Swarf-O-Mat CNC Router

swarfomat_jarrahdeck.jpg The Swarf-O-Mat is a high speed CNC router that can effectively machine materials ranging from wood to aluminium including various types of plastics. Swarf-O-Mat was built by, and belongs to skot but is available for communal use at the Artifactory. If you use Swarf-O-Mat you should either provide your own appropriate tooling or make a contribution to the Swarf-O-Mat tooling fund.

:!: Swarf-O-Mat is a very dangerous tool that is capable of severely damaging both itself and anyone using it if used improperly, as such it is not to be used until you have completed the safety induction and been trained in its use.

Crush danger from moving parts Tools may be extremely sharp

Under NO Circumstances Should you use this Machine if you have not been Trained Repeat: Under NO circumstances should you use this machine if you have not been trained by an official trainer. …

Trainers Availability
Jason KongchouyGeneral Hacking Days, by request (Slack)
Fletcher BoydGeneral Hacking Days, Workshop Wednesdays, by request (Slack)
Iain GrahamOpen days, by request (Slack)
Ben ConnorBy request (Slack)
Full Operators
Glenn Martin
Jenna Downing
Nathan Thompson
Vincent Dalstra
Nick Bannon
Beau Daley
Ben Connor
Materials Reference
Material VFD Setting Feed Rate (6mm Tool) Pass Depth (mm) Notes
Aluminium 400 200mm/min 0.25 Swarf will re-weld to sides of channels - keep job clean
HDPE 300 1200mm/min 3 Cuts like butter
Perspex / Acrylic 300 600mm/min 2 Grind the plastic, don't melt it - take it slower than wood
Jarrah 400 800mm/min 2 Jarrah gets even HARDER if burnt
Pine 400 1300mm/min 3 Forgiving & easy
MDF 400 1300mm/min 3 Easy to cut, but dust is toxic
X Axis Range 600
Y Axis Range 420
Z Axis Range 70
Collet ER11
Driver Software Mach3
Full Swarf-O-Mat Area 600mm x 460mm x 70mm (minus buffer)
Maximum Dimensions of Any job 580mm x 440mm x 60mm

You can not use a lot of things, if it's not listed here and/or you're not sure ASK!

Material Note
soft wood (easy eg pine)
MDF (easy but dust is toxic)
acrylic (easy but melts easily)
HDPE (easy aka chopping board polymer)
hard wood (hard)
aluminium (hard non standard bits)
  • Start of Day Check X-Axis Alignment
  • Spoil board
  • Job Clamped Tight?
  • Clamp Support Biscuits
  • Cutting Bit tight?
  • load file
  • x, Y,Z zeroed? (z zero spindle check Safety gear on)
  • Travel 4 corners no Obstruction?
  • Cooling Fan Fluid FLowing?
  • Extraction Fan
  • Safety gear on all those present
  • spindle on
  • Feed rate at 50% start
  • Begin CNC job
  • turn off spindle
  • remove job
  • clean up pack away clamps, biscuits
  • turn off everything

Very important condition of use: Use Swarf-o-mat with caution!

This is a FRAGILE and awesome bit of equipment – RESPECT IT, BE CAREFUL!

If you're not 100% certain about what you're doing, DON'T! Get advice and take care.

1) Know what you want to make/do

If you're here, hopefully you already have plans.

You can:

  • cut
  • engrave
  • carve (to a limited extent)

2) Plan and draw your project in VCarve

VCarve is the supported software for use with swarf-o-mat.

This software is installed on the computers available in the computer room in the space.

Artifactory members can make a folder on the network that can be accessed by swarf-o-mat.

Detailed instruction are provided on VCarve Instructions page.

3) Cut material with swarf-o-mat


If you are not sure what you are doing: DON'T DO IT – get help and advice from one of the friendly swarf-o-mat operators.

Detailed instruction are provided on Swarf-O-Mat Usage Instructions page.

In 2020 Swarf-O-Mat received a significant upgrade. Details of its current electrical configuration are available on the maintenance information page.
Information relating to the original build and subsequent refinement is available on the original Project Page.

  • tools/swarfomat.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/06/13 21:20
  • by ben