Rotary spindles are the most frequent tool choices, but there are a number of other options.
- 1 Pen / Plotter Mounts
- 2 Rotary Spindle Options
- 3 Engraving Tool
- 4 Laser Cutter
- 5 3D Printing
- 6 Drag Knives
- 7 Foam Cutter
- 8 Pyrography
- 9 Pick and Place
- 10 Plasma Cutter
- 11 Other
Pen / Plotter Mounts
Mounting a pen is something of a rite of passage.
Feeds and speeds for a pen
Copied from box_logo.nc:
- Plunge: 1524mm/min.
- Feed: 5080mm/min.
- Depth: -0.254mm
Rotary Spindle Options
Dewalt and Makita Comparison
Since then the Carbide Compact Router (essentially a rebadged Makita) has become the router option for Carbide 3D machines. The same 69mm mount which fits the Makita is used however, and the same 65mm adapter is provided, so one has the widest possible options for spindles.
- Dewalt has finer-grained speed control, Makita lower and higher range of possible speeds (the lower speeds are especially useful on plastics and wood)
- Dewalt has a longer clamping area which affords multiple precision collet options (standard ones as well as the ER-style collets from Precise Bits), Makita has a single source for precision collets (albeit in a variety of sizes) and an option for a 3/8" collet (larger than the 5/16" or 8mm the DeWalt collets top out at)
- Dewalt has lights, the Makita does not
- Dewalt has a plastic button on the Body, which limits Z plane positioning inside the mount, Makita has a more Robust Tool changing mechanism, with a cylinder push lock below the shaft, which will allow more mounting options in the Z plane
- Dewalt has a longer body and can be mounted so as to reach lower
- Makita bearings easier to change
- Makita brush life longer and replacements less expensive and easier to change
Note that spindles may be upgraded w/ better collets. Some are merely replacements for the standard collets in different sizes, while at least one manufacturer offers specialized systems which allow one to use ER style collets. These are more convenient and easier to change (esp. if one buys a matching nut for each collet) and afford a greater clamping tolerance (e.g., a 1/4" collet can hold a 6mm endmill).
Differences between the Makita and Carbide Compact Router
The CCR is essentially a rebadged Makita --- https://carbide3d.com/blog/2019/the-carbide-compact-router/
- case colour --- black vs. teal
- control layout
- CCR has specific detents in-between the numeric speed settings, the Makita has a continuous dial
- CCR has longer cord
- Makita has accessories intended for hand use which are not included with the CCR (but would fit it)
Other aspects of the routers are substantively the same, notably the electronics and their speed control, and collets are interchangeable betwixt the twain.
http://www.cnccat.gr/?lang=en --- commercial option for Kress spindles --- c.f., http://www.cnccat.gr/index.php?id=1&catid=89&lang=en
Similar to a rotary spindle is a high-speed engraving tool:
Mounting a laser for engraving and cutting is a popular upgrade. While it does have a number of safety implications, it affords options which aren't feasible otherwise.
- 3D printed SO3 Drag Knife
- http://foro.cnccontrolapp.com/index.php?topic=977.0 
- Cricut Cutter Add-on
- plotted vinyl
- Re: Vinyl Cutting Blade
- Silhouette craft cutter: GPGL Reference, Courtesy of Graphtec 
- CNCZone: Drag Knife for CNC [Pics+Video]
- https://www.cncroutershop.com/us_en/knife-blades/tangential-knives/45-blade-holder.html 
- vinyl_knife_holder.dxf cchristianson's Google drive
- http://donektools.com/ --- notable for having a variety of high-quality designs, each w/ different characteristics, as well as a variety of support software on their site
Discussion of path needed for compensation: http://www.cnczone.com/forums/coding/71521-cnc.html c.f., Drag_Knife_Support on the CAM page.
c.f., Tangential knife.
- Google+ pic & post
- Aliexpress: Foam cutting wand
- Thingiverse: 3D Printed holder
- MPCNC 2826 Brushless RC Motor Foam Cutter
This link suggests it should be spring-loaded: http://www.mytoolstore.com.au/products/Wood-burning-Pen-for-CNC-Machines.html
Pick and Place
- First test of my ShapeOko pick and place prototype
- Shapeoko and Pick and Place
Further discussion and note that height control is needed: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7232&p=61187#p61187
A plasma cutter puts out quite a bit of EMI, and this may require a complete overhauling, if not re-design or replacement of the electronics.
Discussion of accuracy: https://www.reddit.com/r/CNC/comments/8qeq20/can_a_plasma_cnc_cut_to_this_accuracy/
Successful upgrade noting the need of shielding: https://forum.shapeoko.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9647&p=70528#p70528