Nomad Desktop CNC Mill

By: on May 15, 2014
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Know what the Nomad CNC milling machine means? Now in addition to dicking around with the little tchotchkes I have lined up on my desk at work all day, I can make even more to join them! Plastic cars, wooden boats, aluminum Arc Reactors...I'm sure I'll find the possibilities endless with this desktop-sized mill intended for both professional craftsmen with limited space, and complete hacks like myself who just want a new toy.

Carbide 3D created their Nomad 883 with a footprint small enough to thrive in a home-office or studio, and output capabilities powerful enough to keep up in a full-on workshop. Further, their goal to "make machining something that normal people can do" revolves around not only the reduction in CNC machine size they have achieved with the Nomad, but also a reduction in complexity they hope to have mastered through their integrated hardware and software. Unlike other CNC devices, which make users find and pair their own software with the machine, the Nomad 883 includes all pieces needed to turn a 3D file into a tangible object taking bets as to how far it can launch off my desk.

The Nomad 883 runs as a Kickstarter campaign through May 30, 2014. At printing, it was already bloated to Professor Klump proportions of funding, with every single Early Bird option sold out. However, project backers can still get one of the first Nomads produced for a $1,999 pledge.

Some additional Nomad traits and features include:

  • A workshop from your desktop. The Nomad 883 is fully enclosed for sound suppression and dust control. To promote smooth, stable operation it also has added vibration dampening plastic in key areas.
  • Minimal space requirements. Even with the outer cover, the Nomad 883 takes up only about as much space as an inkjet or desktop 3D printer. Its machining area measures 8" x 8" x 3".
  • Material variability. Unlike 3D printers, the Nomad 883 can carve and sculpt masterpieces from several different mediums. These include plastics (ABS, acrylic, Delrin/acetyl, polycarbonate, HDPE/LDPE), wood, brass, aluminum, tooling board/renshape, and machinist wax.
  • Accuracy. The CNC mill should achieve a positioning accuracy of better than 0.001" (human hair thickness) every time, over the fabrication of hundreds of the same part.
  • Complete software support. Nomad 883s will come with Windows- and Mac-compatible Carbide Motion to control the machine and MeshCAM to tell it how to mill the part. It can also work with users' preferred CAM programs, and won't ever require them to use proprietary software.
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