NextFab Blog

The Jig is Up: Our Intern Created 3D-printable Jigs for Startup

Posted by Laate Olukotun

Sep 29, 2015 10:30:00 AM

In the Summer of 2015, an intern named Wei Zhen Li joined the young team of engineers and project managers working at a little startup called ConnectDER.

It’s unusual for a summer intern to have a lasting impact on a company, particularly one that's working at a break-neck speed to affect the course of America's energy grid, even more so when that intern is fresh out of high school.

Topics: intern, solidworks, jigs

ShopBot CNC Router Part II

Posted by admin

Aug 12, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Hi, I’m Mevin. I’m a high school student at George Washington High School. I’m an intern at NextFab Studio and I’ll be taking class and blogging about my experience. If you have any questions, email me at

The goals of ShopBot CNC Router Part I are to learn the basics of the software used for the ShopBot. Now in ShopBot CNC Router Part II, the goals are to get to know the ShopBot machine and tell the software to produce G-code and tell the ShopBot carve a rosette. Myself and the 2 other students waited 10 minutes for a student to show up. 10 minutes later, the student didn’t show up and instructor Lewis, tall with a curled mustache started the class.

Lewis taught us about the moving commands for the ShopBot such as command “M2”which is a G-code (computer programming language used mainly in automation) that moved the X and Y axis of the ShopBot. We were taught how to remove and change the Ball Nose Bit (The item used cut and carve the model.) We all changed the bit. First, I loosened the vacuum skirt causing it to release and go down. Then, I loosened the collet with 2 wrenches, and then removed the Ball Nose bit and replaced it with a different bit. Finally, I placed the collet back in the machine and lifted and tightened the vacuum skirt. The next step was to hold the board so it can be carved.

Lewis told us the old method of holding the cutting board in the ShopBot was by screwing the board to the ShopBot bed. This had a lot of problems, like the cutter would break from hitting the screws and it took a lot of time to screw the wood down. I asked Lewis, “how does that new vacuum method for holding the cutting board work?”. So, there’s an orange vacuum cleaner to the left and its connected with pipes to the ShopBot bed. You turn on the vacuum and it sucks through the bed. We took our board and screwed it to a larger board and we put it on the bed which sucked the board tight.

Next Lewis had each of us open the rosette file. He asked one of the students, Lee, to move to [6,6] of the x and y axis (the coordinate point where the rosette model was located). We opened the file and on the screen I watched G-code being produced and watched the Rosette amazingly being carved by the ShopBot. When the rosette was being carved, a dust collector (pretty much a giant noisy vacuum) was loud and sucked up the dust of the wood.

After the rosette was created, I got to hold it and I was amazed about how accurate the ShopBot was, because the piece was exactly like the design I saw on the computer.

The students signed off at the front desk and are now able to make a design and use the ShopBot by themselves.

Topics: intern, Uncategorized, shopbot, nextfab


About this blog

Welcome to the NextFab Blog, where we discuss the ideas changing the world as we know it. Step inside the revolutionary world of 3D Printing technology, traditional and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machinery, innovation and imagination.



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