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$2,072 pledged of $16,500 goal
By Mike Calvino
$2,072 pledged of $16,500 goal

Project is climbing slowly . . .

Don't want to be negative here, but just a realist & state the obvious . . . The curve is not looking too promising . . . I suppose I thought there were more people out there who would be into it.  I suppose I also thought that there were more people familiar with 5 axis machines & CNC in general.  I even have this posted in 3 different places on, I think the percentage is smaller than I thought.  There's still a chance it could take off though, still a chance.

It seems to me that maybe most of society may still be in consumer mode & this project is all about being a producer . . . although if people did get it they would find out just how amazing, economical, and within reach CNC technology is.

I never worked with, had or saw a CNC machine (except through CNCzone & other online resources) before I designed & built my first one . . . I'll  share all I can about how they work, what they can do, & how to make them, I have several build logs on CNCzone:

Plus there are many more builds there on CNCzone, many much nicer than mine - take a look around if you haven't already.

my website: (the following are all flash based sites, so Ipad will have trouble):

(+ a few more on my site)

plus this short primer that I made for a Methods & Materials Class I taught:

Well, I'll keep plugging away, trying to share as much info as I can . . . If there's anything specific you want to know about, let me know . . . if I don't know I can suggest where to find out maybe. 

Thanks again for your support everyone!




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    1. Missing avatar

      Eviljonbob on

      Hi Mike,

      Great project, but if I may make a suggestion to start off smaller. I think that to gain traction with the masses, you should consider a smaller build table and use NEMA 23 or 34 motors to drive it. Rather than start off at 10' x 5', go down to 2' x 3' or so, or even smaller (maybe even RepRap size?). You will get a lot more people attempting a build with something that can potentially fit on a bench-top, than take up an entire garage. Once that is going, scale it up to the full-size model. I am currently building a 3-axis CNC and am a member of various online forums (including CNC Zone). Although I am open to being proven wrong, I think that the majority of CNC users are in the small to medium set-ups (by medium I mean up to say 3' x 3') and a few are building 4' x 8' systems. If you look at a distribution curve, the high-point would probably be around the 2 x 3 or so. IMHO, the sweet spot for gaining traction with the masses would be a system that costs less than $2k to build. The current full-sized one would be a bit more than that I am guessing!

      Anyhow, I love the concept and came across this project when I was looking at going to 5-axis from 3!


    2. Mike Calvino Creator on

      Guy, that's some great input. I have been thinking about something just along those lines, maybe edit this down to just the B/C head, or 4+5 axis head plus some concepts about rigidity & gantry design. It would be another project altogether, but may just accomplish the intent of getting the 4+5 axis technology out there more. I like the idea of the Grasshopper definition, that could be something pretty valuable to make. Would have to be available in other formats so as not limit to only GH/Rhino users. Thanks Guy for the input!

    3. Biens Communs 3D on


      Amazing accomplishment on your CNC machine! It's rare to see as custom design take the extra step to 5 axis machining. I think it's indicative of the funding so far that 52 of the backers pledged just 1 dollar for your set of plans. I think your other pledge level offers are not something that people generally want. I am going to offer unsolicited advice here, but I think a more fundable project would be to document your A+C or 4+5 axis head design with instructions on your system and how to upgrade 3 axis systems to 5 axis. I think its not feasible for many people to build a 5' - 10' - 24" machine like yours, but the knowledge of making a 4 + 5 axis head would be a valuable addition to the DIY community. To my knowledge the only option for that is Doughty Drives's B+C axis head for a few thousand dollars sized specifically for a small spindle. Perhaps a grasshopper model of your 5 axis head design which sizes for different spindle size/weight's? I know I would gladly fund that for more than a single dollar.

      Brooklyn, NY

    4. Cory Zerwas on

      I would love to build one of these beautiful machines! It's so difficult to come up with the cash and time with a family and full time+ job tugging at my limited resources, though. Oh, if only I won the lottery... I would throw down on your $7,500 package in a heartbeat.

    5. Missing avatar

      doug ritson on

      Mike: I also like to build things but in all likelihood, will never build or own a CNC, but I do know how valuable they can be. I see your efforts as a way to help the garage builder/inventor to stand on your shoulders and improve your machine to make it even easier to build and use. Also, the garage builder/inventor could more easily make or improve products. It seems like a great way to help all of the budding entrepreneurs out there and for that, I applaud your efforts. I am unemployed and only wished I could have supported you more. Best of luck. in Sarasota, FL

    6. Mike Calvino Creator on

      You're right Lino . . . It is still climbing steadily. We still have time.

    7. Missing avatar

      Lino on

      I wouldn't be too discouraged Mike. Slow and steady wins the race. There's still 22 days to go!