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ShopBot Control Software

The latest version of the ShopBot Control Software is always available here for free download. This is the software that runs ShopBot CNC Tools. With the ShopBot Control Software, you can enter individual commands to move the tool or run a ShopBot Part File, a cutting file created in a CAD/CAM program such as the ShopBot Design Software Suite, to cut out a part.

If you are interested in a test drive to check out the software, the ShopBot Control Software will run in Preview Mode without being connected to a ShopBot and you are welcome to download and try it out.


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CURRENT SOFTWARE:

  • For PRS ShopBots 11/2007 to current and includes most PRS tools
  • For any ShopBots updated to V2xx Control Cards)
  • For Handibot Developer Edition

VERSION 3.8.x was a major update to the ShopBot Control Software.

It improves tool performance, adds enhanced features, and offers an optional ease-of-use interface for CNC, called ShopBotEASY.

Click to Download Sb3.8.50 (7/26/2018) (~28 MB)

It is possible to upgrade most ShopBots to the latest V2xx Control Cards, though not all features will be supported on older tools. Give tech support a call to find out whether a new Control Card would be beneficial for your tool.

Download the installation program to your computer, then run it to install the ShopBot Control Software. If your outboard Controller firmware is outdated, you will be prompted to reload it when you next run the software using Utility › Install Firmware [UI]. Any late-breaking information will display in a readme message at the end of the installation process.


ShopBot Control Software - Version Update Notes

Version 3.8.x *MAJOR UPDATE*

3.8.50 -- Maintenance update; (FIRMWARE UPDATE REQUIRED, included; install with [UI]) 6/15/18

-Enhanced PWM Laser Control (for Version 204 and later Control Cards) and fixed gaps
-Added 5-axis tool features including use of standard calls to CustomCut files
-Fixed missing Z prox and metric features in ShopBot Setup routine

3.8.48 -- Maintenance update 4/15/18
-Improve dialogue for ATC Zeroing

Version 3.8.46 -- Maintenance update 2/15/18
-Fixed metric operation in Desktop and DesktopMAX First Setup and Squaring files

Version 3.8.44 -- Maintenance update 11/15/17
- New ATC settings for PRS4 version of ATC
- New Settings Folder for PRS Tools with Z-Axis proximity switches; adjusts [VN] settings for Input 5
- Updated Setting for 5-Axis Tools; prox switch settings and rotary motor unit values
- Fixed Limit over-ride crash continuation attempt
- Fine tuning of Stop Pull-Up/Resume Issue w/PRSalpha tools (But, if problem persists for you; disable Resolution-Shifting in [VU] and limit Jog speeds to 14ips. This should resolve)
- An alternate implementation of this version of software that uses slowed USB speeds for computers that are experiencing USB communications issues; called 3.8.44_slowedUSB (may limit maximum circle and keypad speeds)

Version 3.8.2 -- Intial Release of MAJOR UPDATE (view enhancements above)

Version 3.8.4 -- Maintenance Update 3/24/13
- Two primary issues addressed in this release:
= A "slow down" in motion that happens when running a file, once started it continues (tends to occur with
slower processors)
= A period of "erratic motion" that is followed by communications disruptions and continuation problems
(also primarily with slower processors)
**Both problems found their way into the initial release version but did not show up in final screening; now repaired
- All control cards should now support a hot swap; retained location when controller USB plugged into another
computer (assuming not turned off)
- Fixed bug that can occur when an axis is swapped within a file
- Added additional diagonistic LED signal on Control Card; will cycle on and off @~8seconds when not
connected to PC but functioning normally
- [VD,,,0] and [VD,,,1] can now be used at start of a file to force file to run in INCHES or MM. Also works for
G20 and G21 (the G-code verison)

Version 3.8.6 -- Maintenance Update 4/23/13
- Fixed issues with spindle/router switching ON when call follows and initial move (e.g. surfacing routine)
- Fixed problem with initial display when loading older PRT settings file
- Hitting ENTER as a STOP now works in Keypad moves (Goto Move or Memory Move)
- Changed functionality so that Control Box firmware can be updated from EASY Mode, click '?'(Help)
- Fixed EASY Dot display when switching to EASY from Preview Mode
- Updates to Docs re: G20 and G21 g-codes for swapping axes (see above)

