After one year and one month from the time of purchase, my Shaper Origin has finally arrived! I've been following the community posts from other people that have already received theirs on Shaper's Community Board. It's been great to hear how things are going for others and see pics of their projects but it's also been torture waiting for mine. :-) Shaper has been great about sharing updates to their production process and the timing of orders. I was at the end of Batch 1 and they are now shipping out Batch 2.
If you didn't already know, Shaper partnered with Festool (maker of the best power tools in the world) who made the custom spindle for this machine. Because of that relationship the dust port is sized perfectly with the Festool dust extractor hose and it made perfect sense for Shaper to use a Systainer case so that it can be stacked with the other Festool products. Everything is extremely well thought out! From the way it's packaged, to the "cheat sheet" inside the lid, to the stickers and manual...all are just beautiful! Even the router bits that come with the tool have the Shaper logo inscribed on them! Every detail screams professionalism and a company that's going to be around for a long time!
Now to the tool itself. The quality and aesthetics of the tool are top notch. It's heavy and sturdy to ensure precise cuts. The screen is incredibly responsive and the UI is beautiful and easy to use. Setup was a breeze. They have created a few video tutorials to assist people when setting up their tool and get familiar with the interface. I just followed along with the videos.
Another small thing that I love (that other companies have overlooked) is the fact that the spindle has a flat top. It makes it SO easy to change out the router bits because you can take it out, flip it over and stand it up. Brilliant!
One thing that is a bit odd is that there is no power on/off switch for the base unit. There is a power switch for the spindle but not the base. I'm worried about the longevity of the LED lights and the screen (or burning an image into the screen) by leaving the unit plugged in for longer periods of time. To turn the base on or off you simple plug it in or unplug it.
I have made one minor modification. I velcroed a wireless remote switch to the base near the plunge in order to control the power to the Festool CT26 dust extractor. Since the base draws power even when the router is off this can activate the vacuum in "auto" mode. And you won't get power to the tool if the vac is set to "off". So I am powering the tool with a separate outlet and using the remote to turn the vac on and off. Now I can keep my attention on what I'm doing and control everything with one hand.
The other advantage to this set up is that I can leave the vac on after I'm done cutting, pull out the hose to suck up and remaining sawdust.
My first cut. A friend of mine came over and we took turns doing some etching using a file which came on the Shaper USB stick. Then I downloaded a project from Shaper Hub and actually cut something out of some scrap 1/2" ply. It worked great! Now I need to practice up my Adobe Illustrator, SketchUp and Fusion 360 skills so I can build some of my own projects.
To my wife: "Please tell the kids I love them and I will see them in a couple weeks." ;-) lol
For those that are interested, Shaper is still selling a limited number of units at a reduced cost but I'm sure they will be gone soon.