Desktop CNC at HSBN

Hi all,

I’ll be moving to Brisbane next month from the UK and will be looking to continue my work on a hardware startup, hopefully finding some funding at some point.

I looked through the hardware wiki but I didn’t see any desktop CNC routers for precision milling. Do you guys have anything, for example similar to the Roland MDX 20 used at Fablabs?

Thanks! Looking forward to meeting you guys in the near future.


We have more than one CNC, including a desktop unit and some larger ones, our hardware wiki isn’t really encompassing of our current equipment at the moment, but once you get here turn up on a Tuesday after 5pm and you’ll find somebody who can show it to you and give a bit more detail. If your interested in working on the ongoing build and improvement of CNC routers you’ll probably want to talk to to our vice president Sven, or one of our other members also called Sven (we have people by other names I swear!) who are working on one of the homemade routers. Good luck with your move, and I hope to see you around HSBNE sometime!

Hi Anthony,

All of our CNC router rigs at the space are either:
a) repurposed x/y plotters
b) Cheap chinese routers or
c) Homebrew plywood monsters

At least two of them are capable of cutting 6061 aluminium with the other two being probably woods/acrylics.

We do also have a large turret mill and two different sized lathes in case your parts can be done easily by hand.

I’d definitely recommend attending a Tuesday open night to meet the community and check out the physical space.

Great, thank you both for your reply. I’ll be sure to pop by a Tuesday evening when I arrive.

I’ll be looking to mill into polycarbonate in 2D, but some features are small, microfluidic channels down to around 300 - 500 um in width and height. I currently use a Roland MDX 15 machine out of the Leicester (UK) hackspace, it works OK, but vibration on the spindle means that features cut with a 150 um end mill typically end up to be around 250 - 300 um wide. However, this is mostly reproducible and so with a correction small features can be milled reproducibly.

I also use the MDX 15 for milling PCB boards on FR4 board, a great deal easier than etching.

Thanks again,

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Sounds cool, what’s it for?

Hi Jace, its a microfluidic device for the analysis of used motor oil.

The idea is to take just a drop off the dip stick and test the oil to optimise oil drain periods and diagnose internal engine issues such as wear, coolant leaks, corrosions etc.

Its very early days though and may not come to anything, but its fun to try



HSBNE does not have any small milling machines like the Rolands.

I just got myself an MDX20 though - feel free to come around and use it for your microfluidic devices.

I am southside brisbane.