Watermelon CNC Uses Lazy Susan

It is the time of year when a lot of people in certain parts of the world carve pumpkins. [Gonkee] is carving a watermelon, which we assume is similar. He decided to make a CNC machine to do the carving for him. The unusual part is the use of two lazy Susans to make a rotary carving machine. You can see the result in the video below.

The hardware is clever and there is software that lets you do drawings, although we were hoping for something that would process gcode or slice STL. That would be a worthy add-on project. There were a few iterations required before the Melon Carver 3000 worked satisfactorily. Seeing a carving tool operating on two circles gives us a lot of ideas. We aren’t sure how sturdy the mounts are, so don’t plan on carving aluminum without some changes, but we suspect it is possible.

Then again, a laser head mounted on the frame would have probably made short work of the melon, and wouldn’t require much mechanical stiffness. It would, however, take a little effort to keep it in focus. So many ideas to try!

Watermelon is a popular hacking medium, apparently. There’s even one that holds a GameBoy.

27 thoughts on “Watermelon CNC Uses Lazy Susan

      1. A drill bit saw lacks chip evacuation and cuts via individual sub teeth. Also if you are struggling with shaft slip in a drill chuck when cutting something as soft as watermelon, your problem is with binding at the cutting face rather than the grip on the bit

  1. It’s pretty cool to look at, but it would be better to regard the whole thing (not just the carved watermelon) as an art project.

    The whole thing flexes while carving the melon, to the extent that even the simple figure drawn is distorted.

    The one drawing completed is (fittingly) a pile of poo.

    The whole thing is fascinating to watch, but not really practical.

    I expect Gonkee learned a lot doing it, and probably had lots of fun. The end result is not a practical tool.

    Since Gonkee claims to be an artist, just assume the machine is part of the art and be happy.

  2. Nice! I’m sure most of us are thinking of it as art but once properly dried that watermellon shell can make quite a bit more durable of a container than one might expect.

  3. That’s a pretty fun project. It does have a form over function wibe to it how ever. To be fair, spherical stock kind of sucks to begin with. Perhaps work holding could be done with vacuum. That could also simplifie a rotating work piece resulting in 360 degree rotation. You probably need a stiffer rail for the spindle and better tooling though. And perhaps another axis to move the tool in and out of the melon. Surface mapping would do a lot as well :)

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