the damage an “oops” with a
more powerful router can cause.
In fact, for those of you doing
only small or fine work, the
Dremel may be all you will need.
The V90 worked perfectly
for the entirety of Maker Faire,
running continuously over the
two days and even winning an
Editors Choice ribbon for our
display (Figure 25)! In reality, we
had more down time with
clamping issues and/or working
on software designs than anything
else. Bottom line is the V90 is a solid
piece of gears that can be easily
assembled in an hour or two. With
the well-matched electronics
package, it makes a solid CNC
machine that you can use and enjoy
for hobby and light commercial use.
It stood up to a demanding show
schedule without skipping a beat.
It can cut foam, MDF, wood,
plastic, fiberglass, light carbon fiber,
printed circuit boards, and solid
surface (synthetic counter-top)
material and we look forward to
trying it out on ALL those materials!
Though the FireBall’s creator has
reservations about doing so, some
brave souls have even tried working
metals with the V90, performing light
cuts in aluminum and brass with very
good results (check the Resources
■ FIGURE 25. Paul Atkinson shows off the
Editors Choice blue ribbon won for the
FireBall CNC display at the Faire.
■ FIGURE 26.
and Key chains.
section for the V90 forum where
users discuss their experiences). It all
comes down to having a solid
machine (PROBOTIX and FireBall
make that part easy) and the
patience to learn.
The PROBOTIX FireBall V90
CNC will be a centerpiece in my
workspace for the foreseeable future
and, based on the results so far, I
think you can expect to see another
entire article devoted to using the
V90 to create parts a bit more useful
for hobby robots than key chains
As always, if
you have any
please feel free
to email me at
I’d like to thank Len Shelton and
John Hansford for making the
PROBOTIX FireBall V90 CNC a
reality and for making a sub-$1,000
commercially available CNC system
a reality. Also, special thanks to Tony
McKenzie at Vectric for the VCarve Pro
we used at Maker Faire. You guys rock!
I’d also like to thank Paul Atkinson
James Delaney (software), Rick Abbott
(parts fabrication), Wolf Dilworth and
Bruce Tabor (display case construction),
and Kym Graner (show coordinator) for
their assistance and support!
■ PROBOTIX —
■ ArtSoft Mach3 CNC
Software — www.mach
■ FireBall CNC —
■ PROBOTIX FireBall V90
CNC at Maker Faire
Austin 2008 —
■ Linux CNC “Enhanced
Machine Controller -
EMC” — www.linux
■ Dremel Tools —
■ FireBall V90 chat forum
■ The Robot Group —
■ Pok-e-Jo’s BBQ in Austin
■ VCarve Pro —
■ Precise Bits —
■ The Train Saver —
December 2008 75