More than a tool!

Our ShopBot CNC has proved to be more than just an educational tool. Once they learned about the capabilities of the tool, students got excited about making something special for those they care about. In the 6 months since we received our Desktop MAX, students have made a multitude of signs for various people and various occasions:

  • A sign for a teacher designed by them.
  • A sign to celebrate our secretary’s new grand-baby.
  • A sign to honor their parents as a meaningful gift.
  • A sign for players and coaches alike, wanting to honor each other.

I don’t get to see the recipient of these gifts very often, but I do get to see a student’s desire to honor someone else with their work. To create something for someone and have them say, “this is perfect” or this is “it.” This is “closure to a season of life,” this is “the beginning of something new,” this is “celebration,” this is an “expression of heart.”

Ultimately, relationships matter, because people matter. But it can be hard to give a gift to someone we care about. The kids got to learn some skills and really express honor to those they care about by making something for them! This is one of the real values of the ShopBot – and it came to me by surprise this week. 

The ShopBot can enhance a shop program. You can even make money with it! But more importantly, the ShopBot can help connect a school project to the real world. A 60° V bit can engrave some amazing detail, but what we etch in student’s hearts can create lasting change. I am grateful to have had the chance to connect with students through the use of the ShopBot.

Signs our school is making for a local development.

We even cut a sign from aluminum this year!

We used a 1/16″ tapered ball nose bit to cut the details.

60° V bit on a piece of South Carolina cedar.

Former student, and fellow woodworker, Cody making signs for his nephews.


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