Introduction: Getting Started With the ShopBot

Allowed Materials for the ShopBot CNC Router

Allowed Materials

  • Wood
  • Some plastics
  • Some foams

Banned Materials

  • Metal
  • Carbon ber and composites

If at Pier 9, see Shop Staff first before using these materials:

  • All other materials

If you are working from another studio or workshop, refer to the tool's instruction manual to see if your desired material is suitable for tool use.


Our most important safety callouts are highlighted in yellow throughout this course.

Machine Specifications

The ShopBot CNC router is a large 3 axis router with the following specifications:

  • 3 horsepower spindle
  • 18,000 RPM maximum spindle speed
  • Work envelope of 8' x 4' x 12" (X, Y & Z)

Required Knowldege

Before you start your work, make sure you understand

the following skills:

  • Types of cutting tools
    • Which cutting tools you can use, and how they work
  • Tool holding
    • The correct way to attach a cutting tool to the ShopBot
  • Workholding
    • How to hold your workpiece to the ShopBot bed
  • ShopBot software interface
    • Operating the computer that controls the ShopBot

Required Materials

Before you start your work, make sure you have the following materials:

  • An .sbp file from your completed CAM file.
  • A thumb drive to copy the .sbp file to the router.
  • Setup Sheets from your CAM software.
  • A copy of this Quick Start Guide.

Steps for Successful Use

To make a part, you need to complete each step in order.

  1. Start up the controller & router.
  2. Secure the workpiece to the table
  3. Install the rst tool.
  4. Set Z zero.
  5. Set the XY Home.
  6. Load the program.
  7. Make an air pass.
  8. Reset Z sero
  9. Run the program.
  10. Clean up.

Measuring Material

After preparing your material for the router, measure it carefully and change the setup in your CAM program if needed.