Regal Robotics 500 Series - Large Scale 5-Axis CNC Router
Regal Robotics 500 Series - Large Scale 5-Axis CNC Router
Industrial quality 10ft X 8ft X 6ft 5-Axis CNC router that is affordable enough for hobbyists and designed to fit under a 10' ceiling.
Industrial quality 10ft X 8ft X 6ft 5-Axis CNC router that is affordable enough for hobbyists and designed to fit under a 10' ceiling. Read more
How this all Started
Regal Robotics is a one man operation started and operated by me, Donnie Weir. My goal is to make large scale 5-axis CNC routers that are affordable enough for small businesses and hobbyists yet precise and reliable enough for everyday commercial use. I started Regal Robotics in my home garage in Plano, Texas. The original intent was to build something I could use to carve molds for composite automotive body panels, but as the project progressed the vision changed. Now Regal Robotics' intent is to help other small businesses and individuals get into the market by using this router to produce more machines.
Current Status of the Project
I am half way through the prototyping phase of the 500 Series Large Scale 5-axis CNC router. Once production begins the 500 Series will be available as a kit in various stages from a “Hard Parts” kit that only includes the proprietary parts to an OSHA compliant machine installed at your location. The first three stages of kits will be available as rewards for backers once production begins those kits can be upgraded to more complete kits.
Currently I have the Z-Axis setup and operating in my garage using a pulse generator to control the stepper motor manually for testing. Soon I will install the tube that telescopes within it. This will double the speed and distance traveled.
Why I Need Your Help
I've dedicated nearly all of my spare time over the past year and a half to designing and building the 500 Series and have invested roughly $10,000 from my savings into the project this far. I really need to finish this project before the end of the year and your pledges can help me do that by allowing me to outsource some of the machine shop work and purchase materials that I would otherwise have to acquire as I can afford them.
What's In It for You?
Every backer gets access to exclusive content on our website and your name or your organizations name posted on our wall of honor. Initially the Wall of Honor will be on our website, but once we have a shop we will carve one out of aluminum to display on the wall. Backers who pledge $10 or more will also receive a personalized postcard with a picture of the completed machine thanking you for helping out with the project and signed by me. All rewards are listed below.
Why a Holey Dodecahedron?
When I was trying to come up with a logo for Regal Robotics I started thinking what kind of object would be extremely time consuming to make by hand or with a 3-Axis machine?I came up a twelve sided polyhedron with holes drilled on each side. This shape would require custom fixtures to hold it and multiple setups to produce it by traditional methods, but only two setups using a 5-Axis CNC router. In my opinion they also make great rewards because they are just plain cool.
What Can You Do With It?
A CNC Router is a computer controlled carving or shaping machine. CAM software is used to convert 3D images into a toolpath that the router uses to cut the object. The most common type of CNC Router is a 3-axis. 3-Axis routers travel on the X,Y and Z directions of the Cartesian Coordinate System and are good for cutting things like signs, cabinet doors and other objects designed to be cut on one plane from one direction. This CNC router is a 5-Axis meaning it has an additional A and C Axis that allow it to cut on five sides of an object simultaneously. Below are some examples of what this machine will be capable of making from foam, wood and soft metals.
Details on the design and build process
I designed the router using Alibre Design Professional CAD software. Alibre is a 3D parametric modeling program that allowed me to draw the components and verify they can be assembled with the proper interferences as well as produce the 2D drawings that I have used to produce the individual components. I used SolidWorks simulation software to calculate and optimize critical components where defection has to be minimized such as the Gantry pictured below.
The majority of the work on the prototype has been done using an aluminum cutting station I built on a budget in my home garage. I have been using a radial arm saw with an aluminum blade and dust collector for most of the cuts and a drill press for most of the fastener holes.
I’m lucky enough to have access to my dad’s milling machine for the critical boring and pocketing, the only downside is my dad’s shop is 160 miles away from my house so getting out there to work is somewhat of a challenge. Once the prototype is complete I will be able to use it to produce subsequent routers with extreme precision and a quick turnaround time.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my project!
Risks and challenges
As with any project there are potential risks and this one is no different. On the bright side the technology used in this project has all been proven. 5-Axis CNC routers are already in production and the principles of operation and software for this machine are no different than those of other manufactures.
All of the components being used have been proven to be reliable either by me or other manufactures and that is the reason why I chose them.
In order to reduce risk to backers I have only made the first three stages of the machine kits available for backers. After the prototype is up and running backers who are waiting for their machine kits to be fulfilled will be able to upgrade their kit to any stage for the difference in price. I couldn't see asking someone to put up that much money for something before they've seen the finished product fully operational. Also before shipping any machine kits I will assemble them to ensure all tolerances are in spec.
I feel the largest risk you will be taking when backing this project is the chance for delays. I have setup a timeline that I feel is attainable. I have carefully calculated and simulated many of the machine characteristics, but with projects of this scale there are always things that don't go as planned. I will frequently share updates on my website and via Kickstarter so all backers know if obstacles arrive and how I plan on handling them. I'm not just trying to build a router. I'm trying to build long lasting relationships with the people who helped me do it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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