Goliath CNC Machine Review: In-Depth Analysis and Performance Benchmarks

advice, guidance, support, results

Since hitting over $1 million in crowdfunding on Kickstarter in 2017, Goliath CNC machine, developed by the Italian company Springa, has caught the attention of many within the maker movement. 

Unlike traditional CNC machines that are large and stationary, the Goliath CNC prides itself on being compact and highly portable, making it a potentially game-changing addition to a maker’s toolbox. With its ability to autonomously cut shapes and designs on large materials, it promises not just versatility but also convenience and efficiency.

Keep scrolling to read my unbiased Goliath CNC Machine Review.

Key Takeaways

  • The Goliath CNC is a compact, portable router designed to innovate the maker space.
  • It aligns with the needs of makers for efficient, versatile, and accessible digital fabrication tools.
  • An overview of the machine’s features, strengths, and weaknesses provides essential insights for potential users.

Hardware Considerations

Goliath CNC Overview

Goliath CNC introduces a new archetype in the realm of CNC milling machines by embodying the portability of a handheld machine with the capabilities of a traditional CNC. Being a portable robot, it negates the need for a fixed workbench or dedicated space, allowing for flexibility in project creation and design execution.

Design and Portability

Goliath CNC distinguishes itself with an omnidirectional three-module wheel design that affords movement on any rigid work surface. It has an aluminum frame with plastic covers, ensuring durability while maintaining a weight of just 22 pounds, light enough to offer genuine portability. My analysis reveals built-in handles, and I’ve noted that it can even fit within a backpack—ideal for mobility.

  • Frame: Aluminum with plastic covers
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Mobility Features: Omnidirectional wheels, built-in handles, backpack-fit size
  • Omnidirectional Wheels: Equipped with custom-developed sensors

Materials and Work Surface

The machine demonstrates impressive versatility with the capability to handle a wide array of materials such as wood, plastic, copper, and aluminum. Its ability to manage large sheets of materials, like plywood, with a substantial working area of 9.8 x 8.5 feet, endows users with the freedom to create expansive projects or multiple designs simultaneously.

  • Work Surface: Can accommodate up to 9.8 x 8.5 feet panels
  • Compatible Materials: Wood, plastic, copper, aluminum
  • Versatility: Can cut multiple workpieces in one session

Considering the Goliath CNC’s digital fabrication merits, it’s apparent that this machine tool can transform a simple piece of plywood into complex designs or functional furniture parts, aided by a CNC router with a maximum spindle speed of 27,000 RPM and maximum feed rate of 100 ipm.

Its mechanical precision of 0.1 mm and repeatability of 0.004 inches are facilitated by a patented sensor system to ensure exceptional accuracy.

  • Spindle Speed: Maximum of 27,000 RPM
  • Feed Rate: Maximum of 100 ipm
  • Accuracy: Mechanical precision of 0.1 mm
  • Repeatability: 0.004 inches

The Goliath CNC’s universal motor boasts 900W of power, which when coupled with the ER 16 collet, maximizes its efficiency. What further strengthens its performance is the programmable resolution of 0.004 inches and a cut depth that can reach 1.3 inches—attributes that underscore the machine’s ability to create precise and detailed projects.

  • Motor Power: 900W (universal motor)
  • Collet Type: ER 16
  • Cut Depth: Maximum of 1.3 inches
  • Programmable Resolution: 0.004 inches

Software Capabilities

When considering the Goliath CNC, its software capabilities are at the core of its performance. The proprietary Slingshot software is pivotal in providing precision and control over the machining processes.

Precision and Controls

Slingshot, the software developed specifically for the Goliath CNC machine, runs smoothly on operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux, offering a wide range of compatibility. This software supports various file formats, which users find imperative in a CNC context, including SVG, DXF, and G-code.

Slingshot has shown its user-friendly interface to be particularly beneficial. I’ve been able to import, edit, and view my designs with ease. With features like a tutorial mode, Slingshot guides me through the machine’s setup and operational procedures, enhancing my understanding of its mechanics.

Connecting the Goliath CNC to my computer over Wi-Fi eliminates the need for tangled wires, which has streamlined my workspace. I’ve also taken advantage of the ability to control the Goliath CNC machine remotely via its dedicated smartphone app. Its compatibility with cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive allows for straightforward project management and data access.

