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This wiki documents the Shapeoko, a low-cost, open source CNC machine designed by Edward Ford, now on its third version (announced 9 December 2014) the second version of which was announced on 21 October 2013,[2] a little over two years after the Kickstarter campaign for the previous version.[3] The Shapeoko 1 and 2 used MakerSlide which was developed by Bart Dring[4] for linear motion --- SO3 uses two custom extrusions, an Arduino as its microcontroller, (the Arduino was developed by Hernando Barragan at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Ivrea, Italy) and runs Grbl, a motion controller and an interpreter for G-code (a standard language for Computer Numerical Control (CNC)). Grbl is an open-source project first written by Simen Svale Skogsrud (Norway) in 2009 and, since 2011, has been led and developed by Sonny Jeon Ph.D. (USA).

Goal: ShapeOko's goal is to design and build a fully open source (open hardware) 3 axis CNC machine that anyone can build for the lowest possible initial cost. We're doing everything possible to design an easy to assemble, fully capable machine that will do it's part in both the open hardware and desktop manufacturing movements.

This wiki is designed to be the main source of information for the project. It's an open wiki with only simple registration required to edit pages. This is a community project and as such the community will be the main source of contributions to the pages. As you build your own ShapeOkos, please help refine the assembly pages, update part descriptions, and of course add your machine to the Gallery pages!


The work area for the SO3 is about 16″ × 16″ × 3″ (the SO2 is ~12″ × ~12″ × 2.5″ (300mm × 300mm × 60mm) and was 8″ × 8″ × 3.5″ on the original, and the SO2 can easily restore the lost Z-axis travel by a different spindle mount and/or other modifications). The X and Y work areas are calculated by taking the total length of the aluminum extrusion (375mm MakerSlide for the SO1) and subtracting the width of the carriage (SO1: (160mm) 375-160 = 215mm = 8.4 inches). It is quite straight-forward to scale up as has been discussed in the forum, and initially announced on Edward's blog post. There are a number of other documented upgrades as well.

The resolution of the X and Y axes is 40 steps per mm, (~1,016 steps per inch) for the ShapeOko 3 and 2 which use 2mm GT2 belting. Expected precision in operation is 0.005" - 0.007" with repeatability around 0.001". For machines using MXL belts (ShapeOko 1) it is 277.778 steps per inch (~10.9 steps per mm)

An example of this, calculated using the Belt Calculators (if using metric, use RepRap Calculator3 which avoids the need for unit conversion), could be calculated with the following inputs:

  • The stepper motors are 200 steps per revolution, but 400 steps/rev will work as well. We're looking for at least 58oz/in in terms of power for an SO1/2-class machine. Anything above that will work, anything below 58oz/in is untested.
  • The belt is the GT2 type, with a pitch of 0.08 according to the Belt Calculator page. (They were MXL for the SO1)
  • The pulley has 20 teeth.

Catalin Voinescu wrote up an in-depth (color-coded) discussion of this for the Shapeoko 2 in Grbl Configuration[5].

In full step mode, The resolution of the Z axis is 8128 steps per inch (320 steps per mm). The threaded rod (99055A125) has a pitch of 1.25mm, so one complete rotation of the stepper will move 1.25mm, and therefore each full step will move 1.25/400 = 0.003125mm. 1/0.003125 = 320 per mm. 320*25.4 = 8128 per inch.

There's also an on-line tool: ShapeOko Grbl settings calculator.

Origin of the name ShapeOko

150px 215px ShapeOko is named after the Shapeways 3D printing and the Ponoko laser cutting services. The design (pre-kickstarter) was based around services provided by both companies. It was really the availability of such services that gave the project legs. Precision manufacturing services enable regular everyday people the ability to create and produce extremely accurate parts. It's this low cost precision commodity manufacturing that enables projects such as ShapeOko to happen. Without these services, skilled handwork would be required. Drilling holes, cutting parts by hand, and measuring to levels not typically achievable by the average "maker".

KickStarter project

Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

On July 26, 2011, 125 backers pledged $11,078 toward Project ShapeOko, far exceeding the funding goal of $1,500. During the course of the Kickstarter the machine incorporated Makerslide, and parts were sourced from companies via http://www.mfg.com/ .

Further details

CNC History


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