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This is the 3rd official version of the Shapeoko desktop CNC machine. With over 3 years of user feedback, experience, and improvements ranging from easier assembly to better software options, this is the best Shapeoko we've ever made. Period.[1]

Contents

Shapeoko

An Open Hardware project in Dixon, IL by Edward Ford

Ayo! If you're looking at this project, you probably think a low cost simple desktop CNC machine is as cool as we do. Sweet. It's always nice to meet like minded people!

The Shapeoko is a CNC machine kit. It is intended to provide basic functionality while being simple to understand, assemble, and operate --- all this at the lowest possible price. The stock configuration forgoes many features that are standard in more expensive machines (but many can be added as upgrades). This imposes limitations that the user has to work around. Despite this, or maybe because of this, many people with no prior experience with CNC, woodworking, or machining have successfully assembled and operated Shapeoko machines. Like most things in life, what you get out of it reflects the effort, preparation and patience you are willing to exert. We strongly suggest that you start by assembling and using the machine in its stock configuration. This makes troubleshooting via e-mail and the forums easier; more importantly, it provides you with valuable experience for implementing any planned upgrades.

Have a look around the DIY CNC scene and you will notice the lack of simple, low cost, straight forward build options. We want to fix that. For the last four years we have been designing, redesigning, and building what we hope to be a CNC machine that anyone can build for the lowest possible price (about $300 in 2012--3 with a bit of patience and luck in sourcing parts and w/o two upgrades (dual-motors and double X-axis) which are now standard, a full kit (sans spindle) for the much improved Shapeoko 3 is currently $999). Did I mention that cost even includes the electronics to run the machine? Unlike other projects where you're shelling out $1,000 for just the frame and maybe motors, ShapeOko includes everything you will need to turn your ideas from just a crazy thought into a tangible item.

If nothing else, this project is open. Nobody wants to get locked into some proprietary platform, and nobody wants to spend their money on a machine just to learn they will need to spend another $500 on software to run it. With that in mind, we built the entire process around open source components. From CAD and CAM software to the CNC controller; every step has an open source solution. Did we mention the entire project itself is open source? Every nut, every bolt, every belt, fully documented with part numbers and vendor list. Do with it as you please!

What makes this different? One of the frustrations we had with other designs was the fact that you had to visit a lot of different vendors in order to get all the pieces. We didn't like that. Plus, some projects didn't have a central "released" build, which made it difficult to determine if what you were building was actually what you were expecting to build.

All of that resulted in the following design goals:

  • 1 standard design
  • lowest possible total cost (originally $300)
  • Maximum of 3 vendors

So, how are we doing on the goals?

  • 1 standard design - So far, so good. There are documented upgrades, but a single design for each version.
  • lowest possible total cost - while there are less expensive machines, as of this writing the Shapeoko seems to be at the sweet point of price and capability and expandability.
  • Maximum of 3 vendors - as of this writing it's possible to purchase a full kit from a single vendor, Carbide3D. See the BOM (bill of materials) and Vendors pages for more information and other options.
ShapeOko partially assembled.jpg

How to determine if a Shapeoko is right for you

Please look through the wiki, esp. the Project links and see if the machine is capable of the sort of projects which you wish to make. Check the Materials page to see if it can cut the materials necessary for your projects.

3D Machine Simulation

Forum user Grblgru has created a 3 dimensional software simulation of a Shapeoko (which can be extended to mimic other machines). This will allow one to do an end-to-end simulation of a production workflow, including (virtual) machining operations. In addition, it's a great way to while away time while waiting for a machine to be delivered.

GrblGru = Free 3D-Simulation for ShapeOko2 --- please note that that link takes one to the first page of the discussion. There is additional information (and newer versions) in later posts.

List of Publicly Accessible Machines

The following groups / organizations have Shapeokos and are open to the public (or to guests of members):

  • 10BitWorks, San Antonio, TX[2]
  • ATX Hackerspace, Austin, TX[3]
  • Bozeman Makerspace, Bozeman, MT[4]
  • MidSouthMakers, Memphis, TN[5]
  • MobileMakerspace, Mobile, AL[6]
  • Splatspace, Durham, NC[7]
  • Staten Island Makerspace, New York City, New York[8]
  • http://siouxfallswoodworking.com/ Sioux Falls, SD[9]

Overview

This wiki documents the Shapeoko, a CNC machine / kit project. The wiki is navigated by using the sidebar to the left. The overall structure and some of the more interesting pages:

Please be certain to start with the Overview and to use the Operating Checklist when using the machine. There is also an FAQ which should be consulted in the event of any questions.

Much information about the original machines is still present here and has been archived (see Shapeoko 2 and ShapeOko 1 Build Instructions in the sidebar) and these pages serve as a catch-all for anything not covered at Project ShapeOko (news and updates and main link repository), the Project Gallery, and docs.shapeoko.com (SO2 assembly instructions, with content hosted on github.com) and the user forums.

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Shapeoko 3
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