This is incredible. An Italian startup called Springa has invented a CNC mill that does away with 90% of the mass and materials of a conventional gantry-style machine. Check out the Goliath, now live on Kickstarter:
Good gosh. This thing is like the Shaper Origin, except you don't even need to hold it.
I was curious to see how you set the thing up. Springa posted this video to show you:
Even after watching that, I still had questions: How the heck does it not spin itself right off of the workpiece once the bit bites? If you use it to cut a pocket, how does the machine avoid falling into it? How does it not slip on the sawdust and lose position?
Going through the FAQ, I see the machine weighs 22 pounds and only uses bits with a 1/4" shank. I guess that by using narrow 1/4" bits, selecting appropriate feed rates, spindle RPMs and depth-of-cuts, the developers have made it stable. Here are the answers to the other questions I had:
How does Goliath avoid slipping? How can it move and carve at the same time?
This is the magic of Goliath! We spent months looking for the right balance between the torque of the motors, the power of the spindle, wheel's dimension and material and so on. Goliath works thanks to the correct balance of these elements. If something is goes wrong, and wheels slip, the positioning systems will correct the route.
How does Goliath handle traveling over parts it's already cut?
The custom omnidirectional wheels, thanks to the three module design, ensure that two rollers are always in contact with the panel, different from the traditional omni-wheels that only have a roller in contact at a time. In so doing, Goliath movement isn't affected by grooves or parts that it has already cut, as at least one roller is always in contact with the panel.
How does Goliath avoid driving over holes or pockets?
Goliath carves out pockets or drills large holes after it has cut all the profiles. Moreover, it carves out pocket beginning from one corner on the top and then moves backwards (see the pocketing GIF on the page) to avoid falling into what it has carved.
The Goliath has already hit its funding target, with $405,251 in pledges on a $90,000 goal at press time. The $1,490 Early Bird Specials are all gone, and it appears there are only 23 units left, period, selling for $1,750. It's expected to retail for $2,890 and should roll out in September of next year.