Shapeoko CNC Router

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Hive13 CNC Projects
CNC Router Build, DIY CNC Router, Gigabot, Hive13 CNC Projects, Hive13 Stepper Motor Driver Board, Inkjet Eggbot, MakerBot, Mendel, Plasma CNC Cutter, Shapeoko CNC Router

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Shapeoko 2 on the 20th of July 2015.jpg
Owner/Loaner: Hive13
Hive13 Asset Tag: None
Make/Model: Shapeoko 2 (google)
Arrival Date: 07/2014
Does it work?: no
Certification Needed?: yes
Contact: CNC area Warden
Floorplan: Ralph's House


The ShapeOko is a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine which in its default configuration uses a light-duty rotary tool as the spindle. It is a 3-axis machine; able to move the mounted tool up/down, left/right, and forward/backward under computer control with some measure of repeatable precision.

Hive13 was selected by Inventables to receive a Shapeoko 2 (very awesome of them)! We received the unit around the beginning of July 2014. Two build nights were hosted and semi documented under Project ShapeOko. Julien Morand took over building and improving much of the ShapeOko and is currently maintaining it (as of Oct 2014).

In 2015, Julien moved back to France, and our Shapeoko 2 became un-maintained (we had fewer members to take care of our equipment at that time). Shapeoko eventually fell out of use, and sustained some accidental damage. It is now being updated and given a more permanent home at Hive13.

Current Implementation:

Shapeoko System Diagram

Tasks and To Do:

  • Design table and enclosure for Shapeoko. Should be fully enclosed to mitigate fiberglass dust from PCB milling and other not-fun-for-lungs dust generators hazards.
  • Place all electronics into a single, sturdy enclosure & fasten to table.
  • Monitor & keyboard for direct user control.
  • Raspberry pi running simple cnc control software.
  • Finalize wiring
  • Test test test...

How to Use

Step by step

  • 1 start the PC
  • 2 turn on the 24 volts power supply by lifting the emergency switch
  • 3 start GRBL controller
  • 4 connect to the arduino board by hitting the connect button
  • 5 start the homing process by typing in the command bar $H. The Z axis should move up first then the x and y axis.
  • 6 once the homing is finished, move the spindle to the origin of your part by using the arrows on the screen or the command bar
  • 7 type in the command bar G92 x0 y0 z0 to set the relative origin.
  • 8 load a G-code file and start your job!

The shapeoko controller has to be compatible with the grbl firmware. Here is a little of compatible software:


Right now, the used software at the hive is GRBL controller [2] from zapmaker. When you have generated a G-code file with favorite CAD to CAM software (CAMBAM, MeshCAM...), you will use the (GRBL) controller to send the coordinates to the Shapeoko.

Prior to any machining, you have to set up the origin of your part.

The choice of the bit, the spindle rotation speed, feed rate and plunge rate require knowledge ans experience. Choosing poorly one of this parameter could damage the machined part, the bit or even the CNC machine.

If you don't know what are you doing or you need confirmation, don't hesitate to ask!

Other resources

Inventables website

ShapeOko website

Shapeoko wiki


2 June 2014

Hive13 is announced as a winner of a ShapeOko 2 from Inventables! Yay!

9 July 2014

Project ShapeOko commences and the ShapeOko is built

30 Sep 2014

New spindle was mounted and in the middle of its first test cut when the electronics died. Currently ordering new stepper controllers in an attempt to repair it.

11 November 2014

The shapoko is working again. A new Gshield has been bought. A first part has been successfully done.

13 January 2015

The shapoko is down for upgrading. Here is the list of the upgrades:

  • 1 the controlling software will new be LinuxCNC ([3]). It required an parallel port connection. A parallel port break out board has been bought for this purpose.
  • 2 the spindle speed will be controlled directly by the software via the parallel breakout board
  • 3 the spindle ON/OFF will be controlled directly by the software
  • 4 the z axis will be upgraded with the ACME upgrade ([4])

The ETA on these operations is on the 20 th of January.

14 February 2015

The shapoko is now available. The LinuxCNC upgrade have been hold for now. The ACME Z axis upgrade is installed. a new waste board have also been installed.

27 March 2015

The Z axis bet drive upgrade is now installed. A T-slot aluminum board have been installed (Thanks to Jim). The next target upgrades are:

  • 1 Rewire the machine with shielded cable to move the control boards on a box outside of the machine.
  • 2 Add mechanical limit switches for homing
  • 3 Add the relay board to turn ON & OFF the spindle, the spindle speed will be controlled directly by the software. The PWM output is coming from the arduino board.
  • 3 Add a mounting part for the supereyes borescope for using it as edge finder.
  • 4 Replace the mechanical limit switches to hall effect sensors.

27 July 2015

The stepper motors have been rewired using shielded cables. The limit switch boards are now mounted on the machine and connected to an interface boards. The homing is now possible on the machine. The set Arduino+Grbl shield is now in a new enclosure with the 24 volts power supply and the interface board. the next upgrades will be:

  • moving the components of the PC in the new enclosure to have only one box for the control of the machine.
  • weld the steel structure fro the Shapeoko (waiting on Kevin Shuler availability)
  • move the DC speed controller in the enclosure.
  • print the cable chain holders for X and Y axis (Gigabot is down)
  • add a support for the X axis for the cable chain

Limit switches

The limit/homing switches are Hall effect sensors. The boards are available in the shared projects section of OSH park. There are two boards for the x and y axis (4 total) and one for the z axis. Each board is supplied by the Arduino (+5 Volts). During normal operation the output of the sensors is pull high by the hall effect sensor. When the magnet is placed in front of the sensor, the output is pull to 0 Volts. The hard limit and homing needs to be enable on the GRBL software ($21=1 and $22=1).

Limit switch PCB

the schematic can be found here:File:Homing switch.pdf

Adaptor Board

Since the connection with the Arduino board is not very easy (euphemism), a board has been made to interface the signals coming from and to it. The current version of this board is using 3 position connectors to connect the limit switches. The cable used for the limit switches is microphone cable. So, the next version of this board will use XLR connector to improve the noise immunity (shielded connector) and make easier to plug in. the link with the Arduino made by a 10 position connector [5] and an adaptor to fit on the pin of the GRBL controller. The wiring schematics is the one use for GRBL 0.9 [6]

DC motor speed controller

The speed of the DC motor can be controller by a driver from RioRand[7]. The 48 Volts power supply is modulate by PWM to get an average voltage on the motor and therefore set the motor speed. A 100 Kohms multiturn potentiometer has been added to set manually the speed. An additional input (PWM1-2) is also available to directly controlled the speed on your G-code using the the M3,M4 and M5 commands. For example, M3 S1000 will make the motor turn clockwise at 1000 R.P.M. For now only the clockwise rotation is possible.