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The DIY Desktop CNC Machine - automated fabrication in your home. Your personal cutting/engraving/etching/milling machine in kit form.
The DIY Desktop CNC Machine - automated fabrication in your home. Your personal cutting/engraving/etching/milling machine in kit form.
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359 backers pledged $69,882 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Stephen Creator on November 5, 2013

      Andy, please e-mail me. I never heard back from you after my e-mail in March when you asked how soon your Turnkey system would ship, nor from the subsequent e-mails about the new design we were about to launch. When you asked about a refund I let you know that there was no mechanism through Kickstarter or Amazon to provide backer refunds. In good faith I offered a partial refund or to ship your reward that was ready, but you never let me know which you wanted.

      I e-mailed all remaining unfulfilled backers in May with news about the new designs, offering that as an option, but being very clear that an upgrade was completely optional. I thought that better than launching a new design and not making that available to those USB backers we had yet to ship to. We've stayed the course and have been shipping the last of the rewards and simply hadn't heard anything back from you. I've just e-mailed again you so please get back to me so that we can ship your system.

    2. Missing avatar

      andy meyer on November 5, 2013

      It's been three years since I ordered a complete kit. I have received nothing. After three emails They offered to send HALF my money back. What now? Small claims court?

    3. Kyle Stapp on June 3, 2013

      blarg blarg sent to you Stephen...update on USB solution...blarg blarg blarg

    4. Charles Alvis on February 14, 2013

      Still waiting to get one of the USB versions. Two years seems like a very long time.

    5. Dan Raine on February 6, 2013

      Any update on the final USB version. Seems like you have falen of the face of the planet...

    6. Missing avatar

      Fred Hamilton on January 9, 2013

      We're one day away from the 2 year anniversary of your funding. Could you please provide an update regarding the USB release?

    7. Charles Alvis on October 29, 2012

      As one of the few remaining USB holdouts that is currently getting CNC fever I am looking for an update on the USB side of the project.

    8. Missing avatar

      Romain Bazile on October 23, 2012


      It would be nice to have some updates on the progress!
      Thanks in advance for posting something!


    9. Stephen Creator on August 31, 2012

      Hi Kyle,

      There are a few backers-only updates - hope you've seen them. Trying to finalize a formal beta program with all the management, tracking and organization that goes along with that. Hope to have news soon.


    10. Kyle Stapp on August 28, 2012

      Heyo. Looking for an update on USB solution. Don't see a response on the forums about current estimates and information.

    11. Stephen Creator on March 25, 2012

      Hi Costakis,

      No problem that I've seen. We have quite a healthy traffic of correspondence through the site. Let me know the dates you didn't get through on so that I can double-check. Try again to contact me and I'll keep a special eye out for your message. In the meantime, please check our updates and newsletter for updates and news/ETA of USB Kickstarter rewards.

    12. Missing avatar

      Costakis on March 24, 2012

      Stephen Hi
      Is there any problem with your email in
      I've been trying to reach you but I got no response, only an automated reply.
      I wanted to ask about the delivery date of my reward, are there any news?

    13. Stephen Creator on February 16, 2012

      Hi Guan,

      Yes, I did reply confirming your change to the standard version rather than the USB version, and I changed your address in our database. I'm guessing you didn't receive that e-mail, but this is all squared away and your kit will ship soon. I'll e-mail you to let you know when its on its way.



    14. Guan Yang on February 14, 2012

      Stephen, I emailed you about switching from USB to parallel versions, you replied, then I replied confirming that I'd like to switch and giving you an updated email address. I re-sent this response and haven't received a reply yet. No worries if you are just backlogged, but I was worried that there were email problems.

    15. Stephen Creator on October 25, 2011

      Yes Scarr, thanks for the catch - more like bad reporting on my part. I confused myself with an earlier file I had used in the testing I ran to get this process dialed-in. The line spacing was 0.01". I've posted a correction to the update.

    16. scarr on October 24, 2011

      Bad Math?

      From your update: 3" times 1/500" = 1500 lines. At 1 line per minute, that would take 25 hours. You said it took 18 1/2 hours, so what is wrong?

