Making it Better—Open Source CNC

CNC routers and laser cutters are now common machines. Not ubiquitous, like a hammer, but they are common enough that I can send a pattern for cutting, or visit a lab and operate one myself. However, they still remain expensive, industrial machines.

Makerslide took the idea of a standard aluminium extrusion frame system, used for building custom frame structures, and added a v-profile to make it usable as an accurate linear bearing system. And created the necessary combining hardware, v-pulley wheels, mounting plates, eccentric adjusters for the pulleys and belt drive attachments to create a linear bearing system that can easily be used for motor control.

Makerslide is intended to be a standardised solution to linear drive systems for the home builder. Aluminium extrusions need a certain amount of capital to produce, and since Makerslide successfully raised five times it’s goal, is now manufacturing and shipping rails and the other associated parts.

Then, a month after Makerslide’s Kickstarter success, the Project Shapeoko’s $300 CNC machine was funded. And a low-cost CNC machine that is now available as a kit. It uses the Makerslide system as it’s major structral components to keep costs low, while allowing good accuracy; and this means that it’s now possible to own a desktop CNC machine for as low as $338 (as of time of writing).

So with aluminium extrusions extended to create linear bearings; in turn extended to a complete CNC platform; run with open source motor controllers, built upon the open source Arduino board and powered by open source CNC controller software: the cost of a CNC machine is falling steadily into the realm of the hobbyist.

This entry was posted in Deferred Procrastination.
Bookmark the permalink.
Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
The short url for this post is: http://def-proc.co.uk/b/aoonj

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.
Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>