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Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 6 months ago

This is a tutorial for using the Shop Bot, a CNC machine.


Name of project

This is the tutorial for the Shop Bot


Who worked on the project

My self, and Chad


Goal of project

To Create an easy to follow set of instructions for use of the Shop Bot


What products did your group create - include photos and links to cad/cnc files



What was your role in the project

To write and test the tutorial


What role did CAD play in the project

This project was related to CAD because it was instructions for how to turn a 2 dimensional drawing into a 3 demensional object.


How did you use the design process on the project?

I needed to make the system work.


Point a link to the documentation



Print out your cad drawings and put them in a portolio or folder



This tuorial is for roughly two dimensional itms and parts to be made on the shop bot, such as this:

Pro Desktop



To start, you must first have an idea of the part which you want to cut out. This idea is then transformed into a CAD drawing using the program Pro Desktop.


After the CAD drawing has been made, it is changed from a ".des" file to a ".dra" file by making a drafting drawing from the top view of the piece.


Don't worry if the piece is not the correct scale, as long as the finished project will be able to fit on the bed of the Shop Bot (under (X=8'), X (Y=4) roughly), the scale can be corrected later.


Next, export the ".dra" file as a ".dxf" file (select FILE, then EXPORT, then "DXF File..." save it as an Auto CAD 2000 file, name it (something simple) then click the BROWSE button to select the location for a save.


Turbo CAD 2D


Now, open "Tubo CAD 2d", (on Shop Bot Computer for now) and open your .dxf file, use the "Select" tool (looks like a mouse cursor), to select and delete all of the extra lines around the outside of the piece. Still, don't worry about the scale of the piece, this will be accounted for later in the process. Save again as a ".dxf" file.


Part Wizard


Now, open the program "Part Wizard"


Select "New"


Set the "X" value for 96", the "Y" value for 48", and the "Z" value for the desired thickness of the part (no more than 6") Select the material Z Zero as "top of the block" and units as "Inches"


Now, drag the small icon that represents three axes (three arrows) from the corner to the center of the white representation of the table.


Once you have a new drawing, select "FILE", then "IMPORT", then "VECTOR Data..."


In the Imported File Box, select "Center in Page", and "Inches" as well as the two boxes in the bottom half of the diolouge box. CLick OK


Now zoom the whole page out using the scroll wheel on the mouse.


Select the corner of the pice and hold down the SHIFT key while resizing the pice to fit the page, if it need to be rotated, select MODEL, Rotate...


Now, resize the image to scale by the "click and drag" method


Using the rulers on the side of the window as a quick reference tool, the part can be resized quickly to attain the correct size and scale. Or select the part and use the transform tool to adjust size ALso, if you want to make more than one of the same part here is where you add their drawings.


It is easier to calibrate the shob bot if the center point of the drawing is roughly in the center of the Part wizard drawing.


If the part is made of more than one line, it may be useful to ungruop the selection so that multiple toolpaths may be created.


For the pice that I was cutting out, I selected all of the inside lines and created a toolpath on the out side, and did the same for the inside.


Start depth is 0

Finish depth should be the thickness of the piece.

No Plasma Lead in

Click Select on the profiling tool and choose "End mill 1/4 inch" then "select"

Create a logical name for the toolpath

Click calculate then Close


Repeat for the different groups of toolpaths


Once all of your toolpaths are created, click on the toolpaths tab on the bottom of the screen then click the save toolpath icon.


When the resulting screen appears use the black right arrow to move the desired toopaths over into the right box. Now use the black up/down arrows to get them in the right order (cuts on the interior of the piece generally go first)


Now choose "shop bot router inch" and save the name as something logical. click close.


Transfer the piece to the shopbot via floppy disk. Transfer the ".spb"




Open the disk in the A: Drive, open the folder on the desktop "Shop Bot" then open "Cuts" inside it. Drag and drop the .sbp file that you made into the Cuts folder.


Make sure that the Shop Bot Control box (hanging of the side) is on, and open the Shop Bot application by clicking on it on the desktop.


Secure your peice of wood to be cut on the table make sure that it is firmly in place and that the clamps will not interfere with the cut.


Press "K" in the program, and use the keys shown to position the bit so it is just barely touching the top of your workpiece and it is in the middle of the piece.


Hit esc once then "Z", then "3" to zero out all of the axes to the new origin. (numbers for the X,Y, and Z values should be 0.000 in the top right of the screen.)


Find Mr. Connors and have him OK the set up and the program to ensure safety and the longevity of the shop bot.


Now, if it is a amall piece, or if you are unsuere as to where the pice will be cut in relation to your work piece, use the arrow keys to navigate over to "CUTS" then down to "aircut on" in the shop bot program. (this will ensure that you have placed the material in the correct location and that you are cutting the right thing. Use steps 8 through 11 to run the program. After finishinmg the aircut, scroll back to cuts and make sure that you select aircut off before cutting the real deal.


Hit "F" then "P", then choose your file from the list that appears using the arrow keys hit "ENTER" once it is highlighted.


In the next box, X, Y, and Z proportions should be 1 (unless otherwise desired)

Z plunge should be -0.000

Repititions should be 1



Aquire safety equiptment (goggles and Hearing protection for all)


Hit "ENTER" to run the program

Hit "SPACE" to stop it if something is going wrong

Hit "R" to continue cutting after stopping or if there is a communications breach


After cutting the piece out, remove the workpiece and clean up the area for the next person that uses it.


If you have any questions or decide to be more ambitious with what you want to cut, talk to me, Stephen McKinley at school.

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