View this email in your browser

Take Care of Your ShopBot...

...and your ShopBot will take care of you (at the very least it will do the tasks that you command it to do)! If you're like most people using a ShopBot Tool, you do these routines each time you run your tool: warm up the spindle (or router), check the bit, collet and collet nut for wear and debris, and zero your bit to the material surface or spoilboard.

But you may NOT know of other regular maintenance routines that are important to do daily, every 40 hours of use, and on a quarterly basis. Here they are in a handy PDF, just print it out and keep it in plain view.

ShopBot was Here

During a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, ShopBot's Sallye Coyle and Ted Hall visited three different places using digital fabrication in their business models. All three facilities have an array of digital fabrication tools: 3D printers, laser cutters, ShopBot CNC tools, traditional wood and metal working equipment, and facilities for working with electronics. As Sallye reports, each has its own style:

FabLab Tacoma is a Community MakerSpace based on the TechShop model. The owner, Steve Tibbits, has situated his facility in downtown Tacoma, close to University of Washington Tacoma Campus, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Glass Museum. His son, Chris, offers classes on their ShopBot on a regular basis. They have found that people attend the project-based and training classes but tend to join the facility just long enough to complete their individual projects. So they are supplementing their program by offering production services.

At the other end of the scale, InHaus Fabrication in Eugene, Oregon, does not open its doors to individual makers, but provides rapid manufacturing services to the community with 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC machining (with their ShopBot 48" Buddy). Like FabLab Tacoma, owner Kris's business model continues to evolve. He and partners are working with the local school districts to incorporate digital technology into STEM education fields.

Started as a labor of love by Kelley Roy, ADX in Portland has bootstrapped itself into a facility that provides production services and offers space and shared tools and knowledge. We visited on the day that ADX's old CNC was being replaced with their new ShopBot standard 4' x 8' tool. Not all members use digital fabrication: a retired cabinetmaker rents a 10' x 10' booth where he builds spheres made of scrap wood using chops saws and sanding jigs. Kelley has spent over 20 years in Portland, building networks and making connections with artists and makers. One program that has come out of the facility is Portland Made, a local goods collective, where you swipe a card at each of the participating locations, and get perks at another, like discounts or free time at ADX.

By the way, you'll find all three of these spaces listed on ShopBot's website.

ShopBotters at Work

ShopBot’s 5-Axis is key to Moore Brothers’ outdoor gear start-up

Oliver and Sam Moore of the Moore Brothers Company have a passion for everything outdoors. Among other projects, they engineer carbon foil packages for A-class catamarans, using ShopBot's 5-Axis CNC and 3-axis PRSAlpha 96 x 48 gantry tool. Oliver noted that “we really needed a 5-Axis solution, because a challenge in boatbuilding work is having a high enough Z-Axis to be able to machine a large item like a 5′ x 2′ dagger board.” Read the full story at the ShopBot blog.

Autistry Studios helps teens with autism and other learning differences

Autistry Studios in San Rafael, California, is a non-profit that helps teens and adults with Autism, Asperger’s, and other learning differences become successfully independent by building on each student’s interests and talents and creating a supportive community. Autistry’s founders, Janet Lawson and Daniel Swearingen, have incorporated using CNC into their unique workshop programming. The full story is here.

Using ShopBot CNC to make art: the work of Erwin Redl

Quite often, artist Erwin Redl makes use of his ShopBot PRSAlpha 60″ x 120″ CNC tool to cut pieces of material such as plexiglas, soft metals, MDF, and wood, in the process of making his art. And occasionally, the CNC itself becomes part of the art. Redl’s recent print series, CNC PALIMPSEST PRINTS, is his investigation of the artist’s digital production technology. Read the story here.

Did You Know?

In addition to the regular maintenance routines we outline to the left, ShopBot Tools offers annual maintenance contracts, and can provide custom production support. Learn more on our Production Support page.

Get Some Training

Live training classes are held on a regular basis at ShopBot Headquarters in Durham, NC. You can sign-up for one of them here.
Can't make it to ShopBot in-person? Then check out our online training sessions.

Upcoming Basic Training Classes at ShopBot:
May 7-8 
June 4-5

Upcoming Online WebClass Training Sessions:
May 13 and 27
June 10 and 24
These sessions typically start at 1pm EST.

Camp ShopBot

April 25 – Georgia Camp
May 2 – North Carolina Camp
May 16 – New Jersey Camp

Events and Shows

FirstBuild’s Mega Hackathon
Louisville, KY, • April 11 
This is a 2-day event where you can make Sci-Fi become reality! Hack the Home is a Hackathon where you can gather with Makers, Techies, Engineers, and Artists/
Designers to come up with the home of the future.

10th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire
San Mateo, CA • May 16-17 
Ten years strong, over 100,000 visitors, and ShopBot Tools will be there. Our booth will be home to a unique CNC Village, featuring Bay Area ShopBotters doing very cool things with their ShopBots. Learn more about the event at

In Other News...

Here in North Carolina, NCCU (North Carolina Central University) will be having the grand opening of their FabLab on May 1. This is a landmark event — it's the first FabLab to be housed at a HBCU (historically black college or university). Learn more here.

The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
– Confucius

Copyright © 2015 ShopBot Tools, Inc., All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences