suitcase CNC


The more we work within the context of what we call Digital Vernacular the more our decisions become clearer and our actions more intentional.  This academic year has seen many accomplishments, but without a doubt it has been the year of machine building.  Our design logic informs us that if a tool is to be vernacular, one must be able to make it on their own, with out the need for corporate or extensive outside expertise.  We blogged over the winter about the completion of the laser cutter, but this spring we have focused our efforts on designing and building a CNC machine that will fit inside a suitcase.  This is driven by one of three hallmarks of the vernacular – access to tools.


The question was asked: could we build a 3-axis CNC machine that could be checked on an airplane and carried anywhere in the world?  This of course would demand that the machine be less then 50lbs, stand up to abuse, and be easily setup and broken down.  Not an easy task.  As I write this, I am sitting in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Suitcase CNC  is presumably under the plane that will take me on to Albania.  Over the next two months, the machine will visit and cut out projects in Albania, Kosovo and France.

For anyone hanging around the makeLab, you know that this machine could not have been built without Natalie Haddad.  Many long days and sleepless nights to get this done.  Please take time over the summer to check in on this blog and our facebook page to see where the CNC (and I) may be traveling and what we are making.

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