The 5 Minute Software Fix

 

 

There are many times when our computer controlled machines seem to have been taken over by gremlins.  Usually, these “gremlins” are erroneous settings that cause unexpected actions in the machine, or unexpected reactions to commonly used commands.  Windows (all versions) has long been plagued by errors that occur when the OS is closed …

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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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A Theory On Relativity

As we use our CNC’s we learn that we can assign virtually any position to any axis at most any time. We usually have a reason to do this, like a special purpose jig, or room for clamps for relocating the X & Y axis, but we routinely reassign the position of the Z for …

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The K.I.S.S. Vacuum Manifold

I have been fortunate to visit a good number of ShopBot equipped shops. This has enabled me to compare many setups and implement my favorite “borrowed” ideas into my own setup. Even though I have seen many ingenious vacuum distribution and valve setups I never really saw one that seemed simple. Our previous system had …

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Table Index, Revisited

This is my third go around on building a table for our ShopBot. Each one has used a different system to allow us to index our parts on the table for accurate placement. This time I wanted to implement a system that would allow us to align full sheets accurately on the table, accommodate alignment …

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The Daylight Method

Daylight Method One of the handiest things we can learn from big iron machines with Automatic tool changers is how they keep track of multiple bit lengths in up to a dozen tool holders. Even tho most of us do not have ATC’s, there are some real advantages to implementing a method to zero or …

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The ShopBot “Virtual” Toolchanger- Part 2

In my last article I explained why we need a toolchange routine, and in this one I will try and show you what it takes to do this and how it works. During this explanation I will give reference to the toolchanger code. Included with SB3 Version 3.6.1 (the latest), in the C:\SbParts\Custom folder is …

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The ShopBot “Virtual” Toolchanger

Recently, the Thermwood Corporation and ShopBot Tools, Inc. introduced a new product called “The ShopBot Link”. The ShopBot Link is a nesting and toolpath program that allows us, the ShopBot user, the same ability to cut files on our ShopBots as were previously only afforded to Thermwood owners. These cutting files are generated by Thermwood’s …

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Tuning Up the PRS Gantry

There are many reasons that your gantry can be out of square or plumb. The gantry can be jostled during shipping, bolts can loosen due to vibration, moving parts wear, metal can fatigue, or the machine may have had an impact. No matter what the reason, you should add checking for square and plumb to …

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Adding Pocket Hole Joinery to your Cabinet Panels

Occasionally when assembling our cabinets we need to install pocket hole screws for a blind screwed connection. Cutting the screw pockets on the ShopBot is a natural progression from cutting the panels and then moving them to a pocket machine. Commercial pocket machines use an angled drill bit that plunges laterally into the material face. …

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