We're a group of engineering students who really have a passion for rapid prototyping. There are many times where we've found ourselves wishing that we had access to easier or faster forms of prototyping tools for fleshing out designs or producing a final part and they haven't been there. An easy example is making mounting plates. Due to the nature of 3D printers, a relatively simple 10mm plate could still takes hours depending on its fill percentage whereas CNC machines can make incredibly quick work of simple objects like plates, reducing processing time to even 10 minutes.
Our CNC machine is really the perfect complement to a 3D printer, but stands on its own in many other aspects. It possesses the ability to cut and engrave into almost any of the most readily available materials you have, with a fairly impressive level of detail, while also being able to engrave into existing objects (maybe you're looking to customize your jewellery) or produce working circuit boards.
The best part about our machine is how simple it is. There are so few parts that there's nothing there to go wrong, and even if something does happen, the parts are so simple that you could replace them with simple hand tools. This project is also completely open source. We like to think of this machine as a gift to the maker community, acting as a great cheap platform to use for CNC routing or to modify for laser cutting, 3D printing, the sky is really the limit!