2013 Tidewater, VA Camp Shopbot

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Angus Hines of Hines design labs, has been hosting our Tidewater Camp for the last few years. Each year we return he’s added some new piece of machinery to his arsenal, and this year it was a 3D printer to go with his growing fleet of Shopbots, lasers, and other toys.

We had a pretty good cross section of owners at this Camp. Production shops with larger PRT’s and PRS ‘s, some Buddies being used for both business, and hobby, and a couple of new desktop owners.A High school robotics group from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, (who brought in a very cool robot they had designed and built).  Woodworkers, a sign maker, and a few school staffs were there as well.

We had a couple of people from Shobot present for this one. Randy Johnson, and TJ Christiansen came up from Durham, and they brought a Handibot prototype with them to show off.

TJ started things off by just running through the basics to make sure everyone was on the same page. He went over various machine types, and discussed the basics of how to choose the right model.

He also gave a good talk about techniques he’s learned to get good ,clean cuts in plywood. From that sprang some of the inevitable, and valuable “local knowledge” as people in the room learned where others were getting quality materials to cut.

Randy then did a session on the concept, and design of the Handibot. He also ran it through a few files so people could see how it operates.

Before we hit the lunch break Bryson Wagner gave a great session on why, and how he makes molds for his products. He brought along samples of some of his work, both as a mold, and then a finished product. He also went over some of the techniques he’s been using to make his signs so quickly, and cleanly, again by using molded components that he has a growing collection of…

After lunch we got into the how and why of using a vacuum hold down system. We had demos of Angus’s “Light house motor” home brew box, and I brought along a smaller pod/puck unit to show how a temporary/portable system could be designed.

TJ then did a session on “how to cut plastics”. He spoke about bit selection, speeds, hold downs, types of plastic that are more appropriate for different applications, etc.

And Randy finished off the day with a series of projects which he has worked on over the last few years.

Many thanks to Angus and Jacqui for hosting this one again !


1 comment to 2013 Tidewater, VA Camp Shopbot

  • Jim Coats

    Bill, thanks for all of your insight and experience. I toughly enjoyed attending and I might add that I learned a lot. Bryson’s demo of the Smooth-On mold and casting has cost me over $450.00 as I will be attending the Smooth-On training seminar in Nov. I also went to Harbor Freight and purchased a 3 CMF two-stage Vacuum pump. Could I get a copy of your slides so I can set up the hold down system. Thanks, jnc