Shapeoko 2 – Desktop CNC Mill Kit, Part 1

Part 1 of a continuing series…


If you’re a member of our Facebook group, you’ve probably already heard this, but we won a really neat tool!


It started with Mr. What (Aaron) emailing out to the members mailing list about the contest – they were giving away a Shapeoko 2 3D carving machine to a Maker Community in every state.

Shapeoko 2!

That message led to a back & forth flurry of others between members, officers & the board of directors, talking whether we should apply for it (honestly?  That was the easy no-brainer part!), and the best way to fill out the application.


We worked & worked, and edited & edited, down to the wire, and made the deadline to submit.  And we won for New Mexico!  Yay, Quelab!


That was last month.  Since then, Inventables contacted us with instructions how to actually get our hands on their magic machine.  Walter volunteered to be the point man, so it was delivered to his house.  I can’t imagine how excruciating is must have been to have that sealed box in his possession, yet not able to open it!  While everything is included, it comes as a kit, so there’s much work to be done in getting it all together & ready to cut.

We had our first assembly session at last night’s HackNight, and got halfway through the sections on the assembly webpage (I don’t know if that’s halfway through the entire process or not!). We’ve taken many steps to document the process – quite a few members took pictures, as well as two cameras set up to take time lapse shots of the assembly, so we will be posting much of the process.


The initial part was the unboxing video, then the oh-so-fun-but-necessary work of inventorying everything in the box.  There are a lot of little tiny parts in there, and you need to make sure none are missing!  Inventables included an inventory sheet, and all the parts were individually packaged in baggies with labels that had the part number & description, so this step, though tedious, went fine.  Our setup is the entire package, the full 110V kit, which includes electronics AND tool set.  The only snag we hit were some minor things in the assembly instructions web page, easy enough to change.  We need to consult our notes & submit change requests to update the docs (or maybe we can do it ourselves, we need to check).


That’s all for Part 1.  Stay tuned for more.  As part of the agreement with Inventables, the Shapeoko 2 is to be made available to the public, so more information on that will be posted after the build is finished, and we’ve done a shakedown, tuneup, and documented. Then we’ll be ready to help people that want to use the machine.


p.s. I want to know if we want to name the machine, like our experimental 3D printer is named the Printinator?  Maybe “the Carve-O-matic”?

– ABQJohn

PS for those of you following along at home, here is the page to the assembly instructions, while they are pretty good, there is a fair amount of fiddling to do each step.

PPS! Photos!!! We took lots of photos. come see us laugh, and cry, and scratch our heads!

Dr. Sungeun K. Jeon, of GRBL, came to visit Quelab 8/17/2014, and donated several useful items. He also brought in the latest and greatest GRBL, and burned it onto the Shapeoko 2, and now it is running smoother and faster. Many thanks!
– Mr.What (aaron)