The Nomad 883

A fully integrated, ready-to-run CNC mill that’s at home in any environment.



Make High-Quality Parts

…Even if You’re not a Machinist.



CNC machines are capable of making beautiful parts – if you know how to use them.

The Nomad 883 is not just another CNC milling machine – we designed it to make machining something that normal people can do. All of the complexity of traditional CNC machines is handled in the background.

This is only possible because of a highly integrated hardware and software, something that isn’t possible if you have to go find your own software to run the machine. (Other companies make you do this!)

The Nomad 883 includes all of the hardware and software you need to take your 3D file and make a part. We’ve taken the uncertainty and frustration out of the equation, just open the box and get started.

Make Accurate Parts Every Time

If there’s one thing that digital fabrication tools should be capable of, it’s repeatability and accuracy. The Nomad 883 is capable of positioning accuracy of .001” (that’s less than the thickness of a human hair). That means you can be sure that part number one will match part number 100 without any special work from you.

Contrast this to 3D printers that require you to tweak your CAD files to get parts to come out with the correct dimensions. Or even worse, deal with parts that curl up from the bed as the plastic cools and warps.

These are not problems you’ll face with The Nomad 883 – with CNC milling, the accuracy is built-in.


A Real Spindle for Real Work

Using Dremels, underpowered import spindle motors, or loud trim routers for a spindle never crossed our minds. The Nomad 883 uses our third-generation spindle driven by a high-power brushless DC motor. We didn’t stop there and use an off-the-shelf hobby-grade motor driver either – we designed our own driver from the ground up with closed-loop speed control.

What does that mean for you? The Nomad 883 has a powerful, durable, and quiet spindle that’s capable of cutting a variety of materials without being so loud that it drives you out of the room.

The spindle uses an ER-11 collet to give you the flexibility to use a range of cutters with no proprietary holders.


A Big machine in a Small Package

The Nomad 883’s small footprint means that even fully enclosed, it takes up about as much space as an inkjet printer or desktop 3D printer, but don’t let its size fool you. The Nomad 883’s  8″ x 8″ x 3″ machining area is larger than most 3D printers, and is about the same size as CNC machines that cost thousands more.


A Complete Software Solution

The Nomad 883 comes with all the software you need to turn your 3D file into a 3D part. You’ll get Carbide Motion to control the machine and MeshCAM to tell the machine how to make your part.

If you have a favorite CAM program and work flow The Nomad 883 will work with it. Carbide Motion can read gcode from any CAM program so you’ll never be locked into proprietary software.

Both MeshCAM and Carbide Motion are cross-platform so you can run them on a Windows or Mac computer. Or both.


Who’s it For?

  • Jewelers
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Industrial Designers
  • Woodworkers
  • Crafters
  • Hobbyists
  • Manufacturers of customized products
  • Educators

Quality and Craftsmanship

Cheap import mills are heavy, poorly documented, and hard to set up. CNC machines made with low-grade plastic or MDF can be flimsy and underpowered. In contrast, The Nomad 883 has a rock-solid all-aluminum frame.

Other CNC machines need recalibration and manual setup before you can make a part, but The Nomad 883 comes with a built-in tool-length probe to take care of that for you. Carbide Motion comes with a streamlined interface so the complexity of making 2D and 3D parts is handled under the hood.

And most importantly, The Nomad 883 comes ready-to-run, there’s nothing more you need to buy to start making parts from day one.


Clean Lines and a Clean Workspace

Import CNC machines trend more towards a utilitarian design, and CNC kits cut corners to save on cost. We wanted to raise the bar, and focused on an appealing design that doesn’t use MDF panels, PVC supports or laser-cut Acrylic parts.

The Nomad 883’s enclosure comes in finished bamboo that’s studio and office friendly, or durable HDPE that is perfect for manufacturing environments where a little extra elbow grease is needed.


More for Less…

The Nomad 883 is ready to go the first time you power it on, and comes with everything you need. In addition to MeshCAM and Carbide Motion, The Nomad 883 also ships with spare bits and plenty of stock for your first project. Setup is a breeze so you’ll be up and running in minutes instead of spending hours wiring motors and configuring settings. The Nomad 883 has an embedded motion controller, so all you need to begin making 3D parts is a Mac or Windows computer with a USB port.

