My blog about wood crafters at the Renegade Artfair included a mention of Dave Marcoullier, who was was selling a form of marquetry and router art he had developed using a Porter Cable router guided by a CNC platform he built himself from a kit.
Marcoullier, who sells his work at art shows like Renegade, through galleries, and at Etsy.com, told me his work is frequently commissioned - a heart surgeon orders a heart, a chiropracter a spinal column - while he also makes projects to sell from inventory at shows, using reclaimed or FSC certified wood when possible, and finishing them in natural oils.
Looking into the kits for homemade CNCs, I ran across Buildyourowncnc.com, developed by Patrick Hood-Daniel. The site offers kits of tabletop CNCs all the way up to a 4x8-foot model, with up to three-axis versions offered, while the works are controlled by chain drives or screw drives. Gantries and chassis are built of wood. (A woodworking shop teacher used a kit to build a CNC for his students to use, telling Hood-Daniel, "I am very excited to see what I and my students can do with it . . I definitely think that I could help students build a CNC machine using your book and videos as a reference if I were allowed to hand pick the students."
Another do-it-yourself CNC, this one a hand-hold model, was developed recently by MIT students. It consists of a positioning-correcting chassis that guides the router cutting head along a precise path. The video we have posted shows a DeWalt router operating in the MIT system.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.