Author Topic: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?  (Read 3534 times)

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Offline spetka

  • Posts: 11
I am a hobbyist woodworker.  Mainly making furniture for the house, and honey do things and things for friends.  I also love tools and technology.  The Shaper Origin looks cool to me but I am wondering what people actually use it for?  On their website they show off various things but some I would just use tools I already have.  So I am just trying to justify if I "need" one or if the cool factor is trying to talk me into it, and it would mainly become a $2500 engraver/sign maker.

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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 775
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2021, 06:41 PM »
IMNSHO, if you feel like you're trying to talk yourself into it, then it's probably not the right fit for you at this time.  I have half a garage full of that type of tool/toy/gadget, all completely unused.

If you can visualize projects where this would have improved the workflow, saved you time, or given you a one-up in terms of the final product, you can either justify it and buy it now, or you can budget it out and "find" the "extra $100" to buy it later when you know how to use it to save yourself that $100 price increase in time and materials.

If you had already decided on it and were already budgeting for it, you know if you can afford to pull the trigger now or if the price increase will be a barrier in the future.

The whole Scarcity Marketing tactic with price increases and other deadlines is the unfortunate current state of affairs.  Still not sure if I prefer that or if I prefer the Mass Market marketing tactics of "Buy tool, get 7 batteries and 5 drill bits FREE!" (spoiler alert: I don't like either one)

edit to add: I realize that I'm reading into this post and making assumptions about the reason for asking, but I'd be surprised even if the OP isn't asking for that reason, someone else is questioning this purchase for that reason just not asking.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 06:44 PM by squall_line »

Online Bertotti

  • Posts: 224
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2021, 08:21 PM »
I am a hobbyist woodworker.  Mainly making furniture for the house, and honey do things and things for friends.  I also love tools and technology.  The Shaper Origin looks cool to me but I am wondering what people actually use it for?  On their website they show off various things but some I would just use tools I already have.  So I am just trying to justify if I "need" one or if the cool factor is trying to talk me into it, and it would mainly become a $2500 engraver/sign maker.

In lays, joints like dovetails and box joints etc, decorative edging on tables as in a Celtic knot relief. That's how I envision using it.
I want to populate SD with trees because I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 556
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2021, 10:34 PM »
I have been thinking about one, mostly for cutting out parts and templates.  I think I can use something like this for some of my wife's sewing tools.  What I don't understand is how can this be accurate when you have to drive it yourself?  Its probably a very simple concept but I can't get past it.  With a regular CNC, you program it, set up your piece and go drink coffee until its done.  I do realize there are benefits to the SO but I can't get past the actual using/driving it.  What am I missing ?

Offline dicktill

  • Posts: 351
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2021, 10:39 PM »
I have been thinking about one, mostly for cutting out parts and templates.  I think I can use something like this for some of my wife's sewing tools.  What I don't understand is how can this be accurate when you have to drive it yourself?  Its probably a very simple concept but I can't get past it.  With a regular CNC, you program it, set up your piece and go drink coffee until its done.  I do realize there are benefits to the SO but I can't get past the actual using/driving it.  What am I missing ?

Along those lines, I don't want to hijack this thread, but would like a short explanation of how the Shaper Origin really works. I realize that you need a program, either something you've programmed or gotten from someone else, or one of the ones stored on the device. But where and why do you put down the tape? And after that, how do you push the device around to get the desired result? Does the device have some sort of mechanism that helps you move it, and stops you from going too far?

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1229
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2021, 11:10 PM »
Here is a short video that gives a good explanation.


Offline dicktill

  • Posts: 351
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2021, 12:08 AM »
Here is a short video that gives a good explanation.



Thanks JD, that explains a lot. What about the placement of the tape(s)?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2282
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2021, 05:01 AM »
As someone else mentioned, with the SO you are not free to sit back and have a cup of coffee or go do another task, you are hands on working the machine just as if it was a handheld router. So that aspect of a 'normal' CNC is not available to you. You can get a CNC for about the same money, but it will have a limited active area, something the SO does not. It is limited only by where the tape is placed.

So you can if it is easier take it to the work and not have to bring the work to your CNC table. For example adding an inlay to the floor in an entryway of foyer would be cool and impossible with a CNC, but not something you'll do everyday.

