Desktop Manufacturing

I’m thinking about starting a new project around desktop manufacturing (desktop size machines of traditionally industrial equipment, like the Nomad and Shapeoko 3). I am just wanting to gauge some interest, so if you would want to learn more about a specific topic, let me know here:

I for one have been been imagining a 3, 4 or even 5 axis VMC that fills the void between the Nomad (65 lbs.), Pocket NC and Tormach 440 (~500-700 lbs.) Made up of 3 sub-assemblies, 100 lbs or so each for the machine itself to allow for standard transport and setup. The Tormach requires a pallet jack and cherry picker. It would be a rigid machine with ball screws and linear guide rails, brushless spindle, tool changer etc. I think the reason it hasn’t been done before, at least a 3 axis, is that at the hobby level market it’s hard to find a profitable price point and the work envelope is either too small or way too large and compromises need to be made. A Nomad is $2,500 and a base Tormach without enclosure or stand is only about $5,000. I don’t think people who are serious about CNC have a problem paying that money, but for small business and home users the noise could be a factor. I could see a smaller, much more rigid and powerful machine being popular. A high speed spindle running small tooling capable of cutting aluminum and steel efficiently. Something resembling the Othermill or Boxzy where the enclosure doubles as a structural member with industrial grade components, and options for adding ATC, coolant, probing etc. I don’t think $5,000 - $7,500 is unreasonable to ask for that capability.


Hi Jerry, With my background in mechanical engineering, I would love to take on a challenge of designing a machine like that, but I don’t have the capacity. What I was imagining was more along the lines or articles or videos, not always covering one specific niche such as 3D printing or CNC routing, but desktop manufacturing as a larger group of topics. What I’m trying to gauge interest in is what type of machines people are interesting in learning more about, for example the response I got from my post in a 3D printing community obviously said 3D print, but they also expressed interest in Laser Cutters.

Based on the feedback of very broad topics I get, I’ll start asking those who indicated they were interested in one or more topics what specifically they are looking learn more about, such as what machines are out there with comparisons on price points and features, or if they want specific tutorials on how to do things, or even technical articles on how the technologies work.

Hi, sorry I misread your post. I’ll follow your link and fill out the form.

Man, I just saw a far out use of an X, Y, Z machine on the tube today. I have my TV on at times on the CREATE channel and I saw this huge quilting type sewing machine in operation.

Now there is something that might interest you in adapting to some of your other machinery. I can think of a very large 3D printer, for instance, that would use the gantry structure.