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The Shapeoko 2 is a light-duty desktop CNC router from Inventables (not to be confused with the Shapeoko 3 from Carbide 3D) with an approximate cut area of 11“x11”. The controller is an Arduino Uno running GRBL v1.1 with a GShield driver.
You must be signed off to use the Shapeoko 2. There are 2 ways to get signed off:
You will finally run your CAM program (it must be your own design)
Ensuring safe use of the machine is the responsibility of the user. In general, you should always:
The following instructions assume you are using Easel for CAD and CAM, and for sending GCode to the controller. You can use other CAM programs, but Easel is the easiest for getting started because it walks you step-by-step through the sequence of operations for setting up and executing a cut.
Go to http://easel.inventables.com and follow the instructions to setup an account.
When you startup Easel, setup the machine with the following settings.
|Machine||Shapeoko (1 or 2)|
|Work Area||11.2 x 11.2|
|Machine Type||Shapeoko (1 or 2)|
|Motion Controller||Arduino & gShield|
|Rail Size||500mm x 500mm|
|Lead screw||M8 threaded rod|
|Limit switch setup||Yes, enable homing|
The Arduino controller is powered by the computer via USB. The computer, monitor, and motor drives are powered by the distribution board as shown. The master, computer, and monitor switches may be left on all the time. The drives switch should be turned on when you want to start the drives and turned off when you are finished.
Workholding is the means of holding your workpiece while it is being cut. There are many tools you can use to hold a workpiece:
Illustrated here is a method of clamping your workpiece using setup clamps. Always ensure that your workholding tools are not in the way of the toolpath.
In photo: 1/4“ threaded rod, 1/4” flange nut, step block, and slotted bar
A temporary fix has been made in which the Z-axis bearing is allowed to wobble.
The hard-limit switches have been disabled for this reason.
A temporary fix has been made with a flanged 1/4” nut.
The Makerslide and V wheels should be kept clean. Always check the smoothness of the X, Y, and Z axes before your run.
May I change GRBL settings? Yes, but be sure to change them back when you are done. If you think the provided settings are suboptimal, email [email protected] Any help improving the performance and reliability of the Shapeoko is welcomed.
Can it cut metal? You may cut nonferrous metal. However, you may have difficulty, especially if you don't have the right feeds and speeds and an effective means of clearing chips. Do some research beforehand. Advanced toolpaths generated from Fusion 360 or Solidworks would improve your chances of success.
You can engrave ferrous metal, but you won't have much success making deep cuts.
May I use cutting fluid? Only if you find a way to contain the fluid without spilling it onto the MDF bed (you will have to make some sort of container mounted on the wasteboard). Otherwise, you can try using cutting wax instead. If you need to clear chips, use compressed air.
Can it cut plastic? Yes. Make sure to get your feeds and speeds right. If your plastic is melting, your feeds and speeds are wrong.
Do you provide end mills and router bits? There may be some free-to-use bits available that were donated by members. If an end mill doesn't have an owner tag on it, you may use it. There is a plan to keep a stock of frequently-used bits for sale in the CNC area.
May I use my own computer? Yes. Make sure to plug the USB cable back into the Shapeoko computer when you are finished. I would recommend plugging your laptop into an outlet to ensure it is grounded.
May I resurface the wasteboard? Yes. Try not to resurface the wasteboard too often, because it takes time to replace the wasteboard.