This seems like a noob question buried under a nut-case idea, and I am sorry if it is. How does the part-time maker build compact (maybe even portable) assemblies that can be used for multiple processes? Could a laser welder also be a 5-axis mill in its spare time? Could an interchangeable head turn it into a plasma cutter? Can these home-built machines operate at industrial accuracy? I kept coming up against weight and drive-slew problems based on inertia models and hardware that are highly-calibrated and proprietary. I keep coming back to a long-term repeatability problem with drive systems and frames supported by off-the-shelf parts. Then I stumbled across a video of a tramming tool making a G-code model of a small cast part, and it seemed to be teaching itself tool-path and slice as it mapped dimensions of the part. I don't think we have to choose between accurate and affordable (speed and cost seemed tied together). I think suitable parts to make CNC structures be highly accurate, reasonably priced, and with almost no human adjustment during service life are right in front of us already. I just haven't looked in the right part of the problem. Somewhere in this haystack I believe there's a simple needle we can all use to stitch easy, affordable, and accurate closer together. I've been evaluating kits for 3 days solid. So far, nothing. Thanks for taking a minute to read a madman's rant.