[FoRK] Mobile CNC -- the Handibot

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Thu Aug 1 19:17:12 PDT 2013


A small, somewhat affordable CNC system for the home shop.  Limited X-Y
travel, but it has a clever indexing pin system that allow you to move the
bot without losing registration with the work piece.

"...Conventional CNC tools require you to bring the work to the tool. The
folks at Shopbot <http://www.shopbottools.com/> however, have flipped that
notion on its head, releasing the
open source tool that's currently being funded through a Kickstarter
campaign that's already raised three times its initial goal. Quite frankly,
the entire concept of the Handibot is like nothing I've seen before. It's
essentially the "democratization" of the power tool industry. Anyone-you,
me, my wife-can head over to the Handibot site, download the schematics for
free, and build their own portable CNC powerhouse. You can either source
your own bearings, rails, and motors, or Shopbot will sell you their own.  It's
All in the Apps

The money isn't in the machinery. For the folks at Shopbot, they hope to
open up app development to the masses, with users creating their own
applications and selling them through Shopbot. The app inventors keep the
lion's share of the profits, with Shopbot taking a small cut. Right now,
the Handibot<http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1320575205/handibottm-a-smart-digital-power-tool>runs
off Shopbot's standard software package, but app development is
already well under way, and the folks who are funding the tool's
development via Kickstarter will hopefully contribute to that process.


Although you can already download the schematics and build your own
Handibot at the time of this dispatch, Shopbot hopes to be selling
fully-assembled Handibots via retail once they've satisfied all their
orders via the Kickstarter campaign. Expect to be able to purchase your own
this winter. The current retail price is about $2,400 but the folks at
Shopbot hope to generate enough interest to be able to cut that price to
somewhere between $1K and $2K in the near future.


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