Since raising over $350K for their desktop 5-axis CNC mill on Kickstarter last year, the husband and wife engineering team at hardware startup Pocket NC has shown no signs of slowing down their hustle to bring fabrication tools to desktops.

Announced last week, The Machine Shield is the latest desktop fabrication machine from the Bozeman, Montana-based company that has since grown out of a garage and now includes a small team of hardware engineers. At $350, the all-in-one open source CNC kit is made from a single sheet of PCB (printed circuit board) and, similar to an injection molded model car or airplane kit, comes sectioned out of a single 18” x 24” sheet of FR4 composite with tear away parts.

Described by the pair as “one machine with many possibilities”, the kit can be assembled to act as a shield, cape or hat to be used with an Arduino, BeagleBone, or Raspberry Pi. Thus far, the team has already successfully tested the FR4 as a 3-axis milling machine, a microscope, and a laser engraver while a 3D printer head and a circuit board pick-and-place are among other tool heads currently in the works.


At just $350, the Machine Shield even ships with a brushless 3 phase milling attachment, while other tool heads – such as a laser – can be made from scratch or purchased from Pocket NC. Needless to say, you’ll likely get a lot of bang for your buck.

Find out more over at Kickstarter.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.