Workbee CNC from Ooznest

An Affordable CNC from the U.K.

Lucy Francis at a company called Ooznest contacted WoodEzine to say that her employer, a U.K. manufacturer of small CNC routers, is offering its new WorkBee Z1+ to customers in the U.S. The WorkBee CNC comes as a self-build kit with lots of customizable options, including a range of sizes from 500 x 500mm (19.685” x 19.685”) to the impressive 1500x1500mm (59” x 59”) which can cut a 4’x4’ sheet of material. The software needs to be able to tile for the machine to handle full 4 x 8 sheets.

Lucy got in touch because “Ooznest has taken its popular WorkBee CNC Machine up a gear with the new and improved WorkBee Z1+ , adding upgraded features in mechanics, power and safety, and improving performance and productivity for hobbyists, makers, businesses and classrooms.”

The machine has a lead screw drive system on all three axes, and onboard toolpath file storage so it can be controlled from a phone, tablet or laptop. There’s a direct to ethernet version available too. There are six table sizes to choose from, plus a dust-tight power supply with a vacuum seal and an IP65 rating. There’s an emergency stop, a smooth thrust bearing system to reduce noise and vibration, and a case for the 32-bit ARM based duet controller that delivers added protection from dust and debris. The bolts are stainless steel, and a router mount (but not a router) is included.  

Customers buy the WorkBee using a configurator, where one puts together a kit with all the desired options. The WorkBee Z1+ is a self-build CNC machine kit, and “our easy-to-follow and detailed assembly manuals make the build almost as much fun as using the machine!” The company says that building a WorkBee equips one with knowledge of all the ins and outs of the machine, making maintenance much easier. Only simple tools are required such as wrenches, Allen keys, and screwdrivers. All the crimping, soldering, and commissioning the controller are done at the factory. A discounted price (about $1,650 to $1,700, depending on the exchange rate) is being offered to customers who pre-order between now and September 26th.