We just took several Handibot Smart Power Tools to the Journal of Light Construction Live show in Providence, RI, the premier East Coast show for builders and contractors. We wanted to show the attendees some things that we knew that a Handibot can do, but also get some ideas from them on how a Handibot could help them. The Handibot is really two tools in one. It’s a small but capable CNC machine that can work along with your other shop tools, but is also a “Smart” jobsite power tool that can do projects that require on-site customization.
Along with the Handibot team…David Bryan, Ted Hall, and Bill Young…we brought along a couple of friends. Andy King is an Architect in NC that is passionate about digital fabrication. Dennis Michaud is one of the collaborators on the CNC-cut New Orleans house that ShopBot fabricated for the Museum of Modern Art. And Eric Schimelpfenig (sketchthis.net) is a Kitchen and Bath designer, Sketchup wizard, and Handibot pioneer!
We wanted to show a small sampling of jobs that a Handibot could do on a jobsite, and came up with a couple that really interested the crowd. One Handibot was mounted on a Dewalt chopsaw stand and was making the 3d cut to cope crown molding, a fussy job for an experienced carpenter. Eric brought a toolbox and Wikihouse joinery sample that he had cut from full sheets of material. But the parts that might have generated the most interest among the builders and carpenters there were the parts that Dennis had brought from his new business…Homebuilt. (homebuiltcompany.com)
The idea behind Homebuilt is to update traditional stud construction with CNC technology, to make homebuilding accessible to anyone. Dennis is prototyping all his joinery details for studs and roof framing using a Handibot, and brought samples of walls and rafters that can only be assembled the “right” way…it can’t be assembled wrong. Homebuilt’s system also allows a level of customization and precision that traditionally would require a carpenter with years of experience.
Here Dennis Michaud (left) is demonstrating some parts and cuts from the Homebuilt system…
As we expected, not all of the attendees “got” the Handibot, but most could see the potential to simplify jobs that were hard or impossible to do now…one called it a “3d Printer for Carpenters.” Once Handibots start appearing on jobsites around the world, who knows what we’ll see!