From photoVcarve to shapeoko3xl

(Jean Boulanger) #1

From photoVcarve to shapeoko 3XL, what is the procedure?
Very very novice on this.

Thank You

(ray) #2

I use v-carve pro and I grabbed the post processor from their new trial version. I just save each tool path individually unless they use the same cutter and can be performed one after another. open carbide motion, load saved tool path and run. Ray

(William Adams) #3

Thee’s a bit about that on the Commercial-CAM page/section: incl. a post-processor.

(Allyn Phillips) #4

I just assembled my XXL and can’t make heads or tails of Carbide Create. I was able to get Hello World to work. But something as simple as stating a new design makes no sense to me. Where is the “Windows” File - New selection? All I got is the Carbide logo on the screen and can’t get rid of it, have no clue where to start. The CAM I get, I just want to create a simple sign,.

New topic: V-Carve Desktop. I took a couple of their tutorials and it looks a lot more intuitive than Carbide Create. If I buy that design software it said in the tutorial you save the design in a way “your” CNc machine can understand. In the case of Shapeoko isn’t that just Gcode? Or is it more complicated than that? It’s a lot of money about $449 for what I want but I want to make sure it will work on my machine? Any advice is appreciated.
Allyn Phillips

(ray) #5

V-carve will work on your machine and I explained above how easy it is to save a tool path. ApolloCrowe can better explain carbide create. Also there are some tutorials on here about carbide create. I also find it difficult BUT the price is right and I think if given enough time i.e learning curve, it would be a nice piece of software. Ray

(William Adams) #6

There’s a bit on Carbide Create at in order to use it you have to clear the logo drawing — I’ve pointed out that the control for that is hidden on smaller screens, guess we should add hi res screen to the system requirements.

  • click on the gear icon
  • scroll down
  • click on the “Clear Drawing” button

This and more seems to be covered in the video tutorials:

To just use G-code there’s a hand-coded exemplar:

Other workflows and tutorials at:

(Dan) #7

@fiero1, I just wanted to confirm something you stated there. When you say you “grabbed the post processor from their new trial version”, do you mean trial version of V-Carve Pro, and, if so, which post processor are you referring to?

I have a Nomad (which means I may need the processor that was posted on the Shapeoko Wiki anyway) on the way and was looking at getting V-Carve, so I was just trying to understand all my options.



(Dan) #8

And with more searching (sorry, I thought I’d search every term combination, but apparently not!), I think I found my own answer in this post:

“V-Carve 8.5+ has a Shapeoko processor”

So, I’m guessing I probably still need the Nomad processor from the wiki.


(Matt Freivald) #9

I use Vcarve Pro for both Nomad Pro and Shapeoko XXL. Same post works fine with both machines (makes sense as they use the same control board).

IIRC I downloaded the Shapeoko post and had to make one edit – remove a tool change command or something. I don’t remember the specifics, but there was nothing much to it; and it is possible that the Shapeoko post has been updated and no longer needs the hack.

Been using it for a long time now on both machines with no trouble.

(Dan) #10

Hey @mpfreivald, thanks for that. Just to make things super clear, when you say you downloaded the post, do you mean the one off the Shapeoko Wiki, or do you mean the one now included with Vcarve as @fiero1 seemed to imply.


(ray) #11

I actually use an older version of v-carve pro version 5. It didn’t have a post processor for carbide, but I noticed the trial version I was drawing with did. I just saved the post process files from the trial version and put them in my older version v-carve pro software. Ray

(Matt Freivald) #12


I’m not 100% sure but I think the post I installed (and had to hack by removing the tool change line) came
from Vectric.

(ray) #13

So when you are done with an operation,where does your machine go with the removed tool change line? My un-hacked post from aspire finishes a run and goes to x,y zero and then to the back of the machine. From there I can do a tool change and load the next operation and press start or send it hime.

(Matt Freivald) #14

On the XXL the job finishes at the stock XY zero, with Z at the clearance height. From there it is easy to jog a bit, change tools, and re-zero Z, whatever machine control software I’m using. I usually use Carbide Motion for the Nomad and UGS for the XXL. I am pretty sure the Nomad moves the table all the way forward (max Y) when the job finishes, but I don’t know if that is a Motion thing or a Nomad thing.

Moving the spindle to the back of the machine (max Y) would be unhelpful on the XXL haha.

(ray) #15

I have the XXL it works well. Do you like UGS? Do you use a Z zeroing probe ? I’ve been thinking about trying it.

(Matt Freivald) #16


The main reason I fell into using UGS on the XXL is that it works really well with the Triquetra touch plate, which I use sometimes but not always. UGS also jogs very nicely using a wireless keypad (including quickly changing the jog step size). It isn’t unusual for me to type G90/G91 commands right into GRBL (most common is g90 g0x0y0) though. I’m one of those weirdos who actually likes the command line. I’ve actually done simple router-table like cuts (for example routing t-tracks into MDF) just by sending manual commands to GRBL. The point is, your mileage may vary.

That said, with both a Nomad and the XXL – and being the kind of hobbyist-guy where it isn’t uncommon for weeks to go by without working on anything related to CNC at all – the XXL is mainly for “rough and ready” big stuff, and Nomad is there for anything precise. Precise and big rarely go together, especially if the design itself makes sense. Nomad is precise and accurate without any fidgeting, Shapeoko not so much. XXL is a big sucker though and makes short work of large objects. I still have my first CNC - an original Othermill - which I use strictly for PCB’s, which it does straightforwardly and accurately (again without any futzing).

They are very complementary for me, though I’m sure folks with the time to put into futzing with it can get Nomad-like results, and great PCB’s for that matter, from Shapeoko. The common denominator of my setup is that I’m lazy, so when I have a project to do I like to get right to it with minimal tweaking.

(ray) #17

For the few pcb work that I do I use presensitized boards and the sun.

(Jim Amos) #18

PCB’ milling on Shapeoko was a snap w/PCB-GCode and Eagle…

I haven’t tried ultra precise board layouts, but I believe one could get satisfactory results for even 0.5mm pitch parts… YMMV. Now w/Copper in the mix hopefully Carbide will provide multi-tool job support for Shapeoko sooner vs. later? Maybe it’s already done? Maybe the touch plate is integrated into the new CM4 workflow?

One can wish…