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ShopBot on the Road

ShopBot Joins the Marines!

There's a new Fab Lab at the USMC Base at 29 Palms, California and it is the third military lab installed by Fab Foundation as part of a Mentor 2 project. The Fab Lab has a complement of digital fabrication tools, including a 4’ x 8’ ShopBot PRTalpha. ShopBot's Sallye Coyle was part of the installation team, and worked with Marines to create models for molding and casting as well as build furniture for the new lab.

Hector, who used a ShopBot in his woodworking class in High School in Texas, shows other Marines how to change a bit.
Hector, who used a ShopBot in his woodworking class in High School in Texas, shows other Marines how to change a bit.


Bill Young’s Dirty Digital Jobs Tour: Visiting David Beede

After a long drive from his home in Virginia, the first stop on the first leg of the Dirty Digital Jobs Tour was in Melrose, FL to visit instrument maker David Beede. Despite having known David and his wife Julie for many years, Bill had never had the pleasure of visiting them in their "native habitat." 

To read more about David Beede, his shop, and the instruments he's making using his ShopBot, visit Bill's post on the ShopBot blog... complete with photos and video!

Bill Young’s Dirty Digital Jobs Tour: Visiting Tim Lucas

Bill's second stop on the Dirty Digital Jobs tour was outside of Bell, Florida to visit Tim Lucas, owner of Tim Lucas Custom Woodworks. While it was the first time Bill met Tim, he had read his posts on the ShopBot forum, which breeds a certain amount of familiarity even without having met face-to-face before.

Back in July of 2016, Tim had started a thread on the ShopBot forum because he was looking ideas for building his new shop. This visit gave Bill a chance to see what suggestions Tim had taken into consideration when building his new shop—and how they translated into the space. Not just that, but Bill is able to provide photos and his own insights into what he sees via a post about his visit on the ShopBot blog.

ShopBotters at Work

Using Reclaimed Wood with a Handibot

There’s no shortage of great projects being made with our CNC tools. But it’s not always customers that are doing the cutting; our very own Senior Web Developer Richard Hill has been experimenting with his Handibot and creating some amazing things out of reclaimed wood. Read all about how an imperfection doesn’t always mean the end of the line for cutting material in our latest Handibot blog.

Fashioning Hat Blocks: Digital Technology Enhances a Dying Art Form

Creating the right look for a character on the stage is one of the tasks of a costuming department in a theatre. This includes, among other things, hats. The traditional way of creating these is through the use of a hat block, which gives the milliner/costume designer the ability to drape material and form it properly.

It's a complex procedure made more complicated when one wants to recreate a hat from periods past with a hat block that has had to stand the test of time—and is not always in the best of condition. Athene Wright, a Drama Department student at UNC Chapel Hill, under the direction of Rachel Pollock, Craft Artisan and Lecturer, took on the task of recreating a hat block via digital technology. That's where Brad Erickson, of UNC's Makerspace, and ShopBot's Sallye Coyle became a part of her process.

See photos, and learn more about the process of how this digital technology has made the construction of these new hat blocks more flexible, in Sallye's blog post on the ShopBot blog.

Back by Popular Demand: Digital Fabrication in Education Workshop

Last summer, Sallye Coyle ran a workshop here at ShopBot Tools in Durham, NC specifically for educators. The subject matter goes beyond learning about CNC and encompasses a number of different pieces of equipment and software applications, all a part of digital fabrication.

Last year's 2 1/2 day event was such a success, that she's doing it again and it is being offered 3 different times during the spring/summer: one each in May, June, and July.

For more details, as well as information on how to sign up for a session, please visit the ShopBot blog.

Get Some Training

Live training classes are held on a regular basis at ShopBot Headquarters in Durham, NC.

Upcoming Basic Training Classes at ShopBot:
April 6-7
May 4-5
With more dates coming soon!

Classes have been selling out fast: sign up here!

Can't make it to ShopBot in-person? Then check out our online training sessions.

Upcoming Events

ShopBot is participating in several events across the country throughout the spring. Some that we are currently scheduled to attend include: NYSTEEA's 54th Annual Conference, DigiFab Conference 2017, and Maker Faire Chicago.

For more information and to see what other events are currently on our schedule, visit the Events calendar on our website.

ShopBotters Get Social


Chris Montagna

Here is a sampling of @mrsvaughnmath student projects designed on @Vectric and cut using @ShopBotTools desktop.

Jennifer Makins

4 @parishepiscopal @RoverChallenge its all about the, prototype, test, redesign & build. @ShopBotTools @parishcribbs #STEM


Jeff Shinham

What… You can’t get me boxes for 4 weeks? Fine I’ll just make them myself.

Bennet Michael Harris

Happy Valentines Day… check out this cool Valentines Day project made at our STEAM Junction Makerspace by a local husband for his wife. He used our ShopBot Tools, Inc Desktop CNC Router (and learned a lot in the process). Total design time, a few hours (including learning curve) total cutting time 32 minutes.


February 23

Adding those pink tones to Princess Leia’s lucha libre mask. Little by little this piece is coming together for the Lucha Libre show over at @WONDERLANDSF this Sat…

February 20

Milling PCBs with a 1/64” bit #shopbot

February 14

This is one of my most popular patterns! 😜  #zomadic #poplar #cnc #pattern #sinewave #toolpath #shopbot #punintended #popular #poplarwood #curve #ballnose #ballnoseendmill #sinusoidal

Ideas must be put to the test. That's why we make things, otherwise they would be no more than ideas. There is often a huge difference between an idea and it realization. I've had what I thought were great ideas that just didn't work.
- Andy Goldsworthy

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