The Goliath CNC machine is further complemented by a touch screen display, which keeps me informed on the status and progress of the projects with live feedback. The addition of a voice feedback system has been a game-changer, providing real-time audible instructions and alerts.

Importantly, an auto-stop safety feature ensures the machine halts operations if it encounters any obstacles or errors, offering me peace of mind regarding my safety and that of the machine.

Enhancements and Innovations

It is essential to explore the specific enhancements and innovations integrated into Goliath’s design. These advancements have cemented the Goliath as an innovative autonomous robotic machine tool, designed with both functionality and user safety in mind.

Autonomous Features

The Goliath CNC boasts an autonomous sensor system which is pivotal to its operation. This system allows the machine to intelligently map the surface it is working on—detecting its position and orientation with precision. A sophisticated self-correcting algorithm underpins its autonomous movements, ensuring any deviations or errors are compensated for in real-time. Furthermore, auto Z-axis calibration is integrated to adapt to different material thicknesses and surface unevenness, enhancing the machine’s versatility.

Another notable feature is the built-in dust collection system, which works to minimize the mess typically associated with CNC machining. It includes:

  • A vacuum system that efficiently sucks dust and debris directly into a containment bag.
  • A dust shoe that hovers over the cutting zone, preventing dust from dispersing into the air.

These components are essential in reducing not only the clean-up time but also improving the overall air quality surrounding the workspace and reducing noise levels. Moreover, the Goliath features an auto-stop safety mechanism, which halts operation immediately upon encountering an obstacle or error, a testament to the machine’s commitment to user safety.

Practical Applications

The Goliath CNC machine is a robust tool for a variety of practical applications, blending the convenience of a portable CNC system with the precision of digital fabrication technologies. Its cutting-edge design allows users to create intricate projects on a large scale with materials varying from wood to plastics.

The boundless work area of the Goliath CNC makes it an optimal choice for creators who require flexibility and portability in their CNC projects.

Furniture and Woodworking

With its 9.8 x 8.5 ft. working area, I find the Goliath CNC machine ideal for furniture and woodworking projects. From elegant table designs to bespoke storage solutions, the machine can handle a variety of wooden materials with precision. Its portability allows it to maneuver around large sheets, cutting intricate profiles and pockets effortlessly.

  • Types of Projects:
    • Custom tables
    • Shelving units
    • Decorative panels

Custom Creations

Goliath’s ability to cut any shape or design on large panels, opening a world of possibilities for personalized projects. The Goliath CNC can bring my artistic visions to life, be it custom signage or unique art pieces, while ensuring each creation is meticulously crafted down to the finest detail.

  • Examples of Custom Projects:
    • Artistic wall panels
    • Personalized signs
    • Intricate decor items

Prototyping and Production

For prototyping and small-scale production, the Goliath CNC is an indispensable tool. It can adjust spindle speed, feed rate, and cut depth to match project requirements, ensuring each prototype is an accurate representation of the final product.

The ability to quickly switch between different bits and tools for various effects and finishes makes it a versatile asset in any workshop.

  • Prototyping Capabilities:
    • Multi-material compatibility
    • Precision adjustments for complexity
    • Multiple workpieces handling

The Goliath CNC machine adapts its capabilities to the complexity and precision needed, reinforcing its status as a fundamental tool in digital fabrication and the makerspace community.

It demonstrates the practicality that a portable robotic CNC machine can offer for diverse applications, enhanced by the successful Kickstarter campaign that introduced it to the market.

Pros and Cons

Advantages of Goliath CNC

  • Portability: I can confirm that this CNC milling machine excels in portability. It’s compact enough to fit in a backpack, making it a convenient option for on-site jobs or small workspaces.
  • Work Area: A standout feature is the machine’s expansive work area. It’s designed to manage full sheets of materials, providing flexibility for larger projects.
  • Precision: Stability and a high level of precision are assured with Goliath CNC. It aims to produce accurate cuts and maintains quality in each operation.
  • Built-in Dust Collector: It includes a dust collector, which is a significant advantage for maintaining a cleaner work environment and minimizes dust and noise.
  • Connectivity: This machine boasts user-friendly connectivity. Operation is streamlined through remote control via a smartphone app, enhancing its accessibility.
  • Autonomy: As an autonomous and intelligent machine, it can efficiently operate without constant supervision, allowing for multitasking during projects.

