Free and Easy: CNC Machining

Welcome to the Free and Easy project

The project aims to develop designs and software for the production of low cost computer controlled manufacturing equipment for use in schools.

So far, we have designed a PCB to control a machine via a computer parallel port, a lathe and a miller based on a widely available and cheap (as low as 30UKP) pillar drill, and also developed some Java lathe and miller software to experiment with various child friendly ways of designing on screen.

We have built a prototype XY table, but due to its complexity and the requirement for expensive slideways and ballscrews, we have rejected the XY table in favour of a design for a rotary table we came up with which has a much simpler mechanical construction (though the maths is harder!). Click here for more details and an interactive simulation, and here for pictures and movies of our prototype rotary table in action.

The machines will be on display (and working!) at the Mach2000 exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham (UK) on Stand 3032 in Hall 3a from the 10th to th 14th April 2000.

There is a developers mailing list for all those interested in participating in the project. To subscribe or unsubscribe from the list, click here.

The mailing list is archived, so you can see all previous postings to the list.

Everything published on this site is copyright the Free and Easy project.

All software source code published on this site is subject to the terms of the GNU general public licence.

All other designs and documentation are subject to the Free and Easy Licence.

If you would like to be involved in the project, send an email to:

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