December 12, 2014

"Piccolo" - the tiny open-source CNC robot

Making your own CNC machine (computer numerical control) is a lot of fun, and results with a device that can be used to create artwork to being used as a comptuer-controlled laser cutter. However the cost in both time and funds can be somewhat draining for the beginner. However this is no longer the case thanks to the "Piccolo".

This is an open-source desktop CNC machine which you can make yourself. Based on an Arduino-compatible board and parts that can be ordered or created with a laser cutter yourself, the final result is a CNC machine that is only 50mm square and can be used on any desktop. Check out the video before for a detailed demonstration:

With some canny shopping and some spare time, you should be able to acquire all the parts without much effort at all - to get started, visit the Piccolo home page. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you're looking to develope CNC machines on a larger scale, you will need to control full-sized stepper motors and a servo or two. To simplify the process you can use our new Freetronics StepDuino board:

The StepDuino is a complete, self-contained Arduino-compatible board with 2 onboard stepper motor drivers, 2 servo outputs, a 20x4 LCD, a micro SD card slot, and more! It's a fantastic general purpose board for any project that uses stepper motors. You can use it as the brain of your next robotics project!

The StepDuino uses the same processor architecture as the common Arduino Uno, so you can program it right from the Arduino IDE simply by selecting "Arduino Uno" as the board type. Everything simply works out of the box, just as it would with a regular Arduino - but now you can also drive steppers directly and display feedback on the huge LCD. For more infromation, tutorials and to order - visit the StepDuino page.

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