What can't a shapeoko do

I don’t know how I how I started on this road… maybe it was when I made a touch probe to win a touch probe…

Following on from my Z axis re-designs and @TommyG 's fusion inspiration I set about looking for ways to modify the shapeoko to the next level. After acquiring, and trialing a few modifications to the original extrusions (subsequently wrecking them) I gave up. The S3 is so well built to modify the existing extrusions didn’t make sense and you also can’t buy longer lengths meaning it’s not scalable.

With this in mind I began dabbling…

It’s a shapeoko at heart… or mind as it runs from a S3 board.

Everything you see had been made on the shapeoko, mainly 12mm thick aluminium plate. The extrusions are stock and can be made longer or shorter depending on your needs.

I haven’t quite finished the mechanical parts as I ran out of bolts - (all the wrong sizes).

Highlights include proximity limit switches, bigger motors, HBH20 rail setup, 1605 rails, 2.2kw water cooled spindle, 80x80 x 17cm work area, 12mm aluminium bed…

More details to come


Man! Here I am contemplating putting together a standard SO3 and you take on something like this!

I hope you will share the build as I would love to follow through the project.

Good luck.

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I’d start with the shapeoko😁

Any ideas what I could use as an electronics enclose?

Looking better every time I see it. Will you eventually post the specs for all the parts? And the fusion design files?

As for the enclosure, I could print one out of polycarbonate (you know, the bulletproof glass stuff) for you. Or, send you the STL, once I’ve designed it, you could have it printed locally. OR, I’m on a roll here, You could design it to your custom spec in Fusion 360, export as STL, and have it printed locally. Like I said though, use PC or nylon.

Or you could cut and slot some 1/8” ply and glue up a box pretty simply.

Thanks, I’ve been playing with motors and wires today, but here is a cheeky shot of the new Z plate milled this morning. That was after I found a way to clamp and mill my spindle mount into the Shapeoko for facing and mounting holes.

I sure will, on the basis you own a shapeoko already :smiley:

How big an item can you print? I was thinking of getting a micro PC case for the enclosure.

Here is a more details look at the build


You said “electronics enclosure” right? I’m thinking controller board, not entire machine.

Yeh, we’re talking about the same thing. I really want to go all out on my electronics enclosure, I think I’m going to have toggle switches for the lights, spindle, dust and machine on :smiley:

I was looking at these for the electronics then maybe a separate control panel


As a little update. 99% of the mechanical side is done, sliders are on, everything is square drag chains and supports are in place and it’s a ‘working model’.

Electrics is another story. I had grand plans to use a shapeoko board, but have found it not quite powerful enough to work the rapids and it starts to skip at much over 1500mm a min. I then tried a Ardunio Uno controller with a piggy back board. Still not quite where it needs to be. I’ve now ordered a more powerful set of drivers along with a beefier power supply which I hope will sort things out.

I hope to have movement sorted by the end of this week…

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electronics came :smiley:


Super , very fine work ,I like very pretty much !. The bace is in MDF or engineering plastic ?. Or alumina ?.

The rails are aluminium. Once it’s in position I will be fitting a machined aluminium base but this weighs around 60kg so not in the livinf room

Holy smokes Luke! Now that is a Piece Of Work!

When will you open up the order book?

It’s a beast. No idea how I will get it into the garage…

Hoping to release the design files in a week or 2.

I need to run a few tests first. The plan is limit switches and electronics finished off tomorrow :slight_smile:


I really liked this job, it looks very accurate and structural, especially in the Z axis, the presision feels.

Thanks, only time will tell if it’s more accurate than a shapeoko. I sure hope it is…

I ran my first bit of G code this evening, all be it without a spindle. Amazing that this can be done using a £12 board…

I’ve decided due to moving to a bigger power supply I’m bumping the motors and have ordered some bigger ones.

The specs are in, it has a 89.5 wide work area, slightly larger Y. Actual cutting capability of 800x800 and a Z travel of 156mm.

When the new motors come I will be testing the rapids.


So, when will the plasma cutter upgrade happen?

Funny you should ask… I’m not looking at making it into a plasma cutter, but I am thinking of adding a big lazer

Yeah, I’ve been toying with the idea too. A lot of info out there about cheap Chinese k40’s.

Maybe some day…

I’ve been watching this pretty closely Mr. Luke. I love my XXL, but the size is just a little small, I’ll explain… I’ve found that the main working area is somewhere around 31”x31” (not exactly and not counting overhang). My latest projects have been plywood furniture. Standard plywood size is 8’x4’, so if I’m trying For minimal material waste the biggest I can go is 2’x2’. But if the bed was a little bigger at 48”x48” workable I could do full 1/2 sheets of ply at a time and do 4 projects at once versus 1. A working of 31”x31” to me is really odd when you look at how material is sold here in the US. 1000x1000mm “sounds” great until you actually need to buy stock that fits the working envelope. So I’m looking to in the next year or so to upgrade, and your project has given me some really great ideas. Will continue watching, looks great so far!!!



I’m hoping to post a new video tomorrow as dhl should be coming with my motors.

Whilst I don’t want to say the machine is amazing Im impressed with its rigidity and strength.

The great thing is with the above design you can scale it up and down by changing a couple of stock parts… If you wanted it to handle a 48 inch sheet you could do so, it would also only cost a fraction more to make