Shapeoko Deluxe Kit

This is the Shapeoko Deluxe Kit, a desktop, 3-axis CNC Machine kit that allows you to create your 2D and 3D designs out of non-ferrous metals, hardwoods, and plastics. This special SparkFun Edition of the Shapeoko Kit includes everything from the base frame and hardware to the motors and SparkFun Stepoko controller. This is an entry-level CNC machine designed for hobbyists, artists, and fabricators! The only thing that is not included is a trim router which can be purchased from most hardware stores or online retailers.

The included SparkFun Stepoko is an Arduino compatible, 3-axis control solution that runs grbl software and is able to connect to your computer to accept stepper motor commands. The Stepoko's design and firmware are completely open source and it works with an open source Java based cross platform G-Code sending application to translate commands. Don't worry, we've designed the Stepoko to be as simple to use as possible. With it being pre-programmed grbl software and the installation of the Stepoko consisting of just plugging the stepper motors in, connecting it to power and to your computer you'll be amazed by just how simple this board really is! To top it off, we've designed the SparkFun Stepoko to fit and be secured inside of a custom Big Red Box for an effective enclosure option that allows access to all of the boards connectors and a spot for the massive heatsink to rest in.

The Shapeoko 3 has a cutting area of 425mm x 425 mm x 75mm (16" x 16" x 3") and an overall footprint of 725mm x 600mm (28.5" x 23.6"). We don’t currently carry a router to go on your machine. The folks at Shapeoko recommend the Dewalt DW611 or the Porter Cable 450 to use with the machine. We ended up using a cheap Harbor Freight one that we 3D printed an adapter for to make it fit. Don’t forget you can put whatever you want on the end, whether that’s a laser, 3D print extrusion head, or a marker. Get creative!

Note: The power cable included in this kit is designed for the United States National Plug Standard. If you are purchasing this kit outside the US you will need to use or buy a power cable that fits your country's standard.

Note: Please keep in mind that the Shapeoko Deluxe Kit Assembly Guide in the Documents section below lists items for the Carbide3D version of the complete Shapeoko kit, not the SparkFun version. Be sure to reference the hard copy guide that comes with your kit when ordered.

  • 1x SparkFun Stepoko
  • 1x Shapeoko 3 CNC Machine - Mechanical Kit
  • 4x Stepper Motor - 125 (200 steps/rev)
  • 1x Power Supply - 24V 5A
  • 1x Power Cable - 7A IEC C13
  • 1x USB Cable A to B - 6 Foot
  • 1x Toggle Switch
  • 1x Big Red Box Enclosure (Milled)
  • Footprint: 725mm x 600mm (28.5" x 23.6")
  • Cutting Area: 425mm x 425 mm x 75mm (16" x 16" x 3")
  • Motion System: GT2 Belting, 2mm pitch with NEMA23 Motors
  • Frame: SparkFun Red 10ga Formed Steel Plates with Aluminum Extrusions
  • Recommended Spindle: Dewalt DW611 or Porter Cable 450
  • Weight ~55lbs.

Shapeoko Deluxe Kit Product Help and Resources

Shapeoko Coaster Project

November 20, 2015

A step-by-step guide to cutting and engraving a coaster with the Shapeoko.

Shapeoko Assembly Guide

April 21, 2016

A guide for attaching the Stepoko Add-on kit to a Shapeoko Mechanical kit.


Looks like you can use LinuxCNC with the Shapeoko 3 .

Was working but just stopped?

For "axis stopped working" and "axis stopped moving" type issues, it's possible the set screws on the pulleys can vibrate loose, and the motor shaft will spin in the pulley. It's more easy to see the shaft spin if you mark it with a sharpie or something. A little loc-tite on the set screws or (if the user is willing/capable) a flat ground into the stepper shaft might help prevent this issue.

Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

4 Robotics

Skill Level: Experienced - Your experiences should include working with stepper motors and feedback system. You may need to understand how encoders and more complex control systems work.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Rookie - Basic hand tools are required and instructions will allow more freedom. You may need to make your own decisions on design. If sewing is required, it will be free-form.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Ogre / about 8 years ago / 5

    God I wish I was wealthy....

  • bhunting / about 8 years ago / 3

    Error Booting message....

    It looks like some of the Stepoko boards are leaving Sparkfun without grbl installed, or are somehow being corrupted in transit. I had this experience and it looks like one of the product reviewers experienced the same failure.

    If you can't get Universal G-Code Sender to connect / talk to you Stepoko consider reflashing grbl.

    Straight out of the box UGS would never connect to the Stepoko. When trying to connect from UGS I kept getting a message something along the lines of grbl not booted.

    I was able to connect to the Stepoko from the Arduino IDE, so the board seemed alive.

    I downloaded the latest grbl source (google for github grbl) I inserted the grbl source into my Arduino environment. I ran the included grbl update sketch. Arduino compiled and uploaded the latest version of grbl (0.9j). UGS now works with Stepoko.

    NOTE: when reflashing grbl (or possibly I had a blank Stepoko to start with) the machine parameters are not correct. You need to reset the X, Y, and Z step size and the Z direction. I used UGS to edit and send the step sizes, 40 for X, Y, and Z and inverted the Z bit for direction.

    • MrDNA / about 8 years ago / 1

      I just got mine together and I can only get a "no serial port detected" error when trying to connect with UGS. Is this the same error you observed? I'd read something about needing to run UGS as root on a linux machine (my current OS is Ubuntu 14.04), but maybe this is the actual problem. The board is definitely alive, with different indicator LEDs lighting up when connecting the usb to the computer or turning on the board power.

      • bhunting / about 8 years ago / 1

        Nope, not the error I saw. I was using Windows at the time. Windows could see and connect to the serial port just fine. The problem seemed to be that rebooting the Stepoko did not produce the grbl sign on banner. Eventually UGS timed out waiting and retuned a message about grbl not booting.

        It sounds like you have a different problem. It sounds like you are not even seeing the port, let a alone the grbl sign on banner.

        After I flashed a new version of grbl I could communicate.with the board as expected.

        • MrDNA / about 8 years ago * / 1

          You were right. It was a dialout permissions issue for me, fixed with the simple terminal command

          sudo adduser <user> dialout

  • Member #521745 / about 8 years ago / 3

    Can I purchase longer length aluminum extrusions to increase the length of the parts. Do you know of a vacuum table design to hold flat stock down?

    • WillAdams / about 8 years ago / 1

      Esp. see:

    • Member #4579 / about 8 years ago / 1

      longer extrusions aren't currently available. Edward Ford is looking at putting together upgrade kits.

    • JGwinner / about 8 years ago / 1


      I'd like to know about the extrusions as well. I want to route some 8' trim sections; width wouldn't be any wider than the stock machine which would make it easier.

      == John ==

      • R3dmous3 / about 8 years ago / 1

        You can still work on long pieces of stock as long as the fit the width of the machine you just have to set up your g-gode properly with tiled toolpaths and your stock with indexing pins. Here is a link to a decent tutorial.

  • Member #674613 / about 8 years ago / 2

    Does the Sparkfun version come with the Carbide Create licence?

    • bhunting / about 8 years ago * / 2

      Carbide Create seems to be in Beta right now (12/30/15). You can join the beta by signing up at the Shapeoko / Carbide3D website. They send you an email with a link to download.

      I did not dig deep into the Carbide Create / Carbide Motion tool chain but my first impression is this tool chain only works with the Carbide3D / Shapeoko motion controller.

      It looks like you can use Carbide Create to create simple geometry which is then output as a custom (appears to be binary / proprietary) format file that you then import into Carbide Motion to control the CNC. The problem seems to be that Carbide Motion seems to only want to talk to a Carbide3D controller board.

      When I try to run Carbide Motion against the Sparkfun version of the Shapeoko Carbide Motion never connects. Universal G-Code Sender,, and a terminal window all work fine to communicate with Sparkfun's Stepoko. Carbide Motion reports no controller found. I'm assuming Carbide Motion is looking for a specific USB VID/PID before connecting. Not sure but the observed results are Carbide Create / Carbide Motion do not presently work with the Stepoko controller.

      I am using MakerCam in place of Carbide Create. Both seem to have similar functionality (limited) but MakerCam will output a standard g-code file.

      I am using Universal G-Code Sender and in place of Carbide Motion to send the g-code to the StepOko.

      MakerCam / UGS seem to be working pretty well for me at my early stages of using the Sparkfun Shapeoko.

      Edit: Looking at the Carbide3D website it looks like their controller is Arduino based and runs grbl, similar to the Sparkfun Stepoko. Seems like if Carbide Motion can talk to the Shapeoko controller (arduino + grbl) it ought to be able to talk to Sparkfun's controller (arduino + grbl). Warrants further investigation....

      • Member #410568 / about 8 years ago / 3

        This topic was addressed on one of the Shapeoko boards recently. CM does not currently support the Stepoko board, but they plan to do so. No timeline given. Note that CM/Shapeoko fully supports the Sparkfun version of the S03. Lots of resources and knowledge base on the forum there, but you can't use CM software yet.

  • Member #424527 / about 8 years ago / 2

    I would suggest Sparkfun gives the heavy Shapeoko a little better packaging. The big red box was proved to be very strong as it survived the shipping despite it is placed at the corner of the package, unprotected with the all the heavy steels plates right beside it. Unfortunately the thin name plate was badly bent and scratched. The Shapeoko from Carbide 3D seems to have much better protection to the parts.

  • Member #38775 / about 8 years ago / 2

    You should first checkout the x-carve made by inventables prior to buying this. Much more established, vibrant open source community.

    • Member #4579 / about 8 years ago / 5

      The X-carve is based on the OLD ShapeOko 2. They just rebuilt the carriage with a custom aluminium extrusion. That may make it slightly stiffer than the SO2, but it can't be compared to the SO3 at all. The new extrusions used in the SO3 makes it a much more capable machine. And the x-carve owners needing help are jumping over to the for help...

      • At least the X-Carve is Open Source. Plus, I love Sparkfun, but this feels like highway robbery.

        • Member #589887 / about 8 years ago / 2

          I just checked out the x-carve, and it looks like the basic kit is $934, which is pretty close to the price here. Why do you think this is highway robbery? Is there a cheaper option I'm missing?

  • Member #754134 / about 8 years ago / 1

    In case anyone was purchasing this thinking it was open source and they could later make the machine any size they wish, this is definitely not the case.

    Official from Rob at Carbide that the extrusion is proprietary and will not be sold alone so your either stuck at your 16"x16" or forced into one of their upgrade kits in a size they determine and when they decide to release.

    I was sold on an open source machine and this is not. Just a caution to anyone else. The machine is a great hobby machine if your happy with the current size limitation.

  • Member #84628 / about 8 years ago * / 1

    Maybe I can save someone, an easter egg hunt... The Universal Gcode sender is at:, you'll need JAVA JRE 7 or higher. Also, you'll need a 1/4 reamer for the pulleys, they won't go on the stepper shafts without it.

    • bhunting / about 8 years ago / 1

      Update on the pulleys, at least for my Sparkfun Shapeoko, received Dec 2015, all of the pulleys pressed on without reaming or drilling. Not sure if this is a change from Shapeoko or if I just got a lucky set but all of the pulleys were press fit with hand pressure, no tools required.

  • doobie / about 8 years ago / 1

    I'm new to CNCs, so I am wondering how does this version differ from the Shapeoko 3 on Carbide's website? It looks like it is Sparkfun's controller, etc. What about software to use it or capabilities? Are they the same, which is better, or better for certain usages?

    • bhunting / about 8 years ago / 2

      I own the Sparkfun version and don't have hands on experience with the Carbide3D / Shapeoko version but here's what I can tell from owning the Sparkfun version and comparing it to the Shapeoko docs.

      The mechanics appear to be identical, so no advantage or disadvantage there. The Sparkfun parts are painted bright red so it's got that sporty look going for it.

      The motors seem to be similar, NEMA 23 likely both sourced from China, probably not much difference there. The Shapeoko site lists their motors at 120 oz-in and the Sparkfun site lists their motors at 125 oz-in. Probably different manufacturers with slightly different specs, but unlikely to have much performance difference.

      The biggest difference is in the motion control board. Carbide3D has their own motion control board which Sparkfun has replaced with a Sparkfun designed board.

      Looking at a picture of the Carbide3D controller it appears to be an Arduino interfacing to stepper drivers, identical to Sparkfun's Stepoko. Not a clear difference there. According to both web sites both boards are running grbl as the motion control firmware, no difference there.

      Other than the packaging of the electronics not a lot of obvious functional differences.

  • antithesis / about 8 years ago / 1

    I purchased this wonderful machine but didn't get the Carbide Create software. Is it not available through Sparkfun?

    • bhunting / about 8 years ago / 1

      Go to the Carbide3D / Shapeoko website and sign up for the Carbide Create beta. They'll send you a link to download it (as of 12/15).

  • Member #410568 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Is there a limit switch package available for this beast? Thanks.

    • WillAdams / about 8 years ago / 1

  • I think something like this should more shoot for a much lower price point. If you cost out the parts, there's no way you'll get a 3rd of the final price as production costs. I know this is a gantry and not strictly a cnc but if I was in the market for something that was a contender, I'd rather invest $500 more than the price and get something like a Sherline (this is the cost of a cnc ready mill and then shopping around for drivers and steppers and not get a complete Sherline package. But still here, you must buy a router; the Sherline comes with a real headstock). I use a Sherline 2000 mill with all the bells and whistles (including a rotary table) and I cut boards using PCB-Gcode and all sorts of mechanical parts including gears and pulleys.This would be attractive at the right price but $1K isn't close to that.

    • chamnit / about 8 years ago / 2

      I disagree. This is a different mill type (gantry) than a Sherline (knee-mill) and each are used for two different purposes. I own a Sherline 5400 that has been CNC'd. It does have a "real" headstock that is pretty good at cutting metals (not quickly though) like aluminum, brass, and steel, but it isn't built to cut wood fast or deal with the dust very well. The lead screws would gum up badly.

      These hobby gantry mills are designed for larger flat sheet stock, like foams, woods, and plastics. And can cut aluminum much faster than my Sherline, up to 3x-5x faster surprisingly. You have to use high-speed machining tool paths and carbide bits. It won't be as precise and accurate, but a gantry mill isn't used for that. It's typically for large stock jobs that is milled relatively quickly with a high RPM spindle.

      Generally, I opt for the Sherline whenever I need precision metal work or need to cut steel. These gantry routers are great for wood and cutting fast jobs, because they have a much higher max feedrate (200ipm) than my Sherline (25-30ipm). There are even videos of similar gantry-style milling machines cutting pine wood at 600ipm+ with high-speed machining tool paths and trim routers.

      • rwizard / about 8 years ago / 2

        Chamnit, The Sherline is a knee mill?!? I think you must have Sherline confused with Bridgeport. Sherline does not make anything close to a knee (C frame) mill, which would typically have a mass which is probably 50 times that of the diminutive Sherline bench-top column micro-mill. Knee mills have an X-Y table which can be moved up and down on an adjustable knee, and they are big - about the biggest mill you would expect to see in even a very well equipped home shop.

        • chamnit / about 8 years ago * / 1

          No it's not technically a knee mill, but a column mill. The usage and general design are similar. I had a feeling that I would get a comment about it. If you read "Tabletop Machining" by Joe Martin, the creator of Sherline, he references the Bridgeport knee mill as the reference point for their mill design several times. I think that Sherline made the decision to make a column mill rather than a traditional knee mill design based on being more compatible with their Sherline lathe and existing parts and being less massive, as you stated.

          Either way, the Sherline mill was designed based on the miniaturization of the Bridgeport and to cut metal on the tabletop, not softer materials like woods and plastics. It can, but isn't ideally suited for it since the max feed rates are slow. It's high torque, rather than high speed.

          • rwizard / about 8 years ago * / 1

            All that aside, and not meaning to criticize you or the Sherline, a Bridgeport Knee Mill and a Sherline column micro-mill have a relationship that is similar to that of a Kenworth and the new Mini Cooper Tiny Truck . Both are kind of neat, and have similar functions, but are in totally different classes. Still, as the owner of various Chinese machine tools, I'm not in a position to be throwing rocks at anybody ; ) . Regards.

            • chamnit / about 8 years ago / 1

              Lol. True. But, I would also add that Haas production CNC mills and Tormach mills are mostly column mills, rather than knee mills. Each mill design lends to different applications and strengths and weaknesses. And, both are used in production for metal subtractive manufacturting.

      • Really my point was something that I agree is great for wood and size (but not my thing) is that for what you get, it is my opinion it is over-priced. This would be so easy to piece together on a much smaller budget. And I have to very much disagree about the Sherline not being a contender for plastics. I mostly use mine for polycarbonate milling and with the right feed and speed and excellent end mills (from Precise Bits) I've had beautiful results. Not sure how to post a pic if that is possible, but I'd show you if I could.

  • as much as i'm glad spark fun is getting into CNC's a belt driven CNC is not a good idea. it should be lead or ball screw. I was so excited to see it till I noticed the belts. but thanks for getting into the CNC market spark fun!

    • Member #4579 / about 8 years ago / 3

      Nothing wrong with belts, unless you plan to work on steel. But then you also need a different spindle, really. They could have used 9 or even 12mm wide belts instead of the 6mm belts used, to reduce backlast or stretching when cutting harder materials, but that's reallyonly nitpicking.

      • WillAdams / about 8 years ago / 1

        Upgrading to 9mm wide belts is a popular upgrade:

        I couldn’t find suitable belts wider than 9mm (but was limiting myself to U.S. Vendors) — specifics?

      • chamnit / about 8 years ago / 1

        Agreed. Belts are surprisingly capable, very affordable, and don't suffer from backlash problems that lead screws often do. There are a few YouTube videos with the ShapeOko3 cutting aluminum at very fast rates. With these modern trim routers, like the Dewalt 611, you can do high-speed machining tool paths in aluminum. It's pretty amazing. That said, you probably won't get super precise cuts when cutting metal, but then again, thousandths or ten thousandth of an inch accuracy isn't what this machine is for.

  • Hivoltage / about 8 years ago / 1

    One could use a 3d printer board with this and get some good results. I would but I am working on other things atm.

  • Member #394180 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Hmm. Same order of mechanical/electrical complexity as the PrintrBot Simple 3D printer but over double the price. $1000.00 and not even a router. Sorry guys, try again.

    • AdamTolley / about 8 years ago / 9

      That's simply untrue, and making the comparison just promotes stupidity.

      At least compare it with a product of the same scale, like say the printrbot metal, which has a 10x10x10" build volume. The shapeoko here has a build envelope of 16x16x3" which is larger than that on two axiis. So how much is the Printrbot metal? Over $1000, and it doesn't have to deal with the unpredictable sudden changes in load that a router would have to.

      • Member #394180 / about 8 years ago * / 1

        The build volume is only a matter of longer tracks/extrusions and constants in the control software. It is not mechanical complexity. This thing has one extra motor over the 3D printer. The acceleration changes are handled in the open source software that anyone can download for free.

        It's overpriced, and it's really galling that for that price you still have to go out and get a router. It's as if Tesla didn't include the tires in their exorbitant price.

        • chamnit / about 8 years ago * / 5

          I think you're trying to compare two wholly different types of machines. Apples and oranges, so to speak.

          You can't cut metal or hardwoods with a Printrbot or any 3d printer, because they aren't built to take the mechanical loads involved with CNC routing. 3d printers only have to move a print head and the extruders never contact anything. With a CNC router, you can have inertial and cutting forces that can exceed tens of pounds. To maintain cut accuracy with those types of loads, you need more material to stiffen up the machine. You also need a base stiff enough to clamp the workpiece to so it doesn't go flying off.

          If you add up the fact that there is more material in the extrusions, a larger footprint, larger Nema23 motors, it still cheaper than a PrintrBot Simple Metal 10"x10"x10" 3d printer. I'm not sure how you can still justify your comment.

          Case and point. See YouTube videos on this machine cutting aluminum like a champ. Try doing that with a flimsy 3d printer with a 10 pound trim router hanging from the extruder head.

