At last year’s TCT Show, UK-based CNC hardware startup, Muncaster Technologies demoed a new subtractive technology designed to deliver a compact and clean manufacturing solution with faster capabilities than a typical CNC machine or 3D printer. Now the company has taken to Crowdcube to raise funds to take the machine, the Muncaster S3, to the market.
Muncaster is out to take on 3D printing with this subtractive technology, stating that additive can be "slow, expensive, inaccurate and requires a good deal of skill and knowledge to perform effectively”. Instead, they’re proposing a new stage of evolution in subtractive machining technology with a “cross-over” mid-range, mid-size machine that can build prototypes faster and cheaper than equivalent 3D printing technologies.
Back in 2014, Autodesk invested $250,000 in Muncaster to build its first office-based CNC machine but now they’ve set a target of £400,000 to put the machine into production and ramp up initial sales. Describing its relationship with Autodesk as “absolutely key” thanks to its global Value Added Resellers network, Muncaster also benefits from a well-established supply chain which includes high-profile names like Siemens, Renishaw and THK.
Lloyd Pennington and Robert Misselbrook with Muncaster S3.
Initially targeting the automotive sector but looking towards aerospace and medical, the machine is designed to be easy to use and fit seamlessly into a clean office work environment. The ultimate goal is to make manufacturing as "simple as making a coffee" and its simple software makes it easy for anyone to operate with minimum training, which Muncaster believe will play a role on closing the current skills gap.
By opting to use the Crowdcube platform rather than something like Kickstarter, the company is giving backers the chance to invest receive shares. Investors can place anything from £10 to the total funding amount, with A shares up for grabs for investments of £3,000 or more. The top 80 investors will each receive a boxed 1/72nd scale model of a Spitfire Mk1a machined on a Muncaster S3 from solid 7075 aircraft grade aluminium alloy to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Supermarine Spitfire. The campaign closes in 24 days.