2009 New Jersey

lithophaneAfter a hiatus of a few years we returned to New Jersey, this time in Clifton, NJ at CD Cases, the shop of Coy Frisbee. Coy’s business is building road cases, guitar stands, and stage equipment for professional musicians. He’s had his Shopbot for 8 years, and he’s still finding new ways to apply it’s use in his business.
The Camp was a little different than most this year as the majority of attendees did not own a Shopbot yet. There were people from a variety of crafts, and industries on hand looking to learn about the ways they could apply CNC technology in their line of work. This led to some pretty interesting conversations about the actual business sense of owning a Shopbot in today’s market place, as well as how it could aid in the manufacturing end of numerous products. And while most of the people there were from the New Jersey/New York vicinity we even had a few more people drive down from Canada to catch the last Camp of the Fall season…
In addition to these newcomers we had some long time Shopbotters on hand, as well as at least one owner of a different machine who was attending his 4th Camp (because as he said “no other company is doing these kinds of events”) and he’s now thinking about “converting” and becoming a Shopbot owner…
With this mix of old/new available it was a great chance for the “newbies”to throw out a lot of questions, and get them answered by people who had been working with their machines for a considerable time. The wide range of applications which were presented, as well as some of the business ideas that were suggested , mixed with the openness of everyone willing to make suggestions for those just getting started really surprised a few attendees. They said they came to the Camp after doing some “CNC shopping” and had no idea that there were SO many ways to utilize this kind of technology and software. There were no hobbyists in this group so everyone really jumped on the idea of HOW to make a living with the Shopbot.
Of course the variety of Show and Tell items on hand opened their eyes quite a bit . We had cabinet doors, and granite memorials, and miniature fret work and a lithophane light box (above) and a foam fish sculpture, etc.
I think this interplay of experience and enthusiasm meeting curiosity and trepidation is really what makes a great Camp for everyone who gets a chance to attend.
Keep an eye on the Shopbot web page for the 2010 Camp calendar which will be posted sometime in the next few weeks. And if you can’t find a Camp close to you, contact us about hosting one in your area !

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