My Next Making Adventure: Shapeoko 2 Desktop CNC

For awhile now, I’ve believed that the time is right for a new, personal industrial revolution. 3D printing is maturing, and the open source library of CAD/CAM software is reaching the point where you no longer need to be a programmer to create something on a machine. Very soon, I will be taking a few fledgling steps towards joining the illustrious ranks of hackers and tinkerers who are taking back manufacturing from China and building in their basement. I will be buying a desktop CNC milling machine.

Actually, I’ll be buying a kit and assembling a CNC machine… but that’s a small detail. The point is, I will be taking my manufacturing capabilities to the next level. My machine of choice will be the Shapeoko 2, currently in pre-order status. I had also been looking at a machine from MyDIYCNC, but the pricing and size of the Shapeoko 2 ($650) falls conveniently between MyDIYCNC’s two available models ($600-850).

I will be documenting the entire build/assembly/calibration process, as well as my software setup once I figure it out. The end goal will be to fold the Shapeoko into my workflow for creating things like slingshots. In the mean time however, I will be dabbling in the world of laser cutting services for two projects: 1) Arc Reacter 2.0, and 2) 0.25″ Hex Nut Pistol. stay tuned…

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