26 CNC Initiatives That Promote (2022)



Every day, an increasing number of limitations to entrepreneurship come tumbling down. 

The rise of social media has given small companies entry to large markets. The arrival of digital advertising instruments has made issues like discovering a audience and constructing an internet site⁠ simpler than ever earlier than. 

However till just lately, one barrier nonetheless remained; the excessive value of mass-producing items.

Irrespective of how you chop it, mass manufacturing is dear. Dropshipping web sites and print-on-demand firms supply some bespoke branding choices, however what when you’re seeking to produce your individual merchandise? Ones you’ve designed your self

Is there a viable, low-cost possibility for mass producing your individual {custom} items⁠? 

With the arrival of reasonably priced CNC routers, the reply is sure.

First off, what’s a CNC router?

A CNC router is a computer-operated reducing device that acts as a mix panel noticed, spindle moulder, and boring machine, carving advanced shapes out of supplies like wooden, metals, plastics, and glass.⁠

CNC stands for “pc numerical management⁠”—a flowery method of claiming the gadget operates utilizing programmable automation, just like 3D printing, permitting builders to design advanced elements that may be lower cleanly, rapidly, and on an enormous scale.


Small-scale CNC machines will be bought on a shoestring price range. They don’t take up an excessive amount of house, there’s a ton of on-line assets out there for individuals who need to discover ways to use them, and so they give startup entrepreneurs the power to mass produce {custom} merchandise of their storage, basement, or bed room.

Because the demand for distinctive merchandise grows, CNC companies have turn into massively worthwhile on on-line marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon, the place clients put quite a lot of worth in small, artisan retailers. 

For those who’re seeking to construct your individual CNC-based enterprise, right here’s what you must know.

Earn money together with your CNC machine: 26 mission concepts

As CNC routers have grown extra compact and reasonably priced, curiosity in CNC-crafted items has flourished on on-line marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, and Fb Market, the place there’s a excessive demand for handcrafted, one-of-a-kind merchandise. 

Since CNC routers can lower any form out of quite a lot of supplies, there’s an intensive listing of merchandise you possibly can create with a CNC machine. 

Listed below are a couple of concepts:

Residence decor merchandise

Residence decor merchandise make nice first-time CNC companies. Consumers are inclined to put extra worth into uniqueness and exclusivity, giving a bonus to smaller retailers. Plus, since dwelling decor merchandise are ornamental, there’s a singular alternative to realize repeat purchases from consumers that worth aesthetic continuity of their houses. 

Listed below are some dwelling decor merchandise you would possibly contemplate promoting:

1. Bookends

Bookends serve the perform of holding books in place on a bookshelf. They have to be heavy and durable⁠—apart from that, there’s no actual restrictions round what form and design may very well be used.

Some are advanced works of sculpture artwork, others are extra summary shapes meant to mix in with all kinds of decor. Bookends are excellent for entrepreneurial artists who worth a excessive degree of inventive freedom.

2. Wall artwork

Like bookends, wall artwork can supply quite a lot of inventive freedom. You could possibly use a recognizable template, just like the US flag, or one thing fully new. It may be detailed or summary, advanced or minimal, and is adaptable to every kind of branding.

Since wall artwork exists on a flat floor, routing designs will be made a lot less complicated, making wall artwork nice for entrepreneurs simply getting the hold of utilizing their CNC machines to craft items.

3. Shelving

You would possibly promote particular person cabinets, extra advanced shelving programs, and even bigger shelving items. Shelving may not encourage creativity instantly, however distinctive shelving that makes use of much less typical designs is usually a nice consideration grabber.

triangle-shelf-set-from-infinite-abyssby way of Infinite Abyss 

4. Furnishings

Furnishings will be extra superior when you consider upholstery and meeting, however even easy furnishings routing designs like picket benches, finish tables, desks, and accent chairs have gotten more and more fashionable.

5. Image frames

Provide your clients a singular approach to show photos of their most treasured moments with a one-of-a-kind line of CNC-crafted image frames.

Image frames will be constructed from practically any materials, are available in all sizes and styles, and will be tailored to just about any aesthetic, which means there’s an enormous quantity of potential clients.

6. Candle holders

Candles is usually a characteristic of dwelling decor in practically each room, and nothing accentuates the calming glow of a flickering candle like a well-crafted candle holder. From glossy candlesticks to glass lanterns, there are every kind of candle holders⁠ you possibly can craft and promote with a CNC machine.


by way of Infinite Abyss

Get impressed: ​​Infinite Abyss

Infinite Abyss is a home-decor model created by Wyoming-based artist Samantha Hartman. Hartman attracts inspiration from nature to provide her merchandise a country, but fashionable character that makes for a well-crafted model.

Infinite Abyss has been profiled in HGTV journal, on Buzzfeed, and by Etsy. Hartman can be the writer of Wooden Pallet Wonders, her DIY information to constructing rustic dwelling furnishings from recycled wooden pallets.


Infinite Abyss is a good instance of construct constant and memorable collections out of your CNC merchandise. Merchandise are harmonious with out being repetitive; every works each as a person piece and in teams, whatever the mixture of merchandise. 

Kitchen and BBQ instruments

The worldwide cookware market is anticipated to develop at a compound annual development charge of 6.9% from 2021 to 2028, which means there’ll probably be an enormous demand for kitchen and barbecue merchandise over the subsequent decade. 

And don’t be intimidated by the prospect of competing with huge field shops—a lot of the expansion within the trade is attributed to millennials, who are inclined to worth one-of-a-kind merchandise from smaller retailers. 

Listed below are some kitchen and barbecue instruments that may be crafted with a CNC machine:

7. Chopping boards

Chopping boards (typically referred to as chopping blocks) are utilized by cooks every single day, in kitchens everywhere in the world. Attributable to its pure antiseptic qualities, wooden has been the fabric of alternative for reducing boards for hundreds of years, however reducing boards will be constructed from plastics as effectively.

Since their perform is sort of primary, reducing boards are generally custom-made by cooks who like so as to add a private contact to the instruments they use, opening up quite a lot of niching prospects.

8. Picket serving utensils and bowls

Picket spoons and salad-serving forks are frequent home items and it’s comparatively simple to search out CNC woodworking designs for them that may be altered to suit your personal branding. Since consumers normally need this stuff to match, you may even promote entire utensil units.

9. Coasters

Coasters are nice merchandise to make and promote with a CNC machine. Consumers are sometimes on the lookout for one-of-a-kind objects, giving an edge to newer manufacturers. On high of this, coasters will be crafted from a variety of supplies, giving designers quite a lot of inventive freedom.

Whereas they’re usually constructed from wooden⁠, coasters are additionally crafted from cork, bamboo, plastics, clay, marble, concrete, and even leather-based and materials. You would possibly even contemplate crafting distinctive coasters constructed from a number of supplies.


10. Kitchen wall decals

Cooks spend quite a lot of time of their kitchens, so it’s no shock that they’d need to add visible aptitude to their decor. Relying in your branding, your kitchen wall decals would possibly inlay humorous slogans, inspiring quotes, or simply actually cool imagery.

11. Picket serving trays

Picket serving trays are sometimes used to move meals and drinks, however even when stationary, they will add a definite accent to at least one’s eating room decor. This twin objective has made them an ideal present thought for those who usually host visitors.

12. Wooden-mounted bottle openers

Wooden-mounted bottle openers carry out a quite simple perform, which means they provide quite a lot of template prospects. They arrive in all sizes. They are often glossy and practical, or extra ornate and ornamental. Some stand on their very own, whereas others are mounted to partitions.

When positioned indoors, they will add a country really feel to any room. Open air, they could deliver a way of modernity to an remoted campground.


Get impressed: Avocrafts

Avocrafts is a San Diego–primarily based retailer of wood-crafted kitchen items and residential decor merchandise. It has quite a lot of attention-grabbing items, however the spotlight for us is its handcrafted picket coasters. 


Constituted of cedar wooden and epoxy resin, Avocraft’s coasters are crafted in such a method that every piece is exclusive⁠—with the precise placement of the supplies decided randomly throughout the reducing course of.  

Stylistically, the coasters are completely harmonious, however the additional degree of uniqueness provides the product a one-of-a-kind really feel that resonates with consumers who worth exclusivity. Avocraft makes good use of buyer testimonials as effectively, inviting consumers to share the distinctive patterns they acquired.


Workplace provides

With extra individuals working from dwelling, the demand for dwelling workplace provides has skyrocketed. Workplace provides are typically in demand yr spherical, and since objects usually want changing, repeat purchases are frequent. 

Listed below are some CNC-crafted workplace provides you would possibly make and promote:

13. Pencil holders

An ornamental pencil holder will be an effective way for dwelling workplace staff to showcase their persona. Pencil holders don’t have quite a lot of design necessities, which implies they provide a ton of stylistic prospects.

You would possibly create pencil holders which can be extra utilitarian, perhaps containing a easy engraving⁠, accented with an in depth sample. Otherwise you would possibly go huge, fixing a holding mechanism into an extravagant desktop sculpture.


14. Charging docks

Even when you’re not an workplace employee, you most likely have quite a lot of units that have to be charged. Charging docks are small buildings designed to assist arrange your whole charging cables and equipment in a single easy-to-use place.

15. Craft provide packing containers

Craft provide packing containers are very versatile on the subject of how they’re used. Painters and sculptors would possibly use bigger ones to arrange instruments of their studio. Smaller packing containers are generally used to retailer stitching provides.

Different occasions, provide packing containers are extra ornamental⁠—not constructed for any particular objective, however simply meant to provide consumers a extra trendy storage possibility. The kind of packing containers you construct ought to rely in your viewers and what their main wants are.

16. Desk organizers

Desk organizers are small packing containers, normally stored atop a desk or desk, consisting of divided compartments for storing issues like notebooks, charging cables, writing utensils, and, sometimes, easy-to-lose objects like keys and free change.

bamboo-desktop-organizer-from-neoletexGet impressed: Neoletex

Neoletex is an environmentally minded vendor of handcrafted workplace provides constructed from sustainable bamboo. Neoletex donates 10% of its on-line gross sales to environmental tasks and charitable organizations devoted to constructing a extra environmentally pleasant future. 

Neoletex’s bamboo desktop organizers have a glossy, minimalistic design that works with virtually any aesthetic—however what’s most essential right here isn’t the design, however the message behind their merchandise. 

Neoletex describes itself as environment friendly, efficient, and environmentally sustainable⁠—and it reveals in its merchandise. The whole lot from the supplies used to the unembellished sensible design of their merchandise appears to harmonize round its message of efficient, environment friendly sustainability.

Customized signage

Speciality signage is an effective way to provide your clients a singular product that also emphasizes the stylistic peculiarities of your model. 

Customized signage could be used for particular occasions, to provide instructions on mountaineering trails, or so as to add ornamental labels to beautiful dwelling gardens. Additionally they simply make a pleasant piece of customized garden decor. 

Listed below are a few various kinds of signage you may promote:

17. Identify indicators

Identify indicators make nice presents. They’re a staple of memento outlets and one of the vital fashionable novelty objects individuals purchase. With a CNC machine, you possibly can create customized identify indicators for bedrooms, places of work, or some other place your clients need to label as their very own.

And it’s not simply people who have names; indicators constructed for canine homes, horse stables, or cat timber could make nice present concepts for animal lovers.

18. Rustic wooden indicators for outside

Whether or not it’s for the cottage, the barn, or simply your yard, picket signage will be each a useful educational device and an accent piece that provides a pastoral contact to any location.

19. Changeable letter indicators

Why not give your clients the choice to craft their very own indicators? Changeable letter indicators is usually a enjoyable addition to any room in the home, with relations and housemates leaving enjoyable, {custom} messages for one another.


Get impressed: Southern Accent Woodcrafting

Southern Accent Woodcrafting began with the buy of two CNC machines by proprietor and operator Dan Berry⁠—who determined to show his ardour for wooden carving and wooden crafting right into a full-time woodworking enterprise. 

Southern Accent Woodcrafting sells {custom} indicators for companies, farms, horse stables, canine homes, and nearly some other place that may profit from the aesthetics of handcrafted signage. 


Southern Accent Woodcrafting offers its clients with an easy-to-use product web page that makes for an ideal customized buying expertise. The shape is accessible and simply understood, ensuring nothing will get in the best way of offering consumers with their very own {custom} merchandise.

Toys and video games

There’s an enormous number of toys and video games you would possibly construct and promote with a CNC machine. You could possibly promote academic toys for younger youngsters that assist promote mental growth. Otherwise you would possibly take into consideration crafting your individual line of dolls or motion figures. 