      "The DIY Desktop CNC Machine crunched 83K lines of g-code and ran non-stop for 18 hours, 24 minutes and 49 seconds. It milled one of my favorite pictures (my daughter's first Halloween costume) in a piece of 1/4" Corian. The resulting lithopane was 3" x 3" (on a 4x3 block). The machine, electronics, software (KCam) ran flawlessly without missing a pixel/beat. Each line/pass over the pic was a 500th of an inch, and I used a .015" end mill at 1 IPM to be safe. I was very pleased with the end result (as was my wife to whom I gave the lithopane)"

    17. scarr on October 20, 2011

      "A team at Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has managed to create artificial blood vessels with a 3D printer that may come to be used for transplants of lab-created organs. From the article: 'To print something as small and complex as a blood vessel, the scientists combined the 3D printing technology with two-photon polymerisation — shining intense laser beams onto the material to stimulate the molecules in a very small focus point.'"

    18. Stephen Creator on July 2, 2011

      Wow, that is very disconcerting. Can you try again please? That account gets very little e-mail and messages are cleared off the server every 5 days. I can't see why you should get this error. Please give it another shot and let me know the result.

    19. scarr on July 1, 2011

      I tried to email you and got:
      Sent: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 12:23:19 -0700 (PDT)
      Subject: Re: Your Kickstarter Reward and your MyDIYCNC User Account ***very important message***
      The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
      Error Type: SMTP
      Error Description: Inbox is full
      Additional information: The recipients inbox is full.

    20. Stephen Creator on May 30, 2011

      Colin, e-mail me via the MyDIYCNC website and let me see if our inventory planning can accommodate the change. I'm sure we can, but the question is how soon. Yes, the parallel port version users will be able to upgrade to the USB interface at a large discount.

      The Plans & Manual (going to external review) will be in PDF format.

    21. Colin Bodell on May 28, 2011

      Option for a softcopy version of the manual? PDF? How about a version for my Kindle? Thanks!

    22. Colin Bodell on May 28, 2011

      I know the USB work has taken a back seat to finishing the project and documentation, and I elected to wait for the USB version. But I'm getting itchy! How about if i took delivery of the parallel port version, will it be possibly to easily upgrade it to USB support when that option is available? Thanks!

    23. Stephen Creator on May 27, 2011

      Hi R Duane,
      Thank you. I've written several textbooks over the years, so that helps a great deal. Nothing special about the tools. I use MS Word and Open Office between two computers, and transfer the manuscript in MS Word format between them. I use Sketchup Pro for the CAD drawings and illustrations, Inkscape and Gimp 2 for drawing and image editing, and Picasa a lot for quick tweaking of images (you can tell I like open source apps). So nothing specialized or exotic.
      I have been a technology instructor for many years, but not in a while. There's no classroom role for a Dean I'm afraid, and I miss teaching a great deal. I love the idea of a tech writing course. I agree it's often an overlooked art and an important aspect of any product. When the dust settles on this project and if we ever get to a sustained tickover for the business I may contact my former colleagues at UC Extension and see if they have any interest in such a course. It would be a blast.
      Thanks for the suggestion.

    24. Missing avatar

      R Duane Wilson on May 26, 2011

      Hi. I, like many of the backers, are deeply impressed with the look and quality of the manual pages you have posted. Would you share what program tools you are using to write abd compose the manuals? I received ny engineering degree over 40 years ago and no instructor ever really dealt with one of the mainstays of any engineering job - writing reports. Things may not be much different today - its more fun to teach and do the engineering than to write about it. With thin in mind and given your "day job"; have you ever considered developing a course for engineers in manual writing? If it were a web based course I would sign up in a heartbeat after seeing your work.

    25. Stephen Creator on May 23, 2011

      Hi Jerry,
      How was Maker's Faire? I missed that and my annual Vintage Brit car show and swap meet in Woodland, CA this weekend, buried in the manual writing - all for a good cause :) No (major) regrets.
      I mentioned the forum in prior posts/comments. I absolutely agree, and community involvement and innovation are a big part of my plan and goals for the DIY Desktop CNC Machine. I have had the forum ready to roll out for some time, but have been waiting for the day we start shipping and I'm past this hump. Setting up the forum and maintaining it are time commitments that would derail the project right now, and anyway it's best to have discussion about the product in-hand than advanced theorizing, I believe.
      It will pop up here soon as soon as shipment roll out, along with the tech support pages and services, backers recognition page, additional ancillary products, kits and components (beyond those mirroring the Kickstarter rewards) followed by the online tutorials. Lots to do.
      Thanks for the support Jerry. Hope the new digs are working out for your guys.