If you don’t know where to get started or are looking for a few ideas, we’ve put together dozens of projects, tutorials and tips specifically tailored for your Nomad 883.


Ready to Make Parts?



Preorder today and you’ll be able to get in line for a Nomad 883.  We only change a small deposit today, and the rest when you ship.  If you change your mind you can cancel your preorder and get a full refund.


Nomad 883 in Detail

We’re proud of the Nomad 883, and we’d like to tell you more about it.  Before we get started, there’s something we need to make clear. (So we’re going to print it in big letters)

We make the whole machine. The only “finished components” we buy from a factory are bearings, motors, and the power supply.

We start with blocks and bars of aluminum, sheets of plastic and bamboo. We designed the electronics, and we wrote the software.

We are not integrators that buy components from other people and bolt them together. We designed everything to be exactly the tool we wanted to have.

Enclosure

 

The Nomad 883 comes wrapped in .5″ HDPE or Bamboo.

If you’ll be in a rougher environment, pick the HDPE, it’s more durable. If you’re in a clean shop or office, pick whatever you like better, it’s purely an aesthetic choice.

We wanted to make sure that the bamboo is repairable if it gets damaged in any way so we use a great finish that’s available to you, should the need arise, General Finishes High-Performance Polyurethane (Satin). We have a lot of experience with this finish; it’s durable and easy to apply without special equipment.

Bamboo is a natural material that varies from lot to lot and from sheet to sheet. We match the panels in both grain and color to make sure you’ll have a machine that’s as beautiful as it is functional.


Window

window 

The front window is made from .125″ acrylic. We had a long debate about acrylic vs. polycarbonate and we decided that acrylic was strong enough for our needs and that we wanted the better scratch resistance compared to polycarbonate.

We have yet to scratch one of our windows but if you do and need a new one, they’re replaceable.

To hold the window onto the machine, we use an extruded single-piece hinge. This has several benefits:

  • It provides a seal along the length of the window.
  • It looks clean and minimal.
  • It doesn’t require any mounting holes in the plastic, which would have created places for cracks to begin

While the front window is there primarily for dust control, we’ve also noticed that it does reduce the sound coming from the spindle by knocking down some of the higher frequency sounds.


Dust Control

 

The enclosure does a great job keeping dust out of the room but it is not sealed. We have found that dust generally piles up around the stock on the table and that almost no chips escape to the surrounding area.

A small shopvac does a great job of cleanup when the job is done and the part is ready to be removed.


Rigid Frame

 

The bamboo or HDPE enclosure is just that- an enclosure. It is not a structural element of the machine. Underneath that enclosure we’ve got an all-aluminum frame that’s rigid and accurate.

We do not just bolt the frame parts together. They’re precision machined to mate together perfectly using dowel pins to guarantee perfect alignment before we fasten anything. Every bolt has Loctite on it to ensure that vibration is never a problem.

Speaking of machining, all of our frame parts are made here in California, at a shop that makes aerospace parts the rest of the time.

Several of the parts start as a large block of aluminum that are machined on a brand new 5-axis machining center to ensure that every feature is perfectly located.


Linear Motion Hardware

 

For linear slides, we use round linear bearings and precision ground and hardened steel shafts. For the X and Y, we use 16mm shafts. Because the Z is shorter, it uses 12mm shafts. This system is rigid and very low friction. Best of all, the torque from our motors can be used to cut the part, not overcome friction on the slide.

Spindle

 

We build our spindle completely from scratch and power it with a brushless DC motor. (It looks like a stepper motor but it’s not) The brushless motor provides great power and has no brushes to wear out. To make sure we have a long-lasting, sealed motor, we sourced high-quality Japanese bearings and sent them to our motor manufacturer. We didn’t want to take any chances.

A brushless motor requires a complicated drive system to get it to turn, it’s not like a regular motor that turns when you apply power. We designed a custom motor driver that monitors RPM to ensure that spindle doesn’t bog down in a heavy cut.

The spindle itself is an ER-11 unit that takes standard collets, we don’t lock you into proprietary systems. ER-11 collets are available for cutters up to .25″ in diameter.