Listed below are a few toy concepts to think about:

20. Kids’s letter blocks

Studying the fundamentals of spelling and grammar is essential for younger youngsters, which could be the explanation alphabet blocks are such a timeless, fashionable youngsters’s toy.

And picket blocks don’t simply should be a studying support for the alphabet. You could possibly inlay blocks with numbers, shapes, or animals as effectively.


21. Board video games

Widespread board video games like chess, checkers, cribbage, and backgammon are all within the public area, which means anybody can construct and promote items for them. Boards for frequent video games like this additionally are typically ornamental, supplying you with the chance so as to add your individual creative aptitude. 

And since your CNC machine provides you the power to mass produce board sport elements, why not invent your individual sport? Constructing a group of followers round your very personal sport would possibly take a while, however it may be extremely worthwhile.

22. Dollhouses and equipment

Dollhouses are a timeless youngsters’s toy, however they could be a fashionable passion for adults too. Collectors of dollhouse equipment (usually referred to as “miniatures”) have sturdy on-line communities the place you’ll have the ability to discover quite a lot of potential clients.

Plus, when you’ve already created CNC designs for furnishings and residential decor merchandise, you possibly can re-use them. Simply keep in mind to make them a lot smaller.

23. Puzzles

Puzzles had an enormous resurgence in recognition at first of the pandemic, and so they’re nonetheless going robust. CNC machines are excellent for carving out your individual, {custom} puzzles. There are a few approaches you may take right here. You could possibly carve a flat design into items and even craft your individual 3D puzzles.


Get impressed: Michaud Toys

Michaud Toys is a household enterprise rooted within the traditions of woodworking and effective crafts handed down by means of 4 generations. Michaud focuses on conventional picket sport boards, creating heirlooms it hopes to be shared amongst household.


Michaud’s merchandise embrace traditional video games like checkers and chess, alongside board sport variations of traditional sports activities like baseball and horse racing.


Michaud’s merchandise are clearly nice for gaming, however they double as gorgeous items of dwelling decor. The detailed crafting on each bit provides them a classical, homespun aesthetic harking back to turn-of-the-century gaming parlours.

Different CNC merchandise to promote

We’re not finished but! Some CNC concepts are tougher to categorize, however they make nice merchandise all the identical. Right here’s a couple of extra merchandise which can be excellent for making and promoting with a CNC machine:

24. Jewellery

Jewellery consumers on on-line marketplaces are at all times looking out for distinctive items that deliver out their persona. Why not use your CNC machine to begin a jewellery making enterprise? You could possibly promote picket earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or pendants.

And a CNC router provides you quite a lot of choices when it comes to the fabric you utilize. Whilst you might use your CNC machine to make luxurious items from excessive worth metals, there’s really huge demand for reasonably priced, handcrafted picket jewellery.

25. Tree ornaments

Within the lead-up to the vacation season, there’s an enormous demand for distinctive tree ornaments. Whereas it could be simple for consumers to search out normal bulbs and angels, originality is difficult to come back by, which means there are a ton of niching prospects.

Do your clients share a standard passion? Is there a selected aesthetic that resonates with them? Contemplating what your viewers has in frequent would possibly present clues as to discover a area of interest that’s excellent to your model. 

On the draw back, this product is usually seasonal, so that you’ll need to promote different merchandise as effectively, to assist complement gross sales within the low season.

26. DIY mission kits

Whether or not you’re on the lookout for one thing to occupy the little ones on a wet afternoon or simply one thing to occupy your self⁠—DIY mission kits make for a enjoyable and inventive afternoon.

DIY CNC mission kits sometimes include an assortment of elements and a step-by-step information for constructing all types of cool stuff⁠: toys, birdhouses, backyard planters, dwelling decor, mannequin automobiles, miniature structure, and every kind of playsets.


Get impressed: The Picket Put on

The Picket Put on sells trendy, handcrafted picket jewellery for each women and men⁠—providing earrings, bracelets, necklaces, sun shades, watches, and pendants for particular events and on a regular basis use.

The Picket Put on’s branding portrays a way of calmness that makes for a calming buying expertise. It stands out to guests, as a result of it contrasts with the high-pressure gross sales surroundings that may include looking for luxurious jewellery. 

Items are reasonably priced, but crafted with a radiant class that permits them to be worn for every kind of particular events. Every bit is exclusive, but the Picket Put on’s robust branding makes it simple for buyers to stylishly combine and match their favorite objects.


From hobbyist to full time: Methods to begin a CNC enterprise

How do you go from tinkering with a CNC machine in your storage or basement to proudly owning a profitable CNC enterprise? It might sound daunting now, however keep in mind that each profitable entrepreneur began in the very same place. 

Constructing a model out of your CNC wooden tasks received’t occur in a single day, however the satisfaction that comes with creating one thing distinctive (to not point out the cash that may be made), will likely be very rewarding down the street. 

Right here’s the place to start out:

1. Buy a CNC router

Selecting the best CNC router would be the first step in constructing your CNC enterprise. 

There are quite a lot of CNC routers in the marketplace, every with its personal benefits and downsides. Some CNC routers require meeting, others don’t. Some are dearer, however embrace bigger work areas. Nonetheless, many supply payment-plan choices that make them extra reasonably priced. 

Think about the scale of the tasks you’re making, the complexity of your template designs, and whether or not your router can work together with your chosen supplies. 

Additionally notice that whereas most CNC routers can lower alongside the X and Y axis, some require extra spindle attachments for Z axis reducing (depth). For those who’re planning on doing quite a lot of deep cuts, ensure that to choose up a Z axis CNC router. 

Let’s undergo among the extra frequent fashions:

Carbide 3D Shapeoko 4

  • Supplies: The Carbide 3D Shapeoko 4 is ready to lower by means of medium density fiberboard (MDF) and gentle metals (akin to aluminium).
  • Work space: The Carbide 3D Shapeoko 4 is available in three completely different reducing space sizes: Customary (444 x 444 x 101 mm), XL (838 x 444 x 101 mm), and XXL (838 x 838 x 101 mm). 
  • Worth: $1,700, or $154/month

Inventables X-Carve

  • Supplies: The Inventables X-Carve is ready to lower by means of a number of supplies, like wooden, plastics, acrylics, corian, urethane foam, wax, and aluminium. 
  • Work space: The Inventables X-Carve is 1,250 x 1,000 x 350 mm in measurement, with a reducing space of 750 x 750 x 65 mm.
  • Worth: $1,842, or $52/month

Sain Good Genmitsu 3018 Professional

  • Supplies: The Sain Good Genmitsu 3018 Professional cuts by means of plastics, gentle aluminum, woods, MDF, and acrylics.
  • Work space: The Sain Good Genmitsu 3018 Professional has a 300 x 180 mm work space, plus a spindle that may lower a depth of 45 mm.
  • Worth: $316, or $29/month

BobsCNC Evolution 4

  • Supplies: The BobsCNC Evolution 4 is used to chop wooden, plastics, foam, and acrylic non-metals.
  • Work space: The BobsCNC Evolution 4 has reducing space of 610 x 610 mm, with a depth of 85 mm.
  • Worth: $1,534

Ooznest Unique Workbee Z1+

  • Supplies: The Ooznest Unique Workbee Z1+ is used to chop wooden, plastics, foam and acrylic non-metals.
  • Work space: The Ooznest Unique Workbee is available in six sizes, with workspaces out there at 300 x 270 mm, 550 x 520 mm, 550 x 770 mm, 800 x 770 mm, 800 x 1,270 mm and 1,300 x 1,270 mm.
  • Worth: Beginning at $1,335 for the smallest measurement and topping off at $1,595 for the most important.


When you’ve discovered the CNC router that’s best for you, you’ll need to begin fascinated by which CNC software program you’ll be utilizing. Some include built-in routing software program, but when your CNC router doesn’t, take a look at these software program choices: 

For those who’re not able to create your individual woodworking plans and simply need to get used to utilizing your CNC machine, there are a ton of free DXF information out there on-line. DXF information are the most typical file sort for CNC mission designs. 

