experts in safety glasses carefully cutting and assembling your product, right here in Oakland, CA.

Branding agencies. Designers. Architects. DIY makers and artists. Entrepreneurs. Thanks to modern maker technologies like this CNC router, it’s never been easier to develop branded products. Often within weeks.

Bring HERO your product at any stage of development. From a back-of-napkin concept, to a CAD model. Our team of designers and production specialists will take it from there, collaborating with you to deliver it back as a prototype or a finished product.


Are you ready for a precision estimate on materials and CNC cutting costs?

Some of our clients need some help before they are ready to get an estimate for the CNC machine and materials. Do you?

Option 1:

I’m Ready

  • I have a CAD model of the part
  • I know exactly which material I want to use
  • I have a .dxf or .stl file of my parts

Option 2:

Almost Ready

  • I’ve got a drawing on paper or in photo format
  • I have a question about materials or methods
  • I don’t know how to produce .dxf or .stl files


You’ve got a CAD model and you’re ready to export your parts as either a .dxt or .stl file. Chances are your parts can be fully described by a 2D .dxf file with basic annotations. However, if your part has 3D contour curves, you should probably send us a 3D .stl file. You can’t go wrong by sending us both.

NOTE: At the moment, we are not able to accept new CNC projects or to provide quotes, as we are booked up through January 2016 due to a production run of Everbright.


  1. Units in inches only please.
  2. Provide the part drawing as you want it to be cut. Do not provide “tool path” lines.
  3. Please provide files at the scale you want cut (1:1).
  4. If you’ve exported at 1:1 we only need one or two measurements called out to be sure we are at the right scale. Do not dimension every feature.
  5. Use layers.
  6. Specify which vectors (lines) represent pocket (recess) cuts and how deep they should be. And put similar features on their own layers.
  7. Let us “nest” your parts. If you need them nested in a special way, let us know.
  8. If you are sending us anything with lettering on it, be sure the center of letters like “B” and “P” do not fall out when cut. Think of a stencil.
  9. Be sure your vectors are closed and you’re meshes are “tight.”
  10. The router cuts with a round bit, so we can not produce sharp internal corners. They must either have a “dog-bone” over cut or a radius. We can help you understand this if you’re not sure.
  11. Please check your file after you’ve exported it by opening it yourself an insuring it’s properly formatted.


How do you calculate the cost? When you send your project details, you’ll receive an estimate based on some of these factors:

  1. Your part’s complexity and size. Smaller, intricate parts with twisty curves take longer to cut than larger, simpler shapes. Since you pay for how long it takes to cut your part, a more complex part means a higher fee.
  2. Volume. A larger job that burns through multiple cutting bits will cost more than a smaller job in which only one cutting bit is used. Also, if your job is big it’s going to create a lot of waste which does not magically disappear.
  3. Programming. Even though it’s a robot cutting your part we still need to program the robot so it does a great job. Complex parts often take significant time to program and this time adds to the cost.


Do I need to provide materials, or can you get them for me? If you already have materials, and we’ve approved them, you can arrange a time to drop them off at our studio in West Oakland. We can also order and procure them for you, for a fee.


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Now we need to work out the details so you can receive a precision estimate on materials and cutting costs. There are a number of factors to consider for an accurate assessment. This option is for you if:

1. You want to get your parts production-ready. Is your product designed for manufacturability? A few recommendations from a specialist could save you thousands in time and materials fees. Let HERO help you turn your concept in something ready to build.

For example: A client’s drawing was 90% of the way there, but they needed me to advise them on how to finish it up and get it ready so it could be professionally cut. We got their designs in great shape, properly exported, and then provided a detailed estimate for additional design and production.

2. You want to know what’s possible with your constraints. Can it be done? If so, how? We’ll give you some possibilities you probably hadn’t considered.

For example: An entrepreneur wanted to think through feasibility and budgets for several custom products she planned to incorporate into a new business. We researched the options, and presented a handful of fantastic ideas she could use to help her produce the highest-priority items within her budget and timeframe.

3. You want to build a prototype. Or several. You want to explore a few different options for prototypes based on materials, aesthetics, and cost to produce.

For example: A client had a simple, clear idea for a product. We produced a simple drawing communicating the product’s key elements. The client used this drawing to produce and explore CAD drawings and prototypes.

4. You’re an agency looking for estimates and ideas to fit your constraints.

For example: A branding firm needed to recommend a custom product to their client. Not only did we give them estimates of the total project costs, from design to fabrication, but we also gave them a new perspective. They heard several ideas on ways to approach the product they didn’t know were possible. They were able to use this to successfully pitch their client.

TO GET STARTED: Request a 30-minute design consult, which will allow us to give you a precision pricing estimate for both materials and CNC cutting costs. Satisfaction guaranteed.

NOTE: At the moment, we are not able to accept new CNC projects or to provide quotes, as we are booked up through January 2016 due to a production run of Everbright.