Author Topic: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?  (Read 10657 times)

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Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1317
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #60 on: October 26, 2020, 05:16 PM »
I struggle making curved templates using the normal methods, ie. bandsaw, sanding, re-sanding and then having to start over when I screw it up.   [scared]. I can really see how this could simplify things greatly. I just need to figure out the right SVG software program to use.  I suppose I could take the measurements of an existing template and duplicate it digitally.  Would be curious if it can truly replace the Leigh dovetail jigs I have. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin.

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Offline WillB

  • Posts: 43
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #61 on: November 11, 2020, 01:58 PM »
Great thread...
like the OP, I too wondered about true tolerances.
Now granted, not everyone needs tight tolerances.  When making signage, who cares about .001"?  But a previous poster dismissed this too quickly, as is often the case when tolerances are discussed in ww terms, using the common response "wood moves more than that".  But my issue is, wood moves the same regardless of the tolerance of the CNC ;)

This thread did a GREAT job at demonstrating some of the SO true uniqueness vs. stationary CNC, no footprint when not in use, can bring to job site, can match the work size of 4x8 CNC Gantry at a tiny fraction of the price, relatively simple software, tolerances good enough for prob. 98+% of ww CNC tasks.  (joinery excluded)

The potential downsides, which is still not so clear, tolerances for joinery and tolerances over long runs, user fatigue for extended use, user control error.  I appreciated the user input offered in these areas.  I can see how long repetitive work over large distances the SO becomes less desirable, as labor cost and fatigue and user error might creep in vs. stationary CNC.  But I think SO is not going after that market sector.

On one side, you see this perfect joinery being made on their videos, which demand super tight tolerances.  Heck, even with the Leigh jigs, we are adjusting our elliptical bushings in .001" increments to get perfect joints.   And yet the magazine article demonstrated tolerances way less than what one would expect for perfect joinery. 

Now that the joinery accessory is being shipped, I would suspect a lot of users will now be doing lots of dovetail and box joints, should be interesting to get feedback from those users, as if there is tolerance issues, they would surely surface with complex joinery layout, specially over long distances, such as 24" long.   I wold be quite impressed if SO can produce 24" long dovetial joints with perfect fits like shown on their website.  If it can pass that test, KUDOS to SO!!!  I am probably a buyer soon as well....

By no means am I knocking this product.  IMO, the premise and execution has been absolutely BRILLIANT, and I have been so impressed watching this company grow.  Love to see this level of technology brought to ww.  But like all posts on this forum, users dig deeper than current info is available. 

As a side note, I noticed smaller sized CNC, at about 2ft x 4ft range ($6K price range usa) state tolerances of .005" as a reference.   For non joinery work, I would consider this excellent. 





Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 341
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2020, 11:29 AM »
WillB - you mentioned that even with a Leigh jig you are adjusting bushings to get that last .001" when fitting joints.
I haven't used it yet, but noticed that the ShaperO has a cut offset that you can adjust.  Pretty sure they use a similar principle that you'd find with the bearing adjustment for Leigh or the click settings with an Incra setup.

Offline WillB

  • Posts: 43
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #63 on: December 07, 2020, 06:56 PM »
Yes, very similar premise...
However, with the Leigh, the reference is used against the fingers, which are milled to super high tolerances along the entire 24" run (assuming u are making a 24" joint)  So a new reference is encountered every half inch, or inch, etc.  However with the offset on the Shaper O, it has no new reference as you move from start to the end of the 24" joint, so errors can multiply making the joint a bad fit.

So the task for the Shaper is MUCH more difficult to maintain accuracy vs. the Leigh for this reason.  I would be pleasantly surprised if the Shaper O can make 24" long dovetail joints consistently (the ultimate test) with the precision I see on their videos, where their finished joints are spectacular.  If this is the case, I applaud the Shaper O design team as that is an amazing accomplishment for v1.0 of a product at its Prosumer price point.
Hopefully people will report their findings soon.

Offline WillB

  • Posts: 43
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #64 on: January 24, 2021, 06:59 PM »
Any Shaper Origin users that can update this thread?

