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Handibot arrived - which tools to buy?

Posted by seachange 
Handibot arrived - which tools to buy?
June 21, 2017 11:07PM
Brian Owen, ShopBot Wrote:
> Seachange,>
> I don't have a lot of experience with the viny
> l cutter attachment--so I'll have to borrow one fr
> om the shop and give it a try. I'm going to be out
> of town at the San Mateo Maker Faire (California)
> for a week starting tomorrow--so it may be a littl
> e while before I can get back to you about it.
> > I hope this helps! Don't hesitate to ask if you'
> ve got other questions!
> Brian

Hi Brian,

We have just received our Handibot, so exciting times ahead. Have only taken it out of the box at present, we will soon find a bit of time to set it up.

Have you been able to test the vinyl cutter? I am very interested in your test, it will help me determine if the vinyl cutter will be sufficient for my need to cut smallish letters in vinyl.

Could we also please get advice from the handibot community for tools you have found work best to make clean and neat tracks on circuit boards?

Also for engraving small letters and fine lines on aluminium (as for the front plate of electronic instruments). I think the lines and letters are then filled with some sort of black paint and one has a decent looking, one off instrument panel.

We have to soon start thinking about which other tools to order, even if we don't yet have specific projects. Being in Australia, we tend to order a few extra bits and pieces, to keep postage costs reasonable.

I'll appreciate everyone's recommendations for working with timber (hardwood and soft wood like pine), MDF, plastics and laminates. Cutting aluminium and copper sheets.

Oh, plus for lino cutting for printing. I don't print, but have several friends that do, might get them interested in the handibot if I can make a good sample for them.

Lots of questions, many thanks in advance for all your help.

Best regards, Carmen

I've done a little bit of lino-cut printing with the handibot in the past--[www.youtube.com]
I'm hoping to cut some blocks for multi-color Tshirt printing soon--but I'll need to make a jig to keep everything aligned.

I haven't had a chance to test out the vinyl cutter yet--I'm currently distracted by trying to learn how to write apps for a few special customer applications (I usually just do hardware)--but I'd still like to give it a try.

I've been experimenting with a few options for adding serial numbers to handibots and I'm pretty sure that using the diamond drag bit is going to be my best bet at a simple solution--[www.youtube.com] not sure about the paint though.

I'm sure that there is a vendor for small bits locally for you (to save on shipping charges) I usually use 1/16" bits for circuit boards--though you may need to track down a smaller collet for your router, depending on the shank size of the bits you find.

Glad to hear everything arrived in good shape!!

Re: Handibot arrived - which tools to buy?
June 22, 2017 08:31AM
re the instrument panels, try first soda blasting the panel before carving the lettering, and see how that looks. Otherwise, polish the aluminium to whatever finish you want, cover it in masking tape, carve your letters and then spray can paint them before removing the tape. Or maybe a matt black panel (use UHT expansion chamber paint from Autobahn or Super Cheap Auto), then carve the letters. There are many engraving bits available on eBay, they come to you on a slow boat from China, but they are very cheap and reasonable quality.
Heed my advice, or I will cut the chain and let Tasmania float away to the South Pole.
I got the PCB milling and drill set from Inventables. Works great.

For posterity sake, if you are interested, here is what I did to go from Eagle to SBP file for use with Handibot. The basic idea is you need to export Gerber files from Eagle, then use FlatCam to generate g-code. You then need to convert the g-code to SBP files using the utility mentioned in the youtube video below. Be sure to make the changes mentioned in the video to the SBP file once converted.

Here are the tutorials I looked at:

This tutorial for figuring out the Flatcam settings.


You will also need this information as well to create SBP files from gcode:


And for the Excellon drilling, you should look at this (I think I used a scale of .1):

Thanks Brian for reply,

Will look into Australian suppliers and wait for your eventual report on the vinyl cuttersmiling smiley

Cheers, Carmen
Wazza Wrote:
> Heed my advice, or I will cut the chain and let Ta
> smania float away to the South Pole.
> Regards,
> Wazza

Hi Wazza

many thanks for details, we are starting to think ahead regarding what we might need. As you know, deliveries can take their time.
Keep Tassie well attached, it gets cold enough here already winking smiley
Hi Daniel

My husband has used Eagle a long time ago, have to check how many versions behind we are at.

John's article in inventables is very detailed and the videos will make things easier.

Many thanks for all the information.

Best regards, Carmen.
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