Talk Nice To Me

I’ve always talked to myself. Lately, I find, there’s little I can accomplish, if I don’t talk myself through it. Furthermore, as I find it helps me, I’ve gotten much worse. It seems I talk to myself at all times, about all things, and in the company of others.

The Name Game

When I …

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Digital Fabrication and your Museum

As the affordability of CNC, and Digital Printing gets better, and using it becomes more intuitive, these technologies find their way into adjacent fields, like museums. This affects your institution in two very important ways.

Cost Savings.

My work while at Field Museum, taught me much about how to build cost …

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ShopBot participates in conference on Cultivating an Entrepreneural Culture

What happens when the NACCE (National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship) has their annual conference? Inspired conversation.

Sallye Coyle, Educational Outreach Coordinator for ShopBot Tools, and I held a round table at the NACCE event. Attendees learned about the 100kGarages online network for bringing makers, designers, and fabbers together. …

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Z Extruder

Some time back I posted a project we completed on the ShopBot Forum that showed 4 Walnut Legs machined with 4 concave sides (Read forum thread). This machining was done by manual manipulation of a cutting file similar to what the Virtual Tool “Extruder” does. The difference is that when the Extruder extrapolates a file, …

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Reusing Designs

Although it’s fun to always be doing new things, sometimes it’s a plus to be able to reuse work that you’ve done in the past. It not only saves you time, but also gets you looking at old designs with new eyes. Here are two examples that I’ve worked on recently.


5 or 6 …

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My Wind Power Generator

With my great interest in renewable energy I have been working on wind powered generator which is efficient and cost effective and so that’s how the Shopbot came in handy to help me produce the aerofoil design of the blades.

I used a combination of positive and negative molds for the blades. Below is the …

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OK, as promised I’d like to explain how I use the ShopBot and VCarve Pro/Partworks, along with my favorite CAD program, to nest and cutout parts from full sheets of material, including working with the RTA (Ready-to-Assemble) fittings that you are probably familiar with. Some people have a less-than-favorable impression of those sometimes-annoying little studs …

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Pricing a Job

Over the years I have been asked many times “How do you bid a job?” Well, here are the steps I take in formulating a kitchen bid. I have one hard and fast rule about bids: I only discuss money once, at the beginning. Unless the job changes substantially I …

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The Keys to Success

During the 2006 ShopBot Jamboree I demonstrated how you can substantially increase your drawing efficiency and effectiveness by using the built-in short cut keys in your design software. In many cases, the short cuts allow you to do things that cannot be done using just the icons and menus in PartWizard, Insignia and ArtCAM Pro. …

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My First Thoughts

Before I really dig into CNC, I have a couple of things I want to address in this, my premier effort. If you are working without a guard on your table saw, get one. There is no tool that is used more often in a shop than the table saw and an unguarded saw is …

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