The CNCPrinter Project is inspired by reprap 3D printers and similar devices. At the moment it uses a “Wade’s geared extruder” purchased at the reprap fab, a heated bed by josef prusa and the emc2 linux cnc controller software. The electronics are custom made and as cost-effective as possible (arduino + selfmade shield). In the future we will mill extruders ourselves to improve quality and drop the price. The basic idea of the project is to find the cheapest way to make a 3D printing addon for a cnc mill.
Don’t get me wrong, we really like 3D printing and the reprap spirit but we also like quality engineering and high precision tools which (reality sucks) you can’t build from scratch at home.
A reprap like 3D printer has many limitations (rigidity for example) and is either expensive to buy or time consuming to build (or both). The Idea of a cncprinter is getting started fast while enjoying a more versatile tool and (obviously that’s the drawback) pay more money in the first place. But in the end you get a high quality tool which can be converted from subtracitve to additive manufacturing in seconds.
In the next couple of weeks the project will be properly documented and published. I can’t give a precise time-line since this is a hobby project and my daytime job is quite demanding.