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5 Axis Robot Carves Metal Like Butter (Video)

milling robot carves metal

The speed and precision of modern industrial machining robots puts humans to shame.

Industrial robots are getting precise enough that they’re less like dumb machines and more like automated sculptors producing artwork. Case in point: Daishin’s Seki 5-axis mill. The Japanese company celebrated its 50th anniversary last year by using this machine to carve out a full scale motorcycle helmet out of one piece of aluminum. No breaks, no joints, the 5-Axis mill simply pivots and rotates to carve metal at some absurd angles. Every cut is guided by sophisticated 3D design software (Openmind’s HyperMill). While the Daishin helmet made a nice showpiece for a biannual meeting of machining companies (EMO), this level of production is becoming the new standard. Your average industrial company got hi-tech in a hurry and now we have machines that can transform computer designs into the highest quality professional metal objects, seemingly at a push of a button. Human machinists are left in the dust. Watch the helmet being built in the video below.

Automated production has really progressed to a point where humans can’t keep up. The real challenge is between two different styles of robotic production: printing and machining. In a world with 3D printers that can work in metal, taking a huge block of aluminum and cutting it down may seem practically medieval. Milling, however, is still the best way to produce high-grade metal objects suitable for use in other machines. You can’t build a working diesel engine out of a 3D printer…yet. While we’re waiting for that technology to mature, the machining sector is developing new capabilities that keep it competitive. Information technology has crept into everything, and where it goes, innovation follows. So it is with the Daishin Seki machine’s 5 axes which are guided by the Hypermill software. These industrial robots can carve exquisite pieces out of materials 3D printers can’t touch.  Eventually production may belong to 3D printers, but for now the industrial robots sculptors are showing us that they’ve still got years of unparalleled work ahead of them. As for humans…well, we’ve moved from the machine room floor to the designer’s chair. That’s okay; the coffee’s better in the chair, anyway.

[screen capture: Daishin Seki]

[source: Daishin Seki]

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121 comments

  • Gregg says:

    “As for humans…well, we’ve moved from the machine room floor to the designer’s chair. That’s okay; the coffee’s better in the chair, anyway.”

    In a socialist world, it’d be better than okay. It would be a wonderful part of freeing our human potential.

    In a capitalist world, it’s a nightmare of human suffering.

    • Quelle Idiot says:

      You are such a kneejerk, Luddite tool. Unlike this machine, though, you’re a *useless* tool.

    • Quelle Idiot says:

      You are such a kneejerk, Luddite tool. Unlike this machine, though, you’re a *useless* tool.

    • J’raxis 270145 says:

      Perhaps we should ban these machines, in order to protect the jobs of people doing this kind of work—instead of allowing those people to go do something and produce more wealth. Sounds very capitalist, doesn’t it?

      /sarcasm

      • Kevin says:

        Let the robot be controlled by human designers, and let the designers work for the people, not the banks. We’d all be better off with each other on the gulf course or other relaxing venue such as a beach, or river bank, being human again and using our heads for a better future, rather than fighting or superficially created scarcity. Capitalism has failed, time for humanism.

      • Kevin says:

        Let the robot be controlled by human designers, and let the designers work for the people, not the banks. We’d all be better off with each other on the gulf course or other relaxing venue such as a beach, or river bank, being human again and using our heads for a better future, rather than fighting or superficially created scarcity. Capitalism has failed, time for humanism.

    • J’raxis 270145 says:

      Perhaps we should ban these machines, in order to protect the jobs of people doing this kind of work—instead of allowing those people to go do something and produce more wealth. Sounds very capitalist, doesn’t it?

      /sarcasm

    • anon says:

      you wouldn’t have innovation like this in a socialist country

      • Dirk Maes says:

        People should start looking beyond the old capitalist/socialist polarization.

        Both systems that were designed with maximizing labor in mind. They aren’t still relevant in an information society where creativity is the new currency.

        The cost of providing universal income, health care and education will become lower over time and people are most creative when they’re happy. We don’t need to give people jobs in the future; we need people who take jobs because they want to.

    • anon says:

      you wouldn’t have innovation like this in a socialist country

    • Internet Fear Monger says:

      ON TOPIC:
      Daishin Seiki is a large manufacturing and design firm. They manufacture and design goods, and this is less of a display of the abilities of the machine and more of a display of the abilities of their machine programming team. As someone who works with a machine shop that runs 5-axis machines for the aerospace industry this video is fantastic. The people who went into planning the tool paths, tool sets, and basic design should be commended for their programming prowess. Chances are they’re well compensated for their time and are highly desirable workers.

      OFF TOPIC:
      For those who want to look past rhetoric/post shitting: Capitalism is nothing more and nothing less than the transfer of goods/services from people who value said goods/services at a rate that is lower than someone else. This system will exist as long as there are two people who have objects of differential value.

      In fact the system exists in societies that have few taxes/regulations and those that have extensive taxes/regulations. Systems of exchange exist in Cuba, North Korea, Somalia, and even this whacky continent known as Europe.

    • Internet Fear Monger says:

      ON TOPIC:
      Daishin Seiki is a large manufacturing and design firm. They manufacture and design goods, and this is less of a display of the abilities of the machine and more of a display of the abilities of their machine programming team. As someone who works with a machine shop that runs 5-axis machines for the aerospace industry this video is fantastic. The people who went into planning the tool paths, tool sets, and basic design should be commended for their programming prowess. Chances are they’re well compensated for their time and are highly desirable workers.

      OFF TOPIC:
      For those who want to look past rhetoric/post shitting: Capitalism is nothing more and nothing less than the transfer of goods/services from people who value said goods/services at a rate that is lower than someone else. This system will exist as long as there are two people who have objects of differential value.

      In fact the system exists in societies that have few taxes/regulations and those that have extensive taxes/regulations. Systems of exchange exist in Cuba, North Korea, Somalia, and even this whacky continent known as Europe.

    • Internet Fear Monger says:

      Addendum to my previous post:

      Robots didn’t design, maintain, prepare, or load the machine. People employed by a company did.

    • Internet Fear Monger says:

      Addendum to my previous post:

      Robots didn’t design, maintain, prepare, or load the machine. People employed by a company did.

    • Scott says:

      A machine that can displace one machinist. The machine is built and maintained by how many people? And the infrastructure needed to *use* the machine require how many?

      One robot does not displace one worker. It displaces one worker and requires many, many more.

      Why do it then? Because the robot’s work is precise, fast, infinitely repeatable in an exact, precise, predictable way. Robots are generally much faster per item produced as well.

      Take the artisan displaced by the robot and train them in the use of the tech that makes the robot useful. So he’s not standing there with a grinder anymore. Let him take the mental skills and do much more with it.

      If the artisan can’t adjust, that’s just too bad. Being human means to never stop learning.

    • Scott says:

      A machine that can displace one machinist. The machine is built and maintained by how many people? And the infrastructure needed to *use* the machine require how many?

      One robot does not displace one worker. It displaces one worker and requires many, many more.

      Why do it then? Because the robot’s work is precise, fast, infinitely repeatable in an exact, precise, predictable way. Robots are generally much faster per item produced as well.

      Take the artisan displaced by the robot and train them in the use of the tech that makes the robot useful. So he’s not standing there with a grinder anymore. Let him take the mental skills and do much more with it.

      If the artisan can’t adjust, that’s just too bad. Being human means to never stop learning.

    • Otto Maddox says:

      That’s equivalent to saying that computers are a capitalist nightmare. One of the stupidest things I’ve heard anybody say in years.

    • Otto Maddox says:

      That’s equivalent to saying that computers are a capitalist nightmare. One of the stupidest things I’ve heard anybody say in years.

  • Gregg says:

    “As for humans…well, we’ve moved from the machine room floor to the designer’s chair. That’s okay; the coffee’s better in the chair, anyway.”

    In a socialist world, it’d be better than okay. It would be a wonderful part of freeing our human potential.

    In a capitalist world, it’s a nightmare of human suffering.

  • Gregg says:

    “As for humans…well, we’ve moved from the machine room floor to the designer’s chair. That’s okay; the coffee’s better in the chair, anyway.”

