The ShopBot Buddy®

The power and precision of full-sized ShopBots
in a footprint as small as 16 sq. ft.

ShopBot Buddy

Have a question about the
Buddy? Let us know.

If you’re looking for a compact CNC solution that delivers affordable, full-production performance in the digital fabrication of wood, plastic, aluminum, and other materials, then ShopBot’s Buddy tool could be the right tool for your needs. Using advanced technology for CNC cutting, drilling, carving, and machining, ShopBot’s Buddy is easy to learn and use. Buddys have a small footprint, and can be positioned easily into your production flow. That makes them useful on the shop floor. They can be configured and reconfigured for specific production needs—Buddys are the agile production CNC solution.

Fully assembled and ready to work when rolled out of the shipping crate, the Buddy design makes use of a rigid, stationary gantry over a moving table. The gantry is a heavy custom extrusion, precisely machined for sturdy linear rails.The steel and solid aluminum Z-axis also rides on linear rails. The Buddy is available in 32” or 48” widths (actual cutting/machining widths are 32” and 49”) and have a front-back distance of 24”. The front-back length can be optionally expanded to 48” with a longer PowerStickTM (actual cutting and machining distances are 26” and 50”, respectively for this axis). The PowerStick is our award-winning motion and drive substrate of the moving table; PowerStick technology allows quick swaps between multiple tables and fixturing systems.

For more depth of cutting, Buddys are available with extended-height clearance while 3D cutting. The Buddy 32 and 48 are available with extended-height tablesides and a 14” Z-axis. The 14” Z-axis makes the Buddy the perfect tool for mold making, carving, and prototyping. See the specification table for summaries of the work envelope for various Buddy configurations.

ShopBot Buddy Videos
Download a Brochure (pdf)

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. ShopBot 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 ShopBot 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.

The PRSalpha version has a UL certified control box, while the PRSstandard control box is not UL certified at this time.

View computer requirements
Model Cut / Movement Area
(green outline below)
 Footprint (L x W x H)**
(black arrows below)
BT32 Buddy 32" 25" x 33" x 8"
.64m x .84m x .2m
36" x 56" x 67"
.64m x .84m x .2m
BT48 Buddy 48" 25" x 49" x 8"
.64m x 1.27m x .2m
36" x 76" x 67"
.91m x 1.93m x 1.70m
  *Nominal Cut/Movemnt Movement Area is the area that can be covered using a single z-axis.
**The cutting table under the work moves in and out to provide motion on the X axis.
Prices
(#10138 )PRSstandard BT32 $9,152
(#10139)PRSstandard BT48 $11,369
(#10150)PRSalpha BT32-6 $13,178
PRSalpha BT32-12 $15,917
(#10149) PRSalpha BT48-6 $15,276
(#10147) PRSalpha BT48-12 $18,016

Click here for info on Leasing a ShopBot Buddy

ShopBot Buddy Packages

Buddy 32 [PRSstandard BT32] (#10138) $9,152
3.25 Porter Cable Router (#12016) $385
Router Bit Starter Kit (#13699) $258
Caster Kit (#15251) $295
TOTAL $10,090
   
price does not include crating/shipping
Buddy 48 [PRSalpha BT48-6] (#10149)$15,276
2.2hp Single Phase Spindle 220V (#12543)$2,660
Router Bit Starter Kit (#13699) $258
Caster Kit (#15251) $295
TOTAL $18,489
   
price does not include crating/shipping

The Buddy can be ordered with a CE Package.

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 ShopBot 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 ShopBot 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 4’. 

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
Download Video Intro to the ShopBot Buddy and PowerStick
See Installation and Use Guide on ShopBotDocs

All ShopBot 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 ShopBot Buddy, your tool can be retrofitted with a PowerStick system. Get the details on how the PowerStick works with a ShopBot Buddy and how you add one to your ShopBot Buddy.

PowerStick Part Pricing (same parts for Buddy 32 and Buddy 48)

(#10451) 4’ PowerStick (6’ long) for the BT32 and BT48 Buddy; PRICE $925

Expand your cutting range with a 14" Z Axis.

For more depth and clearance while 3D cutting, the PRSalpha Buddy 32 and 48 are available with extended-height tablesides and a 14” Z axis. The 14” Z axis makes the ShopBot 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 ShopBot Buddy (RBK system); PRICE $1,275
(#15149) 3” Rotary Indexing Head for ShopBot Buddy (V4g system); PRICE 1,275
(#004739) 3” Rotary Indexing Head for ShopBot Alpha model (Buddy or Gantry); PRICE $2,450

Software

No computer degree is needed to run a ShopBot! Each new ShopBot includes design software packages selected and bundled for project designing and tool-pathing. If you are primarily working in sheet goods, want to do v-carvings, and/or new to CNC? You may want to start with VCarvePro ShopBot Edition. If you are primarily working in solids or blocks, already experienced with CAD, and/or have an engineering background? You may want to start with Fusion 360. These two powerful software packages include CAD/CAM to take your ideas to project designs to tool-pathing. The ShopBot Control System software that runs your CNC is also included.

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 • Rhino 3D • SketchU p • ArtCAM • Vector Art 3D • Cabinet Vision • EnRoute • KCDw • MasterCAM • MillWizard • OneCNC • Shape 3D • Vector CAD CAM • Visualmill • CabinetParts Pro • DeskProto • eCabinet System

Learn more about software.

Your Business Network

100kGarages

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.


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

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