Desktop construction gets a boost from the compact Nomad CNC machine

Desktop 3D printers have offered makers their building chops for some time now, and Carbide 3D is looking to do the same with a highly capable CNC machine. This is the Nomad 883: a mill that takes building beyond ABS and PLA plastics to wood, brass, aluminum and more. The unit wields a brushless DC spindle motor that routs designs on an 8 x 8-inch machining area. Sure, we've seen compact CNC options before, all with varying degrees of utility and durability. Here, a solid aluminum frame is enclosed on the sides with either bamboo or plastic and there's a polycarbonate lid to keep noise and dust to a minimum -- key downsides to most CNC equipment. In terms of exact size, the Nomad ticks the tape at 19 x 17 x 16in. (around 48 x 43 x 40cm) and weighs in at a somewhat hefty 50lbs/22.68kg (for comparison, a MakerBot Replicator 2X is 39.25lbs/17.8kg). If you're looking to snag one, you'll have to wait for the fourth production run (set to ship in November) and be willing to part with $1,999. That's a $500 discount for Kickstarter backers, and the price tag includes a smattering of building materials and two software options to get things started.