Version 3.8.8 -- Maintenance Update (FIRMWARE UPDATE REQUIRED; included) 8/28/13
- Now allowing Input from #2 and #4 as responses to Spindle On ? question for Handibots (requires appropriate
serial number)
- #4 Input response for Standards and and Desktops also fixed
- Modified arrow keys for Handibot tablet Z (PGUP/PGDN via Alt-ArrowUP/DN)
- Improved error correction in probing
- Fixed problem with Stopping at speeds of .4ips and below
- Synced file line display of code in Console screen
- Z pull-up error in multiple toolpath files fixed
- Fixed problem with Preview Display of multiple toolpath files where post inserted duplicate definitions
- Fixed problem with spindle turning off when commands entered manually from keyboard
- Fixed protection on ShopBot Setup to allow it to function without a special Admin start; also fixed shift to metric
in Setup routine
- Fixed problem in some situation with Z-Zero not returning to correct location at end of routine

Version 3.8.10 -- Maintenance Update 11/6/13
- Install includes a Settings file for the new Handibot Tools
- Install includes BZero.sbp; MTC adds B axis tool change and fixes Change_A [VI] command
- When using Keypad, "Fixed Distance" moves will now update location display in Keypad readout
- Fixed location updating so that when a "Limit Switch" is hit in Keypad mode the location is correctly reported
- Vachole.sbp subroutine Part File added to 120 and 144 size Vacuum Table folders (it had been missing)
- Probe-2-Surface returned as a virtual tool; note that depending on file type, some editing of the first few moves may
be required
- Command Reference updated for MS vs VS "stack" features and for CP motion (not Jog)

Version 3.8.12 -- Maintenance Update (FIRMWARE UPDATE REQUIRED; included) 1/24/14
- [UR] (Reset Settings) no longer showing option to delete SbSys.Log in ; makes it more permanent; delete
from C:\ProgramData\ShopBot\ShopBot 3
- [UR] fixed problem with running from mm for some settings files; now stays in mm if called from mm
- Updated math precision to prevent rounding error causing shift to slow speed in some long files
- In Keypad, Fixed Distance Moves now supported for Rotary (deg) Axes. NOTE! to avoid needing to input a
separate distance for just for the rotary axis: if you are in inches, rotation will be X10 the inch
distance in degrees; if you are in mm, rotation will be X0.10 mm distance in degrees
- In Keypad, Memorized location move pull-up warning improved in comparing current Z/A location
- In Keypad, (a new) Memorized locations will be converted to current units before the move if units do not
match the recorded value. E.g. a location recorded as 2,1 in inches, will send tool to 50.8, 25.4 if
the software is in mm mode. (You need to re-input older locations for this fuctionality to take effect.)
- Fixed inconsistencies in (rarely-used) positive plunge system; we only recommend positive plunge for special
situations
- Improved spindle shut-down if communications lost
- In C2 (Z-zero) routine; there is no longer an automatic pull up to Safe-Z height before touching off on the
plate. The assumption being that you could not run the routine if you weren't above the plate. (The pull-up
still occurs after each touch-off on the plate. Use [VC] to reduce the Safe-A pull-up if you do not want to
pull up as high. The default value is 1.0inches/25.4mm for most tools, .5in/12.7mm for Desktops and
Handibot.)

Version 3.8.14 -- Maintenance Update 3/19/14
- Fixed some issues with conversion between metric and inches when using ShopBot Setup under [T]ools
- Fixed highlight line location in small file display; e.g. showed up in spindle warm-up routine
- Updated Handibot Settings file to create -.05 offsets from prox switches
- Barcode scanner added as option in "Button" system; see c:\Program Folders\ShopBot\VirtualTools\Buttons
- Fixed problem with FG that prevent a restart on a line before a J3
- Improved the handling of variables in the "SHELL" Programming Instruction and with Virtual Tool starts.
See examples in Programming Handbook.
- Added functionality for using a Z-axis Proximity Switch with C2 and C3. If you have a tool with a Z-prox
use Setup under Tools to configure it to be able to re-position the cutter that was last Z-Zeroed.

