If you’re new to CNC like me, this is a question you’ve probably asked yourself a million times after hitting the confirm order button…aside from when it’s shipping of course…how the heck do I prepare for the Shapeoko?
Fortunately there are a ton of great folks over at the Shapeoko forums that take the time to share their knowledge and make it easier for others like me to enter this whole new world.
I’m putting this post together to help me organize thoughts and tasks surrounding the arrival, assembly and use of my Shapeoko 3. I also hope that this post serves to guide others who may be looking for some information on getting started with the Shapeoko 3.
Software & Workflow
- Design the Part – List of free open source software to start designing and preparing files to cut with the Shapeoko: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAD
- Preview the Job – Application to preview the tool path Shapeoko will use to cut the model: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ … ing_G-Code
- Send/Cut the Job – Control Application to send files to Shapeoko: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ … _/_Control
Additional Hardware & Materials
- List of tools you will need on hand: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Tools
- Materials you can cut: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Materials
- End mills (the actual cutter): http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Endmills
- A collet or adapter for the end mill you are using: varies by MFG of router
- Workholding fixtures: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Workholding
- Enclosures: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ … Enclosures
- Shapeoko Glossary: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Glossary
- Shapeoko FAQ: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Software
As I learn more about Shapeoko and discover new resources that will help beginners like me I will update this page. If you have any recommendations, feel free to post in the comments section below.