    26. Jerry Isdale on May 22, 2011

      Looking awesome!
      A suggestion - get some forum software ready - perhaps a google or yahoo group. I'm sure a big part of this machine's success will be the community discussions/support/feedback. The Makerbot forums and local user groups have been a big part of that machine's success. Having a decent forum system where we users can have multiple threads/topics going will be really good. Thanks.

    27. Stephen Creator on May 15, 2011

      Hi Jerry,
      Congrats on the new Makerspace :)
      The standard spindle is a 12V 16,000 rpm, 1/8" collet unit. The Plans and Manuals provide instructions for the standard mount, which will fit many spindle/rotary tool options, as well as instructions on how to custom-mount their spindle of choice. The mount consists of two parts, an upper cradle which will work on most any spindle, and a lower mounting bracket that may have to be modified, depending on the choice of spindle.
      I will be providing g-code files for mounts for standard tools, such as Dremels, that the DIY Desktop CNC Mechine user can download and use to create a new mount for their next spindle upgrade.
      In addition, we're evaluating several other spindles with a view to offering upgrade options on the website.

    28. Stephen Creator on May 15, 2011


      The DIY Desktop CNC Machine is designed and spec'd in imperial units, but the Plans & Manual are written with both imperial and metric dimensions. Many of our backers and customers are from overseas and it became apparent early on that we'd have to provide metric measurements for our builders.

    29. Jerry Isdale on May 15, 2011

      Hi Stephen (& other backers)
      What spindle is being included with the complete kits? What alternatives are people planning to use for kits w/o spindles?
      Sounds like the kits are coming together nicely. I'm looking forward to building it in our new containerized makerspace next month.

    30. Missing avatar

      David Fraser on May 15, 2011

      Hi Stephen,
      I was just wondering, are the dimensions for the DIY Desktop CNC Machine in metric or imperial?

    31. Stephen Creator on May 11, 2011

      Hi Chris,
      The PC/OS depends on the app you're going to use. Your best bets are KCam, EMC2, TurboCNC or Mach3. Check them out and see which looks best for you and then follow those specs.
      Probably the most straight-forward to use (and the one I've used for all the demos and videos) is KCam which will need an XP PC with a parallel port. They're easy to find as many folks have old XP boxes shelved, gathering dust, that you can often pick up for cheap or free. I got a free one a while back by placing an add on, and it's nice to have a box dedicated to this task.
      The standard DIY Desktop CNC Machine uses a PC's parallel port to provide the real-time discreet enable/direction/step signals for each axis. We're working on a USB interface, which has its own challenges (USB ports, being serial and because they use polling/odd timing, are difficult to implement for CNC apps). Since all efforts have been directed towards getting rewards delivered and completing the Plans and Manual (a daunting task on its own) the USB dev has taken a back burner (almost, some work continues, but minor). I'll be posting updates about that work once we clear the fulfillment parts of this project. This will resume with vigor then. We have two designs on the drawing board and will evaluate and choose one as our USB solution.
      So, to answer your question, a PC with USB will work later once that development work is done. For now the DIY Desktop CNC Machine works on a parallel port, either an existing one or a purchased add-on card ( has them cheap).

    32. scarr on May 10, 2011

      Tinkerer’s Handbook. Sneak preview:

    33. Chris Spurgeon on May 10, 2011

      Hi! While awaiting delivery of my DIY CNC machine I suppose I better come up with a computer to use with it. Can you run down what I should have? PC? Mac? Linux? It needs to have a parallel port, right? Or is a USB port sufficient?


    34. Stephen Creator on May 3, 2011

      Jason, your e-mail is bouncing back. Try me again and check your e-mail address for typos.

    35. Stephen Creator on May 2, 2011

      Jason, drop me a note directly via the website. Depending on what you're interested in I may be able to extend it on a case-by-case basis, but I can't extend it for all products. I run the risk of over-extending our stock and orders. What is already a pushed-out backlog could turn into an uncomfortably-long wait for new orders.
      While the steady demand for the DIY Desktop CNC Machine is really awesome I have to manage our growth so that we don't burn out before we reach a steady running operation mode.

    36. Missing avatar

      geektopia on May 2, 2011

      Hi Stephen, any chance of extending the Early Bird Discount given everything is still on backorder?