    In a socialist world, it’d be better than okay. It would be a wonderful part of freeing our human potential.

    In a capitalist world, it’s a nightmare of human suffering.

    • Quelle Idiot says:

      You are such a kneejerk, Luddite tool. Unlike this machine, though, you’re a *useless* tool.

    • J’raxis 270145 says:

      Perhaps we should ban these machines, in order to protect the jobs of people doing this kind of work—instead of allowing those people to go do something and produce more wealth. Sounds very capitalist, doesn’t it?

      /sarcasm

      • Kevin says:

        Let the robot be controlled by human designers, and let the designers work for the people, not the banks. We’d all be better off with each other on the gulf course or other relaxing venue such as a beach, or river bank, being human again and using our heads for a better future, rather than fighting or superficially created scarcity. Capitalism has failed, time for humanism.

    • anon says:

      you wouldn’t have innovation like this in a socialist country

    • Internet Fear Monger says:

      ON TOPIC:
      Daishin Seiki is a large manufacturing and design firm. They manufacture and design goods, and this is less of a display of the abilities of the machine and more of a display of the abilities of their machine programming team. As someone who works with a machine shop that runs 5-axis machines for the aerospace industry this video is fantastic. The people who went into planning the tool paths, tool sets, and basic design should be commended for their programming prowess. Chances are they’re well compensated for their time and are highly desirable workers.

      OFF TOPIC:
      For those who want to look past rhetoric/post shitting: Capitalism is nothing more and nothing less than the transfer of goods/services from people who value said goods/services at a rate that is lower than someone else. This system will exist as long as there are two people who have objects of differential value.

      In fact the system exists in societies that have few taxes/regulations and those that have extensive taxes/regulations. Systems of exchange exist in Cuba, North Korea, Somalia, and even this whacky continent known as Europe.

    • Internet Fear Monger says:

      Addendum to my previous post:

      Robots didn’t design, maintain, prepare, or load the machine. People employed by a company did.

    • Scott says:

      A machine that can displace one machinist. The machine is built and maintained by how many people? And the infrastructure needed to *use* the machine require how many?

      One robot does not displace one worker. It displaces one worker and requires many, many more.

      Why do it then? Because the robot’s work is precise, fast, infinitely repeatable in an exact, precise, predictable way. Robots are generally much faster per item produced as well.

      Take the artisan displaced by the robot and train them in the use of the tech that makes the robot useful. So he’s not standing there with a grinder anymore. Let him take the mental skills and do much more with it.

      If the artisan can’t adjust, that’s just too bad. Being human means to never stop learning.

    • Otto Maddox says:

      That’s equivalent to saying that computers are a capitalist nightmare. One of the stupidest things I’ve heard anybody say in years.

  • Patrik says:

    This is what a 5 axis mill does. What is new?

    • seguin says:

      That’s kind of what I was thinking. We have a Centroid 5-Axis at work, and 5-Axis has been around for a while now.

      Centroids, though, are extraordinarily user-friendly, since they come with Mastercam.

  • Patrik says:

    This is what a 5 axis mill does. What is new?

    • seguin says:

      That’s kind of what I was thinking. We have a Centroid 5-Axis at work, and 5-Axis has been around for a while now.

      Centroids, though, are extraordinarily user-friendly, since they come with Mastercam.

    • seguin says:

      That’s kind of what I was thinking. We have a Centroid 5-Axis at work, and 5-Axis has been around for a while now.

      Centroids, though, are extraordinarily user-friendly, since they come with Mastercam.

  • Patrik says:

    This is what a 5 axis mill does. What is new?

  • Chris says:

    Caption quote: “The speed and precision of modern industrial machining robots puts humans to shame.”
    I would say NOT! What it does is show the ability of the mind to conceive “better”. It still takes a Human to design and execute this type of activity. The robot and computers are nothing more than very advanced tools.

  • Chris says:

    Caption quote: “The speed and precision of modern industrial machining robots puts humans to shame.”
    I would say NOT! What it does is show the ability of the mind to conceive “better”. It still takes a Human to design and execute this type of activity. The robot and computers are nothing more than very advanced tools.

  • Chris says:

    Caption quote: “The speed and precision of modern industrial machining robots puts humans to shame.”
    I would say NOT! What it does is show the ability of the mind to conceive “better”. It still takes a Human to design and execute this type of activity. The robot and computers are nothing more than very advanced tools.

  • Lost says:

    And we’d use our human potential to do little more than what we’re doing now. ;>

  • Lost says:

    And we’d use our human potential to do little more than what we’re doing now. ;>

  • Lost says:

    And we’d use our human potential to do little more than what we’re doing now. ;>

  • Harrison Bergeron says:

    In a socialist world, we wouldn’t have designers or machines because we’d all be too impoverished to care.

  • Harrison Bergeron says:

    In a socialist world, we wouldn’t have designers or machines because we’d all be too impoverished to care.

  • Harrison Bergeron says:

    In a socialist world, we wouldn’t have designers or machines because we’d all be too impoverished to care.

  • Johnny cashed says:

    You should emphasize that while Daishin’s Seki may actually own the milling machine, the machine itself is a Deckel-Maho, which is a German machine tool maker. This is basically a Japanese machine shops demo using German hardware and software.

  • Johnny cashed says:

    You should emphasize that while Daishin’s Seki may actually own the milling machine, the machine itself is a Deckel-Maho, which is a German machine tool maker. This is basically a Japanese machine shops demo using German hardware and software.

  • Johnny cashed says:

    You should emphasize that while Daishin’s Seki may actually own the milling machine, the machine itself is a Deckel-Maho, which is a German machine tool maker. This is basically a Japanese machine shops demo using German hardware and software.

  • Fanta says:

    Sorry, is that the same block of Aluminium?
    120Kg original weight over to 3.6kg?

    Impressive video

  • Fanta says:

    Sorry, is that the same block of Aluminium?
    120Kg original weight over to 3.6kg?

    Impressive video

  • Fanta says:

    Sorry, is that the same block of Aluminium?
    120Kg original weight over to 3.6kg?

    Impressive video

  • william says:

    Actually the battle between printer and miller is not only in quality but mostly in size. bounding boxes for high resolution high quality metal prints, like titanium alloys, are 20cm³ max. Bronze infiltrated steel is a bit better, but it’s an inferior alloy. Milling however can be done on far larger parts. There won’t be a large metal 3D printer for a very long time. The technology could have been scaled up easily 10 years ago, but there’s no demand to warrant the investments. And what alternatives do exist, 3D prints used as investment casts, aren’t beeing used, no 3D printer will load up their largest machine with casteable printing material, it would sit there idle most of the time. The whole prototyping industry is denoted by a subtle balance between huge investments and lack of imagination by clients. Which leads to low risk taking, and a general stalemate, very slow progress. Commercial 3D printing has been around for 20 years, there’s youtube video’s ppl milling lifelike faces on 15 year old mills. And still it gets treated like the “new thing”. Pretty uninformed. For me, who’s in the business, the slow progress is very frustrating.

    And China is full blown communist country rand they could mill the chair right from under your ass, with self designed and built mills. And the soviet union wasn’t a nice place to live, but pretty innovative none the less. Innovation is done by scientists that want to discover for discovery’s sake, both the free market OR government can either be a brake or a instigator. imho

  • william says:

    Actually the battle between printer and miller is not only in quality but mostly in size. bounding boxes for high resolution high quality metal prints, like titanium alloys, are 20cm³ max. Bronze infiltrated steel is a bit better, but it’s an inferior alloy. Milling however can be done on far larger parts. There won’t be a large metal 3D printer for a very long time. The technology could have been scaled up easily 10 years ago, but there’s no demand to warrant the investments. And what alternatives do exist, 3D prints used as investment casts, aren’t beeing used, no 3D printer will load up their largest machine with casteable printing material, it would sit there idle most of the time. The whole prototyping industry is denoted by a subtle balance between huge investments and lack of imagination by clients. Which leads to low risk taking, and a general stalemate, very slow progress. Commercial 3D printing has been around for 20 years, there’s youtube video’s ppl milling lifelike faces on 15 year old mills. And still it gets treated like the “new thing”. Pretty uninformed. For me, who’s in the business, the slow progress is very frustrating.

