Home Made CNC Router

After I left Applied Minds, I worked at another job not related to robotics for a few years. On my evenings and weekends I was making professional-quality stage magic tricks. These magic tricks were pretty labor intensive to make so I tried hiring someone to help out. That was a disaster. I never realized how difficult some of the things that I did were and how hard they would be for someone else to do but after many rejected parts and broken tools, I started to consider other ways to make the magic tricks. I tried experimenting with having other companies make various parts for the tricks but that ended up being too costly and I still had to reject a lot of the parts. In the end, I decided to build a CNC router to help out. I wanted it to be tough so I built it out of thick aluminum and steel. I used a standard wood router thinking that I would need to replace it every few months since I would be doing so much work with it but here it is six years later and that same old router is still running strong. The machine that I ended up building is somewhere between a router and a gantry-style mill. It has a Z-axis of four inches, and a table of four feet by four feet. I have cut quite a lot of aluminum plate with it and have even cut steel when using a special coolant tray in coordination with a coolant system that I designed. This router has allowed me to make many things over the years that would have been impossible or very time consuming otherwise. Not only has it let me cut things that would be impossible for me to do manually, if I am running a program that I have already run before, I can work on other things while it is doing its work!

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