by JelleBoomstra, published

Mantis-30 by JelleBoomstra Feb 5, 2011



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This is my version of the mantis router, http://makeyourbot.org/mantis9-1 as designed originally by David Carr. This design is adapted to metric sizes (do away with Henry IV's thumb!)and enlarged to a groundplate of 30x30 cm. The working volume is slightly more than 190 x 130 x 40 mm, depending on how precise you work.


I used a larger CNC router to cut out the wood pieces, I suggest you do the same. The material used is 12mm birch ply (that's ~1/2"), but any reasonably straight plywood should do.

I designed in Rhino3d (for want of something equal but open source on linux...)so the rhino file should be read as authorative, the dxf file is there for your convenience. There are several layers in there prefixed with a number, Follow the instructive layer names in that order. An offset for 3mm drill and 5mm router bits is supplied, but you can of course generate your own...

further (probably incomplete or outdated) instructions here: http://wiki.protospace.nl/index.php/MantisRouter.

[EDIT]: I updated the plans to use a more common 'fake dremel' and added lots of extra tweaks. The nesting as it is now is tailored to a 5mm flat tip bit, with unneeded (double) cutting paths deleted. Those of you in the US might have to generate a new cutting path to accommodate an imperial size bit. [/EDIT]

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Is there a way to get this as a kit like in the 4th pic.?

yes, go to a nearby fablab and mill those parts out. I can do that for you too, but I actually don't recommend using this design. It only is good for very light cuts, larger DoC will distort the frame too much. My 'ultirouter' design improves that by using 12mm instead of 8mm rails.

I just learned from a comment from JelleAtProtospace to my thing http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8527http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... that there already was this metric mill design, based on the mantis :-D

Nice work!

However, as far as I can tell, you use the same Z axis construction as the Mantis, right? I didn't like it too much and thus designed a different Z axis for my mill.
I also switched to Mendel-style linear ball bearings http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8480http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... since I ran in too many probl
ems with the bush bearings.

Pleasant Mill v1
by Zaggo
Linear ball bearings
by Zaggo

That would be me... :)

I noticed your bearing solution, but it needs 3d printed parts, which is too much effort for a workshop. Right now I am pouring all spare effort into the UltiRouter design, which is basically a deluxe version of the mantis that looks better (most CNC machines look ugly IMHO) and has a slightly larger working surface. 3 have been built by testers right now, will do a workshop with that design next.

What is better with your Z-axis design? I'm always happy to copy things that work better. :)

I just built one of these with the http://Ultimaker.comhttp://Ultimaker.com electronics. The majority of the work was done in a single day. Because the curing of epoxy should be given ample, the work was spread over two days. This is amazing for such a nice design. Jelle, this is incredible work, I think it's a worthy derivative of David Carr's already excellent design! I'm sure I will enjoy many hours of PCB milling and prototyping of Ultimaker parts.

Hey Jelle,

Great work! Any further developments with the mantis 30? Really interested in building one for my fab lab too (CCBC). Could you provide some pics/vids of it in action?


Certainly, the workshop for 'my' second version starts in a few days, and I made some changes to the design to make it neater (different attachment for the X and Y drivenuts, routed channels for the wires to the endstops, etc). I will upload the new version right now!

Awesome, sounds great...will you be streaming your workshop on the fab lab network? I might try and get the parts cut to join in if you are. Let me know.

Perhaps. The workshop started last tuesday, but next tuesday is the second evening. But which timzone is CCBC in? I just added a set of images to thingiverse.

It doesn't matter, I can log in and build along from home if I have to. CCBC is in the GMT-5 timezone. Thanks for the upload, going to start cutting!

What is the smallest size that the wood parts could fit on to cut out, if I was going to use a laser cutter?

I don't think that is a good idea. I have tried using a lasercutter to cut out a mantis and the result was too skewed and charred to inspire confidence. One of the things we found out that the laser beam is not very perpendicular to the bed. 12mm birch is just not suitable for laser cutting, and I doubt you would get a good machine with even lighter (poplar, balsa) wood.

To answer your question, the largest part is the ground plate, which measures 30x30 cm... If you can only do real small sizes, I might have a gimmick/design variation of the mantis-30 that can be cut out on its own bed. You still would need to cut those pieces out of 6mm ply, but you could glue 2 layers to make a 12mm size. I will get to that when the bad taste left by mr Wolschon is gone.

What kind of material should the "driveNut12x6.eps" be made out of?

What thickness of that material should be used?

Delrin, 6.5mm. You can of course use a different thickness, but you would need to improvise with some spacers or relocate the X and Y motors. I intend to design a better system where the nut-plates snugly fit in a piece of wood perpendicular to the leadscrew (and carriage). This would reduce the different delrin parts needed, and eliminates two cumbersome bolt connections.

I'm excited to see a more comprehensive version of the Mantis in the wild! We've been talking about building one at Baltimore Node for a while now, but the lack of official release files has made us wary of starting it.

For those that don't know, the Mantis is a cheap (supposedly less than $100) CNC router. I believe it was developed by a student from the MIT Machines that Make class and made available in kit form to several MIT-style Fab Labs.


I was not aware he supplied these to other fablabs (I work in one). But I do supply these! We build these machines in 5 evenings, so it is not too much work to build one. The next workshop starts 8 march, so if you are in the Netherlands... :)

Yeah, that 100 dollar claim. Actually when he released his BOM a few months later it turned out that he stopped counting before he came to the stepper motors and everything attached to that. A bit dishonest (he meant 'I have spend less than $100 on this version') but on the other hand it certainly worked marketing-wise.

How to assembly this?

What other parts are required?

Do you have a link to explain what "the mantis router" is? (apart from being a router)

@ MarcusWolschon


  • Should get you all the infprmation you would want.

gt;(TODO: link or add in comments)

You can edit the description to insert the link later. No need to hide such important information in the comments.

please keep your comments a little more constructive, they are not needed for a thing that has been posted for a few hours. Perfection is an enemy of getting things done.