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CNC Milled Aluminum Tape Dispenser

I’ve been gathering materials and information to build a CNC machine for a while, but keep putting it off because I haven’t thought of any exact application I need one for just yet (aside from milling a Hellraiser-style cube). Then I saw this: a CNC milled all-aluminum tape dispenser. A 1lb thing of beauty. Beautifully crafted, ready to deliver whatever length of tape you need, short or long.

This project has kick-started my creative juices with a whole slew of fun CNC projects. Of course, anything done in metal will need a sturdy machine (the great book Build Your Own CNC Machine has all the steps and templates to make one from MDF), but I can envision a wood version of this tape dispenser that would look super kickass as well.

It’s absolute overkill. Over a pound of 6061 aluminum, every part CNC machined and yes, it’s just a scotch tape dispenser. This is the creation of the Advanced CNC class at Laney College as taught by Bob Rice. I programmed and machined all the parts from drawings using MasterCAM, a Chevalier toolroom mill and a Haas SL lathe. All the threads were single-point cut and threaded holes rigid tapped. Every part required at least two operations, every face is machined.

Check out a few more details and photos here. Also, AcuteAero is doing some seriously cool projects – electric bikes, skateboards, etc. – I recommend checking his site out.