Project image
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£137
pledged of £10,000pledged of £10,000 goal
5
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 14 2019 5:43 AM UTC +00:00
£137
pledged of £10,000pledged of £10,000 goal
5
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 14 2019 5:43 AM UTC +00:00

About

What is it?

Multi-CNC is a kit that consists of 3D printed parts, custom software and open source electronics. It allows a user to convert their 3D printer into a multi-function CNC device that allows 3D printing, milling and other operations to be carried out. With easily swappable tool-heads, once the kit is installed, changing the CNC process is a quick and easy task. The custom, open source software allows the user complete control over the operation of the 3D printers movements.

Why?

As a keen user of 3D printing technologies, myself, I often found myself looking into the possibility of buying a 3 axis CNC router and a laser cutter. Every time I would look into purchasing one I would be put off by how similar they were in layout to a 3D printer, I didn’t want to waste money on a machine that was pretty much identical to that I already owned. 

What should you support the project?

This is a campaign to support the early development of the project, for this reason no manufactured parts will be sold. Your support of this project will allow Multi-CNC to become available within the open source community for all to use. As a backer you will get priority in suggesting what parts of the project are focused on first. 

How it Started

I initially started Multi-CNC as part of my final year university project and developed the idea to where it is today. As can be seen in the video, the design allows for quick and easy tool-head changes, swapping between a 3D printing head and a milling head. I currently plan to add a laser cutting and vinyl cutting tool head.

Features

It is designed to be 3D printable, so you can use the very 3D printer you wish to upgrade to create the upgrade parts. 

The software (WIP) will run on a laptop/PC or a dedicated raspberry pi and control the 3D printer and the tool heads, this allows it to zero the printers Z axis for milling operations to positions that the usual end stops of the printer would not allow for. The software currently works with a very specific hardware set up in a particular way, this campaign will allow development in the software to allow it to run on multiple operating systems with an open source USB controller. 

First iteration of the user interface
First iteration of the user interface

Zeroing: this operation will require a plate of known thickness (x), the printer will be manually driven above the plate where the zeroing button will be pressed in the software, the printers Z axis will then be lowered until the milling tool meets the plate, zero will then be set x below this position. This is the feature that sets the machine apart from others that currently exist, it allows for a much simpler operation, once the milling tool is at this new zero the milling GCODE can tell the printer that to cut at Z-1.0 for a 1mm depth cut.

Zeroed milling bit
Zeroed milling bit

All of the tool-heads will be designed to fit a specific carriage shape and will allow for quick tool-head changes without the need for complex re-wiring.

3D printed prototype of the carriage for Prusa i3 style printers
3D printed prototype of the carriage for Prusa i3 style printers

Why Open Source?

After building my own 3D printer based around Marlin firmware, I became more appreciative of the work put in by the developers. As this product is heavily built around the work done by Marlin, I feel it is best to develop my kit as open source, so it is open to everyone and not locked behind a paywall. The intent is to develop the cheapest CNC kit for 3D printers that has the most functionality, and the best way to do this is to make the designs and software open source so that the user only has to purchase 3D printing filament, simple hardware and some electronics.

Risks and challenges

This project will be worked on in my evenings and spare time so progress will be slow and steady, being open source I will share all of the files online and will try to set up a website to provide links to everything. I have no formal training in coding, however all the work completed so far has worked reliably and I will continue to learn and improve throughout the project.

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Environmental commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Long-lasting design

All parts will be available for 3D printing so if a piece breaks you can replace it without needing a new complete kit

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $12

    Extended Access

    Get access to a direct email address to submit ideas and request functionality

    Get designs made to support your 3D printer

    Response time may vary depending on number of requests

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $30

    Priority Access

    Get the same reward as the £5 tier but with priority, submissions from this tier will be considered first and get a carriage design made with your name/ word of your choice on.

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    1 backer
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $122

    Super priority

    Once again, the same as the before but you will be ahead of the priority access tier and get a carriage design made with your name/ word of your choice on.

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    1 backer
    £

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,216

    Premier

    This tier gives the same reward as super priority with extras

    You can have your name credited within the software for all to see and have further access to the development cycle of the product; you will be able to suggest the priority of the pieces to be developed to suit your needs.

    All this and get a carriage design made with your name/ word of your choice on.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (20 days)