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3013
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #65 on: January 24, 2021, 07:30 PM »
I've had a Shaper Origin since they were first released.  Also have the Workstation accessory.  I purchased it as a hobbyist.  I had done some CNC work with a Sherline Mill and a Tormach mill in the past using Fusion, gCode, etc.  It was a PAIN to deal with.

Origin is really nice for small projects.  I have done finger joints, mortise and tenon, engraving, small signs, gifts and a number of other items.  It's great for those types of projects.  Fatigue can be an issue on larger projects as you are limited to a depth equal to or less than the bit diameter.  I have done a full MFT Paulk-style top with mine and it worked well.  I just made a new top for my my MFT table and opted to use the UJK Parf guide.  I'd say it was equally accurate and equally fatiguing when you have to bend over for that long on detail work.

If you have a production shop needing repetitive work, I'd opt for a table sized unit assuming you have space.  But if you are doing mostly joinery, I think the Origin is a great choice.  Not as fast as a Domino, but it has so many more capabilities for more unique joinery.

Yes you could cut 26" wide finger joints.  They just released a method for doing dovetails but I have not yet tried it.  The Workstation will hold pieces about 18-20" wide.  Any more than that and you really need to make an alternative work holding approach.  Doable and repeatable with very good accuracy based on my experience.

Most of what I do I create 2-D SVG files using any of a number of software tools.  There is a learning curve on these if you have not used them.  I use Autodesk Graphic and Affinity Designer.  You can also use Adobe  and even several free tools.

Shaper team has been outstanding in support, engagement with the community and weekly sessions showing new techniques with the Origin.  Now that Festool owns Shaper, I have every confidence they will continue to improve the software and applications in time.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1317
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2021, 07:35 PM »
I can't speak to the joinery aspects of it yet. I do have the workstation and it makes cutting small parts like inlays, etc. very easy.  It reminds me of a hybrid between a Leigh dovetail jig and their M&T jig.  It is very accurate but you do have to pay attention a bit and stay within the reticle to avoid the bit jumping out.  I would imagine as long as you follow along their instructions for making dovetails and box joints, they should turn out fantastic.  They have a repository of svg files that are Shaper designed and also uploaded from the users so as time goes on, their library should increase substantially.  After a few uses, it's easy to get into a rhythm and knock projects out quickly.  To follow up on what Neil just posted, it can get a bit tedious.  Definitely not the tool for repetitive production runs as you can't set it and forget it like a traditional CNC.  The flip side is you are limited in size only to the amount of shaper tape you have like if you were doing inlays in a wood floor.  Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 07:40 PM by HowardH »
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin.

Offline fritter63

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Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2021, 08:13 PM »
Attached is a side by side test I did with a friend who owns an early Shaper. The notations are what I measured on actual dimensions for the Avid CNC Pro vs the Shaper. As you can see, the shaper appears to be around .002" more accurate than the Avid, however that is likely due to TIR on the 80mm Chinese spindle I'm using. Could be bit wear as well.

Bottom line is that we're talking about woodworking and cabinet work and measuring to thousands of an inch accuracy.

As my step-father used to say: "close enough for government work".

So as indicated above, I think it comes down to frequency of use, size of project, and of course, HOW IS YOUR BACK?

I seriously contemplated gettin the shaper vs expanding my machine but in the end, I just don't relish crawling around on my knees while "being the motor" of a CNC machine. YMMV.

I will probably get one later this year just have it as an option (and then sell of my Leight FMT and Dovetail jigs).


Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Shaper Origin, is it worth it? and how accurate is it really?
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2021, 11:01 PM »
I struggle making curved templates using the normal methods, ie. bandsaw, sanding, re-sanding and then having to start over when I screw it up.   [scared]. I can really see how this could simplify things greatly. I just need to figure out the right SVG software program to use.  I suppose I could take the measurements of an existing template and duplicate it digitally.  Would be curious if it can truly replace the Leigh dovetail jigs I have.
I think it’s possible to use Adobe illustrator and export a .svg file. You could print a 1:10 scale on paper and visually check. Then export the scaled mock up and create a sample template. I think the tool allows flexibility.  As I read above the a repository of files?