Robotics

The guys at Lumenlabs lost a little sleep over the critical comments made about their new micrRo CNC robot. (You mean there are actual people on the other side of the monitor glass, with feelings, that can actually be hurt? I had no idea.) They made a series of videos that show the bot cutting a 1/2 piece of aluminum stock and then carving the name micrRo into it. Hit the link below to see the entire series of videos.

Lumenlab

More:
The MicRo CNC from Lumenlab

14 thoughts on “Lumenlab’s micrRo demo

  1. WTF! They’re making cheese out of aluminum now? I guess I’ll have to get me one of those micro machines.

  2. I have been following the progress of the Micro for a while now, and have even ordered the complete package. I am very excited about the product that they have put together. It is a very high quality and powerful machine that they have managed to create while keeping it within a price range that is within the reach of the common individual.

    Even more important than the quality of the product is the quality of support and feedback that the folks over at LumenLab provide. They have kept everyone informed of all developments during the creation of the Micro and have not only welcomed, but encouraged input from the forum members on ways to make the product meet the needs of typical DIY individual. I have never worked with anything CNC related, and probably never would have, if not for the patient support that has been provided by their staff. Thanks to their answering of my questions I am now completely confident that I will be able to not only use the Micro, but will have learned enough in the process to complete other more complicated projects.

    1. [quote]The guys at Lumenlabs lost a little sleep offer the critical comments made about their new micrRo CNC robot.[/quote]
      Is that even a sentence?

  3. Did I hear the guy on the video say it took 2 hours to do that!

    I’ve been a regular on Make: and have seen much better/faster/cheaper variations of this. In my opinion, this is at least twice as expensive as it should be.

    1. please tell me where i can find a complete CNC machine…
      that costs (less than half of) $1,000…
      that has (better than) ~0.001 inch accuracy…
      that will mill (better than) aluminum…
      of the same (but larger) shape…
      in (under) 2 hours.

      thanks.

      1. There’s no free lunch. It looks like a nicely-made machine for the money, maybe for PCBs, balsa, and thin plastic. Maybe occasionally cutting parts out of light aluminum sheet. If you do light R/C or little robots it might be good.

        If you want to mill metal, you need mass. That provides rigidity, which allows you to take nice heavy cuts and get jobs done in reasonable time. If you’re going to make parts out of 1/8″ or thicker metal regularly, you’re going to want a machine that works faster.

        Even plastics are a challenge on these small machines. They work by using high-speed spindles, like 25k RPM. This works great on PCBs and fine on wood. But it creates a lot of heat, which makes plastic melt. A metal milling machine, OTOH, can take much heavier cuts at slower RPM, which gives much better results.

        You might be able to put together a CNC Micro Mill based on the http://www.cncfusion.com kit for around $1000. I used to have one of these and it is tiny (~100lbs) but will cut steel and is fine on aluminum. Not .001″ precision but you rarely need that.

        For $1500 you can just about get into a CNC Taig, and that is a very, very good small machine that will hold that precision in steel or aluminum. For the same price or a little more you can DIY a variety of other machines and have a lot of options available.

        It comes down to what you want to make. If you’re doing sheet parts (thin metal, plastic, balsa, PCB) then this may be a nice gizmo. In a pinch it could do a little more but you’ll get frustrated fast.

        1. Just to amplify this thought:

          IMHO, the big advantage of a CNC router over a CNC mill is that it can be designed to work on large sheet goods that would be too big for any milling machine (eg, 2′ square, vs 6″ square). Obviously these are very different applications. For this reason, I’m not sure I see the market for these very small CNC router kits– their capabilities are too close to a small CNC mill. OTOH, there are CNC routers that will take a 4×8 sheet of plywood, which is overkill for a home shop. I’d like to see more mid-sized CNC router kits.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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