Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The Creation Station is a high performance, low cost CNC router designed for the maker, hobbyist, artist or educator.
The Creation Station is a high performance, low cost CNC router designed for the maker, hobbyist, artist or educator.
202 backers pledged $150,986 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Creation Station Open Source CNC Router project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$150,986

202

The Creation Station

CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control. A CNC machine is a computer controlled router that can cut shapes out of whatever material is placed in it. The Creation Station is a low cost CNC router kit designed to be high performance and high quality as well as simple to use. 

We've reached our goal!  Thank you!

We've updated our stretch goals because we want to give them to you!

$100,000 - 3-LED Work Area Light:  Mounts on the bottom of the spindle holder and lights up the work area - very useful. *** UNLOCKED ***
$150,000 - 'Soft' Emergency Stop Button: In addition to the 'full' emergency stop button which kills power to the Creation Station, we will provide a "soft emergency stop button" that will stop the machine through software which will preserve the machine's coordinate space and will allow you to easily continue your job without the need to reset the machine. This is useful if you detected a problem and need to stop the machine quickly but it's not a full emergency - huge time saver.
$200,000 - Electronic Touch Off Strip: We will include a precisely machined stainless steel strip and connections to the Creation Station for easily setting the cutter depth.

The High Performance CNC For The Rest of Us!

The Creation Station fits a huge 24" x 24" x 5" work area into a compact design that is at home on any workbench.
The Creation Station fits a huge 24" x 24" x 5" work area into a compact design that is at home on any workbench.
Thick 20mm hardened and chromed rails and precision linear bearings for exceptionally high accuracy. Optional 1HP router can cut though the toughest jobs.
Thick 20mm hardened and chromed rails and precision linear bearings for exceptionally high accuracy. Optional 1HP router can cut though the toughest jobs.
High torque stepper motors, advanced motor drivers and ball bearing lead screws mean high speed cutting - up to 80"/min with plenty of torque.
High torque stepper motors, advanced motor drivers and ball bearing lead screws mean high speed cutting - up to 80"/min with plenty of torque.
We cut this 1" square from 1/8" thick aluminum to test accuracy.
We cut this 1" square from 1/8" thick aluminum to test accuracy.

We developed the Creation Station for makers like you - like us.  We are makers — we developed the Creation Station with all the features and capabilities that we wanted to see in the CNC machine on our workbench.  We made a tool that we love and now we want to share it with you — we know you'll love it too. 

Our goal was simple: create a high performance, high quality CNC machine that the average person could afford.  After over a year of research, development and testing, we did it. The Creation Station is loaded with features usually only found on machines costing thousands of dollars, but costs less than a good laptop. We are sure this will become the most useful tool in your workshop!

We have over 20 years of experience in engineering, development and product testing.  We've studied every part of the Creation Station to ensure durability, reliability and performance while making it one of the most affordable CNC machines on the market.  Hundreds of hours were spent sourcing components and studying samples so we could make the Creation Station the best CNC machine in its class. 

We designed and tested many different combinations of controllers, motors and drive systems until we came up with the best combination for speed, power and accuracy.
We designed and tested many different combinations of controllers, motors and drive systems until we came up with the best combination for speed, power and accuracy.

What can you do with the Creation Station?

As a full function, 3-axis CNC machine, there are very few limitations to what you can do with the Creation Station.  If the router bit can reach it, the Creation Station can cut whatever shape you can dream up.  The Creation Station can cut foam, wood, plastic, aluminum, brass, stone, ceramic, tile, glass - anything softer than steel!  We made the Creation Station as versatile as possible so that it will be limited only by your imagination.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

* not actual speed.  This image was cut from a 6" x 12" x 1" piece of oak and took 1.5 hours. Artwork provided by vectorart3d.com.

Some of the things you can create with the Creation Station.
Some of the things you can create with the Creation Station.

Easy to Build:

The Creation Station comes as a kit, but don't let that put you off.  The Creation Station is easy to assemble and can be put together in a few hours.  Only simple hand tools are needed - the kind that everyone has in their tool drawer.  Each part is labeled and detailed instructions (including video instructions) on how to assemble the Creation Station will be provided.

World Class Software:

Making things on your Creation Station (or any CNC machine) takes three steps: 1) design something to make, 2) convert that design to G-code and 3) run the G-code on your Creation Station.

For the first two steps, we've partnered with world class CNC software maker, Vectric.  Our Maker Bundle includes the versatile Vectric Cut2D software (a $149 value), while our Creator bundle include the powerful Vectric VCarvePro software (a $599 value).  These applications allow you to design your creation (or import designs from other design applications) and specify the cutting tool paths that the Creation Station will use to cut the shape.  Finally, this software will generate the G-code needed to run the Creation Station.

Cut2D Features include:

  • Automatically converts CAD drawings and Graphic designs to G-Code / CNC Toolpaths. 
  • Accepts most industry standard 2D vector drawing formats DXF, EPS, AI & PDF file formats. 
  • Pocket Machining with either raster or offset machining patterns, plus the option to ramp the cutter into the material. 
  • Profile Machining-running the cutter around the outside, inside or on the selected geometry, with the option to ramp the cutter into the material. 
  • Automatic cutter diameter compensation for toolpaths ensures parts are cut to the required size. Simply select the shapes and Cut2D compensates for the cutter diameter and shape. 
  • Interactive Tab / Bridge placement to ensure parts are securely held in place when cutting from sheet material. 
  • Automatic calculation for Outside and Inside cutting when multiple shapes are selected. 
  • The option to Ramp the cutter into the job is very important when cutting hard materials because it reduces the load on the bottom of the cutter. 
  • Drilling with option for Peck drilling cycle. 
  • 3D Colour and 2D wireframe toolpaths Previews shows exactly what the part will look like when machined