Limitations to Consider

  • Cost: The price tag is considerable, with the unit costing $2,850. It’s an investment, especially for individuals or small businesses.
  • Positional Accuracy: There’s a potential for positional loss during the milling or drilling processes due to material resistance and vibration, which can affect the precision of the work.
  • Workpiece Stability: A notable drawback is the absence of an integrated system to secure workpieces in place, which may require additional setup.
  • Material Compatibility: Challenges arise when working with non-flat or non-rigid materials. Metals, in particular, can be problematic for this machine to handle.
  • Connectivity Limitations: The machine only connects via Wi-Fi, lacking USB or Ethernet options. This could limit its use in environments with poor wireless connectivity.


The Goliath CNC Machine, its compact design and portability stand out as key features. Aimed at empowering DIY enthusiasts and participants in the maker movement, this machine underscores the evolution of digital fabrication tools. Its ability to handle various materials and the convenience of a limitless working area makes it a flexible choice for diverse projects.

As the field of CNC machining advances, it’s apparent that technologies like AI and machine learning will further refine these tools, enhancing both efficiency and output quality. The integration of AR and VR promises a more interactive CNC experience, and the prospect of collaborative robots indicates a shift towards more synchronized manufacturing processes.

For those considering a CNC machine, prioritize the following:

  • Alignment with project objectives
  • Evaluation of feature sets against requirements
  • Budget and spatial constraints

It’s crucial to seek multiple perspectives on performance by:

  • Comparing specifications across models
  • Engaging with user reviews and expert insights
  • Reviewing demos to ascertain ease of use
  • Securing robust support from manufacturers

With these tips and an eye on upcoming innovations, selecting a CNC machine that fits one’s unique context becomes a more informed and future-proof decision.

Curious about other CNC Machine Brands? Check out our guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Goliath CNC compare with traditional CNC machines in terms of portability?

Traditional CNC machines usually require a fixed, often large, space due to their size and infrastructure needs. In contrast, the Goliath CNC boasts a highly compact and portable design. This allows for easy transport and usage in various settings, overcoming the limitation of requiring a dedicated space.

What are the dimensions of the work area that Goliath CNC can accommodate?

The Goliath CNC is designed to work on a virtually unlimited surface area. Its compact nature allows it to move across a workpiece rather than being limited to a fixed frame, accommodating large-scale projects with ease.

What are the alternative solutions to Goliath CNC for small-scale manufacturing?

For small-scale manufacturing, alternatives to the Goliath CNC include other desktop CNC machines, laser cutters, and traditional hand tools for woodworking and prototyping. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons related to precision, cost, and ease of use.

On what platforms are user reviews for the Goliath CNC machine available, and how reliable are they?

User reviews for the Goliath CNC machine can be found on various platforms like Kickstarter comments, woodworking forums, and tech review websites. These reviews’ reliability can widely vary, and I advise looking at reputable sources and considering both positive and negative reviews for a balanced overview.

What is the price range for a Goliath CNC machine, and how does it relate to its features?

The Goliath CNC machine is priced to reflect its innovative portability and autonomous features. While I don’t have the specific current price, it’s important to weigh its cost against the convenience of its portability, material versatility, and ease of assembly.

What are the key considerations when looking to purchase a Goliath CNC machine?

When considering the purchase of a Goliath CNC machine, one should evaluate the size and scope of projects it will be used for, the variety of materials to be cut, the machine’s ease of use, and its compatibility with existing design software. Also, consider the level of precision required and the potential need for additional accessories or workspace preparations.

Leading the way

Let's build a better world together

Project planning

Design expertise

Great qualifications

Nullam vestibulum finibus sapien, id consequat mauris tempus auctor.


90 Newport St., Natick, MA 01760

83 Taylor Street, Kings Mountain, NC 28086

22 Birch Hill St., Villa Rica, GA 30180

Support requests


Nullam scelerisque leo felis, quis congue mauris tristique in. Suspendisse pulvinar, felis eu facilisis mattis, turpis odio luctus nisi, et ultrices velit enim quis lacus.

Request a quote

[Insert your contact form here]


Vivamus vehicula dictum elit at bibendum. Etiam finibus eros ut urna auctor ullamcorper. Sed at erat eget nisl rutrum ultrices sed eu ex.


Sign up to receive the latest news and trends from our company.

More questions? Get in touch