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Thread: I have access to a Shop-Bot! What do I do with it?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Madison, WI

    I have access to a Shop-Bot! What do I do with it?

    Due to a rather amazing stroke of good luck, the community workshop I belong to received the loan of a ShopBot CNC router. For a first project, I'd like to build some simplistic speaker boxes (read: plywood rectangles with many, many, many holes), but would also like to see what could be done in the way of fiddly recessed bits. I don't have any real experience with woodworking beyond basic hand tools and the use of a router, my CAD skills are limited to SketchUp, and I'm not really sure where to start in terms of reading. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Syracuse, Nebraska

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I've been very tempted to join my local maker group. They have a nice facility and seem like a great group of people and they have some pretty cool equipment I could borrow. My only problem is the distance to go.

    If I had access to a shop bot I would:
    • Make some cool back lit signs.
    • Create some very precise jigs.
    • ...
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Take a look at a sample of projects on this page of this website it will give you loads of ideas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Creating the drawings to import into PartWorks will be your biggest challenge (next to knowing what you want to build). You can use sketchup, but you'll have to convert those files and add tool paths. So depending on your version of sketchup (Pro) you can export .dxf files, otherwise you'll need a plugin to convert to something like an .stl file. I use turboCad from time to time to create simple drawings, which can be exported as .dxf.

    Carol posted the best resource (the forum)...

    See the last post on this page for a way to export to .stl files:

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Salem, OR
    One of the most important things I learned with my CNC Shark was about feedrates when creating your toolpaths, slow is a good thing. The first few attempts I did I left the feedrate at 100%, which cause the end mill bit to pull the router down and drilled a hole through my wood and the MDF table top of the Shark, not good. You will need to install a addin to Sketchup to save in DXF or STL format to import it into Parkworks to create the toolpaths. Second important thing I learned was if you are milling a hard wood keep your stepover to 8%, It takes longer but you won't break bits. I'm real new to CNC work, so I'm sure you can get better answers at the Shopbot forum or Vectric forum.
    "Have no fear of perfection--you'll never reach it."
    ---Salvador Dali

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