Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of materials can your CNC Router cut?
  • Our router can cut wood, plastic, foam, and many other soft materials. We and our backers regularly experiment with other materials and will continue to add them to the list. It will not cut metal of any substantial thickness.
  • Is it possible to make a larger iteration of the Makesmith CNC with the same materials currently used?
  • The accuracy of the machine depends largely on the rigidity of the frame and as the frame becomes larger it will flex more, causing the machine to become less accurate. We could compensate by using stronger materials, but that would end up producing a significantly more expensive machine.
  • Is it possible to use the same Makesmith software and encoder hardware to build a larger machine?
  • Yes! We intentionally designed the software and hardware to be easily adaptable to other designs. The encoders measure rotation so as long as your design includes a location where you can place the encoder to measure the rotation of a lead screw or belt drive you can use our system. The software includes a setting which sets how far the machine will move with each rotation which is determined by the pitch of the lead screw. All of the rest will be done automatically by the software.
  • What rotary tool / dremel would you recommend for the Makesmith CNC?
  • When picking out a dremel, the most important thing is that it has a variable speed feature. The Dremel 3000 is a good choice, but you can find rotary tools which are just as good from less name brand companies for less money. 
  • What kind of design files does the machine read, visual models or code?
  • The machine itself reads standard Gcode so it’s software agnostic (you can even write it by hand if you want) but it can accept pretty much any 2D, 2.5D or 3D file type (.dxf, .ai, .stl..ect) by using a CAM program. We recommend HeeksCAD because it’s open-source but the machine works with any of the big ones (Mach3, CAMBAM, etc.).
  • Is it possible to use the software to control a 3D printer driven by DC motors? Does it have the room to get enough accuracy and speed for such task?
  • You could absolutely use the software to control a 3D printer driven by DC motors. 
    • What’s the maximum bit size that will fit in the dremel?
    • The dremel can use any of the standard dremel shank sizes which are 1/8 inch which is the most common along with 1/16, 3/32 and 1/32 inch bits.
    • Would it be possible to use a different tool to cut with? Have you tried it with a different dremel collet that can take a larger bit?
    • We use a variety of tools to cut with depending on the application. The shape, flute style (how the bit cuts) and the material the bit is made of are all factors in choosing the right bit. The most common types are end mills (general cutting), routing bits (cutting groves), flute cutters (cutting fiberglass), and v-bits (engraving and cutting PCBs).

    For more Frequently Asked Questions, check out our Kickstarter page.