  • Sembazuru / about 8 years ago / 1

    I'm looking through the assembly instructions and see you have the enclosure for the Stepoko installed with the openings on top. Wouldn't you want the openings on the bottom to reduce the amount of dust accumulating inside the electronics box? Or are the motor wires too short?

    • You could absolutely mount it the other way 'round. The heatsink will still mate with the aluminum rail. I put it that way because it's easier to deal with the wires when they're on top, and I thought a wire might snag on the work piece if they hang down.

      On my prototype I actually used the cable carriers which make top-connection make a lot more sense, but still chips can get in. When we get it running with aluminum I'll have to make sure those are closed with rubber boots or something.

  • I have a Shapeoko3 and love it. I'm curious why this kit has a new controller board instead of the Shapeoko board. Is there something I'm missing out by using the Shapeoko board?

    • WillAdams / about 8 years ago / 2

      Two people on the Shapeoko forum posted their analysis of the differences:

      1) The Sparkfun unit just has one y-axis motor controller (3 total controllers, not 4). The two y-axis motors are wired to this in parallel. 2) The Sparkfun unit has more versatile stepper motor configuration hardware: Microstepping increment options are 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 (4-position switch instead of just 2). Stepper motor current is continuously variable from 1A to 2A using a rotary pot (instead of 2-position switch presetting current for NEMA 17 or 23 stepper coils)

      The first is obviously a cost/space saver. The second is to better accommodate DIY builds with odd motors. Neither would really seem to matter if you are going to use a stock S3.

      Looks like they us a FTDI rs232 serial-USB which I suspect will be a more reliable connection than the carbide board.

    • Member #278698 / about 8 years ago / 1

      Could someone who has used the SO3 give an idea of what speeds it is capable of, both cutting and jogging. I'm real tempted but I want to get an idea if it is faster or slower than my current homemade CNC. I can only do about 40 in/min jogging and would like something that can get more speed.

      • edwardrford / about 8 years ago / 2

        With a conservative cut depth (1/8-1/4") you can expect to cut something like walnut or other hardwoods at around 40ipm, HDPE or other plastics could go faster (60ipm).

        Jogging (G0) speeds are fast you could do 80ipm with no problem.

    • WillAdams / about 8 years ago / 1

      The spark fun board is opensource. Looks as if the wiring might be a bit different. Capabilities should be similar.

  • Member #4601 / about 8 years ago / 1

    will this router fit ?

    • WillAdams / about 8 years ago * / 1

      Yes. I used it or a while on my SO1. List here:

      You’ll need a new mount or a shim to get from 69mm to 65mm.

      A further consideration is that the only option for a 1/8" collet is an adapter. Better to get a spindle / router which allows the smaller size which is better suited. I think the MLCS Rocky 30 (seems to be a rebadged Makita RT070x) is the sweet spot of capability and price when paired w/ an Elaire precision collet.

    • SirKireXIII / about 8 years ago / 1

      You can make this router fit but you might have to get a new router mount. But this harbor freight router is only 0.5 hp. The Dewalt and Porter both have 1.25 hp. You will only have 40% of the "cutting power". I will not recommended.

    • I'm not sure, it looks similar to a "Performax" brand trim router we have on our prototypes, which is slightly smaller. It works but a sleeve is needed to adapt the size.

      Can be seen at 0:12 in this video link

  • Member #40360 / about 8 years ago / 1

    How easily does the bed come out? replace it with peg board to allow for whatever is needed to hold the material in place and double it as a vacuum forming table as an added bonus?

    Edit: See's its a kit, so it can be replaces immediatly

  • WillAdams / about 8 years ago / 1

    What is a reasonable expectation for accuracy? --- If tuned properly you should be able to get to a resolution of 0.003″ –- 0.005″ (~0.075mm -- 0.127mm) --- 0.001″ (0.025mm) is achievable with careful setup and an upgraded machine.

  • rwizard / about 8 years ago / 1

    Hmm, very interesting. If only Sparkfun accepted BTC, Santa Claus' official currency (one area where Adafruit has an edge).

