ShopBot helps The Eli Whitney Museum celebrate invention and design

Eli Whitney

Where: Hamden, Connecticut
What: The Eli Whitney Museum & Workshop
ShopBot Tool: PRSalpha 48 X 48

The Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop is a not-for-profit organization that preserves the site where Whitney built the first American factory in 1798, and it provides a wide array of unique and exciting learning workshops for children, teachers, and families.

Every year, thousands of students construct projects that convey core principles of invention, design, physics, problem-solving and creativity — and the use of a ShopBot Tool has helped the Workshop immensely.

Eli Whitney

The Mill

4th - 8th graders build a ‘working’ mill with a waterwheel that drives the line shafting that runs the trip hammer & drill press — bringing to life the occupations that built Connecticut.

The Measure Mobile

K- 2nd graders learn about science as they assemble this racer, then experiment with measuring distance traveled, and the effect of adding weight to the car.

A.C. Gilbert’s
All-Purpose Motor

From the Connecticut-based inventor of The Erector Set. Kids have fun making motors and pulleys...


Sally Hill, Assoc. Director and Principal Designer at the museum, says, “The ShopBot allows us to create, make and refine 70,000 projects a year. We design, prototype and prepare them for the studio, teach the projects — and then, learning from the workshop experiences, we refine the designs quickly and easily. We simply couldn’t do this level of refinement or produce this kind of quantity without the ShopBot. It’s also opening up creative possibilities for us; we’re now using other materials beyond wood that are easily cut on the ShopBot. It’s a great tool.”

Behind the scenes, there's a ShopBot

Creating displays & events at museums and theatres all around the country

For the “Digitally Fabricated House for New Orleans,” exhibited at MoMA, Prof. Lawrence Sass and his design team at MIT used ShopBot Tools to cut the pieces for this full-scale installation.

Here the ShopBot was on display! Kids make pieces for mobiles at a Nasher Museum of Art Family Fun Day, in advance of the 2012 Calder exhibit. They watch the ShopBot Desktop cutting (and personalizing) the pieces, and learn about CAD and CAM.

ShopBot Tools are also at work at...
The Field Museum and The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, The Boston Children’s Museum and The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, among others.

Science Kinetics, based in Ohio, uses a ShopBot to fabricate interactive educational displays for museums. The company’s work is enjoyed by thousands of visitors to museums across the U.S. and five other countries around the globe.

Take a bow, ShopBot!
ShopBot Tools are found in the scene shops of some of the country’s leading regional theatres: Houston’s Alley Theatre (pictured here), The Old Globe in San Diego, The American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Playmakers Theatre at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, among others.







- Top of Page -


Each new ShopBot tool comes bundled with two powerful software programs to create CNC projects.

ShopBot Blog