The ShopBot Buddy
The power and precision of full-sized ShopBots
in a footprint as small as 16 sq. ft.
The ShopBot Buddy is designed for industrial, commercial, or residential applications cutting in wood, plastics and aluminum. The Buddy incorporates many of the same features as ShopBot’s full-size industrial systems, yet weighs less than 600 lbs. and occupies as little as 16 sq. ft. of floor space — and it comes with optional casters that allow you to move the tool easily for different applications in your shop!
Fully assembled and ready to work: Buddies utilize a moving deck and are available with either a 24”x32” work area or a 24”x48” work area. They are delivered pre-assembled and ready to plug in and use. This moving-deck work area can easily be expanded by use of the PowerStick attachment to lengths up to 8 feet.
Get the speed and accuracy you need for precise cutting and milling applications and detailed 3D carving. The Buddy is available in two versions. There’s the high-performance PRSalpha for professional high-volume production, with increased speed for some operations and closed-loop reliability. The PRSstandard Buddy is perfect for many home-garage or low-volume operations.
All Buddies come fully equipped just like ShopBot’s full size tools and include: Z-Zeroing Plate (for accurate tool height setup), Dust Skirt (for waste removal), ShopBot CNC Control Software, ShopBot Design Software Suite, and our “Get Carving Quickly” project files and tutorials.
The machine itself is built in the USA using materials and components primarily sourced from US suppliers. It has a level of build and quality way beyond its price-point and ShopBot makes use of many precision components and an innovative assembly method to ensure that each machine is shipped calibrated and ready to cut.
Who’s Using a ShopBot Buddy?
Chris Koontz is Manager of Manufacturing Engineering at B/E Aerospace in Winston-Salem, NC. Chris says, “With the ShopBot Buddy, I can ‘break a man from a machine’ in order to be working at two processes simultaneously. The ShopBot allows me to increase daily production numbers significantly.” Buddy tools are also at work in schools, garage shops, hacker spaces, design/build studios and more. Read the full story.
Two steps to choosing your ShopBot Buddy.
1. Speed. How much do you need?
PRSalpha vs. PRSstandard
The PRSalpha Buddy is the system of choice for situations requiring high performance, high volume, speed and durability. Using advanced technology for CNC cutting, drilling, carving and machining, the PRSalpha series tools deliver rapid transit speeds of 1800 inches per minute and cutting speeds of up to 600 inches per minute.
These ShopBot CNCs boast robust Vexta alphaStep motors, an innovative hybrid combining the quick motion and speed of stepper motors with the closed-loop feedback advantages of servos. The PRSalpha Buddy delivers reliable, affordable, full-production performance in digital fabrication of wood, plastic, aluminum, and other materials.
The PRSstandard Buddy is the right tool for smaller shops ready to venture into CNC productivity yet don’t require high production speeds. The PRSstandard delivers our proven CNC workhorse power. The Buddy features super-tough, open-loop stepper motors with low-backlash gear heads as well as RBK series stepper motor drivers— delivering more power, higher speeds, step resolution, and smoother cutting than comparable systems. The control system that runs the PRSstandard is the same full-featured controller used on all of our tools, and the leading affordable CNC controller for shops around the world.
2. Size. What’s best for your projects?
Both the BT32 Buddy and BT48 Buddy are available in PRSalpha and PRSstandard versions.View computer requirements
Nominal Cutting Area*
(green outline below)
Tool Movement Area*
(red outline below)
(black arrows below)
|BT32 Buddy 32"|| 24" x 32" x 5"
610mm x 813mm x 127mm
|25" x 33" x 7"
635mm x 838mm x 178mm
|37"(+12") x 54" x 68"
940mm(+305mm) x 1372mm x 1727mm
BT48 Buddy 48"
| 24" x 48" x 5"
610mm x 1219mm x 127mm
|25" x 49" x 7"
635mm x 1245mm x 178mm
|37"(+12") x 72" x 68"
940mm(+305mm) x 1829mm x 1727mm
Cutting area and Total Movement Area refer to the areas that
can be covered using a single z-axis.
**For Buddies, the cutting table under the work moves in and out to provide motion on the X axis. During motion, the standard size table can extend beyond the tool up to 6” (152mm) in the front and the back. Longer PowerSticks require additional space at the front and back during operation.
