If you thought that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was any indication, get excited for what 2024 has in store for makers and hobbyists. The trade show in Las Vegas was a hub for innovative companies like Rownd, but they were not the only ones showcasing impressive technology. Coast Runner, the newcomer in desktop CNC milling, is breaking down traditional barriers and making this cutting-edge technology accessible to everyone.
“We are making one of the most powerful desktop CNC machines you’ll find on the market. Our goal is to cut up to titanium and anything softer, including plastics, brass, hard steel, and aluminum,” says Tyler Hoeft, who wears many hats at the company, from marketing to inventory management.
Hoeft also recognizes the lack of educational resources and community forums in the CNC space as a significant hindrance for potential users. That’s why Coast Runner is committed to providing comprehensive educational videos and establishing a discussion forum for users to share insights and collaborate on designs. The company is even developing a bounty board system, allowing users to pay others to create designs or mill parts if they lack the necessary skills.
But how does Coast Runner differentiate itself from the established players in the industry like Makera and Bantam Tools? For starters, their machine is aiming to be both affordable and powerful.
“You need to change the tools manually – our main focus was to get the price point low enough for those who want to dip their toes to those who want to manufacture with four or five machines for their business,” explains Hoeft.
Despite its impressive power, the machine is compact and lightweight, weighing only 42 pounds and comfortably fitting on a single desk. This makes it an attractive option for small businesses and hobbyists alike.
However, the most exciting feature in the works is Coast Runner’s AI-powered modeling feature. This advancement aims to make modeling a point-and-click process, significantly reducing the learning curve for new users and expanding the appeal of CNC milling to a broader audience.
In an industry dominated by a few big players, Coast Runner’s focus on customer education and powerful, compact machines sets them apart. As they prepare to launch their Kickstarter campaign next month with a $2,400 price tag (retail price around $3,000), Coast Runner is a name to watch in the world of CNC milling.
“Most companies in this space are content to sell their machines and wish their customers good luck,” shrugs Hoeft. “But we are committed to guiding our users from the initial idea to the final product.”