You know that feeling you get when you gnaw the trunk of a Ponderosa with your sharp, pointy teeth until it falls down and blocks a river? Neither do we, but it sounds awesome.

The next best thing is almost certainly the smell of freshly-cut urethane foam in the morning, and on that count, the Nomad 883 from Carbide 3D delivers. With a 25 micrometer (.001″) repeatability on the X and Y (2.5um on the Z), a minuscule 18″ square footprint, and an impressive 8″x8″x3″ build volume… well… we want it. We want it bad.

“But wait!” you protest. Aren’t there Other tiny desktop CNC machines out there? Indeed there are, friends, but most of them are makeshift, crafty, weird, a crap ton of work, or mysteriously un-photographable. Of those, OtherMill is certainly the most complete package we’ve seen, though its 1.3″ max material thickness means that it’s “rather limiting.” The Nomad is the first machine we’ve seen with a decent build volume, small footprint, and reasonably affordable price (final product will be “under $2500”).

The best part? The Nomad is a fully-assembled product, shipped ready-to-rock, and their simple CAM software works on Mac and PC, and the machine automatically measures tool length to make zeroing so easy my pet mole rat could do it.

Having a 3D printer is sooooo 2013, you guys. To be honest, 3D printing is just not that cool. Seriously. I have a Makerbot Replicator 2 in my closet. 99.9% of the time, it just sits there. I made some shower curtain rings and some missing board game pieces. Huzzah. It’s unreliable, it takes forever, and the result is flimsy, hairy, and purple (kinda like a Smoth Mealer)

But having an NC mill on your desktop? Yes. Please.

Warning: The video is awesome, unless you really don’t want to buy another large machine to put on your kitchen counter, in which case it’s still awesome, though watching it may not be advisable.

Copyright Courtney Lindberg Photography
What is it about skull demos that makes me involuntarily shout “PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY”?

Copyright Courtney Lindberg Photography
See how happy he is? Wouldn’t you want to be that happy? We would.

Ooooh, the strip tease…

Copyright Courtney Lindberg Photography
Hmmm, where’s the dust extraction system? No shop vac port?


Rhino for machine design? Whaaaaa?

Copyright Courtney Lindberg Photography
Oh, you hansom devils you. Now TAKE MY MONEY!


Adam O'Hern is an industrial designer, designing products ranging from laptops to power tools, classroom toys to bathroom fixtures, and pro audio gear to guitar tuners. In 2008 he founded, and in 2010 co-founded EvD Media with Josh Mings of, and the two collaborate on the podcast.