Shaper Tools—the robotics and woodworking company best known for their handheld CNC router, Origin—launched a Kickstarter campaign for Shaper Trace. The new tool, which consists of a physical frame and companion web app, turns hand-drawn sketches into vector graphics in seconds using your smartphone. The drawing toolkit enables makers and craftspeople to convert any drawing into an .SVG file that’s native to digital fabrication and digital design tools. It is available starting at the early bird price of $69 USD.
Shaper Tools’ commitment to providing simple solutions for precision cutting and digital design continues to be evident with Trace. By turning any smartphone into a high-quality vector scanner, Trace is intended to make the creative process faster and more efficient. But it’s not just about speed. It’s the only drawing-to-SVG conversion tool that preserves drawing scale accurately, automatically removing perspective distortion and even the distortion introduced by your camera’s lens. All while allowing you to hold your phone at any angle, making capture simple and easy.
What also sets Trace apart from other scanning apps or Adobe Illustrator’s image trace tool, is Trace’s offering of not only an outline trace, but a centerline trace feature, which can provide a more useful toolpath for fabrication machines.
“We’ve seen the struggle that traditional makers, woodworkers, and craftspeople face when they try to convert their hand-drawn sketches to vector graphics for digital fabrication tools,” said Shaper Tools CEO Joe Hebenstreit. “There are just a lot of steps, time and energy to get there, and it takes people out of the creative process. We’re excited to launch Trace, which provides an easy and accessible solution.”
The kit includes a frame, a technical drawing pen, and free access to the Trace app. No ongoing subscription required. Trace is a one-time purchase. Users draw a sketch with a pen or fine tip pencil on paper within the size of the frame. Using the mobile app, they next capture a photograph of the sketch and watch it automatically convert to a scaled, flattened vector file. The app also includes built-in post-processing tools such as image smoothing, and SVG selection. Once the SVG file is ready, it can be used with most any digital fabrication tool, saved directly to your phone, or sent off to your favorite fabrication service. Alternatively, the .SVG file can be used with other graphic design or layout tools.
“With Trace, a single sketch can transform into a multitude of different outputs in size, material, or fabrication technique,” continued Hebenstreit. “It can be used in the shop, without the need to go back to a desk. We’re confident that it will revolutionize the way that people approach precision cutting and digital design.”
The estimated delivery date of Trace is Fall 2023.
Visit the Shaper Trace Kickstarter page.