By Shaper Tools
“This was the problem solver!” Maximilian Messner is a joiner and floorer based in Fridolfing, Germany. His family’s firm, Schreinerei Messner, combines the modern and traditional in their tools, techniques and designs. “In this company, we use traditional woodworking tools alongside high-tech machines like Shaper Origin.”
For a recent medallion installation, Maximilian had a mosaic idea in his head, but he wasn’t sure what the most efficient solution would be.
When he first saw a video of Origin in action, he says, “It just clicked. That was the problem solver! You can do this project with Origin.” Working on a landing, space was limited. However, there was more than enough room for Maximilian to create a scan of the area where he wanted to cut and virtually ‘place’ his design exactly where he wanted it. Using the same cut file for both the negative and the positive pieces of his inlay, he quickly pocketed out the area he needed, and then used the easy on-tool offsets to creep up on a perfect fit for his inlay.
Portability in a CNC is a game changer
Now, Origin makes regular appearances with Maximilian, both in the Schreinerei Messner shop and on jobsites. When customers see him with Origin, they’re always intrigued. “They ask ‘what is that?’ They can’t believe that such a small machine has such a wide range of applications.” For Maximilian, the tool’s portability goes hand-in-hand with its versatility. “The main problem facing modern factories is space,” Maximilian says. “Origin is small and you can take it to your site, which I think is really cool.” This makes it easy to work on installed pieces and a natural fit whenever a patching job is required on a finished floor.
No programming necessary
Maximilian started his career using advanced CNC machines, so he wasn’t worried about the learning curve involved when learning to design for Origin. “In my previous job, I was programming five-axis [CNC] machines.” But Origin’s intuitive design placement was a breath of fresh air after the rigors of programming with g-code. “Working with Origin is easy. If you get an idea, you just make a quick drawing on your PC, and then send it directly to the machine and just start cutting.”
An insurance policy for every job
Because the tool is so accessible, it’s a natural fit to introduce apprentices and newer employees to CNC cutting. “It’s hard to find workers” in Germany, Maximilian says. And a large CNC can represent an intimidating learning curve to a lot of new hires. “When I first started, it was my dream to work with a big CNC,” says Maximilian. “But it’s very hard to program. Now, if I say [to an apprentice], ‘go make this with Origin,’ I don’t have to worry.”
He doesn’t think of Origin as a replacement for traditional hand tools and techniques, any more than it’s a replacement for a full scale, static CNC. Instead, it’s another tool that he can use whenever a project calls for it. It’s also a tool that fills a lot of roles at Schreinerei Messner: a problem-solving tool; a way to save on his shop’s footprint; a jobsite CNC machine; an introduction to CNC technology; and an insurance policy that guarantees, as Maximilian says, “that every job will be done to the millimeter.”
Watch Origin in action on YouTube.