Mini CNC Mill Drive

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This is to get the ball rolling for the acquisition of a mini CNC mill/router for Bloominglabs.


What could we do with it? (The sales pitch)

First, what are the realistic capabilities of a CNC mill we could afford, and how does it compare to the laser? Like the laser, it would be limited to fairly thin/soft materials. However, it would add the ability to cut, deeply engrave, and shape aluminum and other soft metals to the list. It would also do a much better job at 3D shaping than the laser.

The cost per minute to run a CNC mill is also potentially less than the laser, and the machinery is less fragile overall.


A CNC mill would require a dust/waste collection system.

What do we want?

There are a lot of DIY and kit CNCs around. The one I'm leaning toward is the Shapeoko 2, in kit form from Inventables.

Why the Shapeoko?

This machine is:

  • affordable
  • intended for hobbyists
  • desktop-sized, but expandable
  • open-source hardware
  • upgradeable (with fairly large community support)

Why not the Shapeoko?

This machine is not:

  • big
  • powerful
  • a Blackfoot or a Shopbot


  • $150 Daniel

Current Purchase Status

  • Get pledges totaling our goal

Owners, Usage, and Safety

Bloominglabs will be the owner, donors receive a tax deduction. We are an awesome group and all play well together, I think we can craft usage guidelines as usage evolves.

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