Bill Young’s Dirty Digital Jobs Tour: Visiting Rural Studio

First, let me give you a little background. In 2008, I drove my camper from my home in VA to Austin, TX with a couple of friends and collaborators, heading to the Austin Maker Faire to build a digitally fabricated shed at the Faire. On our way through Alabama we stopped at Rural Studio in Newbern …

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Wally Quanstrom: retired but very busy with his ShopBot

Arizona Cardinals sign made with ShopBot PRSalpha CNC

Wally Quanstrom retired as a senior executive at BP awhile back, and has thoroughly enjoyed his recent years designing and making any number of creative projects with the help of his ShopBot PRSalpha CNC tool. “My friend Harry Warren worked with an early CNC tool years …

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Sharing can be hard work!

From the time we first started, sharing has been an important part of ShopBot’s DNA. The files to build a ShopBot were originally released by Ted Hall as shareware and there have been a steady stream of project files available since then. The fabrication files for one of my first projects, “Honey’s Canoe,” have …

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Machining 3D Scans with a ShopBot CNC Machine

On a recent Professional Development session (PD) at the Chevron FabLab at California State University Bakersfield, Caroline McEnnis and Sallye Coyle of TIES (www.TIESTEACH.org) spent three days working with teachers, interns and staff to give them more experience with the digital fabrication tools and electronic components available in their Lab. Caroline had the attendees …

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Visionary Effects’ interdisciplinary portfolio the work of one person

“My goal has always been to grow the business slowly and naturally,” reflects Dan Thomson.

Visionary Effects’ portfolio looks like a design-build team of 4 or 5 people each possessing varying skills, similar to many interdisciplinary studios. But in actuality, it is only Dan Thomson: owner, designer, fabricator, problem solver and animatronics guru.

Dan …

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Historical restoration’s modern day ally

Starting point

Many might be cautious of using the words ‘historic restoration’ and ‘CNC’ within the same breath. A project Charlie Robbins completed this winter proves yet again that they are modern day allies.

An Amish contractor who Charlie previously worked with requested his CNC machining expertise on a porch restoration. “The house is …

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Heirloom objects commemorating military life

Shadow Box for a retired Master Chief in the Navy

In recent years, the word ‘heirloom’ has crept into the vernacular of everyday speech. From heirloom vegetables at grocery stores to home décor magazine touting heirloom objects found at flea markets, often times the intention is more buzz than substance. There is no history …

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Shelter 2.0 – An Open Design Project

I’ve been making things with ShopBots and sharing designs for ShopBot projects since the early days, almost 20 years ago. There have been boats, furniture, and design tools like Open Source Joinery, but the thing I’m most proud of is a side project, Shelter 2.0, that I work on with my friend and collaborator Robert Bridges. Robert and I …

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Good enough is good enough (for a while at least!)

Years ago I read an interview with the guy at Hinkley Yachts that does their varnishing. Hinkley is known for their beautiful finishes and he described their process: brush on a coat of varnish and wait for it to dry. Then sand with fine sandpaper to prepare for the next coat. …

Continue reading >>> Good enough is good enough (for a while at least!)

Desktop MAX Project: A Tiny Table for a Tiny House

Think about the tools that you use to make things in your daily life: a toaster, a hammer, a knife. Now place these tools on an imaginary graph where one axis describes the ease of use of the tool and the other describes its capability. I find that most tools in my life that …

Continue reading >>> Desktop MAX Project: A Tiny Table for a Tiny House