It looks like the router is held in a gimbal of some sort that keeps the cutter tracking to your design. You just have to get the router CLOSE to the line and it tracks to the lines. If you drift too far off, it pulls up the router/cutter automatically and you go back to where you're supposed to be.
The tape seems to be the code that guides the device telling it what the shape of the cutting area is.
Interesting device. Like a portable CNC. It's trying to do something similar to what a Shopbot Handibot does, I think, but instead of being kind of limited to what's directly under it, as the Handibot is, you can just follow the on-screen lines and cut as big an area as you need to. The Handibot can also cut bigger areas by tiling, but the Shaper Origin doesn't need to tile. It just scopes out the cutting area and guides you where to cut.
The accuracy is listed as 1/100 of an inch. That is certainly better than I could ever attain routing just hand-held, but I think a good CNC is significantly more accurate. Also, the Shaper Origin isn't "yet" able to do any kind of 3D or relief cutting. It just follows a cut line. It can do lettering, though.
I think it's kinda cool , especially if you don't have a lot of room in your shop for a big cnc machine .
I have my doubts on its reliability and precision , but hopefully will see in the near future how good it really is . If it's what they claim , I'm in .
One thing I read that someone pointed out , it's not the biggest router in the world that it's using . Almost looks like a laminate router?
A midsize motor like Bosch's 1617 would be nice
They are taking the vision method of 3D scanning and using it to keep the router bit on the path you design by using CNC stepper motors. Watching the video (and reading the FAQ twice) it moves the router bit left/right based on the vision system reading the "Shaper tape" you put down.
There are a few things they gloss over like; work hold downs, tabs and depth of each cut. Watching the videos for skate board and cutting board, they seem to show cutting the 3/4" in one pass with the 1/4" shank endmill. Then they just lift it out of the remaining material, which is impractical in the the real CNC world without a very high end vacuum clamping system. Also, without tabs or hold downs around the perimeter, the part wants to pivot and gouge when you complete the cut and even get near the end. That said, it is still awesome for the capabilities since you can manage the work for the above items. You could use turner tape to hold the material down and recognize that a 1/4" bit is only going to last any amount of time with cutting 1/4" depth per pass.
If someone was doing signs with names at a craft show, this would do the trick for those of us without the hand-eye coordination for freehand.
As said earlier, the price point is way too high. You can buy a number of CNC under that. Also, they don't include any software to get the design to gcode. Nothing against Inkscape, but it is nowhere even as simple as Cut 2D.
A forum community dedicated to router and woodworking professionals and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about different types of routing and routers, shop safety, finishing, woodworking related topics, styles, tools, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!