What does the Mill One do?
The Mill One is what’s known as a CNC router. CNC stands for ‘Computer Numerical Control’, meaning that a CNC router is basically a robotic carving tool that’s driven by precision motors. These motors are then controlled by a computer.
This means that you can put any piece of material you’d like into the Mill One and end up with a cut-down object made of that material, whether it’s a sign, a gear, a circuit board, or a 3D scan of your face.
What can I make on the Mill One?
The sky is the limit when you start to understand what the Mill One is capable of. Where 3D printers are generally limited to making things out of plastic, the Mill One can make 3D objects out of almost any material you can think of! Many things that you buy from a store can be made on a CNC router with the right setup. Believe it or not there are already lots of manufactured goods made on machines like the Mill One, the only difference being that they’re larger and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Aren’t CNC routers restricted when cutting 3D objects?
Because 3D printers build up material whereas machines like the Mill One cut material away, there are limitations to both technologies (as with any other manufacturing technique). In the majority of cases you’ll find that the Mill One is fully capable of cutting any 3D object you’d like and is certainly the best choice when it comes to making 3D objects that are stronger and/or have a far superior surface finish.
What’s so different about the Mill One?
The Mill One is an open-source project, made FOR makers BY makers. Many people have never had access to CNC routers before because of all the barriers to entry that currently exist with the technology. CNC routers are expensive, difficult to build, and complicated to use and with the Mill One we’re aiming to eliminate these barriers.
The best part about our machine is its simplicity. We’ve redesigned the Mill One from scratch, reducing it to its core components to minimize its points of failure. With our system, the parts are so simple that you could easily repair them with basic hand tools if anything went wrong. We’ve made sure that the Mill One is the easiest machine on the market to assemble and use so you can get straight to cutting!
Won’t it be noisy and get dust everywhere?
Like any CNC router, operating the Mill One comes along with some noise. This noise mainly comes from the router when it’s turned on, as well as the noise made when cutting different materials. When cutting through softer materials the router can run slower, making it quiet enough to have a conversation next to it.
You might also think that dust and material debris would be a large issue, however the Mill One’s partial enclosure is surprisingly effective at capturing more than 90% of particles that come off the material when cutting. If you want to keep dust and noise to a minimum, placing the Mill One in another room or in a garage will suffice.
What will I need to run this machine?
The Mill One is a made to be very easy to setup and use. Other than buying the kit, you will need to purchase a router (unless you purchase a kit with a router) and that’s it!) Any computer can be used to control the Mill One during its operation, and the software required to run the Mill One is free and easy to download. As long as you have the few simple tools required (M5 and M8 Allen keys, and a 10mm wrench) to assemble the Mill One, you can get cutting in no time!
What are the dimensions of the assembled machine?
Once assembled, the Mill One is approximately 17” x 17” x 11 ⅞” (430mm x 430mm x 300mm).
What’s the largest thing I can cut on the Mill One?
The maximum travel dimensions of the Mill One are approximately 9 ¼” x 7 ¼” x 4” (235mm x 185mm x 100mm). The thickness of the materials you can cut is determined by the length of your cutting bits and the material type. The Mill One’s cutting volume rivals that of many other desktop CNC routers at a fraction of the cost!
What materials can I cut on it?
Having a router with a large speed range allows the Mill One to cut nearly anything that’s aluminum or softer, we’ve even milled designs into fruits! Some of the commonly used materials used on the Mill One include soft metals, woods, plastics, foams, printed circuit boards, leather, and more! You can even do light engraving and cutting on harder materials such as steel (engrave a watch face), glass, and more.
How accurate is the Mill One?
Properly tuned and calibrated you can reliably expect a resolution of 0.003” to 0.004” (0.075mm to 0.1mm) from the Mill One. The theoretical resolution of the machine is 0.00004” (0.001mm) but at such a small scale many minute factors such as the humidity and temperature of the Mill One’s environment will throw off that number, making it unreliable.
Can I create circuit boards?
The Mill One is very capable of milling circuit boards. If you’re looking to mill trace paths over 0.6mm in width then setup is easy and reliable. The Mill One can also take input from popular circuit board design softwares in order to drill holes for through-hole components with an easy bit-change in the same operation.
Milling circuit boards with trace widths up to 0.3mm is still possible, just expect a longer setup time as precision v-bits and a very level bed are required in order to reliably produce the detail required for these boards.
What kinds of milling bits can I use on the Mill One?
Any mill bit that has a smaller shank diameter than ¼” is most likely compatible with the Mill One, some routers will allow for end mills even larger than ¼”. There are many types of bits that can be used to achieve different cuts and surface finishes, this will be discussed further in our comprehensive end mill guide that will be coming out soon.
How will I secure materials to the bed of my Mill One?
There are many ways of holding your material down to the Mill One bed. Double-sided tape, clamps, a vise, or hot glue are all accessible and simple work holding methods that will ensure your material stay in place when the Mill One is cutting it. For further reference, each method is discussed in greater detail in our comprehensive guide to work holding options.
How long does it take to assemble the Mill One kit?
It takes most users around 3-4 hours to assemble a Mill One kit. Not only is it the easiest CNC router to assemble on the market but we’re continuing to iterate on the assembly process to ensure that it remains easy and enjoyable for both beginners and experienced makers alike.
Are there instructions on how to put it together?
Certainly! The Sienci Labs team is very proud of our world-class assembly resources consisting of a simple and easy to understand assembly manual and other assorted guides which will bring you from unpacking all the way to your first cuts. Together, these resources will ensure that the assembly of your Mill One is effortless.
How do I design something that can be made on the Mill One?
The Mill One has software for accepting both 2D drawings and 3D models. This means that you can either engrave and drill holes to make ‘2.5D’ objects, or you can mill the smooth surfaces and contours of a 3D object. In either case, there are many softwares that exist that can create 2D drawings and 3D models. We like to recommend Inkscape for creating drawings and OnShape for creating 3D models.
What software is required to turn my design into a physical object?
There are three types of software needed to run the Mill One. Once you’re done creating your 2D or 3D design you can then go through a CAM program and then use a g-code sender to make the Mill One cut your design out. These softwares, as well as the Mill One firmware, are all discussed on their appropriate resources pages and are all free to install and use. In fact, some of them work right on your browser, so you don’t need to install anything!
What countries do you ship to?
We ship anywhere within the United States and Canada! When it comes to international sales, we fulfill those orders on a case by case basis. Shipping to certain countries can be quite high as getting parcels across the ocean is difficult to do economically, especially with large and heavy parcels. If you’re still interested in ordering a machine and you live outside of North America, please send us an email at Hi@sienci.com with your address and we’ll work on seeing what we can do to fulfill your order.
How long will it take to receive my machine?
Our shipping process is very fast. From the time of your order, you should expect your Mill One to be packaged and ready for shipping in less than a week, and be shipped to your door a week after that. Not only that, but we at Sienci Labs specially offer local pickup of your Mill One if you live in our vicinity, removing the need the wait for your machine to ship (if you can’t wait to start milling)!
What is the weight and package size of the Mill One Kit?
The Mill One kit comes in a box that’s approximately 20” x 14” x 10 ½” (510mm x 355mm x 265mm) and weighs about 33 lbs (15 kg) with the router included.
Does the Mill One have a warranty?
We want to do everything we can to ensure that your experience with the Mill One is exceptional. Our warranty on the machine will ensure that you end up receiving your Mill One kit in perfect working condition, even if something goes wrong the first time.