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Basic Tools Required

Shapeoko 3

Tools needed for assembly will be included w/ a kit.[1] Tools which are currently included:

  • Hex keys (Allen wrenches)
    • 1.5mm Hex key --- used for M3 set screws on pulleys
    • 2mm Ball End Hex Key
    • 2.5mm Ball End Hex Key
    • 3mm Ball End Hex key
    • 4mm Ball End Hex Key
    • 5mm Allen wrench --- used for M6 Socket Head Cap Screws (SHCS)
  • single use wrenches
    • 8mm
    • 10mm
    • 13mm

as well as

  • blue thread lock
  • Sharpie Permanent Marker

Additional Assembly Tools


  • Flush cut pliers (or scissors) --- these are used for trimming zip ties --- an alternative is to use a pair of nail clippers --- if curved clippers are used the ends will be rounded and less likely to catch
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Level
  • Pencil


  • Easy-peel masking tape, such as blue painter’s tape (nothing that leaves a residue behind)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flashlight

Other Tools

  • 5.5mm open-end wrench --- used for M3 hex nuts
  • Slip Joint Pliers (a pair was included w/ earlier kits in lieu of the larger wrenches)
  • 1/8" hex key for 10-24 BHCS used for 1/2" aluminum spacers used for Z-axis stops --- these have been switched to metric for current production
  • 8mm Combo Wrench
  • 10mm Assembly Wrench
  • 13mm (or 1/2") wrench for M8 hex nuts

Collet wrenches

Outlines of collet wrenches

Tracing of Makita RT0701/0700 collet wrenches:

DeWalt DWP611/D26200

Carbide Compact Router/Makita RT0700/0701

collet wrench/nut sizes:

Shapeoko 2

Tools needed for a stock ShapeOko 2 kit from Inventables. These tools will also cover most Shapeoko 1 kits.

  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 3mm Allen wrench
  • 2.5mm Allen wrench
  • 2mm Allen wrench
  • 1.5mm Allen wrench
  • 2 13mm open-end wrenches
  • 8mm open-end wrench
  • A tool to tighten the M3 brass standoff spacers --- candidates include: 5mm open-end wrench, adjustable crescent wrench, nylon parallel-jaw pliers.
  • M5 0.8 pitch Tap
  • T-handle
  • razor blade (used for cutting and stripping wires, the tools listed below are preferable)
  • small flat-bladed screwdriver
  • very small Phillips (or flat-bladed) screwdriver
  • #2 Philips or large flat-bladed screwdriver


The ER-11 collets and spindle bundled with the Nomad require:

Nomad spindle:

Tool Descriptions and Notes

  • 4mm Allen wrench --- used for M5 Socket Cap Head Screws (SCHS)
  • 3mm Allen wrench --- used for M5 Button Cap Head Screws (BCHS)
  • 2.5mm Allen wrench --- used on M3 SCHS, 5mm--8mm coupler set screws
  • 2mm Allen wrench --- used for the set screws on flexible couplers with both jaw screws and set screws, the jaw screws will take a 2.5 mm Allen key (above)
  • 1.5mm Allen wrench --- used for the M3 set screws in metric bore pulleys
  • 1/16" Allen wrench --- (Imperial) set screw in 1/4" and 5mm pulleys. Note: This is only 5% larger than the 1.5mm and in many cases will fit, and fit more securely, allowing more torque to be applied.

Note: Ball-end hex wrenches are much easier to use when assembling things at odd angles in tight spaces.

  • 2 13mm open-end wrenches --- for tightening the jam nuts on the threaded rod --- or use an adjustable crescent wrench
  • 8mm open-end wrench --- used for M5 nuts and eccentric spacers

Note: 1/2" and 5/16" wrenches (pictured) respectively are w/in tolerance and may be used instead.

  • 5.5mm open-end wrench --- used for M3 hex nuts
  • A tool to tighten the M3 brass standoff spacers --- candidates include: 5mm open-end wrench, adjustable crescent wrench, nylon parallel-jaw pliers.
Tap only needed if Makerslide is not pre-tapped
  • M5 0.8 pitch Tap
  • T-handle --- A good quality tap and handle help the process go much more smoothly. Some people like to use a ratcheting handle[4].
Tools needed for wiring electronics
Soldering iron only needed if assembling a board from components or if using a wiring option which requires soldering.
  • Soldering iron

Optional tools

  • Blue Loctite (or equivalent)
Note: The Loctite might not be necessary, but is handy to have around. As the machine vibrates (and it will), your bolted connections have the potential of loosening. If this occurs, one option is to use a dab of thread locker to prevent the guilty bolt from coming loose again. It's not necessary to do this to any of the bolts unless they begin to loosen. Alternately, one could instead use lock washers.

Carbide 3D uses Loctite 222 when assembling machines.


Caution on use in plastics:

Tool Storage

Foam tool organizer

ShapeOko Cigar Box Tool kit

Thingiverse: Foldable tool box

Technique for molding foam:

Fine Woodworking: Quick to Build Tool Cabinet PDF --- utilitarian toolbox which fits w/in a milk crate. Includes SketchUp plan.

List of Tools

Additional Tools

  • Measurement
    • Calipers --- Note the "10:1 rule" a guideline in metrology. Broadly speaking, your measuring instrument chosen should be accurate (not just discriminate) to 1/10th of the tolerance. So, if you have a feature with a tolerance of 0.010", your measuring instrument should be accurate to no less than 0.001"[8]
    • micrometer
    • dial indicator w/ magnetic base
    • feeler gauge[9]
    • thread pitch gauge
  • Set up tools
    • parallels --- even a couple of offcuts from a length of bar extrusion can be useful for setting up stock so as to allow cutting all the way around it for example.
    • 1-2-3 blocks
  • marking
    • permanent marker
    • layout fluid such as Dykem
    • carbide scribe
  • dead blow hammer
  • punches
  • allen keys
  • torx keys
  • Files --- "inexpensive and are best bang for the buck in finishing" [10]
  • triangle (machinist) scraper [11]
  • crescent wrench
  • toe clamp set[12]

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