This is my friend Neal Meeker from the QC Co-Lab maker space in Davenport Iowa with his newly designed and hand built desktop CNC machine. I was fortunate enough to be at the Co-Lab yesterday to give advise and watch his new machine come to life after Neal had spent the last couple of months building it.
Neal did a lot of research online to figure out how to come up with his design that only cost him around $300 to build. As you can see from the photos below he managed to get the machine to do some test drawings for the first time running which is a big step forward for any new design. Drawing on a piece of paper is cheaper than ruining a good piece of wood or worse yet damaging a CNC bit or the machine itself.
The machine is mostly made of MDF board and stock hardware parts. It can run up to 20 inches per minute using small stepper motors and a USB connection to Neal's laptop. The software is also custom designed for the machine and is fed to the stepper motors using an Arduino circuit board. This in turn will make everything move including the trim router for cutting and engraving of parts up to twelve inches square.
Great work Neal! I can't wait to see it cutting the first parts.