Shapeoko 2 Upgrades

Once we started shipping the Shapeoko 2 machines, we immediately started working on some upgrades and  accessories.  Wherever possible these items are open source and the files are provided on the product pages.

Upgraded Waste Board

This is an awesome upgrade to your Shapeoko 2.  This waste board adds adds a lot of features.

  • Holes for (36) M5 threaded inserts to attach clamps
  • Silkscreen pattern to show the general work area of the machine
  • Easy installation by sliding in from the side without having to disassemble the machine
  • Extra mounting holes in the middle of the board in case you want add (2) cross members for additional support
  • Works great with the clamping system shown below

Note: The threaded inserts need to be installed by the end user.

Clamping System

This clamping system is designed to work with the Upgraded Waste Board.  The clamps are made from rigid oak hardwood.  They are very stiff, but probably won't break your bits if you accidentally run into them.  They have a tapered point so you can get very close to the cut line without them interfering with the spindle.  The wood is also less likely to mark or scratch your work piece.  If you do damage a clamp the cut files are provided, so your Shapeoko can make a replacement.

The clamps contain an M6 threaded insert.  This can be used with the provided carriage bolts to adjust the rear height of the clamp.  (2) sizes of M5 socket head clamping screws are provided for materials up to 3/4" thick.  Standard M5 hardware can be used for thicker materials.   

Bosch Colt Mount.

This is a thick and robust clamp to use the powerful Bosch Colt router as a spindle.  It is machined out of billet aluminum and black anodized to match your Shapeoko 2.  It also has a feature to add a dust collection shoe.  We do not sell a shoe yet, but there are some designs on the Shapeoko forum.

Hand Wheel 

This is a little hand wheel you can add to any of your NEMA 17 motors to make them easier to spin by hand.  The raised post works for fast spinning and the knurled perimeter gives a good grip for fine adjustments.  We love using it on our Z axis.  We currently only have a size for 5mm shafts, but may add one for 1/4" shafts (NEMA 23) if this ones proves to be popular.

Electronics Enclosure.

This is a small sheet metal enclosure for the Arduino and gShield.  The electronics mount in the base section and that has a hole pattern that can be used to mount it anywhere including on the end plates.

Drag Chain

Drag chain is a great way to clean up the wiring on your Shapeoko 2. 


An emergency stop button is a great safety device for your machine.  The best way to use this is to run the power to the gShield through it. That way it is guaranteed to immediately stop your job.

Shapeoko 2 Upgraded Waste board

This is the new upgraded waste board for the Shapeoko 2.  It adds a few features over the stock waste board.
  • One piece design: This makes it a little stiffer.
  • Threaded Inserts: (36) M5 threaded inserts make clamping a lot easier.
  • Printed Grid: This helps you align your work and show the general cut area of the machine.
  • Hole for cross members.  Extra mounting holes are provided in case you want to add cross member extrusions for added support.

Assembly Instructions

The threaded inserts are not installed.  This is a simple operation, but would have added a lot of cost if we had the factory do it.

Tools Needed

  • Power Drill
  • 45° Counter Sink Bit
  • 5mm T Handle Allen Wrench

Preparing the Waste board

Important Note!

Inserts are installed from the back side.
  1. Place the waste board upside down on a flat surface.  You might want to put some paper underneath to prevent scratching in case the board slides around.
  2. Locate the 6 x 6 pattern of holes for the threaded inserts (see image below).  It helps to put a mark by each one for reference.
  3. Counter sink the back (bottom) side all of the insert holes.  The counter sink serves several purposes.  The insert is a lot easier to install with the counter sink.  The head of the insert will be flush or sub flush with the surface.  Make the counter sink diameter a little larger than the diameter of the head of the insert (see image below).  It does not need to be accurate.  You might want to make the ones along the front edge a little deeper.  It is important that these are truly sub flush so they do not touch the mounting rail.
  4. Install the inserts.  While firmly pushing down on the insert, screw them in.  It is strongly recommended to use an Allen wrench with a handle.  It makes it a lot easier to put them in straight.  You do not need to install them very tight since the pull on them comes from the other side.  If you over tighten the ones near the edge you can cause the MDF to de-laminate a little.

