ShopBot Hosts Furniture Society for an Afternoon of Demos & Festivities

FurnSociety_8On the afternoon of Friday, June 26th, around 70 visitors in town for the Furniture Society 2015 Symposium journeyed over to the ShopBot Tools “World Headquarters.” Along with a scrumptious barbecue dinner, ShopBot staff organized multiple demo stations to highlight features of our growing variety of tools –from the Handibot Smart Power Tool to the Full-size 4’x8’ PRSalpha ATC gantry tool.


The tour through ShopBot’s 10,000 sq. foot manufacturing space started with the Desktop Max (slated to be released later this year). On the tool’s 24”x36” bed, Kevin Putvin cut a guitar body and a full 3D carved overlay, designed in Aspire. Nate Zellmer and Josh Thomas, also cutting out of foam, showed how to prototype using Rhino CAM software to maximize the versatility of the PRSalpha 5-Axis tool.


Groups then ventured into the ShopBot Training room for a real treat. TJ Christiansen had set up 3 ShopBot Desktop tools cutting a variety of projects: a v-carving of a wooden zodiac disk, an acrylic engraving/cutting of a plastic puzzle game, and interesting CNC joinery from HDPE plastic. To top it off, the ShopBot Buddy® was set-up to etch a mirror, using the WidgetWorks Diamond Engraving Bit. The finished mirror was then donated as a silent auction item to the Furniture Society. TJ used VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition for his designs and toolpathing.


Not to be outdone, Matt Schmitz machined a very interesting newel post using the custom built Stand Alone Indexer. This project was originally designed in GeoMagic, but would be easily done in Rhino. Toolpathing and some design modifications were then done in Aspire.


The next station featured the Handibot v2.0 (available this fall). Two accessories were on display, the Handibot Rotary Axis and the Handibot Accessory Base, both examples of what promises to be a very interesting line of additional accessories that will be coming online in the next few months – be sure to check out the Handibot blog for updates. Matthew Hux demonstrated the full capability of the Handibot Crawler – an automated tiling accessory that’s currently in development and expands the Handibot cutting envelope to 24” in the Y, and starts with a 4’ travel in the X that can be expanded – look for more on this promising accessory over the next few months!


Last but not least, Ryan Patterson, lead of our Production Support team, created some unique chairs using the features of the PRSalpha 4’x8’ ATC gantry tool. VCarve Pro software allowed Ryan to easily modify his initial design to add more variety to the pattern he was cutting for the flexible plywood top, and change the size of the chair as the evening went on.

We love having people come to ShopBot for tool demonstrations, for training, or just to visit. Give us a shout out when you’re in the area. We’d love to show you around!

A special thank you to Alphagraphics for their continued partnership and very speedy turnaround times and to Tommy Murrah of Thinker Linkers for his donation of a Thinker Linker Craftsman Set. BTW- we’re happy to say that both of these businesses use ShopBot 4’x8’ gantry tools.

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