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There are always a lot of projects in the works at ShopBot. Some are things that will make life easier for ShopBotters, and some are updates to existing programs like Virtual Tools that just need a little bit of final testing before they make into the ShopBot control software. Others are projects that might have stalled and are looking for someone who's interested enough to continue along with it. And lots are things that we just don't know what to do with...basically oddball stuff. ShopBot Labs is our way of making them available for ShopBotters who enjoy experimenting and maybe helping out a little
There's one thing we really need to be clear about upfront. There's no guarantee that any of these projects do what they are supposed to, or even that they'll do anything at all. Any files created should be thoroughly tested by running in Preview mode and air cutting until you're sure that there are no surprises. As long as you're aware of this, please feel free to try out the ones that interest you. The only thing we ask is that you give back by reporting any problems that you find to the person who's working on it, NOT to the ShopBot support folks. The contact info for each project is on its download page, but please be patient if you send feedback...these may be low-priority projects for the developer, and it might take a while for them to reply. We also occasionally post information that might be of interest on the ShopBot Labs Blog, so check there periodically to see if there's anything new.
We'll start with a couple of projects and add more if it looks like there's interest. Remember, the only way to ensure that more projects will be available is to try them out and give us feedback so we can release these and add new ones. As long as you understand that these projects are development versions and betas and might not work the way they're supposed to, agree to hold ShopBot harmless if there are problems with them, and still want to give them a try, then select the project that interests you below...
Projects currently available from ShopBot Labs :
- S_DishDome, an sbp file to make a dish or a dome shape. Specify the parameters at the top of the file for things like radius, depth, and stepover of the dish/dome. To make it an oval shape, proportion in X or Y. To make it flatter, adjust the size relative to the radius. To make it dish shaped, tweak it off-center. (4/6/09)
- sTunes, a program to play music with your ShopBot
- a beta of a program to create BradyVac vacuum plenums (updated 5/10/07)
- an update to the Extruder that adds multiple passes when plunging. Also fixes some bugs (Graduated to ShopBot Control software!)
- the SketchPad, a drawing interface that uses a digitizing tablet.
- the ShopBot Odometer, an elapsed time meter and system log interface for your ShopBot. (updated 01/04/08)
- a conversion of the DOS Double Helix routine to work with the Windows software.
- the File Splitter, a utility to split huge part files into manageable chunks (updated 12/31/06)
- another utility, the Variablizer, that lets you replace all the Z-axis values in your Part Wizard files with variables that you can interact with. (updated 1/29/07)
- Checkit, a system developed for schools and small shops to create Checklists to make sure that all the steps are taken to safely run Part Files. (updated 1/30/07 with new functionality)
- A File modifier program that lets you make changes to a part file based on the value of the X, Y, or Z axis.(updated 2/25/07)
- a program to create part files to do rope turning on an Indexer using specialty rope turning bits, the Rope Twister (updated 4/4/07 to add Twist Calculator)
- Master Maker, a program to create master files from individual Part Files
- A File Sampler that lets you split up a part file that's too big for your table, or "sample" a small section of a larger file.
- A File Rotator that rotates a part file 90 degrees counter-clockwise around the 0,0 point (updated 7/19/08 to allow arbitrary rotation angle and more commands)
- Diagram of ShopBot Control Card Connections; Version 201(current) and Version 204 (late Fall 2008)
- A Virtual Tool that simulates a ChopSaw
- A Profile Twister to create a spiral following the shape of an Indexer profile
- Nest_sbp, an example program for the Programming workshop, written in VB Express
- Rotary Cutter software to convert an sbp file to tangential cutting
- The "ShopBot-O-Graph", a virtual Spirograph
- Gary Campbell's Dovetail cutting files
- V-Bit Artist, a program to create artwork from a bitmap or jpg file using a V-bit
- Buttons a program to create a form of buttons to run selected ShopBot part files