Multimachine

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= an Open Source Multiple-Purpose Production Technology machine for Flexible Manufacturing

URL = http://opensourcemachine.org/


Definition

"The MultiMachine all-purpose machine tool that can be built by a semi-skilled mechanic with just common hand tools. For machine construction, electricity can be replaced with "elbow grease" and the necessary material can come from discarded vehicle parts."


Description

Marcin Jakubowski:

"The Multimachine is an open source project. You can find out more about uses and construction in the downloadable, 100 page manual, and our webpage has just a few more notes about it.

The central feature of the Multimachine is the concept that either the tool or the workpiece rotates when any machining operation is performed. As such, a heavy-duty, precision spindle (rotor) is the heart of the Multimachine – for milling, drilling and lathing applications. The precision arises from the fact that the spindle is secured within the absolutely precise bore holes of an engine block, so precision is guaranteed simply by beginning with an engine block.

If one combines the Multimachine with a CNC XY or XYZ movable working platform – similar to ones being developed by the Iceland Fab Lab team, RepRap, CandyFab 4000 team, and others – then a CNC mill-drill-lathe is the result. At least Factor 10 reduction in price is then available compared to the competition. The mill-drill-lathe capacity allows for the subtractive fabrication of any allowable shape, rotor, or cylindrically-symmetric object. Thus, the CNC Multimachine can be an effective cornerstone of high precision digital fabrication – down to 2 thousandths of an inch.

Interesting features of the Multimachine are that the machines can be scaled from small ones weighing a total of ~1500 lb to large ones weighing several tons, to entire factories based on the Multimachine system. The CNC XY(Z) tables can also be scaled according to the need, if attention to this point is considered in development. The whole machine is designed for disassembly. Moreover, other rotating tool attachments can be added, such as circular saw blades and grinding wheels. The overarm included in the basic design is used for metal forming operations.

Thus, the Multimachine is an example of appropriate technology, where the user is in full control of machine building, operation, and maintenance. Such appropriate technology is conducive to successful small enterprise for local community development, via its low capitalization requirement, ease of maintenance, scaleability and adaptability, and wide range of products that can be produced. This is relevant both in the developing world and in industrialized countries."


Discussion

Ecological Aspects

Mahdi Gheshlaghi:

"Multimachine is an open-source, multiple-purpose machine tool that includes drill press, lathe and milling machine. According to its official website (Open source machine, 2013), ecological aspects of Multimachine can be named as:

 design for extension; Multimachine is a multi-purpose machine. It can be extended with other rotating tool attachments and could be used for metal forming operations (Open source machine, 2013).

 reuse of material and components; Multimachine can be built from discarded engine blocks (Open source machine, 2013).

 possibility of localized production; It can be built by a semi-skilled mechanic using common hand tools (Open source machine, 2013)." (http://p2pfoundation.net/Potential_of_Open_Design_for_Eco-Efficient_Product_Development)


More Information

  1. Yahoogroup devoted to the multimachine at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/multimachine/?yguid=234361452
  2. 80-page manual on how to make the multimachine, at http://opensourcemachine.org/mm2html2/How_to_build_a_multimachine.html
  3. two businesses that will custom machine any part to your digital specs: E-Machine and Big Blue Saw
  4. See for a full list of Open Source Machines, our entry on Product Hacking
  5. Lumenlab has a multimachine for the Personal Manufacturing space

See also:

  1. Multiple-Purpose Production Technology
  2. Flexible Manufacturing