As with all tools, using Origin will get easier and easier with practice. Check out the article below or watch this video for things to consider as you get started!
While Origin has some high tech brains, your projects will benefit from the same best practices we use with traditional tools. Just like in traditional woodworking, preparation is key!
Check your Cutter
- Install a sharp cutter. Nothing damages cut quality like a dull cutter.
- Be sure that the collet is fastened firmly and the spindle clamp is secured appropriately.
Define your workspace
- Make sure that you have placed enough ShaperTape for Origin to see throughout the entire project. Read more about tape layout here.
- When scanning, make sure Origin is resting on the worksurface. Move slowly and methodically, making sure that Origin can see already-scanned dominos as it recognizes new ones.
- Place your designs in a location where Origin can see plenty of tape and you can trace all cuts without interference from clamps or hardware.
- Do an Aircut! Trace your design's cut paths with Origin to ensure the tape meter is full throughout the cut and that the tape and your worksurface don't move or change in the process.
- Make sure you won't run into any clamps or other obstacles.
Just like traditional tools, Origin works best when it's moved slowly, smoothly and confidently. While Origin can correct for many things, being proactive about things like what Origin can see and how it's behaving go a long way towards getting great cuts.
- When cutting, firmly hold Origin's handles. Apply consistent downward pressure to the handles. This helps to stabilize Origin, dampen any cutting vibrations, and helps to maintain consistent friction between Origin and your workpiece.
- Try to maintain consistent speed and use only smooth movements while cutting. Sudden jerks, accelerations, or rotations of the tool are harmful to cut quality, especially when Origin is moved perpendicular to a cut.
- As you move, think about where the camera needs to point to view the tape field, so that your motion can flow, rather than waiting to abruptly react to a low tape warning.
- Listen to the cutter and familiarize yourself with sounds it makes when cutting at its best. As a general rule, the louder the cutter, the harder it's working. Be aware of sudden changes in the sounds the cutter is making and adjust your motion or spindle speed accordingly. For more on spindle speeds check out this video.
No plan is perfect, be ready to make changes!
- Don't be afraid to stop and regroup. It's OK to power down the spindle and remove debris from under Origin, reposition yourself or re-clamp the panel you are cutting. Ideally you've already done an Aircut to prepare, but surprises happen!
- Let Origin do its job. If you find yourself drifting away from the cut path, you can correct slowly and smoothly as you continue to follow the path. Avoid trying to quickly recenter the tool when you've gone off course.
- Lastly, take shallower passes if you are not getting the outcomes you desire. It is easier to cut when there is less material resisting your motion. This is something you may only need to do while you're learning the finer points of Origin. With practice, you should be able to cut passes as deep as the diameter of your cutter.