Despite its namesake, this has to be one of the smallest CNC machines you will ever lay your eyes on.
The Goliath CNC, unlike most other CNCs, isn’t fastened to the floor or destined for a dedicated space. Quite the opposite in fact. The Goliath CNC is capable of carving, milling, and engraving difference materials, be it wood, metal, copper, or plastic, like other CNC machines. Unlike other CNC machines, you can take it to the material instead of taking the material to it. Need a visual? Here you go.
Amazing, huh? So how does it do this without running off the edge? Sensors. That’s how. After plugging in the power cord, you set two position sensors for the Goliath to locate itself in the work area. Once the CAD data is loaded, it gets to work cutting your design in the material.
Designing an Autonomous CNC Robot
The project went through three iterations before reaching a final design. The first prototype was largely composed of wood and built to show the feasibility of a portable, sensor-based CNC machine. Even at this stage, even the wheel design was quite established, starting as an omnidirectional three-module design.
The second prototype was built on the premise of improving the Goliath’s accuracy and precision when making small movements. This led the design team to improve the motor, router, transmission, and wheel grip of the machine, testing a two-module wheel design.
The third prototype closely resembles the finished product. In addition to the second design’s improvements, the team further iterated on the omnidirectional wheel design finalizing on a three-module design to avoid slipping and falling in the cut paths, added the customized electronics board, and the position control and sensor system to improve drill accuracy.
The end product is a little machine which uses two separate sensors to dictate the X and Y axes while the drill sensor measures the Z axis. This provides the Goliath with a 0.1mm accuracy when carving designs onto a surface.
The surface can be as big or as small as you need it to be. Since the Goliath uses sensors, it doesn’t require you to change position of the material as do other CNC machines limited to a certain cutting area. The Goliath works backwards from the cutting area, in such a way that its wheels avoid the cuts to reduce falling into what has been carved.
It goes without saying the Goliath is portable as well. If you don’t mind carrying a CNC machine around that weights a mere 22 pounds, then yes, this thing is totally portable.
As for CAD import, the machine supports .dwg, .svg, and .ai file formats. It also supports a range of mill bits for various cut diameter and material work.
The Goliath doesn’t get rid of the residue problems which plague carving machines, but it does help solve certain issues concerning portability and accuracy. The project has already exceeded its initial goal of $90,000 on Kickstarter edging closer to the $1 Million mark with a month left to go. You can find out more about this tiny giant there and get in touch with them at goliathcnc.com.