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Thread: New to Shopbot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2

    Default New to Shopbot

    Hi everyone!

    I'm a woodwork teacher at a public secondary school in Vancouver, BC. I recently inherited an old full sized Shopbot router (48x96) from another woodwork teacher that wasn't using it anymore. It has a brand new control box installed.

    I'm looking into software right now, so I just thought I would see what others are using.

    My criteria, in no particular order:

    1) Cost - Public School system = not much $
    2) Ease of use - I want something where I can import ready made files and internet jpegs easily.
    3) Best / simplest compatability with Shopbot Control Software.

    I know there is Fusion 360 for free, and also Aspire/VCarve available. I have also heard of ArtCam. If anyone has used any of these and can offer their 2 cents, I'm more than willing to listen.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,008

    Default

    Welcome aboard Louie! You will find most on this board are using Vectric. It does fit your criteria perfectly and has hours of free video tuition available. They publish a monthly project so if you wish you can hop straight into these and learn as you go. The forum is fantastic and it does allow file sharing. Best of all you can trial it for free.
    Buddy BT48 with 6' power stick
    2.2 HSD Spindle
    Aspire 9.5
    6" ShopBot Indexer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    109

    Default

    Welcome Louie;

    I don't know how much experience you have but down south of you the Port Townsend School of Woodworking has a digital fabrication course.

    It uses shopbot desktops and Aspire/VCarve Pro software for the training.

    Check out the following link: http://www.ptwoodschool.org/course-m...nd-fabrication

    I believe that Vectric has a student/Teacher edition as well. Check out their website: www.vectric.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hobby-Tronics, Chiloquin Oregon
    Posts
    1,239

    Default Autodesk 360 Fusion

    "Free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups."

    http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview


    http://www.shopbottools.com/mProduct..._fusion360.htm

    This software is now supported by ShopBot and it's FREE from AutoDesk. It's 3d but 3d is nothing more than 2d with bumps! Russ
    AKA: Da Train Guy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Folks,

    I am teacher as well. We are a Fablab and k12 school. We just recently had our successful project where we design in Fusion 360 and cut the project on our Shopbot. We use vCarve and I know Fusion 360 still has a lot of growing pains, but I like that Fusion 360 runs on both PCs and Macs and it is cloud-based so kids can work on designs at home and it is free. I am putting together a lesson plan for using Fusion 360 with a shopbot. I have already made a checklist of sorts. I am happy to share.

    Tom
    Charlotte Latin School
    Fab Lab Charlotte Latin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the responses!

    I downloaded Fusion 360 onto my work computer a couple weeks ago, a brand new Windows Surface Pro 3, and it's not powerful enough to run the program. I've used Autocad and Inventor before and I know that Autodesk programs are absolute hogs when it comes to computer requirements.

    According to the vetric website, Aspire/Vcarve do not require any special graphics card requirements that Fusion 360 does, which kind of pulls me in their direction and away from Autodesk. I'll download VCarve, the more affordable option of the two, and see if I can figure it out.

    I'm such a newbie with Shopbot I need to figure out how to actually use the shopbot control software. Right now all I've been able to do is plug my laptop into the control box via USB cable, open the control software, and move the router on the X,Y,Z axis. I haven't even figured out how to turn the router on!


    Has anyone heard of Open Desk? People upload some really cool furniture designs complete with a .dxf file, all free, all cut from a single sheet of Baltic Birch plywood. I want to try to make one of the designs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Nice tip on OpenDesk... very cool.

    We're using Aspire 8 for about a year now - love'n it. For modeling, we are using AutoDesk Inventor.

    Good luck with your projects!

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