A big plus for the SO is it takes very little shop space when not in use. For a CNC, even a smaller one you have to dedicate some space to that machine and there is not much else you can do with that space unless you build a hideaway cabinet like Peter Parfitt and others have done. That will be a selling factor to a small shop or one that has to share space with the family car.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline pyleg

  • Posts: 45
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2021, 07:21 AM »
IMNSHO, if you feel like you're trying to talk yourself into it, then it's probably not the right fit for you at this time.  I have half a garage full of that type of tool/toy/gadget, all completely unused.

This 💯. Add to that the learning curve of design software and you're looking at a costly "$100" in "savings" in marketing-speak.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2021, 07:42 AM by pyleg »

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 1065
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2021, 09:46 AM »
IMNSHO, if you feel like you're trying to talk yourself into it, then it's probably not the right fit for you at this time.  I have half a garage full of that type of tool/toy/gadget, all completely unused.

This 💯. Add to that the learning curve of design software and you're looking at a costly "$100" in "savings" in marketing-speak.
I would say if you do not have time to learn the software you'll be buying a fantasy tool that has a shelf life. Any product dependent upon software or other hardware that has software (eg mobile phone) will be obsolete. Regular tools are repairable and reasonable replaced if necessary.

I'd recommend mastering the software and then buying one so that you maximize your value. The $100 is a gimmick.

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 481
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2021, 12:09 PM »
I purchased a Shaper Origin (SO) about a month ago.   I went through the same questions in my head before I purchased.   They had a nice "Father's Day Special" that included a extra Systainer for bits and accessories, but while nice I would have purchased without it.   I agree that the current $100 is not a real incentive to purchase, it is not a cheap tool.

What some of the posters on this thread are missing, is how much design can be done on the SO without using a CAD program on a computer.    This includes rectangles, circles, lines, text, and box joints.   This combined with the grid system to lay out and align these, you can do quite a lot without learning a CAD program.  This just got a lot better with the latest software release.    I think it is reasonable to expect Shaper Tools to continue to add more features to the software over time.   

My observation is that it is more like a hand tool than a CNC.   You need to operate it, make adjustments, set depths, and move the SO through tool paths.   Nothing at all like a CNC where it is all programed in from a computer.   This is fine for me as I don't have room for a CNC nor do I do any kind of production.

One other difference from a CNC, is that unlike a CNC the computer control is only X and Y axis, no Z axis.  You, of course, have control of the depth of cut (Z axis), but that is a manual setting, not like a CNC.   

The workstation accessory is also quite nice, well worth the extra money.   Very well engineered, useful for mortices and tenions, and smaller pieces of wood.   I suspect I can also use it with my Domino to make mortices in vertical and horizontal boards.  With the box joint capability of the SO and the Workstation, I sold my old Leigh dovetail jig.

I am now starting to learn a CAD / Drawing program, there are several choices, I need to decide which one to learn and get proficient with.   

The Shaper Tools web site at https://www.shapertools.com/ .   Good overview of what it can do, many plans for projects and hardware on Shaper Hub.   

Bob

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 712
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2021, 04:37 PM »
Due to the “hobbyist-limitation” of never having enough time to spend in the shop, I have not used my shaper origin as much as I would have liked so far.
But I made:
- Christmas Ornaments
- kids rocker
- multiple figures/shapes
- engravings
- templates
- holes in sizes I do not have drills for
Etc.

In general, if the money is burning a hole in your pocket or if you just want to play with the new tech, it is a great machine.
It allows me personally to achieve things not possible without it.

If you have or plan to get a “normal” CNC, that might be preferable, due to higher versatility and the bonus of automated work without your involvement.

