About this project
Stop by our Forums, say "Hello", and check out the latest in what Routakit has to offer!
Routakit has been undergoing finalizing changes! Check it out near the bottom of this page under "Latest Developments"!
The precision and ease of a CNC is a great addition to any size workshop, especially for the serious hobbyist or the emerging maker movement. However, smaller desktop CNC machines currently on the market lack the necessary speed and power to be the perfect addition to the workshop. Machines with the necessary performance tend to be out of most budgets.
Objective: to create a CNC machine that can pull commercial-like hours with commercial-like performance without the commercial-like price tag. We believe we’ve done just that with Routakit!
- Heavy duty
- Ease of use
- Open source
The Routakit SD is our baseline machine offering excellent performance in its class for cutting wood, plastic, and aluminum. Featuring 9 gauge steel plates for high rigidity and strength, a stiff 4080 extrusion as the gantry, 250mm (4 in) of clearance, and a 250mm tall industrial grade ball screw for the z-axis.
For a complete out-of-the-box solution, simply add in our optional electronics kit (includes a CNC USB MK3/4 control board and four Nema 23 175 oz stepper motors) and the Routakit SD is ready for action!
- Footprint: 986mm x 1013mm (38.8in x 39.8in) *Measured from base
- Work Area: ~760mm x 760mm x 140mm (30in x 30in x 4in)
- Rapids: 10160 mm/min (400 in/min) Recommended, 15240 mm/min (600 in/min) Maximum
- Plate Material: 9 gauge mild steel
- Rail Material: 6061-T6 aluminum Open Rail
- Belting: 9mm wide, 3mm pitch GT2
- Ball Screw: 16mm diameter, 250mm length, 5mm pitch
- Stepper Motor Size: 175oz Nema 23
- Max Supported Spindle Size: 800w (1.5kw with gantry upgrade)
- Repeatability: .025mm - .05mm (.001in - .002in)
- Accuracy: +- .127 mm (.005 in)
- Extrusions expandable up to: 1500mm x 1500mm (59.1in x 59.1in).
- Electronics: Planet CNC MK3/4 with drivers, four 175oz Nema 23 stepper motors (You can source your own electronics if you'd prefer)
For the emerging entrepreneur or the hard-core hobbyist, consider the Routakit HD. Built along the same innovative design as the Routakit SD, the Routakit HD is our heavy duty machine. Stronger, faster, and better suited for those really tough jobs, Routakit HD features 1/4" thick aluminum plates adding strength without extra weight, a significantly stiffer and longer gantry made from three 4080 aluminum extrusions, increased clearance, a taller ball screw, and steel wheels/steel rail for the z-axis assembly.
Routakit HD can also be purchased as a complete out-of-the-box CNC solution by adding the optional Gecko 540 and four 380 oz Nema 24 Stepper motors. You can have it all!
- Footprint: 1486mm x 1013mm at the base (58.5in x 39.9in) *Measured from base
- Work Area: ~1260mm x 760mm x 140mm (49.5in x 30in x 6in)
- Rapids: 13,970 mm/min (550 in/min) Recommended, 22,860 mm/min (900 in/min) Maximum
- Plate Material: 6.35mm thick (.25in) 6061-T6 aluminum
- Rail Material: 6061-T6 aluminum Open Rail for x and y axis, stainless steel for z-axis
- Belting: 15mm wide, 3mm pitch GT2
- Ball Screw: 16mm diameter, 300mm length, 5mm pitch
- Stepper Motor Size: 380oz Nema 23/24, 600oz Nema 34 with planned future motor plate upgrade
- Max Supported Spindle Size: 3kw
- Repeatability: .025mm - .05mm (.001in - .002in)
- Accuracy: +- .127mm (.005in)
- Extrusions expandable up to: 1500mm x 2000mm (59.1in x 78.7in)
- Electronics: Gecko g540, four 380oz Nema 24 stepper motors (You can source your own electronics if you'd prefer)
We've done our homework on other machines and their capabilities, we know what else is out there and we believe we offer the best performance to cost ratio around. Our machines may not always be the cheapest option at face value, but there are many factors (such as rigidity, accuracy, speed, size, and power) to consider when shopping for a CNC router machine. Our design objectives were economical, well-balanced and finely tuned machines delivering exceptional performance at an affordable price in their respective classes. When pit head-to-head against the other machines we routinely come out on top in speed, rigidity, power, reliability, and/or cost. Take a look at how our machines stack up against the competition.
Open Source And Modular:
We believe in the open source philosophy in the hopes that it can not only benefit the end user but help drive innovation forward. With access to the original files anyone who owns a Routakit may modify the design to suit their needs or create new parts that will give the machine additional functionality.
We designed our machines to be highly modular and straightforward to assemble or disassemble. Every part of the machine is highly accessible and serviceable. For example, direct access to the motor or pulley is as easy as removing the motor plate from the main machine. High modularity also means it's very easy to expand the size of the machine by simply purchasing longer extrusions, railing, and belts. Our Routakit SD can be expanded up to 1500mm x 1500mm without supports and our Routakit HD can be upgraded to 1500mm x 2000mm. Of course you're free to push the limits and find out how big you can go!
