Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Affordable, Open Source, 3D Printable CNC Machine is Now on Kickstarter

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

milloneThe appeals of Kickstarter campaigns are many. There are the rewards for backers, frequently taking the form of either deep discounts on the final product or unusual items that can’t be found anywhere else. Pledging to support any crowdfunding campaign is a gamble, but it’s an exciting gamble; just browsing Kickstarter is pretty exciting, in fact, especially in the technological categories. Inventive individuals and startups offer new twists on machines like 3D printers and CNC machines – often for much less cost than others on the market.

CNC machines, like 3D printers, are pricey investments for the average person. While less expensive models have been appearing in both markets, high-quality rapid prototyping machines are still often unaffordable for many. Andy Lee would like to change that. The mechanical engineering student is in his second year at the University of Waterloo, and he already has pretty extensive experience in the design and manufacture of robots, as well as in steel design and manufacturing. Over the past year, he used the knowledge and skills he gained in his previous jobs to launch his own venture called Sienci Labs.

“Sienci Labs has its roots in research and development of linear motion systems that make up the majority of the cost of rapid prototyping tool, and creating low cost, high performance mechanisms for consumer applications,” says Lee.

Along with fellow Waterloo mechanical engineering students Tim Thompson and Chris Thorogood, Lee developed and built a powerful desktop CNC mill for a small fraction of the cost of comparable machines. The Sienci Mill One, now on Kickstarter, starts at under $400, whereas the cost of similar desktop CNC machines can run into the thousands.

sienc

(L to R) Lee, Thompson and Thorogood

The campaign, which is running until September 17, is already more than halfway to its goal of $60,000 CAD (about $46,631 USD). The 3-axis desktop CNC mill is easy to use and versatile, capable of machining wood, aluminum, brass, PVC, polycarbonate, acrylic, leather, polystyrene, printed circuit boards and just about anything softer than aluminum. The work area is about 250 x 200 x 100 mm, and the design is open source – the Sienci Mill One can be easily built with a 3D printer and some basic hand tools.

sienciThe campaign’s early bird rewards have already been claimed, but there are still some good deals for supporters. For a pledge of $519 CAD ($403 USD), backers will receive a kit containing all the components needed to assemble the Sienci Mill One, except for the router, but the generically sized mount allows for most personal routers or rotary tools to be easily attached. A contribution of $539 CAD ($419 USD) gets you the same components with a nice black finish to the frame, while $659 CAD ($512 USD) gets you a full kit with spindle ($679 CAD or $528 USD gets you the black version).

A fully assembled mill, sans router, is available for $699 CAD/$543 USD ($719 CAD/$559 USD for black), and a pledge of $829 CAD/$644 USD gets you a fully assembled mill with spindle ($849 CAD/$660 USD for black). The first rewards are expected to begin shipping in February 2017. Sienci has partnered with Onshape to create free, browser-based CAD and CAM software for the machine.

“Our goal has always been to make tools like these more accessible, and we’re proud of our achievement,” says Lee. “Our machines come with premium features, like an semi-enclosure that keeps dust in and lead screws on all (axes)…The Sienci Mill One is finally a great machine for people who want to dive into CNC machining, and allows makers, hobbyists, and small businesses create amazing things without having to put in the time and money investment they used to have to.”

Check out the Kickstarter video below, and discuss further in the University of Waterloo All-in-One 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.

Share this Article


Recent News

Kornit Digital Buys Tesoma, Expanding Digital Textile Production

Customized Vehicles, On-Site Medical 3D Printing, and Green Lasers—All at TIPE 2022



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing People: A Dialogue Beyond Industry at TIPE 2022

Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP) has pulled off another virtual event show coup. After an immensely successful inaugural event in 2021, the non-profit has hosted an even bigger 2022 event. And...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: January 16, 2022

We’re back in business this week with plenty of webinars and events, both virtual and in-person, starting with the second edition of the all-female-speaker TIPE 3D Printing conference. There are...

Women in 3D Printing’s Posts Agenda for TIPE Conference and Virtual Career Fair

This January 18-20, Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP) is back for the second time in a row with its TIPE 3D Printing Conference and Virtual Career Fair. Like its inaugural...

Ford and Czinger to Give Automotive 3D Printing Keynotes at AMUG 2022

As the 2022 AMUG Conference approaches, the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced its keynote speakers. Headlining the event, set to take place in Chicago, Illinois from April 3-7, are Kevin...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.