But for a tiny shop and any on-site work the shaper is a godsend. :)

Offline ForumMFG

  • Posts: 991
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2021, 04:42 PM »
I say if you have the money for it and want it go for it.  Can it realistically be used by hobbyist,
Of course.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 685
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2021, 07:34 PM »
I just ordered one today. My plan is to use it for inlays and for creating templates for other routers to do the work. It is very much like learning to program the beam saw or run one of the full size CNC machines. It expands my capability and eliminates the need to depend on someone else. This is not what I do everyday, but it does speed up the process sometimes. As it is now, if I need a specific shape template or part, I either have to make it by hand or go to one of the engineers to have them output something to the CNC for me. I'm sure that eventually this can by-pass that issue and I can do whatever I want with it on my own time. If I need a lot of some specific part, it makes sense to have the big machines do it, but for a one off, this will be great.
I've been looking at them for quite some time and the topic came up at work a few weeks ago. One of the guys in the engineering department is interested in it too and I think we can work it out between us, whether it is Fusion, Sketchup, or the on-board software.
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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3050
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2021, 07:39 PM »
I’ve had mine since they were released and also have the Workstation.  If you are fine doing most of your work with straight lines, continue with your table saw or track saw.  Shaper removes  that limitation as a handheld, computer driven router.  I do joinery, toys, curved work, jigs, hardware installation, inlay and many other items with mine.  Space was a key consideration.  I had used CNC on my Sherline mill (very small size) but the learning curve was really steep.  I use mostly 2-D design programs for my projects.  But have used SketchUp for years and you can use the free version of it with a simple free plugin to export SVG files/faces for use with the Shaper.

It does have a learning curve with the software component, and there are capabilities on-tool.  But I think to really get value out of the tool, you will need additional software and there are dozens of choices from free to several hundred dollars.

Sign up at the ShaperTools.com site/forum and explore there and ask questions.  It’s a very active community.  Also plenty of videos on YouTube for learning as well -

Offline cider

  • Posts: 53
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2021, 11:56 AM »
My experience is the same as most here: it's a cool device, it works as advertised, and I don't use it as much as I should :)

I just wanted to point out that the Shaper Origin "programs" are simply SVGs.  Any program that can create an SVG should be sufficient.

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 389
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2021, 04:11 PM »

I just wanted to point out that the Shaper Origin "programs" are simply SVGs.  Any program that can create an SVG should be sufficient.

Excellent tip!
An example is making tenon SVG's.  Yes, you can draw it in SketchUp or Fusion, but it's pretty dang simple in Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.  And you can do the correct color coding for the 'outside' cut and guide.

If you're starting out with zero CAD design experience I would highly recommend Fusion 360 and taking some online classes.  In just a few hours of learning how to draw with Fusion you can make all kinds of projects quickly and easily.
After trying SketchUp years ago I had the impression that all free tools sucked.  Fusion 360 took away that misconception. 

Offline rich1

  • Posts: 42
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2021, 02:10 PM »
I have been on the fence for a while, I jump between hobbies, wood, photo, etc but I think I am going to pull the plug this week. I have a Woodrat which is great for dovetails and board edge stuff. The inlay and field capability of the SO is what intrigues me. I think it will be fun.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1354
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2021, 04:29 PM »
I got one several months ago. I got it for a specific need, ie. to engrave cutting boards as gifts for the wife's direct reports.  Other than that, I have used it to make chairs and a few other things like creating foam inserts for systainers.  They keep expanding their ShaperHub project lists where folks can upload things they have done.  That is a great way to get a project without the need for becoming a graphic design expert. For example, I made several of these for a friend of mine as a way to organize cans in their pantry. It was in ShaperHub.



It's a lot of fun to use and if you have the money, it's definitely worth the investment. 

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. Felder AF-14

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 775
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2021, 05:28 PM »
I got one several months ago. I got it for a specific need, ie. to engrave cutting boards as gifts for the wife's direct reports. 

That's one heck of a gift, if she was willing to let you spend that kind of money to make it happen!

Is she hiring? ;)

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1354
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2021, 05:37 PM »
I got one several months ago. I got it for a specific need, ie. to engrave cutting boards as gifts for the wife's direct reports. 

That's one heck of a gift, if she was willing to let you spend that kind of money to make it happen!

Is she hiring? ;)

Ha! You should see what she got for herself!  [eek] [eek] [eek]
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. Felder AF-14

Offline spetka

  • Posts: 11
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2021, 12:39 PM »
I got one several months ago. I got it for a specific need, ie. to engrave cutting boards as gifts for the wife's direct reports.  Other than that, I have used it to make chairs and a few other things like creating foam inserts for systainers.  They keep expanding their ShaperHub project lists where folks can upload things they have done.  That is a great way to get a project without the need for becoming a graphic design expert. For example, I made several of these for a friend of mine as a way to organize cans in their pantry. It was in ShaperHub.

