Maximilian Messner is a joiner and floorer based in Fridolfing, Germany, at his family's firm, Schreinerei Messner. 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 the Shaper 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. But 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 (see the photos below).

Portability in a CNC is a game changer

Now, Origin makes regular appearances both in the Schreinerei Messner shop and on job sites. When customers see him with Origin, they're intrigued. "They ask, 'What is that?' They can't believe such a small machine has such a wide range of applications," he says. 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 Origin's intuitive design placement was a breath of fresh air after the rigors of programming with g-code, he says: "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. "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 says.

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 job-site 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."

This article was paid for by Shaper Tools. Watch the Origin in action on YouTube.