    37. Jerry Isdale on April 21, 2011

      Stephen - I've got other biz on the Mainland that through happy coordination works out to let me make the Faire this year. I got a day or two after the faire and was planning to visit Yosemite monday. I hope to see you at the Faire ... Any other backers who would like to meet up at the Maker Faire, drop me a note (

    38. scarr on April 20, 2011

      "A research scientist at Georgia Tech has created a 3D scanner app for the iPhone which uses the phone's screen as a light source to quickly capture digital 3D models of faces and other objects. The app, called Trimensional, can output directly to a 3D printer to make physical copies of objects, which a few people have already tried. An Android version is in the works."

    39. Stephen Creator on April 19, 2011

      Hi Toby,

      That was one of my fallback positions if I couldn't return the defective pieces. The costings on this project have to be managed very tightly, especially as we have improved and grown the design within the same fixed revenue. There have been many unforeseen expenses along the way. So when they agreed to take back the pieces and not charge, I jumped at it.

    40. Missing avatar

      Toby on April 19, 2011

      Concerning the HDPE order, if you did not have to return the materials it might be useful to ship an extra of the the "gouged or scratched" Y axis platform with the kits. This piece in particular would be useful to have a duplicate of, either for adding holes to attach jigs, or in case of "oops - i just went a bit too deep".

    41. Stephen Creator on April 19, 2011

      Hi Jerry,

      I'm not sure if I can make it. As you know from my bio I'm a Dean at a college (the day job) and our academic year wrap up and graduation events and ceremonies fall in and around those dates, so I may be "on duty" at that time.
      If I can slip away I'll let you know. I'd hate to miss it. We discussed having a booth, and likely would have had one if we were passed the Kickstarter rewards fulfillment stage and up and running as a company. We're planning on participating at the next one though - who knows what weird and wonderful applications we'll have to show by then :)
      Are you travelling from Hawaii just for Maker Faire, or are you in town anyway?

    42. Jerry Isdale on April 19, 2011

      Stephen - good news update today on project. I'm looking forward to adding your machine to our maker space! Are you planning to be at the San Mateo Maker Faire May 21-22? I will be there and would love to meet you and other DIYCNC backers. I'm volunteering on friday 20 for education day to give tours to school kids. I figured it was a way to get myself in early :-)

    43. Stephen Creator on April 9, 2011

      Hi Peter,

      The only questionnaire was through Kickstarter but there was no question about upgrading. You did ask about metal rails though, is that what you refer to? I'll respond to that e-mail you sent and we can sort it out for you.

    44. Peter Grace on April 8, 2011

      I recall filling out the questionaire on the website. One question was about upgrading from my current system to some other system for $200 more. I said yes. Haven't heard back about next steps/info.

    45. scarr on March 15, 2011

      I haven't been able to find out where they demo that 3D printer yet.
      Here is another 3D application:
      "An engineering lab and a culinary school have teamed up to construct novel edible objects with 3D printers that use pureed foods in place of ink. From the article: '"It lets you do complex geometries with food that you could never do by hand," said Jeffrey Lipton, a researcher and graduate student at the lab. "So far, we've printed everything from chocolate, cheese and hummus to scallops, turkey, and celery," Lipton told CBC Radio's Spark in an interview that aired Sunday.'"

    46. Kyle Stapp on March 10, 2011

      I had issues also. I just put "n/a" into all fields I didn't want to answer. I was under the impression that the process invovles manual review at some point and I won't get a founder acknowledgement of "n/a" from Bristow Virginia.

    47. Marcus Stafford on March 8, 2011

      OK, I just submitted the answers via your website comment form. Please let me know if you did not receive them.


    48. Stephen Creator on March 8, 2011

      Hi Marcus, yes, I've received a few messages like this. Most seem to be working fine, but a few are having difficulties where the survey doesn't allow you to complete. Some folks have started over and it worked. Some have given up and e-mailed me the answers directly (which is fine).
      Unfortunately I have no control over this Kickstarter tool nor are there any settings I can tweak.
      At the end of the day the important thing is that I get your info so that I can process your reward.

    49. Marcus Stafford on March 8, 2011

      Stephen, I'm trying to fill out the backer/survey form to tell you where to send my stuff, but it keeps saying "answer all the questions" when all the questions have been answered. Anyone else having trouble completing the form?

    50. Stephen Creator on March 8, 2011

      Hi Scarr, yes I'm bummed. But there's about a half-dozen backers in my general vicinity (two in Placerville) so I have a feeling I may end up delivering a t-shirt to someone in person after all (in exchange for a Starbuck's skiny latte - yes, I'm easily bought :) ).
      What college is the demo at?

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