Tutorials made by high school students at FAB LAB. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use the ShopBot (CNC machine).

Step 1: Setting up the file

Using either a .pdf or .ai file.

Click on the folder icon on the upper left hand corner. It will say open existing file

Step 2: Setting up the material

On the left hand side use the toolbar titled Material Setup.

Work with material on the top left side. Set the width and height of the object your cutting. Also select the depth of the wood.

Origin point on xy origin position, set it so the top of the wood on the lower left corner is the origin start point.

Set unitis as inches.

Click Okay

Step 3:Using tools

Use the menu tool bar at the top left corner. Under the drawing tool bar under Edit Vector and then click the third key to the left which moves, rotates and scales.

Step 4:Tool path opperations

Select path its at the upper tool bar at tool paths operation then create profile

Image:Tool path.jpg

Cutting Depths:

Start depths (starting point material)
Cut depth (Wood would have to be half and inch, it would be 0.51inches)


-Select on tool use and a small page should pop up (to select the especific useful tool)

Directions: Climb: Clock wise Conventional:counter clockwise Offset:Area allowed between the cuts

This is an example of just a basic Ply Wood settings. Ply Wood: Spindle:13000 Feed Rate:1.6 Plunge rate:.4

The Spindle: How fast the spindle is going Feed: How fast the bit is going in material Plunge:How the bit goes down into the material Then you would click on OK

Pass Depth: How far the cut goes around Step Over: Amount between the pass depth

Step 5: Where it should cut

Look for machine Vector on the tool bar

Choose what command you would like the machine to do to the outside, inside, on the right side or on the left side line.

Step 6: Useful options

Select “Tabs” Tabs are used for small materials


Then you would add settings also known as numbers.

Image: tutorial tabs.jpeg

Corners Tab: Choose to either make them rounded or sharp -Sharp external corners-

Sharp:90 degrees cut
Rounded:Follows through

Image: tutorial corners tab.jpeg

Leads Tab

It won't dig right into the material but follow through then iwll start with some momentom

Image: tutorial leads tab.jpeg

Ramping Tab

Gives it less stress on the bit and it will then slowly plomit on the material instead of just diggig straight through.

Image: tutorial Ramping.jpeg

step 7: Final step

Select Image (vector),then calculate

Should not be in the 3d view, it should be in 2d once you are one then save it.

Then you should have a pop up save tool bar and you would just then name it

Then just close and you should be done.

Image: Final Finish.jpeg