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New hands-on learning program from Shaper Tools

Students using the Shaper Origin.

Students using the Shaper Origin.

Shaper Tools, the manufacturer of the Shaper Origin hand-held CNC router, introduced the Shaper Classroom Guide for Educators program in November. The free guide assists educators in bringing hands-on digital fabrication experience to their shop and design classes.

According to Joe Hebenstreit, CEO of Shaper Tools, the company wants to reshape the image of technical education by showing how products like the Origin can bring easy precision to woodworking and beyond.

“We believe that hands-on learning is key to a successful education,” says Hebenstreit. “Critical thinking, problem solving, and the practical application of knowledge are increasingly important in order to provide students with a bright future. With Shaper Origin in the classroom, the traditional shop class experience is safely and creatively elevated to teach students about project design, building principles and basic computer-assisted manufacturing techniques.”


First introduced in 2016, the Shaper Origin offers automatic cut correction and an intuitive touchscreen interface that allows users to accurately create a variety of woodworking projects with intricate joinery, inlay and more.

The guide includes a collection of projects and training resources designed to get educators and students productive with the Origin and the Shaper Workstation at first use. It covers topics such as scanning, designing, safety and more.

The projects are meant to easily adapt to existing curriculum and are fun and engaging for students. Educator Joe Campbell, a CTE instructor at Glendale High School in Glendale, Calif., says they do just that.

“With a traditional CNC machine and a class of 35 kids, only one student at a time could learn how to program the CNC and 34 other kids would have to watch. That doesn’t work very well,” Campbell said in a statement. “When I saw Shaper Origin, I said, ‘Wow, this could work for us.’ This means multiple students can be working on the Shaper Origin at the same time, and you don’t need, necessarily, the big wood shop that a lot of the schools have lost. One of the interesting things about Shaper Origin is that as soon as you use it one time, your brain is filled with ideas of what you’re going to do next.”

Educators can also converse with other educators on the Shaper Forum and gain inspiration for additional projects from ShaperHub.

For more, or to download the guide, visit

This article was originally published in the January 2022 issue.

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