    And China is full blown communist country rand they could mill the chair right from under your ass, with self designed and built mills. And the soviet union wasn’t a nice place to live, but pretty innovative none the less. Innovation is done by scientists that want to discover for discovery’s sake, both the free market OR government can either be a brake or a instigator. imho

  • william says:

    Actually the battle between printer and miller is not only in quality but mostly in size. bounding boxes for high resolution high quality metal prints, like titanium alloys, are 20cm³ max. Bronze infiltrated steel is a bit better, but it’s an inferior alloy. Milling however can be done on far larger parts. There won’t be a large metal 3D printer for a very long time. The technology could have been scaled up easily 10 years ago, but there’s no demand to warrant the investments. And what alternatives do exist, 3D prints used as investment casts, aren’t beeing used, no 3D printer will load up their largest machine with casteable printing material, it would sit there idle most of the time. The whole prototyping industry is denoted by a subtle balance between huge investments and lack of imagination by clients. Which leads to low risk taking, and a general stalemate, very slow progress. Commercial 3D printing has been around for 20 years, there’s youtube video’s ppl milling lifelike faces on 15 year old mills. And still it gets treated like the “new thing”. Pretty uninformed. For me, who’s in the business, the slow progress is very frustrating.

    And China is full blown communist country rand they could mill the chair right from under your ass, with self designed and built mills. And the soviet union wasn’t a nice place to live, but pretty innovative none the less. Innovation is done by scientists that want to discover for discovery’s sake, both the free market OR government can either be a brake or a instigator. imho

  • tom says:

    as a retired machinist and n/c programmer, it takes more people making a higher wage than a single machinist attempting to make this project, which then costs the consumer less. If that dosn’t make sense, what does?

  • tom says:

    as a retired machinist and n/c programmer, it takes more people making a higher wage than a single machinist attempting to make this project, which then costs the consumer less. If that dosn’t make sense, what does?

  • tom says:

    as a retired machinist and n/c programmer, it takes more people making a higher wage than a single machinist attempting to make this project, which then costs the consumer less. If that dosn’t make sense, what does?

  • The Googler says:

    Cool video. To the folks who seem to think that this sort of equipment will put people out of work, it is quite the opposite. These types of machines take highly trained group of dedicated professionals to program set up and run. This video is completely misleading in so many ways. This is a DEMO part it serves NO actual purpose other then to look pretty. In the REAL world parts have critical tolerances and are made of materials that make aluminum look like butter. As long as machining is being used to make parts, there will be people required to program, set up, run and inspect that parts the machine has made. Automation can only go so far.

  • The Googler says:

    Cool video. To the folks who seem to think that this sort of equipment will put people out of work, it is quite the opposite. These types of machines take highly trained group of dedicated professionals to program set up and run. This video is completely misleading in so many ways. This is a DEMO part it serves NO actual purpose other then to look pretty. In the REAL world parts have critical tolerances and are made of materials that make aluminum look like butter. As long as machining is being used to make parts, there will be people required to program, set up, run and inspect that parts the machine has made. Automation can only go so far.

  • The Googler says:

    Cool video. To the folks who seem to think that this sort of equipment will put people out of work, it is quite the opposite. These types of machines take highly trained group of dedicated professionals to program set up and run. This video is completely misleading in so many ways. This is a DEMO part it serves NO actual purpose other then to look pretty. In the REAL world parts have critical tolerances and are made of materials that make aluminum look like butter. As long as machining is being used to make parts, there will be people required to program, set up, run and inspect that parts the machine has made. Automation can only go so far.

  • D. Overstreet says:

    This particular example wouldn’t put any manual machinists out of work. If this can even be done on a manual mill, I would imagine it would take months or even years.

  • D. Overstreet says:

    This particular example wouldn’t put any manual machinists out of work. If this can even be done on a manual mill, I would imagine it would take months or even years.

