ShopBot Tools

ShopBots in Business

If you’ve been looking to incorporate CNC into your business plan, or you have a ShopBot that you want doing more business for you, this workshop is good place for you to start.

Workshop Description

Thinking of starting a business that includes a ShopBot CNC, or adding digital fabrication to your existing business? Our 3-day workshop: “ShopBots in Business,” held at ShopBot’s Durham, NC headquarters, will combine one day of business training with two days of hands-on experience running CAD/CAM software and CNC machines. Haven’t purchased a CNC tool yet and not sure which ShopBot would work best for your idea? This small group experience will include a tour of the factory where ShopBot CNC tools are manufactured to help in your decision.

Classes begin at 9:00AM and end at 5:00PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Lunch will be provided each day, as well as a light breakfast and coffee each morning starting at 8:30AM. (If you have any dietary restrictions, please note them in the online form you will receive a link to in your confirmation email.)

Prior to coming to the workshop, we ask that you fill out the questionnaire describing your ideas for a product or business (for example: making custom cribbage boards, adding CNC to a sign making or cabinet shop, starting a Makerspace).

While you do not need to have a fully-fleshed out idea for a business, knowing your interests will help us be more prepared for your visit. Explore the ShopBot website and blog for ideas on how people are using their ShopBots in big and small business ventures.

Cost: $500

The price (per person) includes worksheets and handouts to use as you work through creating your own business plan, as well as resources for finding local resources in your community. Of course, you will receive handouts and resources for continuing your ShopBot education.

A limited number of scholarships will be available to bring a colleague to share your computer station for no additional charge. Ask for details.


This initial offering of the ShopBots in Business workshop is aimed at those who have limited knowledge of CAD/CAM software and CNC equipment. The ShopBot side of the training will start from the beginning with basic CAD/CAM software and hands-on experience running the machines. We will then go beyond the basics to help you increase the efficiency of your time in the shop to increase your ROI (Return on Investment).

Upcoming Classes

Sign up to be notified when new dates are scheduled for this workshop.

Visiting ShopBot and Durham, NC


Call 888-680-4466 or 919-680-4800 to reserve your seat. You can also email us at with your name, contact details, and a couple of sentences describing your business interest and experience (if any) with design software and digital fabrication technology, such as laser cutters or CNC machines. Questions are always welcome, of course! Classes are limited in size and fill up quickly.

Workshop Topics

DAY 1:

"Pitching Your Business"

  • What is your product?
  • Who is your customer?
  • What are you really selling?
  • How are you "different"?
  • How will you "sell" it?

"Running the Numbers"

  • Material costs
  • Overhead costs
  • Pricing
  • Profit
  • Breakeven
  • Budget

Intro to CNC (2D and Engraving Files)

  • Tour of ShopBot CNC tools
  • Intro to VCarve Pro CAD/CAM software to design and prepare files for machining (2D and engraving toolpaths)
  • Setting up a ShopBot for machining
  • Bit selection, feeds and speeds
  • Estimating machining time for toolpathing efficiency
  • Nesting for efficient use of material
  • Hold down techniques for prototyping vs. small- and large-scale production
  • Other considerations when pricing your product

Intro to CNC (3D Files)

  • Intro to 3D carving with ShopBot CNC
  • Comparison of VCarve Pro vs. Aspire CAD/CAM software
  • Comparison of time/pricing for 2D vs 3D carving
  • Other CAD and CAM software available
  • Accessories for specialized production
  • Rotary Indexer
  • Automatic Tool Changer
  • Vacuum hold-down

Each day, there will be opportunities for specific questions, show and tell, and creating a network of like-minded ShopBotters. Working in collaboration with fellow attendees, you should leave the workshop with tools to develop your business plan, and the skills to use your CNC equipment.

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

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

After Hours Tech Support
Monday–Friday: 5pm–9pm EST
Saturday–Sunday: 10am–5pm 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.