• Get into 3D carving with the Handibot Rotary Axis

    by  • June 8, 2015 • News • 0 Comments

    The rotary axis allows you to machine your material in the round to create detailed carvings from your 3D models. It functions similar to a lathe in that it rotates a part that is being carved to allow the tool to machine all sides of the material. However, rather than spinning the material at a high, constant speed, the motorized head stock rotates the material in precise increments while the handibot moves the cutting head along the profile of the part. This allows for the creation of complex and irregular shapes.

    In this demo, we took a model of a candlestick holder and “unwrapped” it in Vectric’s Aspire CAM software. Roughing and finishing toolpaths are mapped onto a cylinder with motion in the x-axis simply being replaced by rotation in the new rotary axis. The material is fixed between the head stock and tail stock and then clamped into the Handibot Accessory Base. This plastic frame bolts to the bottom of the handibot and opens up a variety of options for working above large or oddly shaped materials. In this case, we’ve attached the 3” rotary axis to the base.

    After the 3D carving work is done; we bolt the candlestick holder to a piece of wood which is then bolted to the same base plate as the rotary axis. This allows us to machine a pocket in the top of the part to match the size of our candlestick. Finally we flame polish the acrylic part with a butane torch to get that transparent look.

    There are two new pieces to this setup: first, the rotary axis which is identical to the one that we sell for ShopBot Desktop tools currently; second, the Handibot Accessory Base—this is a housing that is meant to hold any number of unique material setups; some that we’ve got planned down the road and some that we hope users will discover! The removable base plate has four rows of “T-slots” that allow accessories to be moved around and bolted down quickly and easily. The base plate is locked in place by two toggle clamps that repeatably fix the setup in place. The base plate can be moved and clamped in 4” increments to allow tiled toolpaths, similar to our large material indexing jig.

    We’ve been hard at work designing and redesigning this new accessory, trying to think of every possible use for it down the road and we’re excited about what we’ve come up with. What will be even more exciting is to see the ways that it ends up being used by the handibot community!

    Brian Owen


    Mechanical Engineer at ShopBot Tools

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