View Full Version : Pretty please Santa, with Birdseye maple on top.

12-29-2008, 07:15 PM
Part of the SB3 application will not move. Now as a developer I realize this is by design...

What I would like to know is what was the logic behind that. I am a taskbar on the top of the screen guy. I also hide it. My screen resolution is 1920px wide on each monitor. Now I realize that I am not the normal botter here. But perhaps we could take the app off the chain so I can move it where and on which ever monitor I choose? And actually be able to see my taskbar whilst running SB3...

Pretty please with Birdseye maple on top,

12-29-2008, 09:00 PM
I think the logic behind it's setup is so that you won't be using other applications over top of it while the bot is running so you can get to the stop/spacebar or estop quickly.

Just like how it traps the cursor within the yellow STOP square when running a file. A good safety feature.

Brady Watson
12-30-2008, 07:32 AM
"Now I realize that I am not the normal botter here."

Name one botter who is...


12-30-2008, 09:09 AM
Frankly, I don't mind the cursor trapping. If its trapped then I am actively cutting so it makes sense. When I am not cutting it should behave as a normal application.

12-30-2008, 05:21 PM
Yes on occassion while not cutting I have had to go back to another app to correct a toolpath and I have to completely shutdown the control software to get it all out of the way, so I agree i'd like for it to be able to be minimized completely.

12-30-2008, 05:46 PM
Hey John,

If you change to Preview mode, the control panel is no longer locked to be "on top", and other programs can be on top of it. It's only when the software is in Cut mode that the red control panel is always on top of everything else.


12-30-2008, 06:12 PM

If you have windows XP you can download a power toy (Virtual Desktop Manager) from:

This allows you to manage up to 4 desktops so you can switch between the ShopBot3 software and others (but only when the ShopBot control software is not cutting. I have had this on my ShopBot computer for a couple of years now and have had no issues.

12-30-2008, 08:31 PM
My memory could be failing me (I know it is) but i have changed to the preview mode and it still would not minimize. I'll try it again though.

Thanks for that tip. I think it was you who gave me the tip for "SyncToys"?

12-31-2008, 05:54 AM
The Control Panel isn't minimized in preview mode, but it doesn't always stay on top of other programs the way it does in cut mode. So that you can have another program running full-screen and the control panel won't be in the way...the second program can be on top of it.


01-02-2009, 11:32 AM
So Ted or anyone from the Dev team. Any chance we can get some love on this?

Say free to move around except when moving or cutting? Then lock the position and trap the cursor...

01-02-2009, 03:01 PM
This question/concern/request has been around since the beginning of SB3. The best answer so far is to use a desktop manager. Many graphics card drivers also have one built in. In my situation, I just hit a two key combination (ctrl+0) and it switches between the two screens.

01-02-2009, 03:12 PM
I use a free open source virtual window program called ViruaWin. It works very well but not while you are doing a job with the Bot.


01-02-2009, 03:20 PM
I was hoping to avoid a workaround... I am sure that the Devs want to make the product as widely liked as possible. I know i like mine that way. I am sure it simply hasn't been given priority due to a possible lack of input. I know that without voicing a need features will definitely NOT make it into production.

So count these as our voices.

01-14-2009, 03:35 PM
Sorry I've put off responding to this thread for so long. What happened was that I wanted us to have the next beta version of the ShopBot Control software posted (with a couple of needed repairs to it made) because I wanted to refer to a few new features. Unfortunately, as these things happen, the repairs have dragged on ... the software is not yet posted ... and I still haven't responded here. Sort of the worst of all worlds. In any case, here's the thinking on this one:

The first part of this is taken from a recent web column. "The one thing that is a constant in the ShopBot display is the position of the red "Location Display" screen. The positioning and behavior of this screen is based on safety considerations. On every ShopBot anywhere in the world, anyone knows where to look and can quickly see what the tool is doing, and intervene if necessary -- because of having standard human interface design (HID) for the main display screen. Thatís why this screen is always in the same place, and always looks the same ... whether you come upon the tool in a factory, a school, or your neighbors garage, youíll know how to stop it if you need to." In fact, as Scott points out, this red screen on the right has been consistent from ShopBot's beginnings.

When the gun is loaded and cocked -- that is, when the tool is connected, operational, and ready to move -- prudence dictates that the controls be in a dependable location and respond consistently. This obligatory screen is pretty small and stays on the far right, leaving most of the screen on the left if you want to open other software. Only the red screen is forced on top and fixed in location.

Note, that when you are in Preview Mode and not connected to a tool, other windows will readily open on top of the red main display. If you need to do some work that needs the full display but don't want to shut down ShopBot, just click the Preview button and the red screen will move to the background.

In the beta version of the software, the Console and Preview Screen locations are remembered and you can have totally different configurations for these windows which now allows more convenient arrangements.

We appreciate that there are some ShopBotters who have enough savvy not to need to worry about where the tool controls are located on the screen. And, it is possible that we have not fully understood the some of the special reasons for re-arranging the screen. But we have so many users in environments in roles such as teachers, students, multiple employees or operators, etc... where there is real dependence on consistency of operational control. We feel a safety responsibility to them.

We have, of course, had advice from consulting safety engineers, lawyers, and insurance people encouraging our conservatism with respect to this display issue. But for me, it really just comes down to a judgement call. A ShopBot can be an incredibly safe tool. When it is operational, the PC becomes the controlling unit of the tool. For maximum safety the functionality of that control should be as obvious and consistent as possible.

01-15-2009, 01:31 PM
Thanks for the full response, I appreciate the thought you put into that. Maybe we could make the main window movable in preview mode only when its not modal on top?

Perhaps the OSHA/lawyers crowd could be OK with that? When you switch to cut mode you are snapped to your constrained positional settings.

Is that sufficient to demonstrate due diligence with regard to the safety of the users?