    Questions: What sort of accuracy and repeatability can we expect? I realize that the spindle is involved in that equation, so any specs on the two different routers (DeWalt/Porter) ? Finally, given that this is Sparkfun, what kind of pitch have you been able to reliably obtain milling PCBs ? Do you have a recommended bit for this application?

    Christmas elves want to know ; )

  • Member #444927 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Can this be used to prototype PCB's ? Where would i find a laser to cut stencils with with what would bee needed?

    I already have a router for it the molding for cabinets will make it hard to use it for the PCB anyway :-) be to busy :-)

    • Member #4579 / about 8 years ago / 2

      There are people using the older ShapeOko and ShapeOko 2 for making PCBs. (They're milling the copper off of the PCB directly, not playing with stencils or lasers) I think there's a couple of threads about it over on

  • TECH GEEK / about 8 years ago / 1

    I want this because it is red.

    • rwizard / about 8 years ago / 2

      You'll get a lot more speeding tickets, and the paint will fade if you park it in the sun. : )

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5

Based on 10 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

great rigid design, superb performance.

Originally, I thought that the price point for this machine was extremely high. After assembling the thing, I can tell you that I was totally wrong. There's no way I could have kitted all of those parts for 1k. Not in low quantities anyway.

The other thing that I wasn't sure about was it's ability to cut aluminum. I'm pleased to report that I've been milling 0.063 sheets of 6061 aluminum and 1/4 plate. Now the plunge and feed rates are set really low, but it works. I only have the drives set to 1 amp (%50) and I experience no slippage or drift. Everything stays rigid.

It's a great design.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Somewhat challenging to assemble, but solid and has great community support

I chose the Shapeoko 3 over competing products in its price range because of the more solid construction (tradeoff: smaller working area) and great community support. Others have done the heavy lifting in previous iterations, leaving a product that is functional and without an overly steep learning curve.

However, you will need the patience to troubleshoot and tinker. Documentation is spread out all over the place on the Sparkfun and Carbide 3D websites. The Shapeoko forum and wiki are invaluable, but it takes some digging to find answers. This is not a plug-and-play machine, but nor is it terribly difficult if your have some mechanical and computer aptitude.

There are errors in the current Carbide mechanicals assembly guide, most notably: 1. The parts picture on p.9 shows an eccentric nut, but regular nuts are used in this step. 2. On p.18, the GT2 pulley should be spun around such that the teeth face away from the z-axis plate. 3. Eccentric nuts shouldn't be adjusted to their maximum tightness, but only enough to take the play out of the assembly. 4. The kit ships with regular M3 hex nuts, not Nylocs as described in the BOM. These issues, and many other assembly tips, are documented on the Shapeoko forum.

I haven't come across any resources describing how to assemble and tune a CNC machine so that it's true and square. With some mechanical aptitude, you should be able to figure it out on your own.

My biggest hurdle in assembly was that four of the steel plates came warped. The v-wheels were not tracking parallel on the y-axis rails, and I was worried about accuracy on the z-axis. Replacement plates proffered by Sparkfun had the same issue, so I reached out on the Shapeoko Forum and also to Carbide's support. I ended up flattening the plates with an improvised arbor press, and everything works smoothly now.

I appreciate that there is free Mac software available, so that I didn't have to add dealing with Windows to the software learning curve. (Carbide Create, the software that ships with Carbide3D's version of the Shapeoko, does not currently work with the Sparkfun electronics. However, there are many other free and paid CAD and CAM options out there.)

Sparkfun's electronics kit apparently does not have the USB disconnect issue that plagues many of the Carbide machine's users.

I've got my machine drawing, and it'll be routing wood and aluminum very soon. I look forward to fitting the machine with a draw knife to cut paper or vinyl, or a laser head for cutting and engraving wood. Creative possibilities abound!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Kicks ass

Had a good time putting it together over a couple of days. There are a couple of minor discrepancies between the instructions and what you receive, and you do have to spend some time making sure everything is square, belts are tight, figuring out the software, etc. Seeing it come to life and then milling my first sign after designing it really kicked ass! I sympathize with the other reviewer about having to look around for documentation, but it wasn't really all that bad. It was a moderate challenge, and I found it fun and well worth the effort.


