Handibot v2.1 Bridge Edition


Also known as "long handibot", "extended Y" or "Bridge". A portable CNC with a 6" x 24" cutting area, designed specifically to make tiling easier. The unusual aspect ratio of the tool was chosen to fulfill a number of objectives. The 6" X axis was kept as standard to allow owners of Adventure Edition Handibots to transfer their exoframes over to the new, longer base with minimal effort. The 24" Y axis was selected to fit the most commonly available and easy to transport "large materials"--a 2' x 4' sheet of plywood. With the majority of projects fitting onto a sheet of material this size--it was a natural limit which would be so large that it would make the handibot difficult to transport, while providing a significant increase in capability.

As of this date, only Handibot Adventure Edition owners can upgrade their tools to a Large Sheet Tool. The upgrade process involves replacing the Y axis bearings and removing the Y axis motor and base from the exoframe before attaching it to the new base--altogether taking roughly 2 hours. Due to the effort required for the upgrade it is not recommended that users plan on switching back and forth between the 24" base and the original 8" base.

The conductive Z-Zero plate from the Adventure Edition Handibot does not work with the base design of the Large Sheet Tool--instead, the optional Quick-Bit has been added to the line of Handibot accessories to allow for quick Z-Zeroing.

Version 2.1 Details

Handibot v2.1 Bridge Edition is an update to the v2.0 Bridge Edition Handibot. The v2.1 model's new feature is the Handibot Console. The Console is a small Linux computer with touch-screen and keyboard, intended to be permanently attached to the Handibot--offering a quick and reliable connection to the tool.

Tools powered by the FabMo control system require an external device to display the web-browser based control GUI. Any device with a web browser is capable of connecting to and controlling FabMo tools.

However, wireless connectivity presents an additional barrier to getting tools up and running after receipt by the customer--so it was decided that the best new feature for the Handibot would be a device that obviated the connection step for users that didn't need or have the ability to connect with their own device.

When the Handibot v2.1 is powered on, the Console begins to boot. Boot-up takes between 1-2 minutes with the FabMo interface loading in the background. Once boot is complete, the user is dropped directly into the FabMo interface where they can begin a cut right away--from the very first screen.

The console also relocates the green and red "GO" and "STOP" buttons. The buttons on the Handibot exoframe are located towards the back of the tool, making them difficult to reach when the user is positioned in front of the tool. The two buttons on the Console serve the same function within fingers' reach of the touch-screen.

Mounting locations for the Console are provided on the front and back of the Handibot--where the Console can be docked while the tool is running. Because the Console is powered directly from the Handibot's power supply, it does not need to be charged.

A new app was created for the launch of Handibot v2.1--a revised version of the SB4 app. This new version, renamed "Handi-CNC" presents the familiar ShopBot control interface, with the addition of buttons to run the homing routines on the tool and load cut files.

The Digital Read-Out (DRO) was redesigned for the FabMo release that would ship on the first tools so that app content would shift over when the DRO was expanded. This was done to ensure that as the DRO began to contain more useful information and functions that it would be convenient to have it displayed all the time.

The new manual controls, first introduced in FabMo v1.7.0 were again revised to include slow and rapid move buttons for Z axis moves. It was found from use in the ShopBot shop that slow Z manual speeds were often useful for positioning the bit above materials to manually "z-zero" the tool.


The handibot is built with a HDPE frame, housing aluminum mechanical components. The motion mechanism uses lead screw stepper motors and precision linear rails. It is powered by a 110V supply (210V for international tools) and consumes 11 amps when running.

The stepper motors that drive the tool are capable of moves as small as 0.00025" -- however when backlash and tool deflection are taken into account, precision of the tool is +/- 0.0015" (plus-or-minus 1.5 thousandths of an inch). The motors themselves run on 24VDC.

The linear rails that guide each axis are 15mm precision ground steel. The bearings that ride on the rails use a recirculating ball track and are capable of withstanding up to 1000lbs in any direction.