Installing the Waste Board

  1. Remove all the mounting screws from the original waste board.
  2. Slide the original waste board out to the side, leaving the t nuts in the extrusions.
  3. The upgraded waste board has the nuts in slightly different locations.  Use the board as a gauge to move them into the correct locations.
  4. Slide the upgrade waste board in from the side.
  5. Attach the screws.  Just get each screw barely started before going to the next one.  This allows the board to slide around a bit to find the remaining t nuts.  One all nuts are started, center the board and tighten all screws.  

Bosch Colt Spindle Mount

The Bosch Colt Router is popular spindle for small scale CNC routers.  Many Shapeoko users have upgraded their stock rotary tool to this spindle.  To help meet the demand for this, we have created a mounting block for the Colt.

This is a super thick and sturdy mount machined from billet 6061-T6 aluminum.  It has a screw to tightly clamp the spindle in place and a feature to add a vacuum dust skirt in the future (we don't sell this yet).  It comes with the hardware to mount it to the Shapeoko 2 spindle plate and requires no modification of any Shapeoko 2 parts.  It does require some changes to the standard assembly, but they are simple and do not require major disassembly of your machine.  The process is outlined below.

Mounting Block Assembly Instructions

Step 1: Make sure the router is unplugged.

Step 2: Make sure there are no bits installed in the router.

Step 3: Stand the router upside down on a strong, clean, flat surface.

Step 4: Place the mount upside down on the router and align the spindle lock with the notch in the mount.  The mount is a tight spring fit so it probably won’t slide right on.

Step 5: Expand the diameter by twisting a large  flat blade screwdriver in the location shown and push the mount into place.

The mount does not need to be flush with the base of the router.  Moving it further on to the router can help with Z range.

Step 6: Attach and tighten the screw to clamp the router in place.

Shapeoko Assembly Instructions

The assembly of a Shapeoko spindle plate needs to be changed a little because of the following reasons.  The standard spindle uses (2) universal brackets and this uses one bracket.  This mount is located very low on the spindle and the distance to the bit is shorter.

Step 1: Start with the spindle carriage in about the middle of the travel range.

Step 2: Remove the old spindle.

Step 3: Remove the existing spindle mounts.

Step 4: Remove the screws attaching the delrin lead screw nut.

Step 5: Move the carriage down, so the delrin lead screw nut is aligned with the upper holes.

Step 6: Attach the the spindle and mount completed in the above instructions.

Step 7: Loosen the vertical MakerSlide and slide it down until you like the location. You might want to install a bit for reference in this step. This should not affect your overall travel.

Our favorite projects from 2013

2013 was a huge year for Inventables, and it appears that it was a great year for our customers as well. Here's a quick roundup of our favorite Inventables customer projects throughout the year:

Mini Messenger Bag by Pam Daniels

This stylish and durable mini messenger bag uses Cork Fabric from Inventables. Designer Pam Daniels liked the fabric so much she made a product out of it and ran a successful Kickstarter campaign. This is exactly what Inventables is all about. Kudos, Pam!

The Great Lakes by Timothy Brown

This gorgeous topographical map of the Great Lakes region was made using our Birch Plywood and a laser cutter by Timothy Brown of Lake Maps Ink. This is a great example of someone who had a good idea and ran with it, creating a whole business from a single material and process.

The Scan-0-Tron 3000 Full Body Scanner

The Scan-O-Tron 3000 is a full body 3D scanner that uses Makerslide and other mechatronics from Inventables. The Great Fredini showed off this design at the World Maker Faire in NYC earlier this year and it was a huge crowd favorite. The instructions to build your own are very easy to follow, so now there's no excuse for lacking an action figure of yourself.

Folding Mustache Comb by Matt McCoy

This stylish, manly mustache comb is perhaps the best use we've seen yet for our Tortoise Shell Acylic. Designer Matt McCoy's Mini-Fab is full of designs with a gentlemanly touch.

Stepper Motor Business Card by Matt Westervelt

If you happen to run into Matt Westervelt from Metrix Create:Space, ask him for a business card. Because it's really awesome. The card is made of Birch Plywood and a little bit of copper wire, and can be broken apart and assembled into a working stepper motor. It's probably not strong enough to mill steel, but it's functional enough to seriously impress.