Verrsion 3.8.24 -- Maintenance Update 7/18/14
-Provides option to disable electronic gear shifting on PRSalpha tools; this will reduce max jog speed; but prevents
possible gearshift distance error due to low/slow voltage shift at driver; also allows faster digitizing/probing
-Fixes problem of misreading Output Status on some processor types ("Unexpected Output Fault" error)
-Fixes problem of occasional slowing on some processor types
-Fixes bug with reading and parsing paths and long variable names
-Work on updated zeroing routines for z prox switches and consistency over all zeoring file
-Created protection for double hitting of Enter Button in response to start dialogues
-Now calling Custom90 at startup so that all potential needed variables in my_variables.sbc are loaded
-Added SetZprox.sbp/Custom8.sbc to manually set the Z prox height when not using ZZero plate, such as with
Handibot
-Changed Emergency-Stop Action on PRSalpha and PRTalpha tools to an immediated hard stop (no slowed
braking)

Version 3.8.26 -- Maintenance Update (FIRMWARE UPDATE REQUIRED, included) 10/11/14
-Fixed occasional erractic behavior after repeated Stops and Resumes (and Nudges or Command Insertions)
-Reduced liklihood of Keypad lockup
-Fixed erratic Stop problem that can happen when Stop happens in a short Jog (or in last fraction of a Jog)
-Fixed several inch > mm conversion/reset glitches
-Small Circle Definition (a rarely used parameter, previously found in VU) moved to VR to make it more readily
accessible

Version 3.8.30 -- Maintenance Update (FIRMWARE UPDATE REQUIRED, included) 4/27/15
-Fixed Handibot Settings File for initial start-up
-Updated Laser PWM control functions (see VN and VH)
-Added Spindle Speed info (for manual speed adjustment) in Spindle-Start Dialog
-Fixed problem with ATC Calibration locking up
-Updated Help Links and the coloring of several Commands in ShopBot Editor, SbEdit.exe

Version 3.8.32 -- Maintenance Update 5/25/15
-Fixed problem with RESUME after STOP during a JOG (in which Z is below pull-up height)
-FIxed problem with ramps/speed in first file when software has been started in Preview Mode

Version 3.8.34 -- Maintenance Update 6/18/15
-Fixed memory (out or range) problem with large files having a single stack and ramps on most moves
-Added blank shopbot.ini file to initial install to help insure "public" file rights (should auto call [UR])
-Added dates to history
-Opened permission on "C:/ProgramData/ShopBot" to prevent problems saving settings; STILL REQUIRES
INSTALLATION as ADMIN

Version 3.8.36 -- Maintenance Update 7/18/15
-Fixes file-breaking problem that occurs with inline speed changes [VS] within an SBP or g-code file where
the speeds are very slow (< 1 inch/sec or < 25mm/sec); now handled with a stack break that should be
smooth.

Version 3.8.38 -- Maintenance Update 10/30/15
-Fixes run-time error generated by call to the Spindle Speed Controller and not having correct location values
in registry
-Updated 5-Axis Zeroing routines and new default setting file for recent 5-axis tools
-Fixes an error in MTC management of drills

Version 3.8.40 -- Maintenance Update 12/15/15
-Fixes problem in which a Driver Fault after C3 produces failure
-Made Driver Fault and E-Stop messages consistent

Version 3.8.42 -- Maintenance Update; FIRMWARE UPDATE REQUIRED, included; use [UI]) 6/27/16
-Updates PRSalpha setting files for 15:1 indexers (older settings in subfolder)
-Fixed typo's in Safe Height in MTC file for 4th and 5th axis
-Added metric indexer posts for Vectric products
-Re-organized back-up folder for CAM software postprocessors, included addition specialty posts for rotary-indexers
-Fixed bug in file start-up (a spindle-activation falt or error) after a preceeding file was discontinued; produced error with Surfacing Tool file
-Fixed ocassional slow-down in large files (failed re-acceleration from ramping)
-Fixed intermittent bad plunge after resume (fault happened after stopping in a jog move)

(Note that all Installs of ShopBot Software include a README file and an Update History file that detail changes in the software across versions and releases.)

ShopBot Control Software - Summary of Version 3.8.xx Updates

Functional Improvements (made possible by capabilities of the 2xx series of Control Cards; not applicable for earlier Control Cards).  This is the new stuff under the hood!

