Unless you’re an industrial designer, you’ll be forgiven for not having heard of a CNC router before today, but this little invention from American brainiacs Shaper just made making stuff a whole lot easier. A CNC (computer numerical control) router is essentially a large robotic panel saw, spindle moulder and boring machine all at once. Still confused? Think of it as a giant computer controlled jigsaw. The pros? There’s no human error. The cons? A machine is normally the size of a table and the designs to be made need to be pre-determined.
This is where the Shaper Origin comes in. As the world’s first hand-held CNC, it allows the user to cut, drill, bore, shape, and even engrave an array of different materials to a preset design or freeform, while using micro-adjustments as the drill bit spins to ensure the errors that are endemic to hand-tools are eliminated during the process. Using the guidelines plotted out on the screen, the user can navigate their way to an easy cut-out without being left with any unfinished edges or accidental crooked lines. You can even design on the tool directly or draw on your material and iterate. It’s currently available for pre-order at a discounted rate and will surely be an instant hit for design students and DIY dads alike.