Design Futures Lab

AML Materials Guide

Rules about materials

  1. If the materials you want to cut is not listed on the page, you will need to provide an SDS (Saftey Data Sheet) and and bring a sample to your toolpath consultation.
  2. All materials must have a finished, flat and smooth on face/s to fix to the CNC
  3. Your material may need to be larger than your desired outcome in order to fix it to the CNC (please see below per material)

Material Pricing

The DFL carries a range of materials that can be used on the CNC. For pricing please visit the DFL shop page.

DFL Shop
Composite Woods

Plywood and Composite Woods

Composite woods can be processed up to 2400 x 1200mm on our Multicam CNC's up to a maximum thickness of 50mm.

✔️ All grades of plywood including construction, film-faced and furniture grade plywood's. Bunnings has a great selection in stock, or for more options try DMK or Plyco (Expect longer delivery times).

✔️ Chip board and Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

❗ Specially laminated products will need particular attention to achieve a clean cut edge. For this reason, if your material is not listed above, please bring a sample of at least 100mm x 200mm for cut testing.

MDF cannot be cut in the DFL as it produces toxic dust when machined.


Hard and soft timber can be processed up to 60mm thick on our low-gantry CNC, and with special care (and limited tooling) up to 120mm on our high-gantry CNC.

✔️ Jelutong and Kauri Pine a popular timbers for making site models. They can be purchased in small quantities from the DFL or from Anagote Timbers in Marrickville and will require finishing prior to use.

✔️ Bench tops from Bunnings. Pre-finished, solid wood bench tops from bunnings can be one of the most economical ways to realize larger products in timber.

Dressing unfinished wood. Many timber products come 'raw sawn' or 'unfinished' from the timber yard and will need to be 'finished' or 'dressed' prior to use. When selecting the thickness of timber for your project, anticipate that at least 5mm extra will be required to account for the finished project

The DFL woodshop can help you plane your material up to 500mm wide and can help edge laminate your dressed planks for $6 per linear metre.

No salvaged wood without special permission


Foam and Plastics

Foam and plastics can be processed up to 2500mm x 1200mm on our Multicam CNC's up to a maximum thickness of 120mm.

✔️ XPS (Polystyrene) and Polyurethane Insulation Foam are readily available foams that come in 75mm and 100mm thickness. DFL sells XPS in 300x300mm and 300x600mm sheets. Direct from suppliers, these sheets come in 2500x600mm.

✔️ RenShape and similar composites machine slowly but provide a clean and strong surface for mould making, models and fixtures.

✔️ PVC, HDPE, LDPE and other plastic sheets can be machined but require particular attention to achieve a clean cut edge, so please bring a sample of at least 100x200mm for cut testing.

Modelling Foams produce fine dust when machined, and requires special safety equipment, extraction and handling. Thus, we require that you obtain special permission to machine these materials.

Carbon Fibre, Fibreglass and similar composites cannot be cut in the DFL as they produce toxic dust when machined.

Acoustic Foam and Flexible Plastics cannot be machined as the material deflects instead of cutting.

Wrought Aluminium (Feed per tooth 0.05 ~ 0.2mm)

Aluminium composites such as honeycomb, and thin aluminium sheet (<8mm) can be processed up to 2400x1200 on our Multicam CNC's. Aluminium bar, plate, and billet stock can be processed on our Tormach CNC up to 300x200 with a maximum thickness of 100mm