Why isn’t there a full eShapeoko kit?

Many people ask me why we don’t sell a “complete kit”, like the full kit offered by Inventables.

Firstly, because our eShapeoko kit is configurable, the complete kit would have to be configurable too — so there would be not one single kit, but several variants.

Our current stock tracking (built into CubeCart, the store software) does not understand that one part could be sold on its own, and also part of several kits.  In fact, I’m not aware of any online store software that does that out of the box.  Many, including CubeCart, can interface with external stock tracking software, but I haven’t been able to find something that did what we needed.  Without a software upgrade, we’d have to stock kits in each combination of options separately (which ties up capital and takes up storage space), or adjust the stock frequently by hand and/or risk selling more of some parts than we have in stock.

I can write the software myself, but I need time that I don’t have.  I would like to replace the store software too, but that is also time-consuming.  Inventables have at least a dozen people working for them; they have an office and a spacious room for their stock, and they contract out the kitting of the Shapeoko.  There are just two of us, doing this in our spare time, and we count and pack everything ourselves.

While a “complete kit” is still some time in the future, we have tried to stock all the items you would need for a complete machine.  We have stepper motors (NEMA17 1.8° 40 mm, 1.8° 48 mm, and 0.9° 48 mm; NEMA23 0.9° 51 mm), power supplies, the Arduino Uno, our own stepper driver shield, Pololu stepper driver modules (green, black, and purple, with white coming soon), stepper cable, limit switches, and a few other items.  If you’re after a cheap rotary tool, they can be had elsewhere online for very little money, and we can’t compete on price with them.

We plan to stock larger power supplies, DC spindles, a few types of end mill and engraving bit, switches, and connectors.  All those items, combined with a “what to buy” guide on the Wiki, should allow you to buy everything you need for a complete machine from us.  Ultimately, I feel that being able to choose what to include and what to leave out is better value than one fixed kit.

5 thoughts on “Why isn’t there a full eShapeoko kit?

  1. So if there will be no complete Kit, will it be possible to buy the Makerslide in the appropriate Lenghts for the Desired Machine ? Since i would like to buy a Kit but aunt got the right Tools to cut the Profiles.

    • I haven’t been clear.

      The mechanical kit includes MakerSlide, normally. We are selling it without it as a temporary measure, until we get the rail back in stock. We’ll get back to selling mechanical kits with MakerSlide included in a couple of weeks.

      When I say “full kit” or “complete kit”, I refer to a mechanical kit (with MakerSlide), plus motors, power supplies, cable, connectors, Arduino, shield, drivers, spindle, starter endmills and so on — everything you need to build and use the machine, except a PC, in one box. That kit won’t happen any time soon, but we’ll be adding the missing items to the store in the near future.

  2. Do you have any clue on when you will be able to offer hard anodized (black) kits? I’ve been waiting on those for months now. If it’s too far in the future I’ll probably place an order as soon as you make the kits available again. Keep us posted and keep up the good work!

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