Designed to address a common issue encountered by CNC users starting from scratch, Evo is a Kickstarter project billed as the first-ever evolving CNC milling machine. The machine starts with the necessary basic features but can easily be upgraded to Pro models as the needs of the user develop. There’s a good chance that starting users will at first only use a CNC machine for prototyping or making small series. However, should you want to grow, you would normally have to purchase a new machine. The Evo series instead allows for easy upgrades to their Pro series.
The main Evo machine is meant to optimize footprint, mindful of common space constraints. Its design is incredibly compact, with no need for an external computer or extra space to put a control box. The touchscreen and dedicated keypad enables ease of control, and the workflow is intended to be as simple as possible. Evo is compatible with any software you choose, so just draw your design in 2D or 3D, follow their steps to prepare your milling file, attach the material and set up the machine, then press play and let it create. 2D files can be imported directly into the machine, and 3D models can be imported on any CAM software, using a provided custom post-processor to generate compatible code that will be imported into the machine.
The ethos for their evolving design is based on the idea that entry-level machines usually leave out the best features. With Evo, you can start with the entry-level features and decide how to upgrade as you go. However, even the basic model contains features such as an automatic square gantry functionality, an idle current control of the motors to keep the machine steady, and a tool length sensor with a microswitch to quickly and accurately calibrate on the Z-axis.
The three base models, Evo-S, Evo-M, and Evo-L, named for their respective footprints, come as kits that can be assembled by following their video guides. Under their current model, backers have the opportunity to select from three available add-ons once the campaign ends: a plexiglass dust-shoe, the end mill and mandrels bundle, and an upgrade of the AMB FME 800 spindle to an AMB FME-P 1050 for additional power and accuracy.
Each Evo model can also be upgraded to its corresponding Pro model with the purchase of an upgrade kit, keeping the aluminum profiles, motors, cables, control boxes, and bolts and screws while improving the motion system and swapping specific parts. The Evo series reaches typical cutting speeds in softwood of 2000mm/min, a cutting precision of 0.1mm and is capable of cutting wood, plastics, and foams at regular speeds and non-ferrous metals at slow speeds. The Pro Series models double cutting speed can achieve a precision of 0.05mm, and have increased cutting capabilities in non-ferrous metals and hardwoods.
The Kickstarter is fully-backed, with time remaining to get in on the campaign until March 2021. All Pro components are open source as well, with the files available on wikifactory.