ShopBot Buddy in Education
Ed Wall teaches the well-respected Project Lead The Way High School STEM program, using a ShopBot Buddy. “Kids make progress when they make projects,” says Ed. “The ShopBot Buddy was a great choice for us. The tool is reliable, powerful, and the $8000 price tag is right for a school district on a tight budget.” Read the full story.
Need to work with larger materials?
Expand your work area with The PowerStick.
Every ShopBot Buddy is fitted with our new PowerStick technology (patent pending), an award-winning system for configuring the Buddy to various working lengths or to provide a system for swapping out one deck with another. The standard size PowerStick included with each tool provides a 2’ X-axis working length (the PowerStick itself is 4’ long). We provide a starter deck with each Buddy, but one of the advantages of the PowerStick is the variety of approaches available for setting up decks or work hold-down systems. PowerSticks are available with working lengths from 2’ to 8’.
With the PowerStick you can cut, drill and machine projects of much greater length than what would be possible on a standard bed. Also, one or more PowerSticks can be used as multiple work fixtures that can be readily swapped in and out of your tool, and you can quickly and easily switch between different length PowerSticks.
- Easily re-configured for larger projects
- Swap out multiple jigs or fixtures
- Cut, trim, carve or make joints on long boards
All Buddies are now shipped complete with PowerStick systems, and a 2' PowerStick is used for the the standard size table. If you have an older Buddy, your tool can be retrofitted with a PowerStick system. Get the details on how the PowerStick works with a Buddy and how you add one to your Buddy.
PowerStick Part Pricing (same parts for Buddy 32 and Buddy
(#10451) 4’ PowerStick (6’ long) for the BT32 and BT48 Buddy; PRICE $895
(#10452) 8’ PowerStick (10’ long) for the BT32 and BT48 Buddy; PRICE $1,495
(#10456) PowerStick Outfeed System (Required for 8’ PowerSticks) (to handle long material, shown to right); PRICE $395
Go Deep with a 12” Z Axis.
For more depth and clearance while 3D cutting, the PRSalpha Buddy 32 and 48 are available with extended-height tablesides and a 12” Z axis. The 12” Z axis makes the Buddy the perfect tool for mold making, carving and prototyping.
The Rotary Indexing Head is similar to a lathe in that it allows you to horizontally rotate a part being cut or machined, except that it allows fully indexed control of the rotation. This way, you can carve anything you want in the round (resolution = 0.03 degrees)
(#15146) 3" Rotary Indexing Head for Buddy (RBK system); PRICE $1,275
(#15149) 3” Rotary Indexing Head for Buddy (V4g system); PRICE 1,275
(#15148) 3” Rotary Indexing Head for Buddy Alpha model; PRICE $2,450
No computer degree is needed to run a ShopBot! Each ShopBot includes: VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition and PartWorks3D software. VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition allows you to design and create 2D and 2.5D parts, while PartWorks3D creates toolpaths from the 3D design software of your choice. Both programs simulate the cutting of parts so you can verify they will be created just as you intend. Also included: ShopBot control software that will have your tool cutting designed parts in no time.
We also offer software packages for use in signmaking, cabinet making and more. Aspire by Vectric is one of our most popular—great for designing and machining carved decorative panels and doors, custom millwork, moldings, signage, dimensional logos, jewelry, custom gifts and much more.
ShopBot Design Software Suite is compatible with many software programs, including: • AutoCAD • Autodesk 123D • Rhino 3D • Google Sketchup • ArtCAM • Vector Art 3D • Cabinet Vision • EnRoute • KCDw • MasterCAM • MillWizard • OneCNC • Shape 3D • Vector CAD CAM • Visualmill • CabinetParts Pro • DeskProto • eCabinet System
Your Business Network
Digital fabrication and online communication — together they are playing an important role in reshaping manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world. The distributed manufacturing model, which brings on-demand production and the end user closer together, is also growing fast. ShopBot Tools is a leader in supporting these developments. Our free online community, 100kGarages.com, can connect you with business opportunities around the country and the globe.
We also support tech communities such as the grassroots Camp ShopBots and Maker Faires that meet around the country, and we supply tools and support to educational FabLabs and Techshops.
Free Technical Support
Whether you’re new to digital fabrication or a veteran user of CNC technology, ShopBot is here to support your efforts. We provide free telephone technical support 7 days a week from our headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. We also have a vibrant online community at talkshopbot.com, sharing tips and advice with other users of digital fabrication technology.