Desktop CNC Machine Lets You Build Stuff Out of More Than Just Plastic

Affordable 3D printers are all the rage, but you're limited to only creating objects from plastic or other extrudable materials. A CNC machine, however, like this ultra-compact ShopBot Desktop, can carve objects out of any material, letting you create more than just trinkets or models.

With a base price of just under $5,000, the desktop version of the ShopBot is the cheapest of the company's offerings, but with a footprint that's just 36 by 30 inches in size, you won't be carving out dining room tables or canoes. However, in addition to hard plastic, the router's blade can cut through wood, metal, glass, and even stone. It could probably even be a champ in the kitchen, perfectly dissecting a tray of brownies, or carving up a small turkey like a master chef. [ShopBot Desktop via Design Milk]