According to new patents, Festool is using Shaper Origin technology to create a CNC track saw.
Festool is working on developing a track saw that can be used without… a track. This new circular saw will be able to keep itself perfectly on a straight line without using a track. Perfect for saving space, especially if you’re taking the saw to a jobsite.
This new idea was discovered by Nate from Doresoom Tool Reviews, who always has the latest news on interesting power tool patents. I’ve embedded his video at the end of the article for even more info.
Festool’s parent company has recently acquired the firm behind the Shaper Origin router. And just as they have brought SawStop technology to Festool products after they bought SawStop, they are now bringing the Shaper Origin technology to Festool’s track saws.
The trackless track saw idea consists of three separate patents (patent one, patent two, patent three), that together describe the new technology. It is described to have the same type of display as found on the Shaper Origin. The saw blade is able to move laterally (side to side) and rotationally (at an angle) compared to the body of the saw. Check the two images below for a clearer explanation of this movement.
To saw in a straight line however, the saw needs a reference to indicate what line it should follow. Festool has suggested two options for setting up such a reference line. The first is basically a copy of the existing Shaper Origin technology, which uses a domino pattern laid out on a roll of tape. The downside of this (which is also a complaint often heard about the Shaper Origin) is that it is a but cumbersome to set up.
The other concept involves a recognizable point, like a prism, and two cameras to triangulate the position. This sounds like an even more cumbersome setup, so Festool will probably have to do some work to come up with a more convenient solution.
As cool and useful as this technology sounds, it is currently just a patent and it is hard to estimate if and when this product would ever become a reality. An automatically moving saw blade is probably much more tricky to control than a router bit, and ensuring it is safe for any user to operate might prove a difficult task. Nevertheless, it’s good to see Festool continuing to innovate, and hopefully we’ll be able to use the final product one day.
If you’re looking for actually available products, check out our article on Festool’s latest version of their ‘normal’ track saws, the TS 55 F and TSC 55 K.
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