If you’re an avid wood worker or even weekend warrior, you probably know that making precise cuts is easier said than done. You can draw lines and try to follow them, but hitting a knot in a slab of wood can very easily take your saw off-course. With the upcoming release of the Shaper Origin power cutter, there may be a futuristic solution on the horizon. The tool uses augmented reality to “scan a surface and generate a map” of where cuts need to be made. In order for the Origin to identify where the user wants to cut, they simply use what the company refers to as, “Shaper tape.”
Ever since Apple released ARKit a couple of years back, augmented reality has received oodles of attention. Lots of apps hit the store in an attempt to show off how the new technology could make your iPhone even more irreplaceable. One of the most useful features that I found offered by these apps was the ability to replace a tape measure.
The Shaper Origin takes its own stab at showing off the capabilities of augmented reality by making woodworking more approachable than ever. In the company’s marketing video for Origin, Shaper shows off some of the precise, creative, and beautiful cuts that it can make.
Bearing in mind that many folks will be curious how the technology works, Shaper made a dedicated video that provides an overview. As mentioned earlier, the Origin scans for Shaper tape applied to a surface, and maps out the work.
From there the person operating Origin places it where they would like to get started and guides it along. No need to worry about messing things up as “precision motors continuously fine-tune the spindles position”. If you make a mistake and go too far, the Origin will retract the blade in an attempt to save your project.
This is one of the best consumer-ready tools that I have seen fully embrace technology in a way to significantly reduce user errors. Sure, there are some smartphone connected tools out there, but their features are limited to allowing you to tweak settings and find misplaced gear.
With a tagline of “One Tool, Infinite Possibilities”, Shaper’s Origin is definitely a tool that I would love to have in my workshop. Although I cannot personally justify its $2,499 price tag, I can see many folks who regularly build furniture setting aside the funds.