A CNC router is an industrial sized 3d Printer. CNC routers, laser cutters, 3d printers, and regular old desktop printers all use the same technology and it’s been around for a while without much hype until recent years. The promise of the self-replicating machine has a science fiction quality that is meme-worthy. Here’s a diagram I put together:
At the time I built my machine, Joe’s CNC was the best DIY “kit” on the market. It wasn’t really a kit though as I had to order parts from dozens of different companies. Joe will cut the main parts using a similar machine, and mail them to your house. It’s almost a self replicating machine. Here’s some documentation of my process:
After building and using this I realize why the pros do what they do. High end machines have auto-tool-changers, vacuum beds, a variety of sensors, and powerful spindles.
My main complaint is with the weak spindle. I’ve burned through about 5 Hitachi routers now. Every couple months I’ll make a mistake that drives the bit into a material too hard, then puts the motor-commutator out of symmetry which then causes the spindle to slowly self destruct. Here’s different approach by Kronos Robotics:
With all metal parts the tiny little spindle on this guy is defiantly the weakest link. More to come on this topic later.