Big Factory Automation for your Small Shop

Our 'explainer' video           Detailed Project Links

WHAT?

Flexible Manufacturing System ( FMS ):

A method for producing goods that is readily adaptable to changes in the product being manufactured, in which machines are able to manufacture parts and in the ability to handle varying levels of production.


The short story:

80% of all manufacturing in the USA is done by hand. Even automatic machines are run in single cycles, loaded and unloaded by hand.  Machines working together is an EXPENSIVE proposition and only in the hands of the big boys (think auto manufacturers)…until now…


CubeSpawn is an open-source,
flexible,modular and affordable FMS.

maker3

With CubeSpawn‘s six basic machines,
YOU can create anything…

…including more Cubes!



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System Overview

The CubeSpawn system consists of cubical frames made from aluminum T-slot extrusion. The modular frames are built to enclose various manufacturing machines, such as a CNC milling machine, or a 3-D printer, or an assembly robot. The frames are based on a consistent dimensional framework of 300mm increments and can be linked together. Each cube is an Ethernet appliance, with integrated power connections. Cubes are joined together to form “production lines” and create an integrated (and of course, affordable) flexible manufacturing system.

Four basic principles guide the design of the system:

Simplicity:

 Each part on a basic machine should be as simple to make as possible to allow for bootstrapping a system with a minimum of tools.

Modularity:

 Every part should be usable for multiple purposes to create a light industrial “construction kit” that can serve many uses.

Scalability:

 Since the machines are based on 300mm size increments; parts for larger machines can be made on smaller ones. a set of 600mm cubes should make all the required parts to bootstrap to 1200mm (1.2 meter) cubes.

Recursion:

 Starting with a very small set of manufactured parts, it should be possible to build 3 basic machines: CNC Lathe, CNC Milling Machine, and a Precision Grinder. These 3 machines are then used to turn raw material into a set of additional machines to make more of the parts for recursion.  Control software operating the first 3 machines and a library of job control templates makes this process largely automated.

 The list of additional machines created by the second phase of system development is potentially quite long and complex, due to the nature of the machines themselves and the components they use:  Circuit boards, integrated circuits, stepper motors, servo motors, wire, bearings, couplings, energy chain, etc. – it is a very long list.

The longer term goal is to make these tools able to be self replicating.

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This project is open
to all to contribute.

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Designs for existing open source or hobby machines are
available for a number of interesting capabilities.  Just ask!

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Check out our STORE for currently available cubes,
and hit us up for designs you want to create
We want to help you create amazing integrated cubes!


Some 3D CubeSpawn Models: