Scaling Up

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Scaling up is a simple mechanical matter --- since the Shapeoko is a simple machine w/o encoders (in its default configuration using Grbl 0.8, though 0.9 has added settings for this, which are now supported to allow for rapid positioning in Carbide Motion, and other software such as TinyG and Marlin and LinuxCNC and Mach3 have such settings[1], there is no necessary software configuration --- the software simply assumes that the user has taken the responsibility of ensuring that a given file's request to move to a given X, Y, Z coordinate will be w/in the machine's working envelope. Some CAM software may have a setting for machine size.[2]

See MachineDesigner: How to design your own ShapeOko for a useful design tool.

Discussion of the physics involved:


The ShapeOko 2's design makes increasing the Z-axis travel a simple matter of longer MakerSlide and threaded rod as noted by monkey123 in the forums.[3] A follow-up posted added images and further details: Re: How to increase Z-Axis range?.

X and/or Y-axis

Scaling up the ShapeOko is a fairly straightforward task involving larger lengths of MakerSlide and/or larger front and rear plates and/or the new X-axis plates discussed here: Shapeoko Forum: New X-axis plates. If you are increasing the width of the ShapeOko (with longer front/rear plates or the new design, and thus the length of the gantry), you will need to drive both sides of the gantry by installing either a Dual Motor system or the Drive Shaft upgrade. See forum post here.).

While a wide machine is more usable than a narrow long one, the Y axis can be extended arbitrarily with little penalty, because it can be supported along its length; but the X axis forms the gantry, so it needs to be stiff in its own right, which is why most large machines have the Y longer than the X. You should have no problems with a 1800 mm long Y and 900 mm wide X, if you add one or two pairs of mid-span supports for the Y axis; the other way, you'll probably find that the X flexes too much.[4].

Belt Lengths

Ordering belts is complicated by belting being sold by the foot, Makerslide coming in metric lengths, belt anchor techniques requiring different additional lengths, and how many axes one is ordering for. Basically, add up the lengths of your axes, then pad out w/ the length you'll need for belt anchoring at each end as well as routing around the pulleys and idler wheels.

Length Single-drive (1-axis) Dual-drive (1-axis, two pairs of belts) Dual-drive and a second axis
0.5M (ShapeOko 2 default 5 ft. just barely works --- each axis will be a little short. 6 ft. works quite comfortably
1M 7 ft. will work, if belt anchoring is efficient --- 8ft. has length to spare 12 ft.[5]

Further Notes

From: Need help figuring things out

  • more wire
  • cable management becomes a necessity at the larger sizes
  • belt tension requires more control --- eye bolts are one way to handle this
  • larger bed --- a torsion box[6] or something much stiffer than a sheet of particle board --- weight becomes an issue and the machine goes from awkward, to difficult to move, possibly requiring casters or becoming essentially immobile.
  • a Double Makerslide X-Axis becomes pretty much essential, and fastening the two rails together is necessary if cutting tougher materials.[7]
  • Re: Large Format Shapeoko --- need for mid span supports.

1M x 1M Inventables Upgrade

Inventables has made available a kit which provides the basics needed to upgrade a machine to 1M x 1M:

Note: At the larger sizes of machine it will also be necessary to make a table or bed to support the machine to prevent racking and keep the machine square.

The above could be doubled to 1M x 2M by adding a second wasteboard, additional wire, drag chain and longer MakerSlide and extrusions and more side supports to extend the Y-axis.

Forum Discussions

Re: Shapeoko 2 #8233 1000 X 1000MM --- includes discussion of lengths to cut extrusion and photos showing assembly.

Giant ShapeOko for Stylus Testing


Created by: User:Edward

Upgrade Name: Giant ShapeOko for Stylus Testing

Description: 33" ShapeOko for testing Styluses, with additional Y-axis motor



  • 3 x 33" of [MakerSlide]
  • 1 x (each) of 33" Front and Rear panel
  • 1 x Additional Stepper Motor (as described in the Dual Motor upgrade)
  • 1 x Longer(?) belt


Scaling up the ShapeOko for use with a stylus is detailed in this ShapeOko Blog entry.

Other Implementations

There are numerous examples in the forums or in the wiki. Some interesting ones include: