3D Printers

3D Printing CNC Combo Tool has 'Limitless' Potential

Ever since the hype around 3D printing diffused, as its manufacturing limitations were exposed, work began either on improving the technology inherently to match the hype or on modifying it to integrate it to work better in combination with other existing technologies. But, when we talk about the field of desktop manufacturing specifically, no other technology dominates the field as much as 3D printing does and, in the last few years, few technologies have inherently improved as much as desktop printers have. Yet these printers still can’t make anything and everything, and they certainly can’t do what a CNC machine or laser cutter can. And, while there are those working to ensure that desktop 3D printers can even perform those tasks, there are others who are accepting the limitations and bringing together the best of all three worlds, while still fitting it on a desktop. We’ve seen BuildersBot and BoXZY, and now the latest manufacturing combination tool is the aptly named ‘Limitless’.

limiteless 3D printer cnc tool

Made by Jered Adams, an inventor from Caldwell, Idaho, Limitless is essentially a combination of a CNC machine and an FFF 3D printer, with the potential to add in a laser cutter or lathe. Unlike other personal manufacturing units, Limitless aims to bring industrial level performance at a smaller scale.

limiteless 3D printer industrial controller

Uniquely, it does not use an all-in-one controller for its automation, as is common in other small printing or manufacturing devices, but uses instead “a robust controller, similar to the ones found in industrial machines. We didn’t like that all small CNC machines and small 3D printers used all in one stepper drivers/controllers to save money. These type of controllers are limited on feature and upgradeability. Each one of our large stepper motors has its own motor driver with separate power supply. Limitless uses a high quality state of the art controller that is user configurable. Not all the inputs and outputs are being used on the controller, which allows for a lot of flexibility for the user.”

limiteless 3D printer mill and extruder


Also, unlike other machines of this type, it is not necessary to swap out tool heads between processes. What can be cumbersome is made easy by installing all the tools (spindle, 3D printing extruder, laser/drag-knife) on the Z-axis. It has a spindle instead of a fixed speed router, which is much quieter and can go up to 16,000 rpm. It has a few customization options, such as inserting a drag knife into the collet of the spindle for cutting or configuring it for PCB making, engraving glass, or embossing.

limiteless 3D printer

It can be upgraded to have a six-axis controller, a lathe, and four to six extruders. It also has several stand-out features like semi-auto zero, filament storage, and a relatively huge build volume 14 X 23.5 X 33 in. There is even a custom extruder in development that can use material like HDPE, PVC, PVD and PP, in re-usable powder or granule form, to make for more robust prototypes.

To own this one-of-a-kind combination tool or to help Jered and his team develop this product that has “limitless” potential, head over to their Kickstarter campaign here.