  1. Had an issue with X-axis failing. Contacted Sparkfun, and they sent out a new Stepoko board priority overnight. New board works fine. Really appreciate Sparkfun getting me out the new board so quickly.

  2. Ended up using a DeWalt DWP611 router - seems to work great so far. Home Depot was completely out of stock, and I ended up having to get mine at Lowes.

  3. Another reviewer mentioned they had some missing mounting plates. I think mine were sort of hidden under a cardboard flap in the box. I remember thinking the parts were missing as well. Hope that turns out to be the case for the other reviewer.

3 of 3 found this helpful:

Seems well constructed, but I don't have it working yet.

I had a few issues while building my Shapeoko.

1) A set of calipers is pretty much required to tell the difference between the similar types of bolts.

2) The Shapeoko documentation talks about ny-loc nuts, but there are none in the kit. It appears they were replaced with normal nuts, and advice to use loctite.

3) After wiring up the motors and powering it on for the first time, I found that the two y-axis motors turn in opposite directions. I followed the directions in the build video and connected the same coils from the two steppers, but with reversed polarity. That seems to be the wrong thing to do though. I'll need to experiment to figure out the right thing to do.

Overall, it seems very solid, and other than a little confusion, it went together fairly easily. Hopefully I'll be cutting once I've figured out how to make the y-axis work.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Well designed, feels very solid

The Shapeoko feels very solid, the aluminum extrusions are very stiff.

It would help if Sparkfun would create a new parts list for this kit. The Shapeoko parts list in the Carbide 3D assembly guide is slightly different than the kit that Sparkfun ships. It takes some work to sort out which parts on the parts list are different because of the difference between the electronics in the two kits.

3 of 5 found this helpful:

Very Impressed

The first Kit I purchased since a Heathkit in 1962. There were a couple of minor problems with the design that I will provide information on later , but generally I am very satisfied

2 of 6 found this helpful:

not necessarily best thing I ever owned

To be honest it is the worst documentation ever! There is reason why books and etc. did not become absolute with the digital age. I build my shapeoko but so far did not move a step. Why is it so difficult to find information how to get the motors running, just to test it is working!? The information is scattered all over the sparkfun website. It has no dedicated area when one would find additional info or feedback on how to get it working!? I installed the "Universal-G-Code-Sender" but all I get is an error of not booting up!?

There's the Sparkfun hook up guide - There's the official Shapeoko assembly guide - And there's the Carbide 3D community knowledge base for questions regarding the machine itself -

Great Machine, Very Fun to Build

from unboxing to drawing the shapeoko logo with a (supplied) marker took 7 hours — this CNC router is very solid, finished durably and much improved over the shapeoko 2.

yes, the instructions should be unified and tidied-up a bit, but the odd confusing moment isn't all that hard to deal with.

it was a ton of fun building this, and by building it myself i was fully able to learn how it functions — making any troubleshooting a breeze.

love the arduino-based controller; plenty of room for custom mods!

Very good value introductory CNC

At $1k, its hard to imagine getting much more for your money, CNC wise. With a bit of finesse and tuning it can be made into a reasonably stiff, low backlash machine that will chew through more materials that entry level machines normally would. All in all I'm very happy with the purchase.

I adapted an dewalt 618 router instead of the 611 that it comes with a bracket for (only because I happen to have an old one lying around), so I had to fab up a bracket for that. Doing that allowed me to incorporate a way to adjust (shim) the tram of the router about the x-axis (roll), which would be tough with the 2 bolt mount it comes with for the 611. There is enough slop in the holes to adjust tram about the y-axis (pitch), but I do worry how long it will stay square using this method, as its just relying on bolt preload to keep it in place.

The only other comment worth discussing is that Carbide 3D now offers their version of the machine with a CAD/CAM package. And as it is the same machine with the exception of the motor driver board, it may make more sense to buy from them if that is an important feature. I have solidworks because of the work I do, and HSMxpress is a free CAM plug in for it with alot of features, so software wise I don't need the Carbide software, but others might.

Shapeoko 3 deluxe kit

Very very high quality piece of equipment. I couldn't be happier.