Inventables Electronics Batch 4 and 5

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Full and Premium ShapeOko kits, batches 4 and 5, purchased through Inventables come with a complete set of electronics, which includes the following:

Part # Description QTY
IEK-01 Stepper Motors 3
IEK-02 Power Supply 1
IEK-03 Wall Plug 1
IEK-04 Arduino Uno 1
IEK-06 grblShield 1
IEK-07 Stepper Cable 810mm 3
IEK-08 Solid Core Wire 300mm 1
IEK-09 Screw Terminals w/ Mounting Hardware 1
IEK-10 USB Cable 3m 1
IEK-11 E Stop Button 1
IEK-14 Power Adapter 1
IEK-15 Mounting Panel 1
IEK-16 Arduino Mounting Hardware 1
IEK-17 Spindle 1

Electronics Parts Layout

B4 layout.jpg

(note: the black and yellow cable is not included and is not needed for batch #4 or batch #5 assembly)

Arduino and grblShield

The Arduino is the heart of the electronics. It contains an AVR Processor, a USB connector, and I/O pins. The Arduino comes with grbl already installed on board. grbl reads g-code that is sent over USB and translates it into movements for the stepper motors on the ShapeOKO. The particular version of grbl on the Arduino also comes pre-configured for the ShapeOKO, and should not require any tweaking to operate.

The grblShield plugs into the top of the Arduino, and is what takes the signals grbl generates and drives the steppers. As shipped from Inventables, the shield has had the micro-stepping changed on the Z-axis driver to 2x microstepping to enable faster travel speeds for the machine. You will notice on the grbl shield there are small white "pots" that look like philips screw heads. These are used to adjust the current going to the motors. The motor drivers are sensitive and you may need to SLOWLY adjust the pots. The total travel of the pots are 270 degrees. Don't touch them now, this was just a heads up. The Syntheos wiki has a good article on how to properly set the motor current.

B4 grblshield.jpg B4 arduino.jpg

Power Supply

When the selector is positioned to the 24v location on the side of the power supply, the unit provides 4.0amps at 24 volts. Be careful with the power supply, and don't work on power wires when the power supply is plugged in.

The connector that ships with the power supply comes with pre-stripped wires on one end and a barrel connector on the opposite end. The barrel connector plugs into the power supply, and we'll use the pre-stripped ends to connect power to the e-stop and grblshield. Your parts should look like this:

B4 powersupply.jpg B4 pigtail.jpg

Please note, the current pictures show the DC connector pig tail with a red wire (+) and a black wire (-). Some recent kits have two black wires (one pure black, one black with a white stripe). Consensus is:[1]

  • black == (-)
  • black/white or red == (+)

Caution The 24v power supply has the same connector as the 9v input to power the Arduino. Do not plug it into the Arduino.


Arduino, Shield, and E-Stop


Unscrew the top of the E-Stop switch. Then unscrew the silver collar below it. Below that, there is a white collar with a rubber ring on top of it. Screw it all the way down. Fit the switch into the large hole on the case, and then screw down the silver collar to hold it in place. Replace the top.

B4 estop1.jpg B4 estop2.JPG

B4 estop3.JPG B4 estop4.JPG

Place the Arduino on top of the case. The USB jack should be facing away from the E-Stop switch. Using M3x12 screws and nuts, attach the Arduino to the case. Snug down the screws, but don't make them too tight. You don't want to crack the circuit board.

B4 arduinomount.jpg

The grblShield plugs into the top of the Arduino. It only goes in one way -- the power connectors should be on the same side of the Arduino as the USB jack.

B4 grblmount.jpg


To wire power to the electronics, all you'll need is the (modified) power connector and a piece of wire ~7" long. The E-Stop acts as an interrupt to the power on the grblShield, so if something goes horribly wrong, you can kill the power. It has two sides, a red side and a green side. The Red side is the side you want to wire to.

PS Wiring.jpg

The 24 volt wire is the one you want interrupted with the eStop. The system stays grounded together and power is removed from the grblShield and the motors.

Warning If you interrupt the ground line with the eStop the motor current will find it's way back though the USB port to the computer. This is not good on multiple levels. (1) USB is not meant to carry that much current. (2) the power supply ground and the computer ground (the USB ground) may be at different potentials. This risks blowing out any of the PC's USB port, the Arduino's USB port, the TI driver chips, the power supply itself.

Please note in the diagram the "hot" wire is red. The actual wire that came with the kit in Batch #1 is black. We will be updating this to a red wire in the future.

Stepper Motors


To allow for a solderless assembly, the stepper motor wires are run into a terminal block which mounts to the Y-axis motor plate with two sets of M3x16 screws, washers, and nuts.

To figure out where to cut the motor wires, slide the X-axis all the way to the side opposite the terminal block and run the wire to the block. Mark that length, and then cut the wires two inches longer than that. Repeat for the Y-Axis and Z-axis.

The terminal block has 12 connection points. Think of them in groups of four (each group gets the four wires from a stepper). In the far left group, fasten all the wires from the X-axis motor in this order (from left to right): Red, Blue, Green, Black. In the middle group, insert the Y-axis wires in the same order, and the Z-axis wires in the far right group.

Inv termblock step.jpg

Take the grey 4-conductor cable and cut it into thirds. These are the leads that will run out of the terminal strip and into the GRBLShield. Strip both ends of all three cables, and insert them into the bottom half of the terminal block, matching the wire colors (note: there is no blue wire, so match it to white).

Inv termblock complete.jpg

Video Overview

Connecting Steppers

Shapeoko back v45.png B4 grblconnect.jpg

The X, Y, and Z cables can then plug into their labeled ports on the grblShield. Note: It is best to insert the wire on top of the nuts as opposed to beneath --- this makes for an all metal-to-metal connection.[2]

Congratulations, you've built a ShapeOKO!

Next: Assembly step 15