San Francisco-based robotics company Shaper launched a handheld CNC router, Origin, this week, reports ARCHITECT assistant editor Selin Ashaboglu. The tool's automated controls allow for precise cutting. The tool is about the size of a toaster with a 5-inch touch display and a 1/4-inch shank router blade that can cut through a variety of materials including wood, plastic, and soft metals.

Users map out their designs using the company's ShaperTape, and then the router's camera will spatially orient itself and reads the path that it will need to cut based on the tape and a pre-uploaded design file.

The user then begins to slice through, guiding the router along the lines; when the router deviates from the planned path (we can't all have a steady hand), it either self-corrects the mistake by continuing to move along the pre-defined route from the design file, or retracting its blade to avoid making unwanted cuts.

The product will begin shipping in September 2017.

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