A project log for MultiBot CNC v2

A low cost 3D printed CNC that can be built with minimal tools yet is capable of great things.

David TuckerDavid Tucker 09/26/2021 at 20:390 Comments

I have been closely watching the progress on the Carvera Kickstarter campaign.  It is an intriguing machine.  Basically everything my machine can do it can do, but with the opposite level of quality and cost.  My machine is very low cost, at around $400 while there's is more like $4,000 (after kickstarter is finished).  On the other hand theirs is fully finished and has a pile of features I could not hope to replicate.

They have a proper 4th axis and a laser built in, along with a full enclosure with integrated dust collection. Most importantly they have a fully automated tool changer, with probe, and solid electronics that handle all reconfigurations of the machine seamlessly without needing to know any electronics.

I'm especially intrigued by there PCB fab that can make solder masks and do via's, giving you production quality boards in a few hours rather than sending work out to a fab.

I also like there idea of using a sacrificial spoiler board that fits under your material and then using top mounted clamps to keep it all in place.  That is an intriguing way to work through the thorny issue of how to integrate clamping in your spoiler board without damaging the fixtures as you cut.

Probably the most interesting part of this machine (and machines like it) is the idea that it could bring CNC out of the garage and into the home and make it safe and convenient enough to be used every day just like a 3D printer.  I feel that both 3D printing and CNC has a real place in the home, but we need to come a long way still on each to make them simple enough to use that most users can work with them without specialized training.  3D printers have made some improvements but this is one of the first major moves on the CNC side that I have seen.  I would consider it as significant as a Cricut or Glowforge in there respective markets.  We will see if this machine (or some other) can make that jump from CNC enthusiasts to regular old makers.

Teaching Tech did a good review of the machine.  You can see some issues that still need to be worked out. They need to deal with some screws coming loose, better feet that don't scuff, a laser safe shield on the front, and some way to deal with dust that falls through the bottom of the machine.  However those are all pre-production issues that could be sorted out quickly.

I don't have $4,000 to invest in this machine and I don't have the space for it, but if I did I would be tempted.  To be clear this is all based on one review and online specs, the machine itself could be amazing or a complete dud, do your homework and don't just go by my enthusiasm.

You can see more on the campaign on there kickstarter page.