I was using StumbleUpon recently and I came across a fantastic new DIY construction set called Contraptor. The idea is that for about $300 in parts, you can get the basic structural parts needed to fabricate a basic set of Cartesian robots, including CNC mills, mini-routers, and plotters. The motors and electronics are extra, but these can be had online or from Contraptor for additional cost. Personally, I want to grab the structural kit because that is what I can’t do myself at home, then make myself a neat Pantorouter, plans for which I found about two years ago. I love the Pantorouter idea but the plywood construction just doesn’t seem stable enough for more fine detail work, which I want to do. Imagine carving a fine detail into a joint for a period piece or along a curved surface for customization.
I should add that Contraptor also supplies, in appropriate open source fashion, the Google SketchUp models of their components as well as DXF and SVG versions on Thingiverse.