Anyone use a Shapeoko 2?

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Forum topic by Gixxerjoe04 posted 12-08-2014 04:32 PM 2949 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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833 posts in 999 days

12-08-2014 04:32 PM

So last week I decided to buy the Shapeoko 2 since they had a sale and was wondering if anyone has any experience with them? I know it’s like a beginner cnc but figured it was worth giving it a shot for the price tag compared to others. I sell stuff on etsy and plan on doing more craft shows next year since I did my first one this year and did pretty good at it. I think it’ll help being able to add custom/unique inlay work to cutting boards and other things I make, so pretty excited to get it. My only concern starting out is finding a good software to use for it that doesn’t cost an arm and leg, and isn’t impossible to learn on if you aren’t extremely good at computer software/programming. So any advice on what kind of software you use or would recommend, or just any tips in general? Thanks

19 replies so far

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Scott C.

147 posts in 1473 days

#1 posted 12-20-2014 04:07 AM

Inventables Easel software looks pretty basic and probably easy to use. Seems like a good way to get strated and then move on to more sophisticated software later. There are quite a few free softwares out there for cnc work, you can even use sketchup with a gcode plugin.

Also, if you got the full kit, you might eventual want to look at a different spindle/router. The knock off dremel seems a little wimpy and I’d worry about the runout for any precise inlay work. The dewalt dw660 seems to be a popular option, better power, probably better runout, not to heavy for the shapeoko’s rails and motors.

I haven’t used one, but have been reading up on it a lot.I’ve been toying with getting a shapeoko2 as well.

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

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Mike Gager

665 posts in 2690 days

#2 posted 03-03-2015 01:50 PM

im planning on getting one here pretty soon. i was wondering how your experience has been thus far?

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833 posts in 999 days

#3 posted 03-03-2015 02:51 PM

Well it took awhile to finally get it all together, the instructions could have been better but weren’t too bad I guess. Took quite a few rewiring attempts to get it going once I got it completely together. I haven’t been able to do a whole lot on it yet because it’s been too cold in my garage and my wife said no more after messing with it a few times haha. Seems to work well, i upgraded the spindle to a dewalt. The hardest part i think is figuring out how to design on software and get it all right, not the best at it so it’s going to take sometime. Once I move and hopefully get a bigger shop to work in, want to upgrade the size of it, all in all it’s a pretty good machine.

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Mike Gager

665 posts in 2690 days

#4 posted 03-04-2015 04:58 PM

cool i posted my reply to you and then later yesterday see inventables is releasing a new version of the shapeoko called the X carve. its got a lot of the upgrades most people do already built in so thats cool. not out til end of april though so i gotta wait. pretty excited thinking about all the things ill be able to do with it

for software i hear the easel program is nice and free. is free too. design on inkscape or sketchup which are also free

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833 posts in 999 days

#5 posted 03-07-2015 02:02 AM

Yea I saw the X-carve come out, looks pretty nice, I bought mine when they were on sale for $550 which was nice. I’ve messed around on easel and ink scape but there’s a lot of stuff to learn on ink scape. I know you’re suppose to put what you make from ink scape into maker cam to create tool paths but haven’t messed with that. What sucks is I can picture what I want to do, some of which is just taking stuff already created like my friends company logo and put it in to inlay it in a cutting board, but figuring out how to do it will take awhile. Wish I could take a class on working with it all haha.

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20 posts in 1162 days

#6 posted 03-13-2015 03:16 AM

I’ve been eyeing a CNC milling station like either the Shapeoko3 or the X-Carve by Inventables. For those that are using one of these other kit-based systems, what would you say the limitations are of the recommended free program Easel? I hope to use my CNC to carve 3-D designs without the 2.5D “terraced” effect that some people have described.
I have access to Adobe Illustrator but I don’t know if the 2.5D vs 3D limitation is in Easel or creating the design in Easel.
Any suggestions are appreciated!

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833 posts in 999 days

#7 posted 03-18-2015 02:06 AM

Can’t say since I haven’t got that deep in to it, but a good program I’ve heard people use is V-carve, problem with it is it’s $600 for the software.

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4039 posts in 1621 days

#8 posted 03-18-2015 02:25 AM

Nothing to add here.. but I have to say that every time this thread bumps up to the top and I see the title, my mind instantly pictures something you would see on one of those late night TV commercials – where if I act now, I can get a second one for free by just paying the extra shipping and handling charges :)


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Mike Merzke

166 posts in 1586 days

#9 posted 03-23-2015 01:01 AM

I have the shapeoko 2 and love it. I have also recently ordered the X-Carve upgrade kit from Inventables. Easel is really user friendly and doesn’t require a lot of experience. With that being said there are some limitations to Easel. But for projects that easel can’t do there several free options.

-- Mike Merzke,

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Mike Gager

665 posts in 2690 days

#10 posted 03-31-2015 10:48 PM

ill be ordering an X carve here in the next few days. they arent shipping them out til closer to the end of the month so ive been waiting to order. i hate waiting for things things ive ordered to ship so i wait to order lol, gonna get the 1000mx1000m full set with all the extras

View Shadowrider's profile


183 posts in 632 days

#11 posted 04-24-2015 11:43 PM

I’m kinda torn between the Shapeoko 3 and 2. I like the X-Carve having belt tensioners, better cable routing, at least a rudimentary software system included, and different size options. But I just can’t get past the spindle being a dremel tool type setup. I’ve been out of it for some years now, but I come from a background of 30 to 100HP spindles on machine tools and the Shapeoko 3 using a Dewalt trim router is probably going to win out.

Software is up in the air too, I’m not worried about simultaneous 5 axis capability but I do have friends that can do that for me if need be when I upgrade machines in the future. If I can get capable tool path control in 3 axis’ for a reasonable amount of money I’m good.

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164 posts in 2393 days

#12 posted 04-25-2015 12:14 AM

You might want to wander over to for all the CNC info….
I’m starting to design one for myself and there is a ton of information there and some great people to help…

G Vavra

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Mike Gager

665 posts in 2690 days

#13 posted 05-01-2015 12:08 PM

shadowrider, the Xcarve does not have a dremel style spindle, you are thinking of the shapeoko2

x carve comes with a 300w 24v spindle or you can use a bosch or dewalt router (or any other router with custom mounts)

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444 posts in 1176 days

#14 posted 05-01-2015 03:51 PM

Where did you find to buy the Shapeoko 2? I contacted Inventables a few weeks ago and they told me they were no longer selling them.

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1402 posts in 2407 days

#15 posted 05-01-2015 04:05 PM

Notw, this thread is old enough that they were clearancing out the shapeoko 2 when the thread here was started. They have since stopped selling them.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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