CNC Files and Instructions

*) The 8’x8′ Shelter design have been released, using a new and very powerful method for toolpathing in collaboration with the fine folks at Vectric software. Vectric is the creators of the fantastic VCarve toolpathing software that we use to design and toolpath all the Shelter 2.0 designs, and for the 8×8 they have tagged the files so that they can be opened and toolpathed in their free trial version. This allows anyone to work with our files without owning CAD or CAM software. Download the zip file

Instructions can be found on Google Docs for cutting the parts on Google Docs at , and assembly instructions for the 8×8 version at

*) The 8×8 version files are available in dxf format from DropBox at The assembly and cutting instructions above apply, although any toolpath information is lost and layers may be a bit wonky

*) The Lima version of Shelter 2.0 is an updated version of the original Shelter 2.0 design that simplifies the construction and shortens the cutting time. Those files are also available on Github at

*) The original  Shelter 2.0 files and MakerSpace files are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. These files can be downloaded from GitHub at, with assembly instructions generously provided by Make Magazine at

*) A materials list for the 3 versions we offer files for is available in a Google Doc. Since it’s an open source/ open design project there is quite a bit of flexibility in how the Shelter 2.0 design is built, based on location and use case, so not all materials have been included. 

We haven’t included any prices because it varies so much with local material availability and the quantity ordered,  especially with fasteners.  There should however be enough info in there to get a pretty good idea of cost.


24 thoughts on “CNC Files and Instructions

  1. Love, love, love, your 2.0 shelters. What an amazing idea and such a great way to give back. I would like to make a smaller version of this for personal and was wondering how I could go about getting one fabricated for us to assemble at our home in NH?

    Keep up the good work.

    Thanks, Terri

  2. I have been keeping an eye on your shelter ideas for a number of years now and I like what I see over all. The down side I see is you need a CNC router to make the parts needed to build the shelter. I know the same job could be done with patterns and a router pattern bit or pattern collet. That way you only need the CNC to make the first set of patterns. That way anyone with a router could make the parts needed for this shelter.

    I think you are making it more complex than it needs to be. Over all it’s a great idea and give people a starting place to work from.


  3. I will propose using this design for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Resource storage. Thank you. It can be CNC routed at a TechShop.

  4. I would like to build a few of these for shop project and have a CNC router, I believe we could make them during carpentry classes and send them to chattanooga

  5. How much would the making and shipping of one of 2.0 shelters cost?
    As I writing a dissertation about emergency shelters where I compare different case studies.

  6. I was unable to find the assembly instructions as the link above did not work. I also was wondering if you had files for larger sizes.

    Thank you so much.

  7. Great shelter. I really like the way it goes together. I am not sure what I am missing but how many sheets of 4×8 material and of what thickness go into a 10×13 shelter with the ends on? The other question is, can the odd construction scrap 1/4, 1/2 sheets of material be used.

  8. Any chance you’ll be making patterns for those of us who DON’T have access to CNC, but would like to scale-up and trace-out patterns and cut by hand?

  9. I am a mechanical design engineer / manufacturing engineer and just found out what you are doing. I would like to help you achieve what ever it is that you need most right now. I am currently working for an injection molding company where I design parts for customers. If there are parts that could be molded to help assembly or structural strength of the shelter, I would like to help with this. All engineering would be done by me at no cost to you.

  10. This seems to be a dufunct idea now….? as some things are still downloadable but others lead to site closings…Such as instructions and so on. Well it did seem like a worth while thing, but if there is support for it, I can’t find it.

    Steve, what are your thoughts? You made an excellent offer, but did you ever get any kind of reply? I do the same as well, but…………….couldn’t beat your offer… 😉

  11. Sorry for all the broken links, etc. We’re hard at work cleaning them up…hopefully all the download and instruction links now go to the right place, including links to the new Lima Shelter.

  12. I am interested in making a few of these for a group of displaced people but I have aspire 8.5 and it will not open. Is there another option?

    Jackie Allred
    i3 Fabrication

  13. Hi Jackie. This is an experiment to try to avoid having to supply files in a bunch of versions. It’s possible that they will open in the trial version of Aspire v9 and allow you to toolpath them..if not you could try the trial version of VCarve v9?

    If it turns out that it just doesn’t work for you I can save as dxf, but much of the toolpathing data is lost.

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