#1 By: Cory Doctorow, July 5th, 2013 15:00
Handibot is a novel design for a CNC device that you can pick up and carry to the job, allowing you to mill materials in situ. The creators, who've blown through their funding goal, have designed a tool that runs off apps on your mobile device that control it, and envision an open-source ecosystem of… READ THE REST
#2 By: cinemaveritex, July 5th, 2013 15:38
When you do a blog post about a cool new bicycle, do you say "This thing looks like a lot of fun, assuming you don't fall off and break your neck, this is a bicycle"?
#3 By: Gladeye, July 5th, 2013 17:13
Ok, I'll ask it. What does CNC stand for?
#4 By: flndr, July 5th, 2013 17:35
Computer Numerical Control. It describes a mill or other tool used for wood or metal (or other machinable material) work that is controlled by a computer.
Numerical control (NC) is the automation of machine tools that are operated by precisely programmed commands encoded on a storage medium, as opposed to controlled manually via hand wheels or levers, or mechanically automated via cams alone. Most NC today is computer numerical control (CNC), in which computers play an integral part of the control. In modern CNC systems, end-to-end component design is highly automated using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs...
#5 By: Brian Sizemore, July 5th, 2013 18:15
That pocket mortise looked intriguing until I realized it was using a router as it cutting tool. Rounded mortises are nice, and this tool certainly has some good applications, but I don't see it being a world changing thing for me.
#6 By: flndr, July 5th, 2013 18:43
Assuming this thing can work with metal, too... it's very useful. Think of it as a subtractive 3D printer.
#7 By: Bob_Shaw, July 5th, 2013 18:51
It looks really, really good! Add a chainsaw, some gyros and some clever positioning software rather than jigs and you're well into some serious toys!
#8 By: Eliot Daughtry, July 5th, 2013 18:58
I wouldn't expect this device to handle metals very well, simply because of the size/weight. Likely able to handle aluminum, but really this is geared for wood and MDF products like Medite 3D.
#9 By: Tim Quinn, July 5th, 2013 19:00
"Hey dude, get the bot set up on the door jambs. I'm gonna go get some coffee."
This will be absolutely a huge hit with carpenters and cabinetmakers. It also creates a whole new industry of add on (or subtract out) decorative detailing in new or old housing.
Modernism was derived from a need for quickly reproducible goods at a low enough price for a mass audience. Hence simplicity and streamlined design became synonymous with ethical and democratic principles.
A new ethos is emerging based upon a different set of ethical and practical needs. Aside from the technology, entrepreneurship has become a necessity in a world with fewer and fewer jobs. Entrepreneurship suggests invention and innovation in a way that employment never did. Niche finding, creating and exploiting are part of the new paradigm.
So decoration returns. He has invented a new piano. He now needs to find a Beethoven to blow away his audience. His presentation is really good though, unpretentious and well grounded.
#10 By: James Kilpatrick, July 5th, 2013 20:11
Interesting little machine, to be sure. I'd like to see more about the mounting system for the wall and ceiling work he alluded to, though. Sitting flat like that, you might as well just use a standard CNC router. The big thing that stands in its way is the software. He mentioned a drive for developers to make simplified apps for it, and I think that's absolutely necessary.
The learning curve for traditional CAD/CAM is very steep. Things like V-carving, as the machine was doing in the video, are fairly easy, but when you start doing reliefs, it gets hard in a hurry. Customers will demand more than a simple catalog of basic designs, so the software is key to delivering what they want. Otherwise, you wind up depending on CNC programmers, and they're not exactly common or cheap.
#11 By: sockdoll, July 5th, 2013 22:46
"Handibot"... didn't they have one of those on an episode of "Big Bang Theory," and Howard ended up in the ER when it wouldn't let go? (Safe for primetime network TV, I don't know about your workplace.)
Seriously though, this tech sounds really promising. The arthritis in my hands is getting worse every year, and economical CNC milling machines and 3D printing give me hope for being able to make stuff again.
#12 By: Richard Milward, July 6th, 2013 08:07
I saw Dave demo this at MakerFaire NC in Raleigh a couple of weeks ago. (ShopBot is located in nearby Durham.) I think the coolest things about this is that it can be used on material far bigger than what any current CNC machine can hold, and with indexing jigs and the right apps, it could repeat (tile) a pattern, or do a huge pattern in sections. Imagine a 4 by 8 foot 3D carved sign, or a 3D pattern for a vacuum-molded car-body panel, or...
#13 By: Cory Doctorow, July 10th, 2013 15:00
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