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Shapeoko 3 from an open builds perspective

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Rural, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Rural

    Rural Journeyman
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    The Shapeoko 2 is what first piqued my interest in CNC routers, but the OX is what got me moving. Even though I've committed to an OX build (bulk of the parts arrived yesterday morning), there is enough in common between the OX and the Shapeoko 2 that it well worth keeping up with the Shapeoko community. And then we have the Shapeoko 3.

    My read on the Shapeoko 3 is that it is slightly larger, more complete, more refined, and less customizable product than the Shapeoko 2. The Carbide Motion controller attracts my attention the most, just because the controller is where one could close up the platform. I'm not saying that they've closed the platform, or even made a move in that direction, but the controller is where I first look for that kind of move. There has been a change in licensing, to CC-BY-SA-NC, which is interesting. It seems like the relationship with Inventables will be different when it comes to the SO3 as well.

    I'm curious what others here on OpenBuilds feel about the SO3.

    After watching Makerbot walk away from the community that launched it, I'm wary, and probably more than is justified. Then again, the 3D printer community seems healthier than ever, with really decent models available for about $500 and software improving in leaps and bounds, but inexpensive desktop 3D printers are now something you buy rather than build. That's mostly a good thing, but a real change from a couple of years ago.

    In any case, having rebuilt an old commercial CNC router, and knowing that one can build an open source software tool chain for a CNC router, I can take some comfort in being able to make a CNC router to my own specifications.
     
    #1 Rural, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  2. Rural

    Rural Journeyman
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    There is some really interesting discussion of the shift in direction taken with the SO3 here, starting with the post by akhlut. OpenBuilds even comes up, and not really in a positive way.

    Also in that discussion, Ed Ford links to an interview he was a part of here. A little fluffy, but they do point out that they are moving away from kits and towards a larger product line (ie. less need for customization).
     
    #2 Rural, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  3. cruz1445

    cruz1445 Well-Known
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    I just got my ox plates in and stumbled upon the shapeoko 3. Now im wondering if i should just place my preorder with them.
     
  4. Rural

    Rural Journeyman
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    The same thought crossed my mind, especially when I saw the Shapeoko 3's work area dimensions. Then I remembered that my goal is to cut 4'x4' sheets. That would be a dead-end with the Shapeoko 3...unless I wanted to work by tiling and indexing 4' by 16" sections. The fact that the Shapeoko 3 is still in pre-order, and that it isn't clear what kind of customizations will be available actually makes it less attractive to me than the Shapeoko 2 (which could be expanded to a 4'x4' work-area, although the result would probably be disappointing). I suppose if one feels that they would be happy with the Shapeoko 3 as-is, then they should feel somewhat secure in pre-ordering.

    My concern is more about the slight shift in direction (license change, including closed software) and what that might mean for the future. In the discussion on the Shapeoko forums that I linked to, the comments by chamnit are the ones I find most surprising. Seeing a (the?) GRBL maintainer pointing out that a flaw in open-source/open-hardware is that other can "steal" your hard work is more than a little jarring.
     
  5. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Having read some of their threads, I think they are beginning to lose the plot over there! :confused:

    I sometimes consider what Mark must think, when we all go off on a tangent, about something of other.
    Plus he has seen changes and adaptions to his original Ox designs, sometimes so far away, that it really is, no longer an Ox. But I don't hear any complaints, just encouragement from him! :thumbsup:

    But I'm sure he is able to see the natural course of things in the world of CNC and an Openbuild system.
    It is after all, what Openbuild is all about.
    He gave us the original designs to run with, wherever they may lead, and we have! :)

    The money side of things, which seems to bother the other team, well we don't know?
    Mark could be struggling to make ends meet, or he could be rolling in it, we simply don't know. Although I do hope it's nearer the latter, he deserves it! :thumbsup:

    Let's just hope those sort of problems stay over their, and we can go on with our great community and teamwork. :D

    (I'll get off my box now.)

    Gray
     
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  6. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Mark & Trish certainly do deserve it - when Mark has bought his own light aircraft we will know for sure. :D :D

    Tweakie.
     
  7. sgspenceley

    sgspenceley Master
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    Very nicely said Gray. I sincerely would like to thank Mark for designing the OX and providing a site were we can openly share ideas and opinions. The OX is an outstanding place to start the CNC adventure!
     
  8. Rural

    Rural Journeyman
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    Gray, you've kind of brought the conversation to where I expected it to go. The Shapeoko project, because of its open nature, spawned a bunch of other projects. That's a good thing. The OX project, and OpenBuilds, spawned a plethora of projects. Excellent! But honestly, if it weren't for the Shapeoko's excellent wiki, I probably never would have got into CNC at all. The wiki seems like it will be in good health for quite some time. The situation for software is more interesting. Carbide3D, which is now Shapeoko's parent company, puts out custom hardware and software, neither of which seem very open. (Note that Ed Ford is a partner in Carbide3D. So it isn't like he is under anyone's thumb.) After using Chilipeppr, I'm not blown away by the screen-shots of Carbide3D's software, and their hardware seems to be Arduino-based. So there isn't much to worry about yet. But Carbide3D does seem to be casting itself as a vertically-integrated company (ie. of much less interest to tinkerers).

    Bah! Those of you that run Mach3-based machines are probably wondering what I'm babbling about. The bottom line is that the Shapeoko let the cat out of the bag and there is now a healthy community of tinkerers building CNC machines put together from pieces from a large number of open projects. I really don't think that any of the players, including Shapeoko, could successfully capture much of the community while moving to a closed model. It just ain't going to happen.

    And judging by all the plastic bags of goodies stamped with the OpenBuilds logo scattered across my desk, my guess is that Mark and OpenBuilds have some cash flow.
     
    #8 Rural, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  9. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    Considering a year ago most sizes of V-slot (as well as many other parts) would be out of stock for 2-3 months at a time and now lack of availability for most parts is truly minimal, I'm betting that "flow" is strait back into the business.
     
  10. Rural

    Rural Journeyman
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    That's the nature of the open business model. You have to keep innovating or raising the level of service and can't depend on intellectual property protection as protection from competition. To some degree, you can build a brand (by innovating and/or with service), which can help, but you can't stand still for very long.

    I just hope Mark et al. are making enough to keep them motivated and provided with the resources to keep going, but not so much that they can buy a tropical island and retire.
     
  11. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Mark! Put that Tropical Island back!!
    :D:D:D
     
  12. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    I have a feeling she prefers Trish (rather than al). ;)
     
  13. Ed Betlinski

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    Mark has done a truly remarkable job. I used to get upset when I saw all the resources Inventables offered, both in the way of parts and videos and pure information and wondered why OpenBuilds couldn't offer the same thing. But then I realized Mark was starting a business and it seemed at times like he was only one man doing everything. Having been through this myself I know what it is like. Recently he has come out with the Heavy Duty Wheels and the Mini Wheels and lets not forget the C-Beam and you can see he is really pushing things forward. Now I noticed in the resources section that he shows the Pi Bot electronics and after look everything over this looks exactly like what was missing in a COMPLETE control package. Mark should offer this through the Part Store in both iterations, CNC and 3D Printer. But this also means he will have to offer a Wiki and other info on how to use and set it up if he wants this to be a part of the OpenBuilds package. I feel there are more good things to come and in lite of all I see will soon start my new 3D Printer project, my first was a Solidoodle2. Keep pushing Mark.
     
  14. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Well said Ed but I think it is Trish that does all the work - Mark is just the front man. :)

    Tweakie.
     
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  15. Ed Betlinski

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    My apologies to Trish. I was not aware of the Team Effort pushing the company forward. As I mentioned, I can see improvement and advancement and appreciate that. Thank you Mark and Trish and the entire OpenBuilds Team.
     

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