2010 Atlanta Camp

Spanish-cedar-madonna Robert Ball hosted this Camp at his farm for the second year in a row, and we had a good turnout of experienced Shopbotters as well as a few guests. The Atlanta area group has been holding smaller “User groups” at various shops throughout the year, so there’s been some pretty good communication within the local ‘Botting community.
Some of the areas we went over in the morning session involved questions people had about creating, and tool pathing 3 dimensional files from different sources. This led to a software discussion, and from there we got into alternate ways to obtain 3D data for carving.
A major area of concern was how everyone was dealing with the current state of the economy, and we heard some suggestions on ways of developing new business strategies to increase visibility and production. Marty Cotwright is a web designer, and he explained some ways to create an affordable and effective web page to bring in more business. We also discussed the benefits of making ” samples” to let customers learn about the different products each shop could offer. Pricing, and basic business sense were also touched on here.
Just before lunch David Buchsbaum showed a series of pictures to explain how he designed and built a very large, and beautiful table from a huge ( 3′ by 18’ ) flitch of wood. He went through the machine setups involved in cutting out all of the components, as well as the rationale of each method of joinery he employed.
We then ate the now “traditional” pile of pizzas, and got back into the afternoon sessions with Paul Nielsen showing off a sanding mop tool he used to finish off a group of beautiful carvings he brought in for ” Show and Tell” (that’s one of Paul’s carvings out of Spanish cedar pictured above). He also explained how he has been working with Aspire to create some of the projects, and he discussed using a Roland Picza scanner as part of his design process..
Then we went into some ideas of ” rethinking” current ways of using the machine, and showed some different approaches for older processes.
Robert Ball followed that with some samples, and an explanation of his experience in carving marble. He went into ways of holding the material down, as well as using a water system to get cleaner, cooler cuts.
We wrapped up the day with a session on ways to use vacuum hold down systems for a variety of cutting projects, and then some of us hung around for another hour just bouncing questions around, and learning more about the way bats , and all the other animals at Robert’s farm spend their time…..

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