  • Enables 2X+ faster communications and 7X more information buffered on Control Card:
    • Speed and buffering creates more robust communication between PC and Control Card; makes computer efficiency less critical to performance
    • Allows faster stepping (50KHz+); e.g. 12ips circles on full-size tools  [also higher resolutions in tools with special gear ratios]
    • New communications supports smoother acceleration/deceleration ramping [we recommend starting with default ramp settings]
    • Additional performance supports a Control Card ramp-down feature that will stop tool gently if USB cable disconnected during motion; similar gentle slowing in cases of starved communication or PC or program fault
  • Behind-the-scenes transmission check & repair system that resends any lost data; also contributing to communications robustness [this means there are now two active data correction systems: 1) within USB signaling system, which is maintaining integrity of the data at a byte level; and PC-Control Card check system maintaining integrity at a message level]
  • Outboard controller now maintains absolute location of all axes unless power turned off  [This means that, in the absence of a driver fault or lost steps, exact location can always be recovered by connecting to the Control Card [e.g. a new computer can be plugged into a running Control Box and will update to the true current location or the tool; note that depending on PC USB system, being able to swap may require V209 or later Control Card]
  • Full 6 axis; simultaneous interpolation in all  6 axes
  • Spindle/router failsafe shutdown if connection to PC lost
  • **NOTE: The remaining new features in this section are not available on V201 Control Cards, only on later versions. (These are dependent on hardware components that are not included on the early cards.)
  • Independent Indexer Spinner or Axis Oscillator [Available via the MI Command]
  • 12 Outputs [additional 4 only directly accessible on newer Control Boards; available on all boards via a header connector on Control Card though user will need to provide isolation]
  • 12 Inputs [additional 4 only directly accessible on newer Control Boards; available on older boards only with modification;  on Desktops only #9-12 will be available; user will need to provide isolation for direct inputs ]
  • PWM System for controlling a laser cutter
  • Heater control functions for 3D printer [extruder motor controlled by B Axis]
  • 2 channels of analogue input measurement capability (0-5v DC)
  • 2 channels of analog output capability (0-5v DC; low mA)
  • Control Card temperature measurement [reported in UD]
  • Logic power line voltage measurement and spiking [reported in UD] as well as communications performance information

New Control Software and UI Features.  These are the enhancement in how it works!

  • Updated layout of standard CNC user interface for clarity; many small enhancements
    • Right clicking on Command line allows configuring Command entry style
    • Right clicking over Input and Output Display allows configuring display
    • Clicking Outputs Indicators toggles them ON/OFF
    • Automation Buttons for Zeroing and Homing now readily available on the Location Display
    • [MI] Command for running/spinning Indexer independently of other operations; can also be used to oscillate and axis (e.g. for an oscillating knife)
    • New [VH and VI] parameters for controlling PWM output and 3D printer heater
    • Additional system variables including those for new digital and analogue inputs
    • [UD] new tool data as well as voltage and temperature; Connection speed efficiency data is now reported in UD
    • [UD] provide access to oscilloscope function that displays logic voltage or voltage on analogue input on 1 or 2; use to evaluate electrical power to system
  • KeyPad Usability Enhancements
    • Memorized Location (like old-time radio) Buttons; go someplace and right click a number button, it will remember; click later to return to location
    • Easier Zeroing from KeyPad
    • "GoTo" now more direct [enter axis key, new location, enter; e.g. "x 3 enter"]
  • NEW! ShopBotEASY Interface … interchangeably available
    • As CNC and digital fab get easier, it will be more natural to primarily use the ShopBot interface just to cut a part or access other software; the ShopBotEASY interface is set up with this ease of use in mind and the idea of making operation more pushbutton and less dependent on learning CNC code or commands (even though we still like OpenSBP). It's all about getting closer to 'Click-to-Print'  and to simply cutting your design. Old-time purists may lament moving away from the old work flow. We look forward to your input on what is missing from ShopBotEASY and absolutely must be added ...
    • Help Dots in EASY provide simplified and customizable Help
    • Buttons in the EASY interface have shortcuts that get away from using C2, C3
    • Cut Part gives optional access to parameters, and Ctrl-Cut Part to FG
    • Accessing additional values and settings is done from the Help page in EASY
    • Note that in EASY, whether you are "connected" or not to a tool is left kind of ambiguous to reduce confusion about SM/SP
    • Switching back and forth between EASY and the standard CNC interface is just a button click, in case you feel a need to use the more extensive system
  • NEW! Button/Macro system for automating frequent tasks and for setting up production interfaces (at the moment this is relatively un-documented and still a bit 'alpha'). We'll put some examples in the next version, but if you want to give it a try got to Buttons in the Virtual Tool Folder and run Buttons.exe. Setting up a couple of buttons to run is relatively straightforward. After you "Set Production Mode" and close, the next time you run Buttons you just see them. To get back to the set-up system hit the "Shift" key immediately after starting Buttons. Data for Buttons is saved in under ShopBot in the Program Data folder.
  • There is an Enhanced Programming Interface for Developers / Customizers that is available through the Windows Registry. This will be increasingly documented in the Programming Handbook, developers can see the types of information made available and tasks that can be accomplished by running the example program (with ShopBot running):  c:/Program Files/ShopBot/Developer Tools/ReadReg_Example.exe   [Program Files (x86) on 64bit computers]. You can also have a look at the Registry entries to see the new options.

