Share this project


Share this project

Kikori Open Source CNC Gantry Router's video poster

The kikori is an open source entry-level machine for small businesses. My main goal is to stimulate local manufacturing and design. Read more

pledged of $20,000 goal
seconds to go


This project was successfully funded on July 31, 2011.

The kikori is an open source entry-level machine for small businesses. My main goal is to stimulate local manufacturing and design.

About this project

As seen on BoingBoing!

What is the Kikori?

The Kikori is a 4’x8’ open source CNC gantry router designed to be a solid, adaptable, entry-level machine for small businesses.  It is made out of Medium Density Overlay board, or MDO, which unlike MDF is both very strong and highly resistant to swelling due to moisture.  It’s essentially a robot capable of milling complex three-dimensional shapes out of wood, soft metals, and plastics.

If you'd like to read more about what CNC technology is and why I love it, read this.

The goal of this project is to refine the Kikori design as well as design a line of open source CNC machines to complement it.  This line will consist of a smaller gantry router, a fourth axis module, a 3D scanning module, and a space-saver 4’x8’ design with a much smaller footprint.

As an industrial design student I’ve been exploring the potential of CNC technology for years.  I’ve spent a lot of time researching various CNC gantry router designs, even building a couple, but I was never completely satisfied with any of them.  Either they were too small, not rigid enough, or much too expensive for my budget.  Finally, I decided that the only way to find a machine that I really liked was to design it myself.

My design requirements for the Kikori were as follows:

  • It must be able to make its own parts (self-replicate)

  • It must have a milling area of at least 4’x8’x6”

  • It must be very rigid to maximize speed and accuracy

  • It must cost under $5,000 to build

After months of design work and building I have a design that fulfills all these requirements!  However, I need your help to refine it and get it off the ground.

Potential Applications

Due to the versatility of CNC technology, the Kikori has a very wide variety of potential uses.  Here is a short list of possible applications:

  • Wooden sculpture
  • PCB etching

  • Model making

  • Relief carving

  • Mold making

  • Custom engraving
  • Stencil cutting
  • Sign making
  • Furniture manufacture

With the addition of a rotary axis and a 3D scanner, the Kikori would gain the ability to reproduce almost any three-dimensional shape that would fit inside its considerable milling area, allowing for the duplication of things like antique woodwork and sculpture.

A Good Foundation

Another problem I wanted to address with this project was how difficult and time-intensive it is to build a flat and level surface on which to mount a large gantry router.  The current method is to build a torsion box on a surface that has either been painstakingly leveled and flattened with shims that can be dislodged with one careless bump, or to spend hundreds of dollars pouring a slab of self-leveling concrete.  My solution was to design a torsion box made of CNC milled parts that will pull itself into a perfectly flat plane through the nature of its construction.

Why Open Source?

I’m a big proponent of the open hardware movement as exemplified by Arduino and the RepRap project.  As I stated in my video, my main aim in designing this line of CNC machines is to encourage local manufacturing. To this end, I would much rather create an open system that encourages people to not only copy, but also improve upon my designs, because that will cause them to spread and improve far faster than if I tried to retain exclusive rights to the designs.


Be sure to check back here often!  I’ll be adding more rewards as I finish new designs; currently I’m working on an updated version of the standing computer desk and a waterballoon launcher.  Don’t see anything that tickles your fancy?  Let me know what you’d be interested in, and I’ll do my best to make it a reward! All the rewards listed will be made on a Kikori.  In keeping with the open design philosophy, each reward also comes with its own design files so you can modify and/or make them yourself as well.  Additionally, every reward above the $15 dollar level will also receive copy of the current version of the Kikori design files.

Please note: shipment of rewards outside of the continental US will be extra; please message me for an estimation. 

Learn More!

Want to learn more about Sindrian Arts and the Kikori project?  Check out our blog at!



  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    16 backers

    You'll be listed on the Sindrian Arts website as a contributor!

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    10 backers

    I'll send you a personalized thank you post card milled out of masonite!

  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    73 backers

    Can't wait to get started on your own Kikori? At this level you'll get the beta version of the kikori design that I'm using, as well as emailed revisions as soon as I complete them!

  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    19 backers

    You'll get a masonite postcard with a short (140 characters or less; same as a tweet) message of your choice milled into it!

  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    12 backers

    Know someone who needs a clue? We'll engrave a custom message into a pine 2x4 to help get the message across!

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    14 backers

    I'll send you my original tablet stand milled out of masonite. It has different angle settings for optimal viewing and folds flat for storage!

  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    7 backers

    A vial box! This clever container keeps fifty of your small scent vials secure, organized, and safe from the sun. I'll even etch or inlay a custom design in the lid!

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    8 backers

    At this level you'll get an original balisong screwdriver so you can assemble your projects with style!

  • You selected
    Pledge $110 or more

    6 backers

    Combo deal! You'll get the tablet stand AND the balisong screwdriver!

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    1 backer

    At this level and above you can get a commemorative "i gave $xxx to help kickstart the Kikori project and all i got was this lousy plaque!" plaque!

  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    1 backer

    A flat pack standing computer desk like the one shown in the video! The height of the keyboard tray is adjustable to accomodate almost any height.

  • You selected
    Pledge $225 or more

    3 backers

    A launcher! Can launch almost anything the size of a tennis ball! Adjustable power! Check out the updates for more details!

  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    MDO parts for the new 2'x4' Kikori gantry! Perfect if you lack the space for the larger machine. Does not include any hardware or electronics.

  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    5 backers

    A set of parts for your very own Kikori gantry!

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    A full mechanical kit! This includes all the nuts, bolts, rails, and sprockets you need to build a 2'x4' Kikori! If you want to upgrade to the 4'x8' Kikori, you only need to add $100. Add your own stepper motors, electronics, a computer, a router, and a table and you're ready to go!

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    A full set of parts AND electronics for a 2'x4' Kikori! This kit has everything in the mechanical kit plus the stepper motors, electronics, and router. Again, add only $100 for the 4'x8' Kikori. Just supply your own computer and table!

Funding period

- (30 days)