Anyone use a Shapeoko 2?

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Forum topic by Gixxerjoe04 posted 12-08-2014 04:32 PM 3809 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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850 posts in 1971 days

12-08-2014 04:32 PM

So last week I decided to buy the Shapeoko 2 since they had a sale and was wondering if anyone has any experience with them? I know it’s like a beginner cnc but figured it was worth giving it a shot for the price tag compared to others. I sell stuff on etsy and plan on doing more craft shows next year since I did my first one this year and did pretty good at it. I think it’ll help being able to add custom/unique inlay work to cutting boards and other things I make, so pretty excited to get it. My only concern starting out is finding a good software to use for it that doesn’t cost an arm and leg, and isn’t impossible to learn on if you aren’t extremely good at computer software/programming. So any advice on what kind of software you use or would recommend, or just any tips in general? Thanks

19 replies so far

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2446 days

#1 posted 12-20-2014 04:07 AM

Inventables Easel software looks pretty basic and probably easy to use. Seems like a good way to get strated and then move on to more sophisticated software later. There are quite a few free softwares out there for cnc work, you can even use sketchup with a gcode plugin.

Also, if you got the full kit, you might eventual want to look at a different spindle/router. The knock off dremel seems a little wimpy and I’d worry about the runout for any precise inlay work. The dewalt dw660 seems to be a popular option, better power, probably better runout, not to heavy for the shapeoko’s rails and motors.

I haven’t used one, but have been reading up on it a lot.I’ve been toying with getting a shapeoko2 as well.

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3662 days

#2 posted 03-03-2015 01:50 PM

im planning on getting one here pretty soon. i was wondering how your experience has been thus far?

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1971 days

#3 posted 03-03-2015 02:51 PM

Well it took awhile to finally get it all together, the instructions could have been better but weren’t too bad I guess. Took quite a few rewiring attempts to get it going once I got it completely together. I haven’t been able to do a whole lot on it yet because it’s been too cold in my garage and my wife said no more after messing with it a few times haha. Seems to work well, i upgraded the spindle to a dewalt. The hardest part i think is figuring out how to design on software and get it all right, not the best at it so it’s going to take sometime. Once I move and hopefully get a bigger shop to work in, want to upgrade the size of it, all in all it’s a pretty good machine.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3662 days

#4 posted 03-04-2015 04:58 PM

cool i posted my reply to you and then later yesterday see inventables is releasing a new version of the shapeoko called the X carve. its got a lot of the upgrades most people do already built in so thats cool. not out til end of april though so i gotta wait. pretty excited thinking about all the things ill be able to do with it

for software i hear the easel program is nice and free. is free too. design on inkscape or sketchup which are also free

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1971 days

#5 posted 03-07-2015 02:02 AM

Yea I saw the X-carve come out, looks pretty nice, I bought mine when they were on sale for $550 which was nice. I’ve messed around on easel and ink scape but there’s a lot of stuff to learn on ink scape. I know you’re suppose to put what you make from ink scape into maker cam to create tool paths but haven’t messed with that. What sucks is I can picture what I want to do, some of which is just taking stuff already created like my friends company logo and put it in to inlay it in a cutting board, but figuring out how to do it will take awhile. Wish I could take a class on working with it all haha.

View csnyderdvm's profile


20 posts in 2134 days

#6 posted 03-13-2015 03:16 AM

I’ve been eyeing a CNC milling station like either the Shapeoko3 or the X-Carve by Inventables. For those that are using one of these other kit-based systems, what would you say the limitations are of the recommended free program Easel? I hope to use my CNC to carve 3-D designs without the 2.5D “terraced” effect that some people have described.
I have access to Adobe Illustrator but I don’t know if the 2.5D vs 3D limitation is in Easel or creating the design in Easel.
Any suggestions are appreciated!

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1971 days

#7 posted 03-18-2015 02:06 AM

Can’t say since I haven’t got that deep in to it, but a good program I’ve heard people use is V-carve, problem with it is it’s $600 for the software.

View MrUnix's profile


7388 posts in 2594 days

#8 posted 03-18-2015 02:25 AM

Nothing to add here.. but I have to say that every time this thread bumps up to the top and I see the title, my mind instantly pictures something you would see on one of those late night TV commercials – where if I act now, I can get a second one for free by just paying the extra shipping and handling charges :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Mike Merzke's profile

Mike Merzke

186 posts in 2558 days

#9 posted 03-23-2015 01:01 AM

I have the shapeoko 2 and love it. I have also recently ordered the X-Carve upgrade kit from Inventables. Easel is really user friendly and doesn’t require a lot of experience. With that being said there are some limitations to Easel. But for projects that easel can’t do there several free options.

-- Mike Merzke,

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3662 days

#10 posted 03-31-2015 10:48 PM

ill be ordering an X carve here in the next few days. they arent shipping them out til closer to the end of the month so ive been waiting to order. i hate waiting for things things ive ordered to ship so i wait to order lol, gonna get the 1000mx1000m full set with all the extras

View Shadowrider's profile


183 posts in 1604 days

#11 posted 04-24-2015 11:43 PM

I’m kinda torn between the Shapeoko 3 and 2. I like the X-Carve having belt tensioners, better cable routing, at least a rudimentary software system included, and different size options. But I just can’t get past the spindle being a dremel tool type setup. I’ve been out of it for some years now, but I come from a background of 30 to 100HP spindles on machine tools and the Shapeoko 3 using a Dewalt trim router is probably going to win out.

Software is up in the air too, I’m not worried about simultaneous 5 axis capability but I do have friends that can do that for me if need be when I upgrade machines in the future. If I can get capable tool path control in 3 axis’ for a reasonable amount of money I’m good.

View kimosawboy's profile


173 posts in 3366 days

#12 posted 04-25-2015 12:14 AM

You might want to wander over to for all the CNC info….
I’m starting to design one for myself and there is a ton of information there and some great people to help…

G Vavra

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3662 days

#13 posted 05-01-2015 12:08 PM

shadowrider, the Xcarve does not have a dremel style spindle, you are thinking of the shapeoko2

x carve comes with a 300w 24v spindle or you can use a bosch or dewalt router (or any other router with custom mounts)

View Notw's profile


719 posts in 2148 days

#14 posted 05-01-2015 03:51 PM

Where did you find to buy the Shapeoko 2? I contacted Inventables a few weeks ago and they told me they were no longer selling them.

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 3380 days

#15 posted 05-01-2015 04:05 PM

Notw, this thread is old enough that they were clearancing out the shapeoko 2 when the thread here was started. They have since stopped selling them.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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