VCarve Pro Features include:

  • Complete set of 2D Design and Layout Tools
  • Layer control, Guide lines, Snap Grid
  • True Shape Nesting maximizes material usage minimizing waste
  • Text Editing + Single Line Engraving Fonts
  • File Import - DWG, DXF, EPS, AI, PDF
  • Image File Import - BMP, JPG, TIF, GIF
  • Vectorize images to create vectors for machining
  • Robust V-Carving
  • Raised 3D Prism machining
  • Auto-Inlays with multiple options
  • 3D Random Texturing Toolpath
  • 2D Profiling with Interactive Tabs / Bridges, Lead and Ramp options
  • Pocketing with optimization for 2 cutters
  • Drilling with option for Peck Drilling
  • Beveled Letters
  • Custom Molding and Form Cutters
  • Wrapped Rotary Axis Machining
  • Multi-color Toolpath Previews
For more information on Vectric products along with a complete set of training videos and sample projects, visit www.vectric.com.
For more information on Vectric products along with a complete set of training videos and sample projects, visit www.vectric.com.

The last step requires "machine controller" software to actually run the G-code and control the Creation Station.  We recommend LinuxCNC on a dedicated computer to act as the "machine controller".  The requirements for LinuxCNC are very low so it's easy to find a computer - very likely for free - from friends, your local MakerSpace or craigslist that will do the job - see www.creationstationcnc.com for details.  LinuxCNC, is free, open source and very easy to install; no unix/linux experience needed! We will include complete instructions on how to install, set up and use LinuxCNC.

Video Examples: In addition to the massive video training library provided by Vectric, we will produce one "sample project" video per week demonstrating how to use the Creation Station throughout this project.  If there's a particular project you'd like to create on the Creation Station, send us a note at info@creationstationcnc.com. Feel free to send us your original design files too, and if we like it, we'll make a how-to video! 

Other software options:  We offer a Creation Station option without software.  This option is perfect for someone on a tight budget, who prefers to use any of a multitude of free, open source software: e.g. Inkscape for making 2D designs and makercam.com for generating G-code from those designs.  Or Blender, which is a powerful 3D design package, and is also free and open source.  There is even a CAM version design specifically for CNC that can generate G-code directly.  As for machine controllers, we love LinuxCNC. There are a limited number of other free options but there are also commercial options such as Mach3.  We will provide a moderated forum at www.creationstationcnc.com for users who have chosen this route to exchange how to's and answer questions.

Our Production Schedule:

All design and sourcing work for the Creation Station is done and a production plan is in place — all we need to do is pull the trigger.  As soon as we hit our goal we will start placing orders for long lead-time parts and order the remaining parts at the end of the campaign to ensure we hit our shipping targets.

What You Get:

You get a complete Creation Station Kit which includes all parts and electronics along with detailed instructions and a video assembly guide.  The kit will take just a few hours to put together.  If you selected the option with a spindle (router), you will also get a Bosch Colt 1HP router and world class Vectric, Inc. software. If you opted to go without a spindle, we will include a spindle holder designed for a rotary tool, which you can then use to cut a holder for whatever spindle you choose. 

Bonus:

With each Creation Station you will receive a 25% off coupon for the purchase of 3D art from vectorart3d.com. 

Vector Art 3D provides relief-style clip-art for computer controlled routing and engraving
Vector Art 3D provides relief-style clip-art for computer controlled routing and engraving

Risks and challenges

We are determined that our project not become another "really late" Kickstarter project and that it ship on time. We have experience in manufacturing several different types of products and have done a lot of planning. While there is always a risk of unexpected delays, we are confident that we can ship on time.

We have contacted several contract manufacturers and suppliers who have assured us that they can get us onto their production schedules and deliver on time. Therefore, in all but the worst case scenarios (fire, natural disaster, vendor failure) we do not foresee anything but minor delays.

Whatever the situation, we promise to give frequent updates on the status of the project to keep you in the loop. We feel that good 2-way communication is an important part of our project.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you for helping bring CNC to the masses! We will post your name (if you want us to) on our website as an initial supporter!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    19 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Thank you for helping bring CNC to the masses! We'll send you a water bottle emblazoned with the Creation Station Logo!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $649 or more About $649

    Early Adopter Price! You will get a complete Creation Station Kit without the spindle or Vectric software.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $749 or more About $749

    You will get a complete Creation Station kit without the spindle or Vectric software.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $849 or more About $849

    Early Adopter Price!
    Maker Bundle: You will get a complete Creation Station Kit with a Bosch Colt 1hp router and a copy of the Vectric Cut2D software.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 24 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $949 or more About $949

    Maker Bundle: You will get a complete Creation Station Kit with a Bosch Colt 1hp router and a copy of the Vectric Cut2D software.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    22 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,149 or more About $1,149

    Early Adopter Price!
    Creator Bundle: You will get a complete Creation Station Kit with Bosch Colt 1hp router and one copy of Vectric VCarvePro software.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 24 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,249 or more About $1,249

    Creator Bundle: You will get a complete Creation Station Kit with Bosch Colt 1hp router and one copy of Vectric VCarvePro software.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    49 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $9,999 or more About $9,999

    Project Sponsor: We will laser etch your logo or message directly onto all Creation Station machines we ship in the next 12 months! Up to four square inches of space! We will also place your ad or message on our website. Some restrictions apply. Contact us for details.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (32 days)