Despite the growth of CNC tools in hobbyist and educational environments, tools capable of 4 and 5 axis machining have lagged behind, mostly due to their additional cost and learning curve. The idea for an accessory that would allow users to manually rotate and position parts in 4 and 5 axis has been in development for a while here at Handibot, and we are now happy to introduce the Manual +2 Axis Accessory.
This accessory allows users to mount and rotate their stock material using bearing mounted gears which are spring-loaded to lock into place over 15 degree increments for each axis. It can be configured to act as a rotary indexer (+1), where the Handibot will function similarly to a lathe, as well as a configuration that supports 5 axis machining by adding a trunnion rotary axis (+2).
We like to imagine it being used by everyone — from students and educators, to the everyday maker or hobbyist — looking to bring the capabilities of multi-axis machining to their shop in an affordable and approachable package. All of the machined components for the accessory were designed to be cut with the Handibot and, like the Handibot itself, the files for it are open source. This allows for editing to accommodate anything from a custom base for the accessory to fit your tool to interchangeable gears for machining at any angle.
The accessory is compatible with the Handibot when mounted inside an Accessory Base, as well as with the ShopBot Desktop and ShopBot Desktop MAX (with limited Z-travel in the 5-axis configuration), or essentially any tool with the necessary X, Y, and Z travel.
If you’re interested in additional details, take a look at the links below to the Manual +2 Axis Accessory User Guide, the DIY build documents, as well as a Case Study on 5 Axis Machining (applicable to either Aspire or Vcarve v.8), or visit the Handibot Store for more information.