Introduction to the CNC

Mark Juliana
August 28 - September 1


This course is for amateur and professional furniture makers who want to explore the application of CNC milling technology to their work. Mark’s instruction covers the full CNC process: from designing components with CAD software, to defining toolpaths with CAM software, to safe operation of the CNC itself.

Working with their own laptops and the school’s Shopbot PRS Alpha CNC, participants complete a series of assigned exercises such as a desk organizer, a lidded box with an insert, a plywood step stool with knock-down joinery, a multi-part bending form, and a sample table leg that demonstrates the cutting of traditional joinery on the CNC. They also experiment with 3D surface textures on sample blocks. Specific topics include, among others:

  • Using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software for design and CAM operations; 
  • Optimizing milling operations to reduce milling time and increase accuracy;
  • Safe and efficient work-holding strategies; and
  • Accurate CNC operation, including basics such as changing bits, flattening spoil boards, and registering data points.

Mark Juliana left the world of high tech in 2007 to explore more meaningful work and graduated from our Nine-month Comprehensive in 2008. He returned to Ashland, Oregon, where he set up a workshop and began to teach locally. In 2011, Mark returned to the Center as a Studio Fellow and in August of that year he joined our staff, where he serves as an instructor, Assistant Facilities Manager, and Digital Fabrication Supervisor


Open to anyone with working knowledge of a CAD program such as Rhino, Solidworks, or Fusion 360.

Tuition: $770

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Juliana CNCed boxesSmall boxes by Mark Juliana, made on the CNC with reclaimed wood (5 1/4”x2 5/8”x1 1/4” each), 2016