(Attachment Link)

It's a lot of fun to use and if you have the money, it's definitely worth the investment.

Thats awesome!  Thanks for sharing, this is exactly the kind of stuff I am looking for.  I just don't really have time to learn how to program a CNC so the Shaper Hub sounds perfect for me.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1354
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2021, 02:17 PM »
I got one several months ago. I got it for a specific need, ie. to engrave cutting boards as gifts for the wife's direct reports.  Other than that, I have used it to make chairs and a few other things like creating foam inserts for systainers.  They keep expanding their ShaperHub project lists where folks can upload things they have done.  That is a great way to get a project without the need for becoming a graphic design expert. For example, I made several of these for a friend of mine as a way to organize cans in their pantry. It was in ShaperHub.

(Attachment Link)

It's a lot of fun to use and if you have the money, it's definitely worth the investment.

Thats awesome!  Thanks for sharing, this is exactly the kind of stuff I am looking for.  I just don't really have time to learn how to program a CNC so the Shaper Hub sounds perfect for me.

Cool!  If you are going to do smaller projects, I absolutely recommend getting their workstation.  It makes things even that much easier.  The other thing is they have a group very similar to the FOG where there is a ton of knowledge being shared. It's been very helpful to learn about navigating around software like Affinity Designer or Inkscape.  The motor, if I understand correctly, is supplied by Festool and so either a 1/4" or 8mm collet is accepted. 
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. Felder AF-14

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8887
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2021, 04:55 PM »
The motor, if I understand correctly, is supplied by Festool and so either a 1/4" or 8mm collet is accepted.

The collet & collet nut from a 1010 is the same and will fit the Shaper spindle. I just installed an 8 mm collet & nut from my 1010.

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 712
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2021, 06:56 PM »
The motor, if I understand correctly, is supplied by Festool and so either a 1/4" or 8mm collet is accepted.

The collet & collet nut from a 1010 is the same and will fit the Shaper spindle. I just installed an 8 mm collet & nut from my 1010.
Same for the MFK 700, if you happen to have one…

Offline rich1

  • Posts: 42
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2021, 12:08 AM »
The guy who first told me about the SO was an early adopter (3-4 years ago). He told me he is always finding new ways to use it. His kids love creating with it, it makes his valuable shop time more productive and he is doing more and more on tool creation.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1354
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2021, 08:57 AM »
Here is a short video that gives a good explanation.



Thanks JD, that explains a lot. What about the placement of the tape(s)?

The placement of the tape isn’t all that critical. Usually you space it out about every 4”. The camera must be able to see it to keep itself oriented as you move around your workpiece. It will tell you if you don’t have enough tape down, especially around the edges. The tape doesn’t have to be aligned perfectly with each strip. The camera doesn’t care, it just needs to see it. For smaller projects, their workstation works great as the tape is permanently attached but it works only for smaller projects.  I will say it can become a bit tiresome to use for a making a lot repetitive cuts. I have used it quite a bit to inscribe lettering in cutting boards. People marvel at how it can do that.
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. Felder AF-14

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 685
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2021, 05:53 PM »
You can also get an 1/8" collet for it too, which will also work in your OF1010 or MFK700, if you would have a use for that. I ordered one, along with the matching Sys1 to store the accessories/parts.
I have downloaded a few cut-out patterns for that, but haven't committed to it yet.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 12:40 PM by Crazyraceguy »
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation

Offline Sbradley0911

  • Posts: 54
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2021, 08:47 PM »
If this hasn't already been mentioned you could go on shaperhub and take a look at hundreds of projects it's already been used for by other members and you could also use for yourself.

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 152
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2021, 05:43 PM »
More of a 'makers' tool, than a woodworker's. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but to me there is a difference.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1354
Re: What would a Shaper Origin realistically be used for by hobbyists?
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2021, 12:18 PM »
I finished this project this morning.  Our son is studying vocal performance at SMU and will graduate this December.  He got his first apartment last month and of course, he needed a cutting board.  This is where the SO shines.  I cut the recess with the Origin and then used epoxy as the inlay.  It was a very simple process and it proved to be extremely accurate.




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. Felder AF-14

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