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Piranha swarms AWFS

The new CNC Piranha Fx, from Next Wave Automation, earned one of the eight Visionary Awards for product innovation at the 2015 AWFS fair in Las Vegas. The benchtop CNC router can be converted to a 3-D printer, laser engraver and copier with accessory heads.

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“We developed this as one machine that is able to function on your desktop, can be put away and won’t take up too much space,” Next Wave Automation president and founder Tim Owens said at AWFS. “The relatively low price point has caught the attention of attendees.”

With the CNC router attachment, the Piranha is capable of carving in wood, aluminum, soft metal or plastic. After a quick head change, the machine converts to a 3-D printer for fabricating parts and prototypes, for example, or a laser for engraving flat-sheet materials such as paper, wood, plastic and fiber.

All applications are controlled with a simple, highly intuitive touch screen and the included Vectric software, according to the company.

The fourth attachment is a digital sensor for recreating and copying 3-D images and objects.

The Piranha Fx, with all four machining modules, sells for $3,199. The bare tool (with operating software) sells for $1,600, while the attachments can be purchased separately for $300 to $800 each.

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This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue.

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