ShapeOko desktop mill from Inventibles

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This tool is no longer at ATXHS

This page is for historical purposes only. If you are interested in a replacement for it, bring the discussion up on the atxhs-discuss mailing list.

  • this is mostly copied from the Inventibles page

Inventables Shapeoko v21146.jpg

Shapeoko 2 is a simple, low cost, open source 3D Carving (CNC milling) machine kit that can be built over a weekend. Assembly is required before you can use it. The kits above are bare bones. We added the Shapeoko 2 for Designers & Makers which has upgrades to make it easier to use for first timers, schools, and for folks that are more interested in making stuff than buying it for the pure enjoyment of putting together the kit.

This is the second generation of the machine. The machine has been under development for the last five years. Edward Ford has been designing, redesigning, and building what he hoped would be a CNC machine that anyone can build. This machine is by far his best one yet.

The Shapeoko is open source, upgradable and expandable. Here are a few projects that improve on the base package:


What software do I use to run the machine?


   Easel by Inventables


   CAD – Create the design. You can use Inkscape, Google Sketchup or any of dozens of free CAD programs.
   CAM – Create the toolpaths. This is where you select what bits you want to use and other machining parameters. The favorite free one is MakerCAM.
   Controller – Run the Machine. You need software on the Shapeoko to control the motors and software on your computer to send the data to the Shapeoko. 

The Shapeoko runs grbl and most people use gcodesender on the computer.

What skills do I need to operate the machine?

To operate this machine you need to be 18 years or older or supervised by an adult. The milling bits are spinning fast and can cause injury if proper safety precautions are not taken. It will be helpful to have some background in CNC or be willing to be patient and learn the software tools and techniques required to operate the machine.

Will the machine cut metal?

  • The Shapeoko is capable of cutting soft non ferrous metals such as aluminum and brass. To cut these metals effectively we strongly recommend a slow feed rate. While technically it is possible to cut soft metals with a rotary tool you will have much better results if you use a more capable spindle.

Stepper Motors (Full Kit)

(4) Nema 17 60 oz/in

Controller (Full Kit)

3 Axis Arduino Based with grbl installed


550mm x 510mm

Power Supply (Full Kit)

24v 3.75A DC Power Supply

Cutting area

298mm x 301mm x 54mm

Spindle tool size