Configuring RhinoCAM for Shopbot Desktop

The objective of this short tutorial is to let you configure your RhinoCAM settings in order to make it compatible with our Shopbot desktop router.

By default RhinoCAM does support Shopbot and it is capable of producing both Shopbot (*.sbp) and G-Code (*.nc) files for our machine. However, due to the basic carpentry router head (instead of variable RPM spindle type) and change of units from the default (imperial) to metric, we need to take the following steps once to ensure that the files are correct. The litmus test for verifying that the generated files are correct are: (a) Visually inspect that the coordinate dimensions in the post files look like millimeters (compare with a known location in your Rhino model). and (b) You can find the router start/stop instruction SO 1,1 and SO 1,0 near the top and end of the file.

Step 01

  • Start Rhino/RhinoCAM and select the post options (see under the program tab below the machine button)

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Step 02

  • Select the default Shopbot post-processor from the drop down list as seen below.
  • Set the post extension to *.sbp (if not available in the drop down list use the add new button)
  • Select the edit button next to the Shopbot current post processor highlighted below.

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Step 03

  • A dialog box will pop up which you have accept the option about versioning or something and this will bring you to the following settings window.
  • Make sure that the output file extension is set to sbp in the file control group
  • Set the units from inch to metric (it will use millimeters thereafter)
  • Then switch to the Tool Change tab and continue below…

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Step 04

  • In the first load tool macro replace the content with the instructions seen below. The important point is to include the SO 1,1 command that starts the router.
  • The tool change macro can be cleared since we don’t have an automatic tool changer.
  • Now switch to the Start/End tab and continue below…

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Step 05

  • In the program end code add the following lines to make sure that the router has been turned off (aka set digital output one to zero) before jogging home.
  • This is it. Save the template as “Shopbot SUTD” and you can now use this from now on. One final note is to always visually inspect the start and end of the machine code to verify that SO 1,1 is right before the machine plunges into the stock, SO 1,0 is before the end of the program and the coordinate values are in millimeters.

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