Makers Get Autonomous Robotic Cutting with Goliath CNC
Tom Spendlove posted on October 05, 2017 | 1730 views

Lorenzo Frangi, Allessandro Trifoni and Davide Cevoli were frustrated with traditional CNC machines. The size of the workspace often limited the objects that they could build and the machines themselves were large and bulky, with even hobby sized machines requiring prohibitive amounts of installation and setup time. Their solution to these issues is Goliath, a CNC tool for makers that combines traditional cutting with robotics. Goliath began as a thesis project way back in April 2014 and won the Rome Maker Faire in October 2014, and the group calls themselves Springa and are running a highly successful Kickstarter campaign for their robotic CNC tool.

Goliath’s innovation is a sensor system that triangulates the position of the robot and updates its position 100 times per second. The company claims that this gives 0.1 millimeter accuracy for position on the workspace. This allows the robot to cut on any sized surface, controlling the cut and design through an app. The campaign video shows workers creating surfboards and skateboards, along with a large aluminum logo cutout.

The machine is 15 x 15 x 12 inches, weighs 22 pounds, and costs $1490 in this pre-production form. The wheels provide 35 Newtons of traction and have a 20 kilogram load capacity. The universal motor has a spindle power of 900 Watts and a maximum speed of 27,000 rpm. Both 120 and 240 Volt power can be used with the machine. The stm32 microcontroller uses Nema 23 stepper motors, and uses rechargeable batteries good for about one day of positioning per charge. Dwg, svg, ai file types are supported and four different bit types have been tested extensively with wood, acrylic and aluminum.

Goliath looks like a well designed machine and having portable, programmable control looks to create great results. My major concern is the amount of chips, sawdust and debris that will get stuck in the wheels as they turn and control the robot’s movements. The campaign page says that the 100 positions tracked per minute and the no slip wheels will alleviate this problem. November 18, 2017 is the day that this campaign ends and first units are estimated to ship in September 2018.

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