Introducing Shapeoko HDM

Posted on Aug 16, 2021 by Rob

Today we’re opening preorders on our newest CNC router, the Shapeoko HDM, our most capable machine and a machine with a long R&D history at Carbide 3D.

Shapeoko HDM

A few years ago we bought a Protomax water jet to help prototype the sheet metal parts for Shapeoko. Overall, it was a different purchasing experience than the Haas and Brother machines we’d been buying- we rolled the machine off the pallet, spent half a day putting it together, and then we got to work.

At the same time, everyone on Instagram was fawning over the Datron Neo, which was a small, fast CNC machine that was the size of a large refrigerator. (We own one of those too and let me tell you, it’s definitely NOT a ready-to-run machine)

We had a thought- could we deliver a high-performance CNC router that could be delivered on a pallet ready-to-run?

Here’s what we wanted:

  • The most accurate machine possible without adding massive cost.
  • A machine that would run for extended periods of time, either for big prototyping jobs or for production.
  • A machine capable of cutting wood, aluminum, plastic, brass, maybe even a little steel.

It also had to cost a fraction of either the Protomax or Neo.

Edward and I traded ideas about how we’d make it for a couple of months. Once we liked the overall structure, we ran it by the pickiest guy we knew, Winston. I don’t know what we expected, but we certainly didn’t expect him to say, “I like it” so readily. We accepted the “win”, handed it over to Luke to fully design, and got to work making prototypes.

There were new extrusions to make, which took a couple of revisions, and custom ball screws and linear rails to get made. We needed new electronics to drive bigger motors and a VFD spindle. It took two years- way too long- but the result is the Shapeoko HDM and it’s great (Luke clearly got naming rights on this one).

You can see more about it on the product page but these are the highlights:

  • 80mm VFD Spindle with water cooling
  • HG-15 linear rails and ball screws on every axis
  • Hybrid Table for the base and work holding.
  • BitSetter for easy tool changes
  • LED Lighting for better visibility

It’s the most capable machine we’ve ever made and it comes almost ready-to-run.

The Preorder

We said we’d never do another preorder but this is a case where we didn’t really know what else to do. We have no idea how popular Shapeoko HDM will be. Should we order enough to make thousands? Hundreds? Two? We have no idea how to forecast this one so we took a guess and we’re putting the first batch up for sale with a healthy lead time.

The first batch will ship within four months. It should be quicker but we’ve been bitten by optimism before so we’re adding an “optimism correction factor” to get to four months.

Here are our plans:

  • Shapeoko HDM will only ship via freight. Eventually, we’ll charge for shipping but we’ll ship the first batch for free.
  • Until we learn more about how the freight shipping will work, we’re only going to ship these machines within the US.
  • If you purchase one, we’ll give you a call to answer any questions and make sure expectations are correct. We’re happy to have that conversation before you buy but we want to make sure we talk to you before the machine ships.

We’re really excited to get these out into the world and see what you make with them. Got any questions? Get in touch and we’d be happy to talk through your application.

Otherwise, go check out the Shapeoko HDM in more detail in our store