  • D. Overstreet says:

    This particular example wouldn’t put any manual machinists out of work. If this can even be done on a manual mill, I would imagine it would take months or even years.

  • K.S.Batth says:

    Looking the performance of the machine I am astonished , Thumps up to the Team of Daishin Seki .

  • K.S.Batth says:

    Looking the performance of the machine I am astonished , Thumps up to the Team of Daishin Seki .

  • K.S.Batth says:

    Looking the performance of the machine I am astonished , Thumps up to the Team of Daishin Seki .

  • Steve says:

    Always remember, its the human that progams machine and yes it is a wonderful CNC

    • lol says:

      lol, yes, in 2010 the human programs the machine
      but in 2020.. lol (can’t you smell what’s coming?)

      “Milling machine mills first milling machine”
      …ad infinitum…

    • lol says:

      lol, yes, in 2010 the human programs the machine
      but in 2020.. lol (can’t you smell what’s coming?)

      “Milling machine mills first milling machine”
      …ad infinitum…

  • Steve says:

    Always remember, its the human that progams machine and yes it is a wonderful CNC

  • ld57 says:

    Nice!
    This would be just the thing for making the head/skull of a Terminator.

    • Sean says:

      ROFL!

      I was thinking the same thing!

      This thing is quite awesome, but I was shuddering watching the video.

      On the positive side, I am envisioning a world 10 years from now where people can have a “CafePress” version of this kind of thing: someone makes the software simple enough, and we’re going to have custom metalwork over the internet. LOL.

    • Sean says:

      ROFL!

      I was thinking the same thing!

      This thing is quite awesome, but I was shuddering watching the video.

      On the positive side, I am envisioning a world 10 years from now where people can have a “CafePress” version of this kind of thing: someone makes the software simple enough, and we’re going to have custom metalwork over the internet. LOL.

  • ld57 says:

    Nice!
    This would be just the thing for making the head/skull of a Terminator.

  • ld57 says:

    Nice!
    This would be just the thing for making the head/skull of a Terminator.

    • Sean says:

      ROFL!

      I was thinking the same thing!

      This thing is quite awesome, but I was shuddering watching the video.

      On the positive side, I am envisioning a world 10 years from now where people can have a “CafePress” version of this kind of thing: someone makes the software simple enough, and we’re going to have custom metalwork over the internet. LOL.

  • david foster says:

    Multi-axis CNC mills have been around for quite a while, and multi-axis *NC* mills have been around even longer–since the 1960s, in fact. Is there anything particularly special about this one, other than the cool demo it was used for?

    • DensityDuck says:

      The problem is that most people don’t really understand what a 5-axis CNC mill can do, so when you show someone a mill working they’re like “ZOMG THATS SO AWESOME”.

      • KG2V says:

        It’s a cool video – I thought a MUCH better video was the one from about a year back where some company was showing off by carving something useful – a V8 aluminum racing block – and yeah, it was a working block for some race team

      • KG2V says:

        It’s a cool video – I thought a MUCH better video was the one from about a year back where some company was showing off by carving something useful – a V8 aluminum racing block – and yeah, it was a working block for some race team

    • DensityDuck says:

      The problem is that most people don’t really understand what a 5-axis CNC mill can do, so when you show someone a mill working they’re like “ZOMG THATS SO AWESOME”.

  • david foster says:

    Multi-axis CNC mills have been around for quite a while, and multi-axis *NC* mills have been around even longer–since the 1960s, in fact. Is there anything particularly special about this one, other than the cool demo it was used for?

  • david foster says:

    Multi-axis CNC mills have been around for quite a while, and multi-axis *NC* mills have been around even longer–since the 1960s, in fact. Is there anything particularly special about this one, other than the cool demo it was used for?

    • DensityDuck says:

      The problem is that most people don’t really understand what a 5-axis CNC mill can do, so when you show someone a mill working they’re like “ZOMG THATS SO AWESOME”.

      • KG2V says:

        It’s a cool video – I thought a MUCH better video was the one from about a year back where some company was showing off by carving something useful – a V8 aluminum racing block – and yeah, it was a working block for some race team

  • peter s says:

    This is not a robot…and the machine was not made by Daishin Sieki. Looks like they’re the company that owns it.

