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Case Study - Smith's CNC Service


For this month's case study we got in touch with Scott Smith, a professional carpenter and self-branded 'gun for hire in the CNC world'. Scott has utilized the power of CNC and Vectric software for many years to help create a number of projects, both large scale and small. He has gone on to build an enviable resume by working on a variety of high profile Movies and TV series including Unstoppable, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Don't Back Down, The Next Three Days, Alex Cross, One for the Money and many more. Scott has also completed many other projects such as theatre and event staging, signage and general/hobbyist pieces.

We first saw the photos of Scott's work at our User Group meeting last year in Cincinnati and were impressed with the scope of what he had been producing. We asked Scott to tell us a little about how he first discovered CNC technology & Vectric software and to list a few of the projects he has created, following this you can browse a gallery that showcases some of his work.

"The first time I really heard about CNC technology was when I started out an assistant foreman for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. We would send work out to be CNC cut once a month and it wasn't long before I knew that I wanted to get involved with the technology. I remember asking my boss to buy a Shopbot but he said he could never afford the purchase, so I went to Durham, NC, to study the industry and after learning what I could I went ahead and bought my own ShopBot. After only two months of seeing what the machine could do, my boss finally decided to buy one as well, but by that time I decided to go it alone and left my job to start my own business.

A few years ago I started using VCarve Pro to help design the projects I create. It wasn't long after that before I upgraded to Vectric's flagship product Aspire. Vectric continue to go from strength to strength and thanks to their updates I can now draft better than most seasoned drafters with much more expensive software. I am also excited with the advances in the latest versions of VCarve Pro 7 & Aspire 4 that I saw at the last User Group Meeting.

Since owning the ShopBot and Vectric software I have been able to work on some fantastic projects. My first was cutting circus barrels for the road show "Dr. Dolittle". At this point I didn't even know how to start the router, but as I became more familiar with the machine and software my confidence also grew and I steadily got more work. One of the contracts I was lucky enough to work on was to create set pieces for the movie "Alex Cross" which stars the likes of Matthew Fox and Tyler Perry! The initial drafting for this project was done using Google Sketchup due to familiarity however the editing features available in Aspire improved the finishing cut immensely. I also used Aspire for the work I did on the Nickelodeon TV show "Supah Ninjas". I struggled a little at first, but made several impressive foams cuts that made the mansion set (and several other elements of the show) truly one of a kind works of art. Despite working on high profile projects, the largest amount of work I have done to date was actually for the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. I usually do a little bit of the 6 shows they do each season."

Movie Sets

Theatre Sets


Scott is currently working on the next Pittsburgh Public Theatre show of the season and is continuing to impress clients with what he can produce using his ShopBot and Aspire.

We would like to thank Scott for taking time out of his very busy schedule to talk to us about his work and share some images. We look forward to seeing what future work he will be adding to his already impressive portfolio.

If you want to keep up to date with what Scott is working on then you can also follow him on Facebook here:

If you are not an Aspire user but would like to see how easy to use and deceptively powerful the software is then you can download a free trial today - no registration required.

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