ShopBot at the 2013 NYC Maker Faire!


I went to the 2013 NYC Maker Faire today and…to quote one of my students who also attended…it was “very intense.”  There was definitely a lot to see but the highlight of the day was that I had a chance to meet some of the great people from ShopBot!

I finally had a chance to meet Martha, who was so helpful on the phone when I was purchasing my ShopBot Desktop through the AutoDesk Educators Program last spring; I had actually met her at last year’s Maker Faire but I couldn’t connect a face to her name until now…


I also had a chance to see the new Handibot in action… Two pre-production units were set-up to carve logos/artwork into table tops and one was actually milling circuit boards!   I didn’t think that this was possible with a standard router but I was told that a high-precision tool holder is able to take care of any excess runout that might break the very fine end mills required for this application; I was also told that Think & Tinker is a great supplier for these specialty tools and I’ll have to place an order with them sometime in the future.

IMG_0397     TedWithHandiBot

The Handibot looks like an excellent machine and I’m very impressed by it’s design features.  It’s built using quality components (i.e. heavy duty linear rails and Haydon linear actuators) similar to the ones used with the ShopBot Desktop; the Handibot can also run on ShopBot’s standard control software in addition to a custom smartphone application.

Besides the Handibot, there were plenty of ShopBot Desktops around doing interesting things and I had a chance to see one equipped with an indexer…


I noticed a company next to the ShopBot booth that was demonstrating a small Rep-Rap style desktop CNC mill; they were using it to make ink stamps, paper embossing dies, and molds for small silicone parts in blocks of soft wood and hard wax.  I thought that it was a very intelligently designed machine and seeing what they did gave me ideas for another set of projects that I will have to try with my ShopBot Desktop!  (I’ll have to share these ideas with my art teacher friends when I get back to school)


Some of my students were able to come to Maker Faire with their parents and they were also impressed by the people they met and with all the different ShopBots in action…


There was plenty to see and to eat at the Maker Faire but Gerard’s Paella was definitely one of the crowd favorites.   Gerard’s was located just on the other side of the exhibitor area from the ShopBot booth and it was always busy; the chicken-seafood paella was delicious and was worth the wait.  I was told that Gerard’s provided breakfast to the exhibitors on Sunday morning which was much appreciated.

Gerard's Paella

I also noticed that there an exhibitor demonstrating an award winning 2-axis (1 translation + 1 rotation) CNC pour-over coffee making machine built from spare parts…the coffee was excellent and I can’t wait to see this machine in action at Coffeed in Long Island City (Queens, NY) after they have refined their design.

2-Axis CNC Coffe Maker

There were plenty of big personalities at Maker Faire and “MetroCard Man” (i.e. Man dressed up in a custom suit made from New York City Subway System fare cards) was definitely getting a lot of attention standing near the main entrance…


If for some incredible reason you were not inspired by all of the amazing exhibits, speakers and guests at the Maker Faire, you should have been impressed by the recently renovated (shiny!) Mercury-Atlas-D rocket on display at the New York Hall of Science!   Something like it was able to shoot upwards on a tower of fire, faster than a bullet, and into space!


I’ve got to finish grading and preparing lessons for my classes this week but hopefully I’ll be able to get back to making things with my ShopBot soon…so many new projects and so little time!

What kind of interesting things did you see at the Maker Faire?  I’d like to know…

Until next time,



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