The Mighty Matsuura Metal Mill

by Bob Coggeshall | February 2020

What is big, red, weighs 4 tons, and can sculpt a solid block of metal to tolerances of a human hair? Answer: Our Matsuura MC-510V CNC Mill! This Reagan-era monster was donated to Nova Labs by Kform of Sterling, Virginia. Although 36 years old, it can cut with the same precision of modern metal mills. It is a very unique and capable tool to have at a maker space.

Besides getting it moved, there were challenges making such an old machine useful with modern CAD software like Fusion 360. The real challenge was to make this intimidating beast accessible to makers with no metal machining background. Countless hours were spent by many volunteers, and now all those goals have been met!

ZakB and DanS administering TLC to the Matsuura (we will miss you, Zak).
ZakB and DanS administering TLC to the Matsuura (we will miss you, Zak).
LarryR and ElenaB showing off their finished projects
AlexK poses maleficently while the Matsuura mangles metal.
CurtW made huge contributions to making the Matsuura useful to non-ninjas.

Interested? Like all big, fancy machines at Nova Labs, you will have to invest a bit of time. Learning a CAD tool like Fusion 360 is a big part of it, but it will pay off. Once you’ve put your time in, you will be able to use it to make things not only the Matsuura, but also the ShopSabre CNC which can cut wood and plastic and any 3D printer. Matsuura classes are held regularly, both one-on-one and for small groups. Members can join the #metalshop-matsuura slack channel, or contact support@nova-labs.org for more information.