Nomad: Dust Head Prototype

I have been working on a dust head for a little while with the help of @mbellon. My intention was to design one that could be made easily by people just starting. When I got my Nomad I saw ways of making it better and wished I could lean how to use it by making parts for it. This head can be made easily from one piece of stock and a couple of pieces bought online. Here is a sneak peak of it. I will start working on the tutorial soon and will post a list of parts and where to get them.

I couldn’t upload a movie so here is a link:

Will post a more detailed writeup soon. Can’t seem to be able to catchup after the holidays.


Sweet! Thanks for posting. I saw Flatballer’s and wasn’t sure how to get around the little “box around the spindle” construction since the dust head goes around the spindle - I guess the other answer is to simply make the dust head big enough to accommodate both the vacuum and spindle! I like it and am anxiously awaiting the parts list :slight_smile: esp the bristle dust head (easy to figure out hoses and connectors but will be nice to know that a given specific product will be sized correctly)!

Looks like you’re using that Starboard plastic I pointed you at a few months ago? That stuff machines great, doesn’t it?

Yep. It is Starboard. Love it. Cuts like butter like you said. I should have written a disclaimer. I own a Nomad Classic and this dust head only works in this model. The redesign of the Nomad Pro makes it impossible for this design to fit. I know this will be a big disappointment for a lot of people. I think @mbellon still has a headache from trying to figure out what could be done for the Pro. I’m sure he’ll chime in as soon as he has something to share.

Yes, it’s Starboard (HDPE modified to be harder and UV resistant).

Virtually all of the parts are, by choice, available from McMaster-Carr (MMC). A full parts list (with part numbers) will be posted so that ordering will be easy.

The bristles are from MMC, industrial quality. The design makes it almost trivial (and inexpensive!) to replace the bristles when they wear out.

This is a two piece design - a fixed plate and a removable plate (with the brush on it) that is held in place via magnets.

One can machine without the brush plate attached or with it. It’s pops off trivially.

It requires only a single hold to be made in the Nomad enclosure.

@patofoto and I are toying with an @Randy idea as an option - an LED ring that provides illumination right at the point of interest.


The Nomad 883 Pro has only half the parts, is stiffer, stronger and simpler. It has an enclosure that is smaller, making it much more challenging to run the tubing.

All that said, the major headache is due to the stiffer/stronger/simpler. The spindle is closer to the Z axis and the “box” of the Nomad 883 has been removed. Getting a dust head of this design is a bit of a challenge.

I took a detour to work up an enclosure for my Nomad 883 Pro that is… over the top:

It’s done now.

I then had to finish a few post processors for some alternative CAM systems.

That’s done now.

I’m back onto the Nomad 883 Pro dust head design and implementation. It is similar to the design here - a fixed plate and a removable plate (which has the brush) - but attaches to the Nomad and spindle differently.


I’m looking forward to seeing the final write-up! Thanks in advance.

Mark… did you put a PTZ camera in the ceiling of your Nomad enclosure?

I’m torn between “Respect” and “OCD much, dude?”. :laughing:

No, seriously, that’s a beautiful rig, I’m honestly jealous. Sadly, this forum engine appears to lack an emoji for “jealousy,” but maybe I can…

Mark… did you put a PTZ camera in the ceiling of your Nomad enclosure?

… Ah… yeah. I run software to do the necessary flips in real time so it’s just like watching with the door open…

It’s fully steerable so some motion helps… and you can zoom in for a close look… :stuck_out_tongue:

The IR capability let’s it work amazing well. More than once I forgot to turn on the LED bars… and I barely noticed…:grinning:

I’m torn between “Respect” and “OCD much, dude?”. :laughing:

It’s a bit… over the top. :wink:

As I said, I kinda went nuts. When running, the sound suppression reduces the sound to around 54 dBa… below usual TV listening levels. Above 2K Hz the suppression is is almost 40 dBa… those frequencies don’t even get through the walls.

To get those levels I didn’t want the largely sound transparent poly-carbonate or tempered glass windows. Since I needed to see and hear what’s going on… it seemed the best solution…

No, seriously, that’s a beautiful rig,

Thanks! It took a lot of thought and time to design and build. :blush:

I often work in T-Slot and I had some lying around so…

I’m honestly jealous.

Please don’t be. I help people design and build enclosures for CNC machines to fit any budget. If the Nomad enclosure doesn’t prove enough for anyone, or they want an SO3 enclosure, please let me know and I’ll help you build a nice enclosure.

Sadly, this forum engine appears to lack an emoji for “jealousy,” but maybe I can…



Hi @patofoto, I wonder if you would have time to just post the STL and/or FusionCAM file?

I’m looking forward to the full tutorial, but I totally respect your being too busy to do it right now, and honestly just the STL would be more than enough.

Also, I’d like to order some of that plastic. Can you please tell me what thickness it is?

Thank you!

It’s Starboard 0.75".

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Hi @MrHume. Gladly pass on the STL or FusionCAM. Which would you prefer?. Just got back and need a couple of days to catch up here at home. Maybe a tutorial is overkill?. Maybe just a material list and a step by step of the job setup might be sufficient. Thoughts?. Message me directly your email and I’ll send files.

I think for the purposes of this forum a tutorial is probably not necessary, though of course it would be great to have. Just a parts list and the job setup for MeshCAM would be enough to get most people going, and then specific questions could be addressed in the topic.

I finally got a prototype that works nicely and easy to machine for the Nomad 883 Pro. I’m currently redoing the CAD/CAM (I work in BobCAD-CAM) so it will be doable, easily, but any Nomad 883 Pro owner - STL files and MeshCAM parameters.

It’s also done with Starboard.

I’ll try to get this out ASAP, even if just some basic and pictures.


I’d personally prefer FusionCAM but STL is definitely more general. I think if you posted the material list and the model, people would be in a nice place to tackle the project themselves, and in lieu of a tutorial you could just see what kinds of questions people have - a tutorial might just write itself in this thread :smile:

STL would work for me too…

Milling the prototype for the Nomad 883 Pro now.


Loved the idea of the dust head. So, created one myself. This is overkill wrt the magnets but otherwise works. Note the attachment to the spindle is offset to keep it away from the moving parts. I had originally designed it with a bolt/nut to hold tension on the spindle but screwed up when drilling the needed hole and broke that bit off. It turns out it really does not need it. Including the stl flies here. the lower piece is 2 sided, the upper is single sided. you will need to drill a 1/4 inch hole in the outer flange and push a nut into the groove to complete the clamp. Note: better in the file names means better than my prior version and is not a reflection on other peoples designs.

better upper dusto cover retry again.stl (71.5 KB)

better lower dust cover.stl (82.1 KB)