New-Jersey-based Mark and Trish Carew are an RC enthusiast couple who make their own radio-controlled model airplanes from scratch. While refining the designs of their planes, the Carews found it tedious to keep recutting shapes with different tweaks, so they sought a better solution. "We researched CNC machines," the Carews write on their website, "and they were all very expensive. The ones that seemed to be in our price range were unable to cut materials large enough."
The Can-Do Carews then created the Phlatprinter, an affordable CNC machine that they sold as a DIY kit. Introduced to the RC community, the machine was a hit, and the Carews have now advanced the design into its third iteration, the Phlatprinter 3, which sells for $1,250.The Phlatprinter 3 (patent pending) is an affordable, compact, CNC machine Kit specially designed for cutting foam and other sheet media. The cabinet size is 41.5" X 15-5/8" X 17" but don't let the compact design fool you, the maximum cutting width is 27" and it is able to accept 2" thick material and cut 1 3/4" while the unique design allows for unlimited length! We walk you through building your Phlatprinter, testing your electronics, and setting up your software through an easy to follow step by step build log video. We have done everything we can to keep the cost as low as possible and building and using your Phlatprinter as easy as possible.
Here's a video of the Phlatprinter in action, but rather than cutting materials, it's got a fun Sharpie attachment mounted on it. The video is horribly shot, but if you can get through the motion sickness, it's neat to watch the image take shape: