Introducing The Shapeoko 2

For all the 3D printers that hit the Hackaday tip line, it’s surprising we don’t see more CNC routers. They’re arguably more useful tools, and with the ability to mill wood, plastic, and non-ferrous metals, open up the door to a whole bunch more potential builds. One of the most popular – and certainly one of the least expensive – CNC routers out there, the Shapeoko, just received a huge update that makes this minimal machine even more capable.

The new Shapeoko 2 keeps the same V wheel on an aluminium extrusion design with Makerslide, but fixes a few problems that limited the original Shapeoko. There’s a larger work area on this version, and the Y axes feature dual stepper motors. The biggest feature, we think, is the ability to handle materials larger than the machine itself thanks to its open front and back.

The Shapeoko 2 is available in two versions, a $300 mechanical kit that requires you to go out and get some motors, a power supply, and a grblShield, the full version, for $650, includes everything you’ll need to start routing wood metal and plastic at home.

39 thoughts on “Introducing The Shapeoko 2

  1. I’d like to get one of these to mill 1/2″ acrylic. I’m not really interested in milling wood as much. Does anybody have enough experience with cutting acrylic to know if speeds/feeds are reasonable for a machine like this?

      1. This will never cut aluminium cleanly. I’d be suprised it it cut acrylic at a reasonable speed. I think these should only be considered engravers, theres just not enough rigidity in it.

        1. I cut 5mm and 1/8″ acrylic on my modded Shapeoko (basically it’s a somewhere between V1 and V2). It works. I’m not sure about 1/2 inch. Can you find two flute bits that long?

    1. I’d guess a 1/8th endmill could do 10IPM at 2mm depth of cut with reasonable surface finish. Rigidity is the limiting factor though, in a proper machine you could probably run a quarter inch deep at 400IPM given proper chip clearing.

    2. My tip – always get good quality cast acrylic. Extruded acrylic is very hard to mill as it melts too much. Cast acrylic is a joy to use on my Proxxon MF70. Extruded acrylic will laser cut but not as well as cast and it smells a lot worse. My wife shouts at me when I laser cut extruded acrylic and then complains that I smell bad when I come to bed. Sex is not an option.

      IMHO extruded acrylic is the work of satan.

  2. I can cut with a .125″ endmill at .25″ at 35 IPM with my Microcarve machine.
    It’s a terrible idea, but it’s happened before.
    More realistically I do .08″ DOC with a .125″ at 80 IPM and .14″ DOC with a .25 140 IPM.
    I thought about the Shapeoko and super-sizing it but it’s rigidity could be questionable for anything that requires a lot of it.

      1. It sounds as if you have never used a 3D printer.
        In comparison, the 3D printer is much quieter than a CNC mill with the noise of a spindle and bit cutting through material.
        I have one of each, the noise of the 3D printer is quieter than the Television and very tolerable, the noise of the CNC: not so much.

  3. If you encase it, have a $50 vortex separator,a shopvac and suck it up when it piles up you’ll be good. I’ve had it accumulate in single jobs to the point the machine stalls from all the chips :)
    That idea does depend on how well these things handle dust though since my machine uses bushings and not ball bearings.

      1. You’d be putting extra torque on which ever stepper has to lift the gantry. You could put a counterweight, but then you’d have all that extra inertia to deal with. Technically, yes, you can do that, but it’s not going to work well.

  4. If you went with a Proxxon or better spindle and so forth it might work. Runout on a dremel is TERRIBLE. I use a dremel for some sanding but past that and some grinding it’s bad news.
    MDF is actually a great substrate for building a CNC machine if it’s done properly, and it’s fixed bridge. If your adventurous you can buy a BBox kit (you cut up the MDF) from Microcarve’s very own John, and it will be very nice for PCBs, fine lithos, and other things. I’m not associated with him other than after two years I’m still emailing him questions from time to time.

  5. Shapeoko2 is very unreliable. Lots of modding to make things work properly. It’s a poor job for the SECOND version of a CNC machine. All they did was make a few mechanical changes from Shapeoko orignal. Advertised NEMA 23 motor operation which they act like they have never tested it 3 months after I bought mine. I suggest waiting for another option.

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