Last, but far from least, our runout is < .001, measured in the ER-11 taper.

Just a bit of trivia for you, the big chunk of aluminum on the left starts as a sold block and is machined in a single setup to ensure perfect alignment. It costs more to do it this way but we’ve never put a frame together and found out that things don’t line up.


Electronics

 

We already touched on our spindle driver, but we also make our own motion driver too. Both were designed by one of our co-founders, and are made at a factory in Northern California.

We could buy off-the-shelf units but by making our own, we are able to increase reliability and add additional protection not available anywhere else.

For all the EE’s reading this, we use thick 2oz copper PCB’s and we buffer all the input lines to protect against stray input signals. We don’t show it in the photo on the left, but we also make aluminum heat sinks (custom made on a waterjet machine) and cool the boards with a fan. This is overkill but we never want the machine to be unreliable in any way; we need to ensure that you never encounter loss of position from a thermal shutdown on the motor driver.

Basically, we’ve done everything we can to ensure that the 1-in-a-million errors that make a machine behave erratically never happen. You can’t love a machine that you can’t trust and we want you to love the Nomad 883.


Software

 

The Nomad 883 comes with all the software you need to get running- Carbide Motion, the machine controller, and MeshCAM, the software that takes your design and figures out how to cut it.

We wrote Carbide Motion from scratch because we couldn’t find anything that gave the user experience we wanted. We’ve used a lot of the others, but we just didn’t want to inflict them on our users.

We’ve simplified Carbide Motion to provide only what you need, and nothing that you don’t.

MeshCAM was written by one of the Carbide co-founders and it’s been commercially available for 9 years. We modified it so that MeshCAM has full knowledge of what the Nomad is capable of. You don’t need to fill in 30 boxes to get a toolpath; we’ve reduced it to three pieces of information:

  • The tool you’re using
  • The material you’re cutting
  • What quality level you need

We’re confident that nobody can give you a better 3D toolpath with less effort.


Tool Length Probe

 

The Nomad includes a tool length probe to automatically determine the length of the tool, without any user interaction. Tool changes are a breeze and you can be sure that everything will line up perfectly when your job is done running.

If you’ve used any kind of CNC machine before, you know tool measurement is a major hassle. The Nomad and Carbide Motion make it automatic.

Our testing had shown the tool probe to be accurate to approximately .001″


Table

 

The table is machined from Mic-6 aluminum, a high-quality cast aluminum. This ensures a very flat table.

The table has a number of threaded holes and dowel pin locations to help locate fixtures like our vise and flip jig.

Each machine is calibrated from the factory so that the location of each feature is precisely known.


Noise

 

The Nomad is a quiet machine. The when the spindle is running and the window is shut, you will barely hear it running.

If you’re taking moderate cuts in wood, plastic, wax, or Renshape, you can work right next to it and not be bothered.

If you’re cutting metal or taking heavy cuts in wood, plastic, or Renshape it’ll be a bit louder but still quieter than most woodworking equipment.

By the way, the 75 dB measurement shown on the left was taken 12 inches from the machine, while roughing Renshape. Because finishing takes a much smaller cut, the sound level drops dramatically after roughing.


Made in California

 

We’ve already mentioned this but it’s worth repeating. We make everything we can here in the US, most of it right here in Southern California.

When you buy a Carbide product, you’re helping pay local workers to make a quality product they can be proud of.

By keeping manufacturing local, we have a personal relationship with every vendor and we’re able to control quality better than we ever could if they were on the other side of the globe


Made by Makers

 

We, (Apollo, Rob, and Jorge- the founders of Carbide 3D), have spent our careers in product design and manufacturing. We’ve been on the hook to turn around prototypes and concept models in record time; we know what it takes to get that done.

We designed the Nomad 883 to be the machine that we wanted years ago during those late nights and long weekends. We know that you don’t want to spend weeks learning a new tool. We know you just want to get your parts made quickly.

The Nomad 883 was designed to help you complete your project now, not to become it’s own project.


Ready to Make Parts?



Preorder today and you’ll be able to get in line for a Nomad 883.  We only change a small deposit today, and the rest when you ship.  If you change your mind you can cancel your preorder and get a full refund.