Sunday, April 26, 2009


Impressions of the Cupcake CNC, 26 April 2009

Greetings all,

I (unexpectedly) got to see a cupcake CNC fabber yesterday at the Microsoft Startup Labs near MIT.  This was part of  
(I had prior commitments yesterday, but I had some luck with logistics, and that enabled me to catch 
the last 90 minutes of this event.) Following are my impressions of this device, 

They (Bre P. and Zach H.) were printing ABS, but they say it prints HDPE and PLA as well.

Small size
form factor roughly that of the original "tombstone" MacIntosh computers, 
for those old enough to remember those. Maybe a bit smaller.

The outer structure is built from thin (6 mm or 1/4" inch) plywood, cut via laser.  
Attachment used a combination of tabs/slots and threaded 
fasteners. The box structure, even with large cutouts in the faces, 
gives a nice sturdy structure, since the walls resist shear/racking.

Some of the smaller structural pieces were 1/8" plywood. (I think it cuts faster via laser, and it cheap.)

Some pieces (exp. the portion that moved up/down) are made of laser-cut, clear acrylic.  
This is nice, because one can see the inner working of the extruder 
(e.g. see how fast the filament is being consumed.)

The cupcake uses metric threaded fasteners, rods and bearings.  
(I was anticipating use of imperial sizes from designers in the US.)

The power supply is housed in the base of the unit (below the build bed), and the electronics are all mounted 
onto the device, mainly on the outer back wall. So, it's a single "brick" 
and was pretty easy for them to break down and pack it up. I presume that setup was similarly quick, 
but I didn't see that.

The rest of my impressions (a longish post) are in my build blog:

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