The new, compact, BT 32 “Buddy” systems from ShopBot have the same technology and mechanicals of their bigger brothers, but are scaled down for use in garage or basement workshops. They weigh in at less than 600-lbs. occupy less than 16-sq.-ft. of floor space and can cost less than $4,000. The new compacts come in two models, depending on motor and drive system configuration: the PRSalpha BT32 “Buddy” or PRSstandard BT32 “Buddy”. The PRSalpha features advanced closed-loop stepper motors for fast, reliable positioning. The PRSstandard uses slower and thus less expensive stepper motors. The PRSstandard is ideal when high-speed positioning is not a priority. The PRSstandard can always be upgraded to a PRSalpha, so it's a great place to start. ShopBot CNC systems are designed for ease of use. But, like any new skill, learning CNC technology requires time and practice. ShopBot offers several ways to help you get up to speed. For starters there's free customer support, including nights and weekends. Monthly training classes are offered at ShopBot's facility in Durham, NC, or at your own shop.There's also the ShopBot Jamboree: an annual gathering of Shopbotters from around the world. Attendees learn about new products, software and better ways to increase profits. If that's not enough, you can attend Camp ShopBot. These informal regional gatherings are a perfect setting for ShopBot owners (or wannabees) to meet and learn from other ShopBotters. ShopBot also hosts an online forum, www.talkshopbot.com. It's a virtual meeting place for ShopBotters to connect.
The PRSstandard compact CNC, $4,000, includes CAD/CAM software and a Windows-based, full-feature control software.
ShopBot, www.shopbottools.com (919) 680-4800, PRS Standard Compact CNC, $4,000.