Every once in a while, I come across a tool that makes my jaw drop. The Yeti SmartBench, $5,995, is a great example. It’s a portable CNC that’s capable of cutting 4’ x 8’ sheets. What looks like an aluminum sawhorse or scaffold is a fully operational, small footprint, portable CNC router.
Broken down, the SmartBench components can be handled by one person. According to the folks at Yeti Tool, the SmartBench can be assembled and ready to run in three minutes.
Here’s how it works. The spoilboard and the board you’re cutting are put on the bench, and the beam or gantry sandwiches your material top and bottom. The sandwich includes bearings in the top and bottom beam components, which allow the beam to roll across your work. The result is that the beam and Z axis are always operating relative to the top face of your work.
Understanding How This Works
I know that (especially compared to conventional CNC routers) this is a difficult concept to wrap your brain around. To really get a good understanding of how this system works you should look at the videos Yeti Tools has on the SmartBench website.
Where Does This Tool Fit In?
If the SmartBench does everything it promises, it offers a lot of great benefits. A typical CNC router capable of accepting 4’ x 8’ panels could have a footprint as large as 5’ x 9’, or bigger. Rolling the beam into the equation the footprint of the SmartBench is 5’5” x 9’, but only while you’re using it. Because it breaks down, you can get it out of your way when you’re not using it. If you’re in a small shop space you can pull the SmartBench out when you need it and lean it against a wall when you don’t.
Who would have imagined a job site CNC? Well, I guess Yeti Tool would have. The SmartBench can be easily loaded into a truck and taken on site. What a great way to produce specialized parts (case work, trim…) without running back and forth to a shop.
- Capacity: 6” x 48.7” x 97.24”
- X and Y axis: Rack and pinion
- Z axis: Lead screw
- Max travel speed: 236” per minute
- Spindle rpm: 5,000-29,000
- Spindle collet: 10 mm max
- Power: 230V or 110V, 1400 watts
For more information visit www.yetismartbench.com/