2. Determine in your first woodworking mission

When you’ve received your gear prepared, you’ll need to begin validating your product concepts to ensure there’s a marketplace for the forms of merchandise you intend on promoting. There are a few methods to examine on the demand to your merchandise: 

  • Promote on demand. Since your new CNC router is on the prepared, you don’t essentially must manufacture inventory forward of time. For those who’ve received a product thought, why not try it out instantly?
  • Conduct a aggressive evaluation. Discover the present market and analysis your rivals. What are they promoting? What forms of audiences are interested in their merchandise?
  • Carry out key phrase analysis. Having a great key phrase analysis technique is nice for unearthing buyer pain-points, recognizing out there niches, and gaining laborious data about how audiences could be in your model. 
  • Begin a crowdfunding marketing campaign. Fairness crowdfunding helps you know the way probably your viewers is to assist your model, and the way keen they’re to pay to your merchandise. 
  • Meet clients instantly. Go to commerce reveals and occasions the place potential clients are more likely to collect. Assembly clients in individual would possibly present essential clues as to what merchandise are particularly fashionable.

3. Give you a marketing strategy

Set your self up for fulfillment by crafting a stable marketing strategy. Enterprise plans are essential to figuring out potential points and ensuring you could have the assets to have the ability to scale your woodworking enterprise.

A very good marketing strategy will show you how to prioritize your time, perceive obtain your objectives, and make your imaginative and prescient for your online business clear to potential traders. For those who’re unsure the place to start out, get impressed by testing these marketing strategy examples.

4. Construct your on-line retailer

If you’re finished growing your marketing strategy, you’ll have a significantly better thought of what merchandise you’ll be promoting, the traits of your model, and goal the suitable audiences.

At this level, it is best to have all the data you must begin constructing your on-line retailer. Right here you’ll have the ability to add your DIY CNC merchandise, kind them into collections, and start growing the visible features of your model

5. Market your merchandise

Digital advertising provides you entry to a variety of audiences, which is ideal when you’re engaged on a shoestring price range. Which channels you select to market on ought to depend upon the audiences you need to attain. 

Because you’ll be promoting CNC merchandise, it could be a good suggestion to think about advertising your product to Etsy customers. Etsy has a fame for hand-made items and one-of-a-kind merchandise, so promoting on Etsy could be excellent for an upstart CNC model. 

Etsy isn’t at all times the perfect for scaling your online business although, so be sure you’re directing potential clients to an e mail advertising listing or social media profile in order that they have the chance to maintain up together with your model.

6. Launch your retailer

Together with your web site arrange, your merchandise added, and your CNC mill on the prepared, it’s time to launch your on-line retailer. Launching is among the most enjoyable moments of beginning a enterprise, however it may flip tense rapidly when you don’t have a stable launch plan. 

Assessment your marketing strategy, make a check buy in your retailer to make certain it’s practical, and evaluate our retailer launch guidelines so you recognize you haven’t missed something in your planning.


Begin getting cash together with your very personal CNC router tasks

With the arrival of reasonably priced CNC machines, one-person companies are in a position to mass-produce {custom} objects sooner than ever earlier than. Whether or not it’s dwelling decor, kitchen instruments, or one-of-a-kind youngsters’s toys⁠—crafting a product that’s all your individual is inside attain.  

Studying a brand new talent takes time, and also you is probably not crafting advanced buildings instantly, however studying make the most of these instruments has the potential to be sport altering for small companies. 

With CNC machines changing into an increasing number of reasonably priced, it’s probably that they’re right here to remain—and all of the sudden, yet one more barrier to entrepreneurship has come crashing down.

Illustration by Chris Gash

CNC Initiatives that Promote FAQ

How do you utilize a CNC machine?

Not each CNC router operates in the identical method, so the specifics of how you utilize your CNC machine will depend upon which one you select. Usually, it’s greatest to start out by designing your product, reducing it out, sanding it down, testing your design, and refining it till your merchandise look and performance how they’re purported to. You could possibly additionally obtain some free CNC mission information first, when you simply need to get used to utilizing your new CNC machine.

What can I make and promote with a CNC machine?

You may promote kitchen instruments like reducing boards and picket utensils, decor like coasters, wall artwork, and shelving⁠—plus a complete lot extra. Take a look at our listing above for extra CNC product concepts.

What are some CNC tasks that promote effectively?

Widespread home items like reducing boards and coasters are inclined to promote very effectively, since there’s a big market of potential clients. Simply keep in mind, there’s quite a lot of competitors for extra frequent objects, so that you’ll need to have a distinctive promoting proposition that differentiates your online business out of your rivals. 



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