Thanks Ryan Dennes! He sent me an email outlining a new CNC machine that will cut everything up to and including aluminum, for only $4000. The post for it is already baked right into HSM too, so you should be able to send code for it right out of Inventor! It’s called the Pocket NC.
I am NOT saying go rogue and buy one… do NOT say “well Chris and Jim said…”. I have not even seen one in action yet, except for a few Youtube videos. Just saying that if you had an extra $4k kicking around and you know a bit about CNC, this machine may do all we need it to to make projects for CIM. Oh… and it has a fifth axis to boot! Just let us know how it works out for you.
Here are a few Q & A’s from their FAQ:
A Pocket NC costs 4000USD plus shipping.
The Pocket NC can cut wax, plastic, wood, and aluminum. Basically any materials with hardnesses up to that of aluminum.
The travel of the Pocket NC is 4.3 inches (109 mm) in X, 5.0 inches (127 mm) in Y, and 3.5 inches (89 mm) in Z. How your part fits in this envelope is highly dependent on your setup.
We are partnering with Autodesk to offer a one-year commercial subscription to Autodesk® Fusion 360™ with each of our machines. After the one-year period is over, Fusion 360 is free for enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups and is compatible with Windows and OSx. You may also use whatever CAD/CAM software you would like, we would be happy to help facilitate the generation of a post processor for our machine.
We do plan to design a machine with a larger work area, however it is still a couple of years from being released.
You can go and see more videos at their Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1zXa_8xzMDIdP2k90cYflA
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