Newbie wants to know.... is it me or Carbide Create?


(Jefferson Morris) #1

I am relatively new to the world of CNC and am unsure if my observations/complaints about CC are warranted. Am I crazy, or are these justified? :slight_smile:

UPDATES - The update process for CC is laughable. Why does EVERY UPDATE require re-registering (with your email address) before you can download?! Why not offer the ability to update from within the program as 99% of software does?

ALIGNMENT TOOLS - Why does the alignment button ONLY show up when you select multiple objects?!? If I want to align only one object, I have to select two objects, hit alignment tools, CTRL-Select the unwanted object, then align the one object. WHY CC does not allow this on one object is maddening.

NO TIME ESTIMATES - Most other CNC programs can estimate a job’s machine time. Why can’t CC? Is this not as important as I think it is?

POOR TOOLPATH OPTIMIZATION- CC does a very poor job of optimizing tool paths when applied to multiple objects. Anyone who has tried to create a simple waste board with holes can attest. Furthermore, CC does not offer the ability to copy/paste ‘toolpaths’ to additional objects.

NO TOOL PATH SIMULATION - I have to actually run the job to see how efficiently (or non-efficiently) the toolpaths were created.

NO APPS/TEMPLATES - Other CNC programs seem to offer basic apps/templates to create things such as puzzles, simple boxes, simple inlays, etc.

TAB KEY - When you use the tab key to advance to the next field (such as in document setup), the values in the field are not automatically selected so that simply typing will replace what is in the field. You must backspace to erase the value.

Also, I love the way Easel automatically highlights areas of your design that WILL NOT BE CUT based on the tool selected. This is a HUGE timesaver when trying to size your design to fit a specific bit.

Am I asking too much of CC? Thoughts?


(Julien Heyman) #2

…and yet despite all of this, somehow I love using it, and appreciate the fact that a small team came up with this and provides it for free. Fusion360 is the go-to solution to do all of this “better”, but the learning curve is not the same.


(Jefferson Morris) #3

Completely agree Julien… hope my post did not come across as too critical.


(William Adams) #4

Excellent feedback. Thanks! Some further notes:

  • Alignment — If you only have one thing selected, what would you align against? Making it possible to align to the stock area which I guess is what you want would require an additional interface element — Carbide Create seems to be striving for simplicity. FWIW, I achieve this by just always including a rectangle which matches the stock size and selecting it as well EDIT: and it turns out that there is such an interface element — one just can’t get to it unless one selects at least two things.

  • apps / templates — there is a library of design elements, and we did have two folks who worked up something of an interface (listed at: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Carbide_Create#Resources ):

I did mention the first at least to the team, and there was some discussion of the latter by @robgrz and I believe @edwardrford in that thread.

FWIW, I do things programmatically by doing up a parametric design in METAFONT (I’ll pair it with an OpenSCAD file which pulls in the parameters for a 3D rendering) which allows one to do pretty much anything one would like — hoping to finish up the folding bookshelf design I’ve been working on thus.


(Richard Cournoyer) #5

You may be new, but you hit it spot on. Some of the reasons (in my opinion), is that they also own and sell Mesh CAM and I think that they think that we’ll buy MeshCAM if we want a better CAM. And that has actually happened a few times.

I still love using it, because it is so fast to produce a tool path for about 75% of my work.

Here are a few work arounds from a long time user:

  1. UPDATES (Hint, but don’t tell anyone) Just type /download and you’ll be directed to the download page. Shhhh, our secret.

  2. ALIGNMENT TOOLS Keep the window sized to something simple (like 10" x 10") and let math be your alignment tool. (Center 5, 5) Complex geometry? Draw a simple square or circle, center that, and then center your complex geometry to the circle/square, etc

  3. ESTIMATES Record the time to run the program to 1%, then multiply by 99 and you have your estimate in minutes

  4. You haven’t talked about the GD .394" depth that loved to populate the depth in the tool path screen as default, even though you have entered (say) 0.25" thick material in the setup screen. Scrapped more work because of that stupid thing than for any other reason…

  5. TOOLPATH OPTIMIZATION It’s getting better…18 months ago it was WTF!

  6. Smile, remember it was free! Hint; Start to learn Fustion360 for a real powerful CAM…(or buy MeshCAM)

I could go on, but I just bit my tongue…


(Julien Heyman) #6

Not at all, I just wanted to share my experience i.e. that initially I felt just like you do, thought I would move to a different sw quickly, but realized after a while that it is just right for what I do (simple things), though it would definitely benefit from fixing a few things (some of which you mention)


(Jefferson Morris) #7

Thanks Will!

Yes, that is exactly it… trying to align one object to the stock. I would love to see the ‘alignment tools’ option appear even if only one object is selected. Often, after importing a design, I group it. Since CC sees the group as one object, I am unable to align it to stock. Not sure why it is assumed no one would ever want to align one object to stock. They could simply disable the radio option ‘align to last selection’ if only one object (or group) is selected.

Thanks for the ‘apps’… I hope these continue to grow. Would be great to see these integrated into CC in some fashion at some point. That would keep with the ‘simplify it for the non-professionals’ angle if that is the intent of Carbide 3D with their Carbide Create offering.


(William Adams) #8

If there is some specific thing which you wish to accomplish programmatically, let me know and I’ll do my best to work it up using METAPOST — I did post a parametric wrench a while back:

and need to revisit that at some point.


(Daniel Loughmiller) #9

Periodically we do posts like this and collectively come up with some good suggestions. Likewise periodically we get a burst of updates from C3D in succession which is nice.

Also psst you can bookmark the page with the actual download link to avoid the email step when updating. I do however look forward to a smoother update process.