The Turner’s Cube is a machinist exercise to learn how to mill using a CNC machine. The Turner’s Cube is essentially an illusion of a cube within a cube. I thought it was an interesting piece of metal to learn how to make, and I also wanted to familiarize myself with the practicalities of a CNC machine.


The process first started in the CAD software SolidWorks, to initially design and configure the dimensions of a typical Turner’s Cube. The cube overall was 2 inches in length, width, and height. The holes needed to be cut at varying depths, so starting from the surface of the stock material they were, from the shallowest to the deepest, respectively: 1/3 in, 2/3 in, and 1 in. The diameters of each hole varied as well, so similarly, starting at the top of the stock, from largest to smallest, those dimensions were: 1.6 in, 0.8 in, and 0.3 in.


Then, the CAM feature of Fusion360 was used to export a file written in gcode, a language that the CNC machine will need to actually mill the Turner’s Cube from aluminum, the most practical metal to machine as it is relatively “softer” than other metals.

Simulation of the CAM Toolpath


All that was left was to actually mill the aluminum stock until it was the finished cube you see below.

Final Construction