Introduction: Workholding

About: Autodesk Technology Center San Francisco is a hub for research, development, and demonstration of new manufacturing technologies and workflows relating to configurable microfactories.

The ShopBot table at Pier 9 was custom made by Shop Staff to make workholding faster and easier. Treat it nicely.

  • Never cut into the table more than 1/32".
    • Carefully measure your material thickness to avoid deep cuts in the table.
  • See Shop Staff before using screws as a workholding method.

Full Sheet (4' x 8') Workholding

When cutting full sheets, use clamps to hold the corners and edges to the table.

  1. Square the workpiece to the ShopBot table.
  2. Use the red and black clamps to hold each corner and side of the material.
    • Only use plastic and rubber clamps - no metal.
    • Use a minimum of 6 clamps; one on each corner and one on each long edge.
    • Use more clamps when possible.

Partial Sheet Workholding

The table has a grid of over 400 holes. Each hole has a threaded metal insert that nylon bolts can be screwed into. The nylon bolts secure the hold down blocks that hold your workpiece.

  1. Blow out the insert with compressed air.
  2. Place a hold down the block at on the table, at the back of the workpiece.
    • Place the long edge of the block against the workpiece.
  3. Screw in two bolts, using washers.
    • Hand tighten the bolts.
    • Use a wrench to tighten an additional 1/4 turn.
    • Do not overtighten.
  4. Place a block a few inches from your workpiece.
  5. Place a second block on the first, with one end on top of your workpiece.
  6. Attach them with a nylon bolt.
  7. Add a minimum of two more hold downs.

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