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Shapeoko 3 - surprise revealed!
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Surprise:

You're getting NEMA23 motors and everything to support them!

But first, the bad news: Because of all the upgrades we've added to the machine, we're running late on shipping the first batch of orders.

We had the option to ship the machine we promised, or ship one that blows that one out of the water.  We chose the latter.

Although we tried to expedite all of the new additions, we couldn't get them here in time to hit our late February deadline.

However, the machine and all of the improvements you're getting is definitely worth the wait!
 

The Rest of the Story

In early December while testing the original Shapeoko 3 build we noticed something: The machine performed well, but we were looking for *exceptionally* well.

Why make a new machine if it's not, in all aspects, better than the previous version?

The problem with upgrading anything is that it's a bit like an onion skin. Where do you stop?

We didn't know where to stop, so we went ahead and upgraded the whole electornics system. End to end.
 

NEMA23 Stepper Motors

The Shapeoko 3 weighs nearly 50lbs fully assembled! That gantry is a significant portion of that and moving it around with 60oz/in NEMA17 stepper motors didn't seem like the right thing to do. 

Instead, we picked out a NEMA23 motor with 125oz/in of holding torque to do the heavy lifting. Everything about the motor is spec'ed specifically for the custom controller we designed to drive it.
 

Custom Controller

That's right. Shapeoko has it's own controller!

Driving the larger motors made us realize we needed to design our own controller, made and configured specifically for the motors included with the machine.

This controller has not 3, but 4 stepper drivers, and the microcontroller is built in. No more shields, no more hacks, and no more broken wires.. We added buffers on all the input lines, brought them out to connectors, and pre-set the motor current from the factory. No more finicky pots to mess with and break!
 

Simplified Wiring

If you've ever wired a CNC machine (or any machine that moves) you know that keeping the wires away from the moving parts isn't easy. Drag Chains, cable carriers, or an assortment of other methods are generally employed. 

When we designed Shapeoko 3 we wanted to make wiring a non-issue, a trivial matter, something you don't even have to think about. 

So we did.

Each motor has it's wires cut to the correct length and terminated with a connector. Simply plug the connector into the controller and you're done. No soldering, no crimping, no screw down terminals. Easy. Peasy.
 

More Power

With everything else in the system upgraded, we couldn't leave the power supply alone. 

The Shapeoko 3 comes with a beefy 24v 10 amp power supply that has enough juice to run all 4 motors at full torque, simultaneously.

More importantly, you'll never have to do anything other than plug a power cable into the back. No wiring at all. 
 

That's not all

We are currently planning to begin shipping units in the next 2 weeks. We have delivery dates from all of our vendors and will start shipping as soon as all the parts arrive.

Until then, I have a few more details about the controller, motors, and power supplies to share with you. I'll be sending out periodic updates from now until we begin shipping. 

There's been an overwhelming amount of support for Shapeoko 3, and the pre-order numbers speak for themselves. We're really excited to be this close to shipping and can't wait to see what everyone is making with their machines.

Until next time,
Edward, Rob, Jorge, Apollo
 
Copyright © 2015 Shapeoko, All rights reserved.


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