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October 7, 2017

Goliath CNC cutter is an autonomous robotic machining tool for makers

by John_A

Why it matters to you

This smart autonomous CNC milling machine is designed to help realize any idea of any scale in every space.

What happens when you cross a computer numerical control (CNC) milling machine with some cutting-edge (no pun intended) robotics technology? The answer is a product like Goliath CNC, a portable autonomous CNC machine tool, which just hit Kickstarter. Whether you’re a one-person creator or kitting out a bigger MakerLabs space for other tech-minded DIY-ers, this is a gadget you’re going to want to get your hands on!

Despite its gigantic name, Goliath is intended to provide a CNC milling machine that fits somewhere between the smaller A4 paper-sized desktop milling machines on the market, and the traditional heavy duty machines with a much larger footprint. While both of these bits of kit have their place, they also have limitations: The smaller ones unable to realize medium or large sized objects like a stool or a chair, and the larger machines being bulky, heavy and expensive.

Goliath, on the other hand, is a diminutive CNC robot that you can place directly on a work surface, where it moves autonomously to help create everything from furniture to signage. Imagine a Roomba that’s designed for cutting things, and then make that thought 150 percent less terrifying and 200 percent more useful.

“The concept of Goliath CNC was born at the beginning of 2014 as my thesis project for a master’s degree in design a engineering at the Politecnico of Milano,” Lorenzo Frangi, CEO and co-founder of Springa, the company behind Goliath, told Digital Trends.

“I wished to contribute somehow to the digital fabrication tools world. I wanted to develop something able to manufacture real and quality materials, so I focused on CNC milling machines of a desktop size. Soon after the graduation, I invited mechanical engineer Alessandro and industrial designer Davide to collaborate on the project — both of whom are much more skilled and passionate about programming than me.”

Making Goliath smart is a nifty sensor system which constantly triangulates the robot’s position to give it 0.1 millimeter accuracy on the workspace. Using this, it moves around the surface of whatever it’s working on, doing the necessary milling, cutting, and engraving to your stated specifications. Materials that it can work with include wood, plastic, cooper, and sheet metal.

Goliath CNC is currently available for pre-order, with a limited number available for $1,750. Shipping is set to take place in September 2018.

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