A Dreamer and Doer of Impossible Things
>The Daily Musings of Netia McCray<
Mbadika Update: Our Shapeoko 2 - Desktop CNC Mill
Since early June, our team (Mbadika) has attempted to assemble the elusive Shapeoko 2, a Desktop CNC Mill kit available through Inventables, Inc. (a Chicago-Based Hardware Store for Designers).
If you are unfamiliar, a CNC Mill is a device that allows for the user to ‘mill’ (to cut, grind, or shape) materials such as acrylic, sheet metal, plastics, and plywood via a rotary tool. In other words, think about a Dremel (a popular rotary tool) attached to a printer, which can create 2D shapes out of a wide array of materials.
The CNC Mill receives commands from your Desktop CAD (computer-aided design) program via an Arduino Uno Microcontroller (cool right?). We were able to attach a permanent marker to the end of the Z-Axis (which typically will hold the Rotary Tool, such as a Dremel) in order to see if the Arduino Uno was receiving code properly from our computer.
We were successful in getting the CNC Mill to write a few letters, despite our bootleg attachment design for the permanent market to the CNC Mill (video will be posted soon).
After over 18 hours of pulling our hair out, we finally got our CNC Mill working. Now we can start making prototypes within our dorm ‘office space’ in order to further develop our initial portfolio of products for Mbadika.
On a personal note, this is my first time assembling a complex machine or a machine that requires longer than a 5 hour build time. Therefore, I decided I deserved a little pat on my back.