Though 3D printing is all the craze right now, you can still find other manufacturing methods at the Maker Faire. CNC machines for home use aren't particularly new, but they've usually been limited to three axes, and they've generally been quite expensive.
The PocketNC five-axis mill is hoping to become a staple in DIYers' garages and engineers' basements. Matt and Michelle Hartel, the husband-and-wife developers of the PocketNC, have set the goal of bringing a more updated and modern design to home CNC.
It is very difficult to hear in the video above, but I think she says that they expect the price to be "under a thousand dollars." Prices have not posted on the PocketNC site, so this could change.
The main advantage of this product over something like a 3D printer is the fact that it can mill any solid material. You could toss in a block of wood or a solid block of aluminum. You could even mill chocolate.
The machine has a working space roughly five inches in diameter by four inches tall. Linear actuators can move in increments as small as 0.127 mm. Though you can't order one now, the Hartels are hoping to have some mills fully tested and ready to run by the end of the year.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.