George Vondriska

Shaper Origin: A Handheld CNC Router?

George Vondriska
Sign in
Duration:   17  mins

The Shaper Origin has been in the marketplace for some time now. It’s a very unique and interesting tool. It looks like a hand-held router, but acts like a CNC router. We want to help you understand how the Origin works so you can decide if this tool would be a good addition to your shop. Have a look.

An overview

There is, in fact, a router motor on the Origin. It’s variable speed and has a ¼” collet. The router motor is held within a base, and the “brain” in the base finitely controls the position of the router motor both horizontally and vertically.

A screen on the Origin allows you to design and create directly on the unit, import designs you created using your own software, or import designs from the web (The unit WiFi connects to the internet).

What’s with the tape?

In order for the Shaper Origin to cut accurately it needs to know where in space it is. This is accomplished by adhering domino tape to your work surface and scanning the tape with the Origin. With the scan complete you can locate your design on the work surface.

The Workstation

The Origin Workstation simplifies fixturing for your cuts. Permanent dominoes are laid out on the horizontal surface and there are a variety of clamping and holding mechanisms you can use to secure your work. This is an excellent addition to the Origin.

Take the tool to the work

One of the big benefits the Origin offers is portability and the ability to take CNC precision to any workpiece, no matter how large it is. You don’t have to worry about the work fitting on a CNC bed.

If you want to know more about the possibilities CNC routers offer check out the videos WWGOA has on this topic.

More info

For more info on the Shaper Origin visit

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

Make a comment:
characters remaining

One Response to “Shaper Origin: A Handheld CNC Router?”

  1. Meryl Logue


Get exclusive premium content! Sign up for a membership now!