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Thread: Help! - New to Woodshop Instruction, ShopBot & CNC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sleeper Woods Design/Mendocino College Woodworking Program, Lakeport, CA CA
    Posts
    152

    Default Help! - New to Woodshop Instruction, ShopBot & CNC

    Folks -

    I've just started a teaching post in a woodworking program - I am a furniture maker by my "normal" trade, but have always wanted to teach woodshop. The shop has a shopbot, and I have never used one, or a cad program - where do I start? I have, I think, most of the manuals, but didn't see anything by way of tutorial software. I would appreciate any help, or a point in the right direction. All I can offer in return, for the moment, are stupid looks...

    Thanks in advance!

    John Moorhead
    Ukiah, CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Digital Woodshop, Janesville Minnesota
    Posts
    263

    Default

    John,
    Many of us started with stupid looks, don't feel alone. There's lots to learn but it's not impossible. You will need to learn something of the machine and one or more of several design software options. What model Shopbot do you have? The manuals should show this.
    Do you have a copy of Part Wizard? This is an easy to use design tool that is packaged with the newer Shopbots.
    If you find you need to purchase software, ask lots of questions and read all you can find on the Forum. And never pay full price without checking on an educational discount. Many good SW packages are available to you at far under regular price.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Rogers, Arkansas
    Posts
    1,006

    Default

    John,
    Not sure if you've seen it yet but a shopbot teaching package by Jay Wiese is available in the download section of the shopbot site. You might also post a message here looking for shopbotters in your area whose shop you could visit - As I've found getting started recently, most shopbotters are very happy to help out new users.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    West Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    386

    Default

    John...

    You've already found one of the best starting places.

    I'd like to add emphasis to Ken's comment: "... most shopbotters are very happy to help..."

    ...Morris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    , Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    61

    Default

    John,

    Here from a prevous post of mine:
    "Too often people think CAD equals AutoCAD or any of its clone , copy , or derivatives, and therefore that learning a CAD software is hard. NOT true. There are other more user friendly software. Ashlar Graphite, SmartSketch and Concepts 2D are good examples of this.

    http://www.ashlar-vellum.com/products/graphite.html
    http://ppo.intergraph.com/smartsketch/
    http://www.csi-concepts.com/c2dproduct.htm
    http://www.sketchup.com/


    (for the curious out their, have a look at this one http://www.techsoftuk.co.uk/2D.htm )

    For vector drawing software, have a look at Xara it offers a lot for a very reasonable price.
    http://www.xara.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lenox High School, Lenox MA
    Posts
    836

    Default

    I teach High School woodworking, You are welcome to stop by but it's a bit of a ride, I live in Masachusetts. We have a Shopbot and you will love it. Be patient and start simple. If you don't have Part Wizard my advice is to buy a copy. It's the easiest way to make you Shopbot work. The CAD part is not very difficult. Part Wizard converts the CAD drawings to files that the Shopbot can work from, this is essential. There are other ways to ge this done but this Part Wizard is the shortest route and at a reasonable price. This forum will also be of great help. I've been amazed at how quickly I've been able to get good answers to my questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Creative Spin Pty, Sydney NSW
    Posts
    179

    Default

    Jean-Franšois,

    That Xara program you listed. Can it export/save DXF? I can not find a mention about dxf on their website.


  8. #8
    larry_fiala Guest

    Default

    John I have set up three shops successfully
    with Corel Draw - it comes in an academic version and has alot of e-support and Rams software it has a wizard that is very simple to use and a tutorial on its web page.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    , Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Dick,

    There isn't a DXF filter in Xara yet, but in the mean time you can export to EPS, AI, or WMF. Those are three formats that you could then import in Part Wizard I believe. I encourage you to try the demo. This software has a very well thought out interface that makes it much easier to learn (and remember) than other vector drawing software.


  10. #10
    jwilson@boardofchildcare.org Guest

    Default

    Hi all..
    We are in the throes of purchasing a Shopbot for my vocational woodworking program in a nonpublic facility. Can anyone provide me with opinions, pics, or websites that I can visit to see YOUR setup? If you're relatively close I would cherish the opportunity to see your setup up close and personal. Thanks for the help!

    Paul Gobat
    Vocational Woodshop Instructor
    Board of Child Care
    Strawbridge School
    Baltimore Maryland
    jwilson@boardofchildcare.org

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