How to Lure the DMS Router in for a Hug




Introduction: How to Lure the DMS Router in for a Hug

About: JoeJoe is a PCB designer, artist, and make-hack-tinkerer who lives in San Francisco, CA. He is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop, and also co-founded LumiGeek (

The DMS 5-axis router is quite a beast in the CNC shop and can reduce a piece of hardwood to a pile of chips in a matter of minutes. However, it's also quite a fickle machine and routinely throws random errors for no reason at all. In order to keep the DMS happy and cutting as expected, sometimes it is necessary to give it a hug. This can prove difficult since you must first lure the DMS away from it's safe home position. Here's how to go about that process.

Step 1: Gaze Lovingly and Press a Few Buttons

Take a good look at the beautiful machine that is the DMS. Admire it's expansive work bed, high speed, and amazing Z throw.

The DMS likes having it's buttons pressed. Walk around and test all the E-stops. Throw the giant power contactor lever. Twiddle some rotary knobs on the Fagor controller.

It is rumored that executing the Spindle Warmup G-code may make the DMS easier to lure in for a hug.

Step 2: Read to It Gently From the McMaster-Carr Catalog

The DMS loves hearing tales of tools and fasteners, of gaskets and safety placards, of sheet stock and bearings.

If you check the reference manual for the DMS, you will see that the McMaster-Carr catalog is it's favorite book. It also seems to like the Gempler's catalog and old issues of Giant Robot.

Step 3: Offer the DMS a Pretty Flower

Contrary to it's high-tech robotic appearance, the DMS will appreciate a flower (just not carnations because, seriously, carnations?).

What the DMS would *really* love is if someone would make it a gripper/claw attachment so it could receive the pretty flower.

Step 4: Serenade the DMS

You will receive bonus points for serenading the DMS on an instrument made locally (as in, made in the same shop).

If any parts of the instrument were actually routed on the DMS, that's a +3 charm modifier.

Step 5: Camouflage Yourself As a Robot

It doesn't have to be a very convincing disguise, as shown in the above picture. Any metal accoutrement will do. It also helps to pick up a few tools to appear to be "part of the gang" which will serve to put the DMS at ease.

Step 6: Now Jump Up There and HUG THAT ROBOT!

Now is your chance! The DMS has been slowly moving towards you with each previous step, so throw the interlock for safety, get up there, and get it! There is an area just above the spindle head that is practically *made* for hugging.

You are almost guaranteed a flawless job after following these procedures!

(Disclaimer: These procedures in no way guarantee a flawless job. Not even 'almost'.)



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    33 Discussions

    ..... was that a banjo?
    ... thats true love my friend!
    ... does yours have a friend... i could learn to love too.... aww.. man and machine.... you are living the dream!!


    I've got a vacuum mounting press that uses wetsuit rubber for the mat that suck up up against a glass sheet I rescued from a pool fence. The motor itself is a unit that measures in strange increments of even stranger amounts of vacuum. It too works better if I give it some affection. I found sometimes feeding the mat with a nice mixture if edible oil does wonders for it's complexion and rewards me with faster results. My engineers lathe also enjoys kind words and a blanket at night to hep it sleep. It's favourite song is a John Denver classic.

    It was a freeform jazz improvisation, since the loose tuning pegs on the fretless handmade banjo make it a little less than well tempered.

    This is excellent. I'm glad to see that you wore eye protection during this courtship. How often does one need to perform this procedure in order to keep the router happy? Also, do you find that it becomes fussier or jealous if it sees evidence of hand tools having been used?

    1 reply

    It turns out that the DMS is a fairly stoic machine and doesn't need a hug very often. However I caught it at a vulnerable time that it wasn't being used much. Also, hand tools do not faze it- it realizes it is stronger than the combination of most tools and the hand wielding them. Unless it's a screwgun and you're going all "disassemble Jonny V" on it.

    nice instructable! (Am I the only one who thinks it looks like GLaDOS?)

    1 reply

    I really want to court that router and give it lots of beautiful wood and foam and plastic to chew on.

    Sniff... That's beautiful... Better than that movie "beaches"...

    I am sure a classy machine such as this would appreciate a vintage pinot noir on the side if you want to make a lasting impression

    this might work with my FRC team's disk sander/grinder...i call her sandy :)

    Thank you for the reminder. Ignore them and they do get grouchy. :)


    This Instructable is very confusing. Is the DMS router the one on the left or the right in the top picture? I hope it's the one on the left, because, quite frankly, the one on the right scares me.

    Oh, I'm trying (and failing) to come up with some sort of machine online dating pun...

    I just told my tools that there are more people loving, talking and hugging there tools and machines. They are having a little party now to celebrate you are hugging your DMS router.