Our CNC Machine’s First Cuts

The CNC machine’s construction has advanced to the point where we can begin to cut items.  Being a bunch of teenagers trapped in adult bodies, someone decided that we should cut a throwing star from sheet aluminum.  One copy of CamBam and 6 minutes later and the star was ready to be cut!  After a few adjustments and a bit snapped in half from being dragged through the metal too fast, the cutting was underway.  The star took about 10 minutes to cut and was an excellent first attempt at metal production.  The next step is to use the CNC to cut more precise parts for itself and help bring about the Robot Armageddon.   Special thanks to our newest sponsor, CamBam, for supplying us with a free copy of their most excellent software.  Note: The soundtrack to this video may change at any time as we are experimenting with YouTube’s AudioSwap feature.



holding a freshly cut star, wearing a ninja turtles shirt. nothing wrong here :)


hey guys.

Very cool stuff! I have been working on a different project for the past few weeks other than my CNC. Here shortly I plan to pick it back up.

But great work!



Hi guys. Neat little build. I have built several cnc machines using mach, I also do machining for a living.

Anyway you need to use some lube for aluminum. A can of wd40 or similar will help lots.

Also look into ‘chip load’ for the cutter. That spindle rpm is really high and It will be real easy to load the bit and snap it (like you found out).

Have fun,


Jason McMahon

Lubrication is really not necessary. The heat generated is actually pretty low.

Also, we broke the bit because the material we were cutting was not flat, but raised unevenly on one side. (It was a scrap piece of aluminum and had a slight bend in it.) When the bit hit the raised part, it was like hitting a brick wall. On a flat piece, it cut just fine.

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