Tag Archives: DIY hobbyists

Production is underway for the Makesmith CNC router

Over the summer, the Makesmith CNC desktop router successfully raised over $82,000 on Kickstarter, well exceeding its initial $10,000 goal.

 Designed by Bar Smith and Tom Beckett, Makesmith uses off-the-shelf parts to put viable CNC technology into the hands of engineers, DIY hobbyists and Makers.

“Our CNC router employs a two or three dimensional computer model of an object and very precisely mills, cuts, or shapes the object out of any soft material. This low-priced high-quality desktop CNC router cuts intricate and accurate pieces,” Smith explained.

According to its creators, the machine allows an individual to shape objects that would otherwise be too tedious, difficult, or impossible to complete by hand. The router is well-equipped to cut through wood, plastic, foam and a number of other soft materials.

Although the Makesmith does not cut metals, the machine is capable of easily carving basic red bricks.

Aside from Atmel’s ATmega328 MCU, key specs include:

  • Custom closed loop controller
  • 9.2in x 8.7in x 1.9in workspace (234mm x 221mm x 48mm) (cutting/working area)
  • 12in x 14in x 14in machine size (dimensions of the entire machine)
  • 0.00005in (.001mm) minimum step size (the minimum amount the machine can be instructed to move)
  • 0.1mm – .5mm repeatability depending on feed rate and material (the ability to return to the same spot after a process; accuracy)
  • 5in/min (127mm/min) maximum feed rate (the rate it can move in any one direction)

“The kit contains EVERYTHING you need to put together your own desktop CNC router except the dremel,” Smith added.

Those who pledged their support of the router “will receive a complete set of laser-cut parts to construct the frame and moving parts of the router, all the necessary metal hardware, an Arduino-compatible microcontroller, three continuous rotation servos and three magnetic encoder boards, and all of the requisite bolts and wires. To assemble your kit you will need a soldering iron (previous soldering experience is not necessary) and some glue. You should be able to put your kit together in just a few hours,” the Makers write.

Good news backers, production is well underway! Those wishing to follow along with the team’s latest updates can head here.


Atmel kicks off Simply AVR Design Contest (stage 2)

Back in September 2013, Atmel launched the first stage of its AVR Hero Maker Faire Contest, which challenged Makers, designers and engineers to develop new AVR-powered devices and platforms with commercial potential. 

Winners for the first stage of the contest included Sumit Grover and Rahul Kar (two runner up prizes) from India and Juan Luis Gonzalez from Mexico.


The grand prize winner? Pamungkas Sumasta from Indonesia, who designed a slick Inertial Mobile Phone Unit.

Earlier this week, Atmel launched stage two of its Simply AVR Design Contest. Targeted at engineers, Makers and DIY hobbyists, the contest invites participants to create ground-breaking microcontroller-based designs using Atmel’s wildly popular AVR MCU lineup.

The Simply AVR winner (first prize) will receive $1,500 in cash as well as coverage on Atmel’s social media channels: Twitter, Facebook and Bits & Pieces. Each of the four runner ups will claim a $500 cash prize, along with coverage on Atmel’s various social media channels.

Interested in submitting your design or voting for others? Click here to sign up and vote.