  • peter s says:

    This is not a robot…and the machine was not made by Daishin Sieki. Looks like they’re the company that owns it.

  • peter s says:

    This is not a robot…and the machine was not made by Daishin Sieki. Looks like they’re the company that owns it.

  • BlogDog says:

    I want my Iron Man suit. NOW.

  • BlogDog says:

    I want my Iron Man suit. NOW.

  • BlogDog says:

    I want my Iron Man suit. NOW.

  • RobBrown says:

    As the humble owner of a CNC shop, I have to point out a few things of note: First of all, there is the cost of the machine, which is 3 or 4 hundred grand. Then add 12K for the programming software, about 5k in tooling, the block of aluminum at a few hundred bucks, and then the machine run time to make the neato helmet copy. How many of those do you suppose you need to sell for a thousand bucks a piece to make enough profit to keep your business open? The technology is very cool, and it’s acquisition and application are very expensive. Even with machinists making serf wages, as in China, there is still a substantial cost barrier to overcome. At the end of the day, what it all comes down to is the question of how clever and hard working is your workforce, and how good are they at applying the technology in more productive ways than their competition. It’s about the people, not the tools.

  • RobBrown says:

    As the humble owner of a CNC shop, I have to point out a few things of note: First of all, there is the cost of the machine, which is 3 or 4 hundred grand. Then add 12K for the programming software, about 5k in tooling, the block of aluminum at a few hundred bucks, and then the machine run time to make the neato helmet copy. How many of those do you suppose you need to sell for a thousand bucks a piece to make enough profit to keep your business open? The technology is very cool, and it’s acquisition and application are very expensive. Even with machinists making serf wages, as in China, there is still a substantial cost barrier to overcome. At the end of the day, what it all comes down to is the question of how clever and hard working is your workforce, and how good are they at applying the technology in more productive ways than their competition. It’s about the people, not the tools.

  • RobBrown says:

    As the humble owner of a CNC shop, I have to point out a few things of note: First of all, there is the cost of the machine, which is 3 or 4 hundred grand. Then add 12K for the programming software, about 5k in tooling, the block of aluminum at a few hundred bucks, and then the machine run time to make the neato helmet copy. How many of those do you suppose you need to sell for a thousand bucks a piece to make enough profit to keep your business open? The technology is very cool, and it’s acquisition and application are very expensive. Even with machinists making serf wages, as in China, there is still a substantial cost barrier to overcome. At the end of the day, what it all comes down to is the question of how clever and hard working is your workforce, and how good are they at applying the technology in more productive ways than their competition. It’s about the people, not the tools.

  • Daniel says:

    Is the machine capable of choosing on it’s own which cutting/shaping bit to use? Or does somebody need to change the bit for it? And when the model was flipped to cut the bottom half, was that done by the machine or was there some human intervention required?

    • Machinist says:

      The machine itself is capable of only one thing: Taking extremely specific commands and executing them to within a very specific accuracy. It will very precisely, carefully chop its own head off if you instruct it to do so.

      A human must choose the cutter and tell a separate computer how to generate the toolpath. Then the human must review said toolpath, and then often there is a “dry run” with no material (or machinable wax) on the machine to test the program (or some programs allow simulation, which is almost as good).

      In this case, the material was turned over (re-fixtured) by a human (Note the small cylindrical cutouts on each side of the block providing a reference for the machinist to find the center of the block).

      There are production machines which can do things including re-fixture their own parts, but every next part/fixture requires careful design, programming, and testing by a human before they can be trusted. A shop has to make many, many identical parts to justify investing in machinery which can move its own parts from fixture to fixture.

    • Machinist says:

      The machine itself is capable of only one thing: Taking extremely specific commands and executing them to within a very specific accuracy. It will very precisely, carefully chop its own head off if you instruct it to do so.

      A human must choose the cutter and tell a separate computer how to generate the toolpath. Then the human must review said toolpath, and then often there is a “dry run” with no material (or machinable wax) on the machine to test the program (or some programs allow simulation, which is almost as good).

      In this case, the material was turned over (re-fixtured) by a human (Note the small cylindrical cutouts on each side of the block providing a reference for the machinist to find the center of the block).

      There are production machines which can do things including re-fixture their own parts, but every next part/fixture requires careful design, programming, and testing by a human before they can be trusted. A shop has to make many, many identical parts to justify investing in machinery which can move its own parts from fixture to fixture.

  • Daniel says:

    Is the machine capable of choosing on it’s own which cutting/shaping bit to use? Or does somebody need to change the bit for it? And when the model was flipped to cut the bottom half, was that done by the machine or was there some human intervention required?

  • Daniel says:

    Is the machine capable of choosing on it’s own which cutting/shaping bit to use? Or does somebody need to change the bit for it? And when the model was flipped to cut the bottom half, was that done by the machine or was there some human intervention required?

    • Machinist says:

      The machine itself is capable of only one thing: Taking extremely specific commands and executing them to within a very specific accuracy. It will very precisely, carefully chop its own head off if you instruct it to do so.

      A human must choose the cutter and tell a separate computer how to generate the toolpath. Then the human must review said toolpath, and then often there is a “dry run” with no material (or machinable wax) on the machine to test the program (or some programs allow simulation, which is almost as good).

      In this case, the material was turned over (re-fixtured) by a human (Note the small cylindrical cutouts on each side of the block providing a reference for the machinist to find the center of the block).

      There are production machines which can do things including re-fixture their own parts, but every next part/fixture requires careful design, programming, and testing by a human before they can be trusted. A shop has to make many, many identical parts to justify investing in machinery which can move its own parts from fixture to fixture.

  • Danny F says:

    Push a button and crap out a part. Put 500 people out of work.

  • Danny F says:

    Push a button and crap out a part. Put 500 people out of work.

  • Danny F says:

    Push a button and crap out a part. Put 500 people out of work.

    • 032125 says:

      Hey Spammy, keep in mind that these things don’t build themselves. Also try to remember that the total services are ever increasing. One door closes, two doors open.

      By your logic light bulbs would have caused massive unemployment to candle makers, but really the jobs eventually follow the goods.

      • Davide Pintus says:

        A number of oil lamps and candles makers in Italy asked for a ban of the latter to be passed and for a law forbidding from keeping windows open during the day to increase request for their product…

        You cannot build the future by stunting progress, simply because it doesn’t work.

    • Roentgenster says:

      Yes, and I’m sure the scribes put out of work by the printing press were very upset by it, too. But the world is still better off.

  • TysonQuick says:

    I want one and that helmet!!! This is awesome. Soon will have solid, lightweight aluminum products for everything… not just apple products.

  • Aaron Gish says:

    I just want to know why they didn’t remember their M08 before the tool touched the part? I bet their end mills were gummed up fairly often.

  • Tom Anderson says:

    These 5-axis robots are old hat. Laser sintering is the new 3d printing for metals…

  • goldbuyer16 says:

    Crapitalism has failed, not pure and honest Capitalism…the pure version have brought the human race out of poverty and made the world a better place, where an individual can make an honest buck and make a better life for all. All other forms of government have failed and killed many people. Did any communist country every bring their people out of poverty without relaxing their dogma a lot.. NO! socialist governments have always went broke when people decided they could vote them selves perks and live off the fat of others. Crapitalism is just as bad as these others but we can do something about it with the laws we have….just vote theses bastards out NOW!!!!

  • Steve says:

    Always remember, its the human that progams machine and yes it is a wonderful CNC

  • lol says:

    lol, yes, in 2010 the human programs the machine
    but in 2020.. lol (can’t you smell what’s coming?)

    “Milling machine mills first milling machine”
    …ad infinitum…

  • Warren Harding says:

    From TechnologicalUtopia.com:

    We all want to cheer every time a robot puts someone out of work. Work should be optional given the productivity gains we are seeing and the cost of living. Our governments should be spending more of our tax-dollars on something many seem to want. I’m for robotics that are owned by all of the citizens of a country…

    There’s are more details on the website.

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