To compliment Routakit's open source nature, users will have access to our forums where they will find support, modification ideas, etc. It's part of our goal to give our users the most supportive online environment we can. The forums will be under construction for the duration of our Kickstarter campaign, but don't forget to check back and sign up when it goes live!
What's included with the kits:
Our mechanical kits come with everything your CNC needs except the electronics, spindle, and waste board. You will either need to source your own (some hobbyists consider this half the fun!) or purchase one of our full package kits for a complete out-of-the-box solution.
Mechanical kits include:
- Aluminum extrusions for x, y, and z axis
- Open Rail for x, y, and z axis (Open Rail and stainless steel rail for HD)
- Motor plates
- End plates
- Carriage plates
- Spindle mounting plate
- Ball screw with ball mounts and ball nut
- Double V-wheels for x, y, and z axis (steel wheels on z axis for HD)
- Motor pulleys
- Timing belts with belt clips for x and y axis
- All necessary hardware for assembly (screws, nuts, washers, spacers, etc)
Routakit SD full package kit includes:
- Mechanical kit
- Planet CNC Mk3/4 controller
- Planet CNC software license
- Four Planet CNC 2.5a Motor Drivers
- Four Nema 23 175oz stepper motors
- Three homing switches for x, y, and z axis
- Cables to hook up stepper motors and homing switches
- One 24v 144w power supply for stepper motors/controller
- One 600w DC spindle with spindle mount
- One 600w power supply for DC spindle
- MDF waste board
Routakit HD full package kit includes:
- Mechanical kit
- Commercial grade plug and play electronics enclosure with E-stop button and On/Off switch
- Gecko g540
- Ethernet smooth stepper
- Four 380oz Nema 24 stepper motors
- Four proximity switches (for homing)
- MDF waste board
Where We Are Now:
We have come a long way and our Routakit SD and HD models are nearing their final design. We have allowed early purchase of the HD design to beta testers with CNC experience, and we will be communicating closely with them to ensure our designs live up to expectations.
While our main focus has been a sturdy and rugged design, we have also thought long and hard about what others may want out of our CNC design. Thus we have included unused mounting points at various opportune locations around the machine to allow for expansions and upgrades both by the end user as well as for future modifications we may offer down the line.
Where We Can Be:
While we can take orders at the present time we are essentially operating with no on-hand inventory, we must order materials and parts after we receive the order. This slows down fulfillment to unacceptable time-frames. To reduce order fulfillment time-frames and ramp up production capability, Kickstarter funds will allow us to invest in appropriate amounts of inventory and additional production capability.
With the help of Kickstarter funds we will be able to bring production of our final designs to "full steam ahead". The goal here is to build up a decent inventory of materials for kit production and to start fulfilling orders as soon as possible.
We expect the first batch of kits to ship during August with staged releases of later batches shipping as rapidly as possible in the following months.
Early on we had been focusing on a different venture. We started developing prototypes, but fabrication was getting the best of us. At that point it was decided that a CNC would be a great idea to cut back on fabrication time and vastly increase accuracy, and we invested in a small open source CNC kit.
While the kit helped, it was limited in what it could accomplish in reasonable amounts of time for production. That's when modifications were made to the original kit. We needed something heavier duty to survive longer working times and a larger cut area would let us not only cut out larger pieces but also cut out more of the smaller pieces in one go. At a point it was, in whole, its own machine.
At this point interest in the machine as a kit was growing. We wanted to supply people with kits for our machine, but between the constant changes being made to the design and how difficult it is for us to obtain materials in a timely fashion, we've come to the conclusion that it's time to move forward. So while we are in the process of completing our website, finalizing our designs, and organizing ourselves in general, we would like to extend our hands to the Kickstarter community for a bit of help in making this happen.
Some Examples Of What Can Be Done On A Routakit:
Risks and challenges
There are many risks to any project. We've taken risks this far and we will take them in the future because we are confident in our ability to mitigate loss in the worst case scenario.
One risk we currently face is not meeting our goal. We've made a fantastic product, but now we need to demonstrate that to our potential supporters. We hope to find the support we need through Kickstarter. If we can't make that happen we run a much greater risk attempting to turn this into a business without an initial boost to get into the swing of things. Our ability to fulfill orders is crucial and until we have made enough sales to build up an inventory buffer, the time it takes us to deliver to our customers will suffer greatly. We'd rather not leave such a first impression.
Should our project prove so successful that we couldn't possibly make our promised reward deadlines by ourselves, we believe that only proves the potential of our business and we shouldn't feel too constrained to take the next step and hire some help. If any situation requires a change of plans, you can be sure we will continue to make frequent updates to keep everyone in the loop. We believe communication is key when a deadline needs to be met, especially when we run the risk of disappointing our generous supporters.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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