The portable Shopbot CNC tool, Handibot, fits on a rotary indexer, churning out extra-large chess pieces from acrylic in the middle of Maker Faire. The environment is loud, and the shop vacs are running almost constantly, but engineer Ryan Sturmer says it’s the perfect environment to demo the tool.

“We have taken the internal electronic and software framework of our tool, and replaced it with something that is web capable, that you can access from your mobile device,” he says. “Your CNC tool will actually have an app.”

It’s targeted at Makers. Shopbot now has open-source FabMo software, a digital fabrication platform for PC, Mac, Linux, and mobile, and Sturmer hopes to see developers building apps for it.

“It’s been great to see the enthusiasm around CNC,” he says. “We want to make Fabmo and the motion system for this tool available to people who not only are using the Handibot, but are doing DIY CNC.”

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