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!
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 about $300. 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
- $300 total cost
- Maximum of 3 vendors
So, how are we doing on the goals?
- 1 standard design - So far, so good. There are documented upgrades, but still a single design.
- $300 total cost - Pretty close. Plan to spend around $350 to get your ShapeOko running.
- Maximum of 3 vendors - Well, as Meat Loaf said, two out of three ain't bad. See the Purchasing page for more info.