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Shopsmith Shaper Origin setup

#273971 by poihths » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:00 pm

I’ve been using a Shaper Origin for various things for a while, especially for engraving, and finally had one of those brain-click moments when I realized there’s a very simple way to use the Shopsmith to make using Origin easier.

Shaper Origin is essentially a mobile CNC router. It uses a "tape field" that consists of specially printed patterns that the Shaper software uses to know where the tool is relative to the workpiece so that it can do its CNC-like thing accurately. This Shopsmith setup makes it easy to put the Shaper system to work using the Shopsmith as a tool support. In particular, it makes it easy to align the tape field coplanar with the workpiece surface, which Origin requires. It also gives you a place to use as a tool rest for Origin, especially when using the Origin camera to tell Origin exactly where to place your design on your workpiece.

The photo attached shows how the Shopsmith setup works. One could dress this all up with extra shop-made bits and pieces of various sorts, but this setup is very simple and works pretty nicely, especially for engraving. It requires no hardware beyond what many Shopsmith owners will already have on hand.

Shopsmith Origin setup shrunk.jpg
Shopsmith Shaper Origin setup
Shopsmith Origin setup shrunk.jpg (271.27 KiB) Viewed 899 times

The key point is to remove the aluminum extrusions on the side of the Shopsmith rigid extension table. They come off very easily, they’re just screwed on.

The rigid extension table will now fit between the connector tubes so that you can mount a Shopsmith floating table beyond the end table and raise and lower the extension table freely between the connector tubes or raise and lower the main table and the floating table together, independently of the extension table. That gives you two ways to adjust height for coplanarity and working comfort.

The main table serves as the tape field. I cover the main table with paper and put the tape on that to try to defeat all those reflections from all that shiny aluminum playing hob with the Origin camera. If one wanted to, there are two existing mounting holes in the main table that could be used to support a shop-made tape board larger than the main table.

The workpiece–fluorescent orange in this case, that’s another story–goes on the extension table. You adjust the table heights to get your coplanarity. The floating table acts as a place to put the Origin. With Origin in that position, it’s easy to scan the workpiece into the workspace and to place your design on the workpiece visually.

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Re: Shopsmith Shaper Origin setup

#273973 by RFGuy » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:25 pm

Nice! I like it. Definitely a setup to consider if I get a Shaper Origin one day. So, with this setup how does holding it and moving it around on the workpiece go? Do you run into any issues, e.g. on the end of the Mark V? Or can you hold the Shaper Origin and still maneuver it without the base of the Mark V getting int the way? Just wondering if there are any issues with access while using this setup. I like this idea of using the alignment between tables on the Shopsmith to keep the marker tape out of the way of the workpiece so it can be easily reused.


📶RF Guy

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Re: Shopsmith Shaper Origin setup

#273977 by claimdude » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:42 pm

That is pretty darn slick!!! I will have to give that a go soon.

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Re: Shopsmith Shaper Origin setup

#273986 by reible » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:06 am

Congratulations on being a SO and shopsmith owner!

I have various posts here and at the shaper community of my methods of using the two together. I do it a bit differently and it all works.

Would love to see some of your projects.



{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]

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