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Thread: Better Interface

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Olympia, Washington

    Default Better Interface

    Has ShopBot come up with a better interface between the computer and control box yet, other than the USB cord.
    Ron Moorehead
    R&S Design
    ShopBot PRS Aphla 48 by 96
    Laserpro Explorer 30 watt
    Universal Laser 50 watt
    3D printer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Piedmont, SD


    No. I talked to them a few months ago, and Buddy let slip that any time now they'd be introducing a dedicated control computer, able to be retrofit inside your control box.
    My control computer is almost dead, so I just ordered one of their custom-tailored laptops. Asked again about Buddy's comment, and got a more vague response as to if/when.
    I was waiting for that possibility vs. buying new control computer, but they just aren't there yet, and my old computer just had to go. Oh well.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Elgin Illinois


    Sigh, I am sorry but not surprised to learn there isn't any improvement coming.............. Chuck
    Chuck Keysor (circa 1956)
    PRT Alpha 60" x 144" (circa 2004)
    Columbo 5HP spindle
    Aspire 9.0, Rhino 5

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Diamond Lake, WA


    The beginning of the end. ShopBot is just NOT keeping up with the advancing technology in the CNC market. Old, outdated, unreliable machine control methods, archaic user interfaces that haven't been updated since the I've been using machine (2009), Something needs to change.
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Creative 3D WoodArt, Dongola IL


    Sad but true. Centroid Acorn and other reliable processors have changed the game, making pro-grade motion processing accessible to entry CNC machines. In my opinion, the smartest move ShopBot could make now is to make an alliance such a control manufacturer. Why not, SB? Truth is, we're all sorry to see the slide of this company that was once the bastion of low cost CNC. With Centroid's customizable control interface, you could have the ShopBot branding done by a high school student in one day. And ship machines with reliable motion control systems next week.

    Regardless, I wish you well, and hope that you have a plan for success in motion control.

    Gerald Martin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2019


    Last night I just read hundreds of posts from the past about this very issue. Those threads are CLOSED. Years ago there were repeated requests for a DATE that these issues would be resolved. Lots of long time users, some past employees and everyone was urging SB to address this issue. Some even predicted the end of SB as a result of their failure to deliver for many years as other platforms started passing them by. It's unfortunate that such loyal users, some who have invested 10's of thousands of dollars in SB equipment, have experienced YEARS of frustrations because of promises that something was "just about ready" or "in the works".

    Companies that rely on legacy software gradually fade away. It takes time to finally loose the support of current owners. Once that happens it takes a few more years for all production activities to cease.

    Once the leader in low cost CNC machines, they continue to operate as though they are the only game in town.

    To simplify the issue: Most CNC, lasers, 3D printers etc use G-Code. ShopBot continues with their legacy operating system. You can read the threads and see the arguments for updating the software as well as providing updated controllers that once the job is started, do not need to be connected to a computer.

    Having said that, SB's customer support is fantastic.

    And I applaud SB for having open discussions on this forum regarding this issue.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    3rd rock


    I've been saying for a while, that SB is way behind their competition. I've commented on the resale prices of owners attempting to unload their machines. People are asking higher prices for used machines, with outdated technology, than some of the higher-end, entry, American made machines available now. So, even purchasing a SB, and retrofitting it, will exceed the cost of some of the best machines being offered. Even if tech/customer support is incredible, that doesn't advance the machine, or the company. Just looking at the activity on this forum, compared to just a few years ago, shows the decline of users. JMO

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