Shaper trace is genius

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Established Member
4 Aug 2011
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As the title suggests the shaper trace is a brilliant invention.
I do not have a shaper origin but do have a normal CNC router and a 3d printer.
I saw a video of the trace and thought it looked good so for £109 I gave it a go.

It is basically a plastic frame with dots on but combined with the app it will turn a drawing into a vector in about one minute.
The most useful part of the system is it somehow knows the measurements and preserves this info in the vector.

My first use case was to draw around some timber profiles that I need some spindle knives grinding to.
I cut through the sections and traced around them on a bit of white paper.
Then scan them in the app and you get vectors.
Now, they are not perfect but good enough that you can use another cad or art programme of your choice ( I used Vcarve pro) to make the straight lines perfect etc.
So now I can send these off of to whitehill and get some cutters ground with very little hassle and they will be accurate.
The second and most fun use case is of course for taking hand drawn images and being able to carve them for inlays.
Before I would have to take a photo and trace over it in vcarve or use vector magic but this is super quick by comparison.

I tested some images from my books on Islamic patterns and Mayers handbook of ornament with some fairly good results. It struggles a bit with very small or super complex pictures but on pure simple line art it is really decent.

I think I will learn how to use it better as time goes on but I think it is a no brainer for anyone who does inlays and carvings on a cnc. There is something about the flow of a hand drawn thing that is very hard to replicate directly in cad and this does it very easily.

Also you can draw around objects to cut out pockets and all sorts of other stuff.

Brilliant thing.
Now hopefully they will make a 3d version.......

can you set it up to use a webcam for a more permanent lighting seup? AAUI the APP is web based.
can you set it up to use a webcam for a more permanent lighting seup? AAUI the APP is web based.
I suppose you could set it up with a permanent camera but actually it doesn`t seem to need it, it can take a picture at quite an angle and it seems to still work. No clue what AAUI is. I use the app on my android phone, you can save the vectors either to local storage or to "my files" which are then synched to your shaper account and can be downloaded straight to the PC with shaper studio, the lite version is free and all you need for downloading svg files.


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