CNC mills are usually the antithesis of portable. Sometimes they’re as big as trucks. But ShopBot Tools, a CNC Tool manufacturer, is trying to change that with the Handibot, a CNC Mill you can carry around.
The Handibot is a three-axis CNC mill that’s run through a smartphone, tablet or desktop app. First, you model whatever you plan to cut, drill or carve in the app. Then here’s where the Handibot is really different from traditional CNC equipment — rather than bringing the material to the machine, you bring your Handibot to the plastic, wood, aluminium or whatever material you’re using. So you’ve got a lot of flexibility. It should work on a table, floor or ceiling, and it’s ready to go when you hit start. Even though it’s portable, ShopBot says it doesn’t lose any of the precision of one of the traditional CNC big boys.
So, yes, it’s a Kickstarter campaign. And you have to kick in $1995 if you want to get your hands on a Handibot. But ShopBot says that the crowdfunding aspect will help them build a community of makers around the Handibot, a la Thingiverse or other comparable maker communities. What’s really exciting about the Handibot? ShopBot doesn’t really know what people could do with it. But the fact that it is portable leaves the options wide open. [Kickstarter via Core77]