MAKE subscriber Nick Santillan of Vancouver, BC, an ID student at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design, created this CNC for his thesis project.
I decided to tackle on making CNC machine by allowing people to be more experimental with them to progress CNC technology from the bottom-up. The end result is a prototype that is completely modular; users can rearrange the CNC in a few minutes to specifically suit the tasks. So a desktop CNC that can engrave below the surface can be transformed into a wall-plotter in a few minutes using only 1 wrench. Also it can transform into a wheeled-cart for ease of transportation. This allows DIY hobbyists to concentrate on new tool-head development without them having to learn how CNC mechanics works.
I created a blog that goes through my entire year-long process, and will continue updating it when I experiment with it. I currently have a Makerbot plastruder, though have not have the time to install it yet. The prototype is a fully functional 3 axis CNC (with a 4th axis lathe not yet shown), with a little fine-tuning I should have a video of it in action hopefully by the end of the month.