Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Question Shapeoko benchtop CNC. Anyone else using this?

Discussion in 'CNC Routing & Laser Cutting' started by DStanworth, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. DStanworth

    DStanworth Stanworth Sign

    I have recently purchased the Shapeoko router for my shop. Turned out to be a good purchase. It cost less than my vinyl cutter. At $1,800 definitely worth a look. Comes as a kit and has a 33" x 33" cutting area. I think the z axis has 4". Here are some images of the table and a cool little routed sign I made with 1" thick Sintra.

    I wanted to purchase a full size commercial unit but decided I'd give this a try to see if cutting my own letters would be a good fit.



    router.jpg router1.jpg m2.jpg m4.jpg
    • Like Like x 5
  2. DStanworth

    DStanworth Stanworth Sign

    Here is another sign I have made with the Shapeoko IMG_7006.jpg IMG_7007.jpg .
    • Like Like x 6
  3. Martin Denton

    Martin Denton Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    Manchester, UK
    Nice work
  4. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

    Apr 6, 2018
    Man, that's impressive work you're putting out!! Top notch.

    How was the assembly? Was it hard to get it producing accurate results like that? For that price it definitely seems worth checking out.

    Thanks for sharing!
  5. Cross Signs

    Cross Signs Active Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Clearwater FL
    Very nice!
  6. signsofsigns

    signsofsigns New Member

    Sep 19, 2019
    Bayonne, New Jersey
    Your work looks AMAZING....
    How big of the letter or panel you can cut with this machine?


  7. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    Pennsauken NJ
    I myself had looked at this unit but didn't get back the initial phase. Will it work with software like V-carve pro from Vectric or even Aspire? Will it do any 3D or "2.5D" work? For example on the Moonshine sign, could you have had the machine cut the white of the letters as a raised section without having to make it a separate layer of material? Or is it just limited to doing flat cutouts? This looks like, for the price, a good intro to CNC. I mainly do electrical signs and have someone to do my routing (for things like push-thru lit faces) but want my own machine for 3D work.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

    May 16, 2012
    Medina Ohio
    It will work with any Vectric software as I see them on the Vectric page. I have seen some nice 3d cuts that were made on them also.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RatherDashing

    RatherDashing Member

    Feb 22, 2018
    I have two Nomads, which are the small desktop enclosed units by the same company. I want more work area, but don't want the mess inside a classroom. I like the company and the products.

    What material are you using for that sign?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. strypguy

    strypguy Active Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Carroll, Iowa
    I'm buying one of these soon. They are having a Black Friday special right now until Dec1st, I think. John
    • Like Like x 1
  11. DStanworth

    DStanworth Stanworth Sign

    Actually it was pretty easy to get good results. I'm not real handy with tools but I assembled in half a day. I have no previous experience using a router although I have always worked in shops that had a cnc but I worked in the design department so I've never ran one of these. I was not sure it this would be a good tool for my one man shop but I figured it was $2k. If it did not work out it would not be the end of the world. I've had nothing but success with this machine. I mainly cut 3/4" and 1" PVC. There is a bit of a learning curve learning new software. You have to wrap your head around 'feeds and speeds' controlling how fast the router moves and how deep it cuts. There are different router bits that you have to figure out. I've been using it for about 5 months now and I've probably invested $4k in the machine and material and router bits, teaching myself to use the machine. Now I am good to go.

    It is capable of 3D machining not just 2D cuts. I was using the software that came with the machine but about to purchase Aspire VCarve Pro for $700. I should be able to cut prismatic letters.
    I purchase a bunch of letters from Gemini and Steel Art and now I can cut my own. Now I have to figure out how to paint letters.

    About to do an article in SignCraft about this machine.


    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  12. DStanworth

    DStanworth Stanworth Sign

    My latest project with the Shapeoko

  13. DStanworth

    DStanworth Stanworth Sign

    Here is a project where I cut 1/2" thick black PVC letters. Then I ran painters paper thru my plotter with a sandblast blade and made an installation pattern.

    IMG_7383.jpg IMG_7384.jpg
  14. DStanworth

    DStanworth Stanworth Sign

    Here is one more.

    1/2" thick PVC Letters, matte acrylic, vinyl, stand-off's and a piece of plywood.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. strypguy

    strypguy Active Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Carroll, Iowa
    Amazing work. I just got my Shapeoko XXL setup. I'd love to know more about your bits, speeds, and feeds for PVC and acrylic. Also, where are you getting the PVC and acrylic? I'm new to CNC as well but have been playing around and learning the included software and an older version Aspire, 8.0 from a friend. You can private message me if you like, Thanks, John
  16. Peachtree Signs

    Peachtree Signs Member

    Dec 4, 2019
    Norcross, GA
    That's pretty cool, I'd like to have something like that at home just to mess around with

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Check out ToolsToday Their instagram account has a lot of CNC work. Their shop guy is just setting up this exact same machine to use in their shop. He does some really good stuff, might want to give him a follow. Been looking at one of these for my house.
  18. player

    player Major Contributor

    Apr 24, 2006
    Don't forget about the 5 micron dust particles that will kill you. Professional dust collection, ventilation and air makeup system is required. CNC machines pose a health hazard.
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page