The biggest CNC machine can build a house

If it’s true that those with the biggest toys win, a few lucky engineers over at EEW Maschinenbau in Germany just earned a gold medal; they have access to a gigantic CNC machine that is large enough to machine a house.

This machine was originally built to manufacture molds for fiberglass wind turbines that are over 50 meters in length. Because building a 50-meter-long CNC machine wasn’t overkill enough, engineers at EEW Maschinenbau settled on a design that is 151 meters long, or almost 500 feet. Of course the HSM-Modal, as this machine is called, can only make parts 151 meters long in the x dimension. The y-axis has a span of 9 meters while the z-axis goes from 0 to 4.25 meters off the ground. Large enough to build cars, ship hulls, and even houses out of a single block of material.

There’s a bunch of technical documentation on the EEW website and a PDF going over the specs. Not only can this gigantic mill machine molds much like an embiggened desktop CNC router, this thing can do drilling, sawing, grinding, plasma cutting, and even extrusion just like a Makerbot.

If you’ve got the cash, EEW Maschinenbau will build you one of these gigantic machines. We can’t imagine how much that would cost, though.

via the Adafruit blog


  1. chango says:

    This needs a giant paste extruder and 100 tons of chocolate.

  2. Yan Nic says:

    it is called “Maschinenbau”, not Machinebau

  3. Hmmmm….I suddenly have this idea for a very, very, very large Kickstarter project. Reward levels might be a little high, though…….

  4. mohonri says:

    That’s great, but where do they get the 150m x 9m x 4.5m solid block of aluminum? :P

    If they’re carving a ship, do they laminate a bunch of rough-cut lumber into the general shape of the hull and then let the CNC machine carve it out to smaller tolerances?

    I seem to remember seeing a large 5-axis CNC machine for prototyping car bodies a couple years back. It would carve the shape out of a huge block of styrofoam, then apply a layer of some sort of resin (in a manner quite similar to a 3d printer), and then machine the resin to the final shape. The results were pretty impressive.

    (a search for “cnc car” on youtube raises a number of results)

  5. Engineer Krause says:

    I imagine they build some kind of rough mold frame.

  6. Pup says:

    I’m pretty sure this is a buildcraft quarry. :p

  7. Michael Chen says:

    Only missing self-replication :)

  8. Stephen says:

    Holy Shit, and they have over 45 of these things in operation worldwide?!

  9. v7 says:

    i was just talking yesterday about ho awesome it would be to have a 3d printer large enough to fabricate room sized pieces to build modular homes from…

  10. HAD says:

    Large enough to build cars, ship hulls, and even houses out of a single block of material.

    Cars? You mean the skin of a car. The interior and all working parts cannot be built with this rather impressive in scale machine.

  11. HAD says:

    I’m more interested in the blog’s linked CNC TATTOO MACHINE.

  12. duggasco says:

    I would love to see a video of this in action

  13. Smokingman says:

    The 150m/min (5,905.5 in/min) feed rate sounds impressive, but I needed to put it into perspective for myself. So I did some math. I have a 39″x25″ CNC. At that feed rate, it would go from corner to cornet in less than half a second. Wow.

    Also, that’s a fairly massive tool head. Changing direction must be an issue at that speed. I can only assume they have some serious ramp up/down velocity limits in the controller.

  14. soopergooman says:

    i am godsmacked.

  15. r_d says:

    And they’re going to need the world’s largest shopvac to clean up all the debris. :p

  16. Agtrier says:

    Dowload aeroplane blueprints from, feed it into your giant CNC, fly away in your new A380. WIN.

  17. memo says:

    The engineers that did it should know better but I think is one that things where the scale can destroy the sense to implement such a thing, related, i heard that the work of taking out the dust needed a several persons and weeks.(citation needed)

  18. rayor says:

    “You wouldn’t download a car”

    Now you can!

  19. d says:

    Dear Santa…

  20. thekanester says:

    Embiggen seems perfectly cromulent to me…

  21. petersievers says:

    I already had the opportunity to have something milled on this machine (a 4m long mould for a solar-car fibre-body) and can tell: yep, its impressiv!
    The rough cut for the styrene-mould is done in incredible speed. the milling tool (200mm long) just rushes through the material. At the end we found ourselfes snow-shoveling in mid-june (they actually use snow shovels :) )
    The construction is grat, too. some of the beams are made from solid carbon fiber tubes.
    The moulds for ship hulls are indeed made by building a wooden under-construction, that is covered with a kind of putty / spackle, wich is then milled zu finish.
    a big plus is the modularity: the machine CAN be put to 150m of lenght, by just expending it. the y and z axis are fixed in dimension.

  22. wardy says:

    “Yes sir, we can fit 80,000 of your PCBs in a single panel, but you’ll have to organise shipping yourself”. :)

  23. gator says:

    not my video

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