The 5AXISMAKER is a desktop 5-axis multi-fabrication CNC machine that hopes to expand the possibilities of digital fabrication by making it cheap and more versatile. Should the project receive backing on Kickstarter before the 27th October 2014, the possibility of 5-axis milling will become an affordable reality for manufacturing complex design prototypes. The product in development "provides a large cutting volume for it’s size, therefore producing "generously sized objects." Developed by graduates of London's Architectural Association, they hope to "shake the manufacturing world with new ways of fabricating using industrial robots right at your desk."
The designers describe 5AXISMAKER as a "multi fabricator." You can "simply swap the tool head and it becomes a different type of machine. You could attach a 3D printing head and start printing objects in minutes, or use a touch probe to scan physical objects into 3D models." Essentially, "you can be in control of process affecting your design."
"Typically 5-axis machines are extremely large and expensive and software makers don’t see why they should produce an affordable software package." They see this as one of the reasons that this kind of technology hasn’t yet reached the maker community. "This machine has a potential to break this paradigm and revolutionise the field of desktop prototyping machines." The team have created their own open-source Grasshopper script that allows the machine to be programmed. They state that they "will continue its development" and hope that maker community will join them in this challenge.