How to Identify a Version 2xx Control Card (Card will be mounted on your Control Board which is different for each type of ShopBot.)

Controller Version

  • These are our most recent series Control Cards. We began shipping them in November 2007. We are currently shipping Version 210. Changes in the board over the last 5 years have been primarily added expansion pins (such as PWM control for lasers and analog input) for new accessories. Basic functionality has been the same since Version 201 and all boards run the same software/firmware.
  • This Control Card connects to the computer via USB. There is a USB Connector on the Card (early front side: front; later: back side).
  • Most older ShopBots can be fitted with Version 2xx Control Cards. Check with ShopBot support to determine how advantageous it would be for you to upgrade your tool.

Windows Version for PRT/PRS ShopBots (XP/Vista/7/8)

For PRT ShopBots (7/2004 - 9/2007 and early PRS, with xplor52 Control Cards [using a Dallas microcontroller]; these systems used USB communications via a serial to USB adapter plugged into the serial connector on the larger board.)

Download the installation program to your computer, then run it to install the ShopBot Control Software. If your outboard Controller firmware is outdated, you will be prompted to reload it when you next run the software. A readme file will display any late-breaking information at the end of the installation process.

v3.6.46 FINAL UPDATE of PRT Software 3/30/13 (~20 MB)

(This version is identical to 3.6.44 with the exception that some of the included file have been updated. These include files for vacuum tables, the MTC file that handles manual tool change instructions, and Copy Machine Tool for probing. This version also includes a folder with our "probe to surface translator" which was inadvertently left out of 3.6.44).


Windows Version for PRT ShopBots (includes Plasma Cutters)

For older PRT ShopBots (2000 - 2004 with xplor 52 Control Cards [using original Atmel microcontroller]; these system used standard serial communications)

Download the self-extracting installation program to your computer, then run it to install the software. If your outboard software is outdated, you will be prompted to reload during the install. A readme file will display any late-breaking information at the end of the installation process. PRTstandard control box looks like a computer CPU either beige, silver, or black.

v3.4.27 PRT LATEST UPDATE 10/04/06 (~10 MB)


DOS Version for PR ShopBots (also runs in Windows 95/98/ME)*

For PR ShopBots (from 1995 - 2000)

Download the self-extracting installation program to your computer, then run it to install the software. A readme file will display any late-breaking information at the end of the installation process.

ShopBot Control Software Version 2.38 (~1.2 MB)

*this version cannot be used with Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8)
It is possible to install the DOS version on a Windows XP or 2000 computer to run in PREVIEW mode only. To do so: change the C:\windows\temp to C:\sb200 when asked where to unzip files. This will put everything in the SB200 directory. You should then move all .sbp files to the SBPARTS directory.


ShopBot Tools, Inc.

Toll Free: 1-888-680-4466

Phone: 919-680-4800
Fax: 919-680-4900

ShopBot Tools, Inc.
3333-B Industrial Drive
Durham, NC 27704
USA

Office Hours
Monday–Friday: 9am–5pm EST

After Hours Tech Support
Monday–Friday: 5pm–9pm EST
Saturday–Sunday: 8am–9pm EST

Office Closure
ShopBot Tools, Inc. is closed New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Outside of normal office hours, we regularly check for support requests, email and phone messages. To make sure we can get back to you as soon as possible, leave a phone number or return email address where you will be available.