View Full Version : Carvewright out- ShopBot IN

David Harvey
06-29-2006, 9:59 AM
Well, I did the Carvewright thing and needed something much more serious, so I sold the CW and ordered a new ShopBot PRT4848. Still have my laser engraver and wide format printing capabilites.

So...any shopbot'ers here? Will definitely be looking for tech info, tech tips, etc. I will probably be picking the machine up in a couple of weeks when they get it built. In the meantime, I'm getting a new 12' x 16' building together, just had the wiring installed yesterday, looks like this weekend will be insulating , putting up wallboard and flooring and installing the dust collection system.

So...wish me luck and would love to hear from any shopbotters on how they are using their bot.

Aaron Koehl
06-29-2006, 11:19 AM
Congrats, the ShopBot is definitely worthwhile. Did you happen to go to the Jamboree this year?

Ed Lang
06-29-2006, 2:18 PM

I live in Central VA, just East of Charlottesville and I have an PRT Alpha 96 with a PC 7818 and Fein Turbo III for vacuum holddown.

I am verry happy with my machine and I too have a laser engraver.

If I recall right, you make the 4th Shopbot owner here on Sawmill Creek.

You can find a link to my website in my public profile but for the Shopbot you might want to look at these links.






One day I'll get the Shopbot pictures in some order and just have one link.

What are you going to be cutting with your machine?

I thought I was goind to cut wooden toys with mine but I have yet to cut the first one! Seems work is attracted to the Shopbots. Must have been a hidden feature I didn't know I was getting. If you don't have a real defined path to follow in what you cut, you will quickly learn that this machine can even cut a Birthday Cake. Proof is on the Shopbot website with a movie if you have not seen it yet.

The folks at Shopbot are great. I picked mine up at the factory and also got some great NC BBQ just up the road to boot.

Looking forward to seeing what you are cutting.


David Harvey
06-29-2006, 4:56 PM
Thanks Aaron! No, things happend so fast, I hardly new of the Jamboree. Will make a strong attempt to attend next year though...by then I should know a little something about the bot. I did, however, go to their plant and they spent ~2 hours putting up with me and my newbie questions. They are a great bunch!

Ed, Nice pics and a really 'nice' looking platform. I haven't decided yet on any hold down system yet. I want to wait until I get the machine setup and see what might work best. I'm kinda leaning towards the vacuum pods.
When you are working pieces smaller that your table, how do you block off the vacuum in the unused areas on your platform?
I want to do signs, wainscoting, 3D reliefs, moldings and on and on and on. I have no idea for sure which way it will go, but I know one thing for sure, I'm going to enjoy it!
I'll be using their PartWizard software, Carrara Pro 5, CorelDraw X3, VCarve, VPhotoCarve, MillWizard and MeshCam...to start with. The list may grow as time moves forward. I was looking at ArtCam Pro (very pricey), but I'm going to get started with the above first and see where it leads me to.
What's the best software you've found to use with yours?

Will post pics once I get it up and running, right now, it's getting the building prepared to take it...whew!

Doug Jones from Oregon
06-29-2006, 5:06 PM
After my experience with CNC Routers, I can see why Carvewrite may just be the best sales tool out there for Shop Bot!

Once a person sees how cool and easy it is to use cnc technology it is hard to go back to the table saw.

We had 2 Multicam's and 1 Anderson stratus, all with tool changers and 15hp vacuum pumps. Ran them 20/7 and were always behind on work. My job was to do all the programing for the 3 machines an it kept me very busy. We used Alphacam exclusively.

You all have me wishing and thinking again that I need a new cnc router in my life! Thanks!


Keith Outten
06-29-2006, 8:40 PM

Welcome to the ShopBot family, I own a PRTAlpha 96.

David Harvey
06-29-2006, 9:21 PM
An Alpha! Wow!

I'm impressed....and jealous.

What kind of work do you do with it?


Ed Lang
06-29-2006, 9:40 PM
I run PartWizard and I also run Vectric's V-Carve Wizard. Since I have a Laser engraver as well, I use Corel X3 for the laser. I can draw in Corel and export as a .dxf and import that into V-Carve and go to toolpath. I have a friend who is using Turbo CAD 4.11 Pro and he likes that for design. Then he exports to PartWizard to toolpath. I would suggest you look at several CAD packages and pick on you like. I would jump to Turbo CAD since I have a person to help me along, but I have the others and they are working. I do not know all of Corel, V-carve or PartWizard yet!

Let me know if I can help in answering any questions on how I have set mine up or what I am doing with it.

I'll let Keith tell you what he does with his but I think he has it connected to a tank of green ink and a roll of paper in there too. The kind of paper we all like to fold and put in the hip pocket!

Take care,

Keith Outten
06-30-2006, 6:20 AM

I can't for the life of me get my ShopBot to print anything yet but it will magically convert Corian to currency :)


My Bot is a commercial sign machine. It can turn out finished signs or blanks for laser engraving in a snap. We have had some success at producing signs, cutting boards, and have produced a couple of really nice special projects like ceiling access panels and counter top inlays.

We haven't had the time yet to experiment with 3D machining or lithophanes but we will certainly try our hand at it in the future.


Mike Kelly
07-04-2006, 9:37 PM
David, I have ordered my Benchtop ShopBot and it should ship July 14th. I envy you East Coaster's that can pick it up from the factory. I will be using mine to cut wood, plastics and maybe aluminum. I will be using PartWizard, MillWizard, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, and CorelDRAW for design. Some small 3D models, signage, and whatever else pops up. I am sure someone else will have more ideas for my machine than I will. At least I keep hearing this!

I have a small vacuum pump for my present small CNC, but I think I will use Bill Palumbo's ideas on constructing a little larger system for this table with a reservoir.