Matthias Wandel’s Carving Machine

3D Printing & Imaging Woodworking
Matthias Wandel’s Carving Machine

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Matthias Wandel’s may be my favorite personal maker website.  It’s clean, well organized, packed with resources, and every click brings new inspiration.  I can get stuck there for hours, so be careful when you click through.

This time it’s Matthias’s homemade 3D pantograph carving machine / pattern duplicator that I’m fixated on.  Mechanical pattern-copying machines like this, of course, are not new. They’re often used in restoration work, for instance, to replace a damaged architectural detail by directly copying a surviving original.

There are commercial versions, but it’s also pretty common for shops to build their own, and Matthias’s is one of the best looking DIY versions I’ve ever seen.  Plus, the build is documented with his characteristic attention to detail.  In the embedded video, above, Matthias is using it to cut patterns of pips in giant wooden dice.

3-D router pantograph

Guitar “photocopier”

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan