Begun as a Kickstarter campaign last February (read more about that by clicking here), Next Wave Automation launched the newest iteration of its desktop CNC solutions — the CNC Piranha FX —with industry-first capabilities. Dubbed the “Make Anything Machine,” it’s the only desktop-sized CNC routing system that can also 3D print and laser engrave, thanks to interchangeable modules and a simple, highly intuitive touchscreen interface.
CNC Piranha FX features computer-controlled stepper motors that maneuver the machining process. XYZ travel of the machine is 12″ x 13″ x 3″ for routing and 12″ x 12″ x 3″ for 3-D printing and laser engraving. T-track slots that run the entire length of the aluminum work table allow clamping at any position.
At last summer’s Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers Fair (AWFS), Next Wave received a much industry-coveted Visionary Award for the new Piranha FX. Up until this month, Piranha FX had not yet been released to the general public. But, if you’ve been anticipating its arrival, the time has come. It is now available through select woodworking retailers, including Rockler (see below), as of Oct. 1.
In case you aren’t familiar with the individual module capabilities, they are as follows:
Carving/CNC routing Module: Using a DeWALT, Bosch, Porter-Cable or similar palm router as the cutting tool (not included), Piranha FX will generate relief carvings or cut out parts in wood, aluminum or other soft metals such as copper or brass, and plastic. You can make carvings, signs, plaques, ornamental boxes and templates for other woodworking projects, all with exact repeatability.
Laser Engraving Module: By attaching a laser to the chuck of the machine’s palm router, Piranha FX will engrave flat sheet materials such as wood, paper, plastic or fabric. Here’s a way to transfer photos or other drawings to durable substrates with shaded realism. The laser is not intended to be a through-cutting tool.
3D Printing Module: Design your own small 3D object, then use the printing module and spooled plastic “thread” filament to replicate parts, create figures and design or fabricate just about anything. Users can accomplish 3D printing with the Vectric VCarve Desktop 8.0 software that’s included with Piranha FX and their own PC or laptop. An optional digitizer will also available separately to copy three-dimensional objects by “learning” their shape through a touch probe.
The Piranha FX will be sold in various bundled configurations. Rockler now sells the Piranha FX 3D and Laser Bundle (item 59224), which includes the base machine and both 3D printer and laser modules, for $3,199.99. Next Wave also is advertising two other bundles: the Piranha FX 3D Printer Package, which includes the machine and the 3D printer only, for $2449; and the Piranha FX Laser Package, which includes the machine and the laser engraver for $2349.99. Contact Next Wave Automation for details about these two packages and other options.