2.5D vs 3D contours on the Shapeoko 3

I am a bit confused by the “What on earth does 2.5D mean?” lesson that I just read. I was planning to purchase the Shapeoko 3 XL in a few days, but now I am not sure that it will do what I need. I will be machining wood and I will need the ability to machine contoured surfaces with a ball nose end mill in my parts. I have a couple of high end CAD packages so making the model is a snap. Will I be able to create the CAM and make the cuts on the Shapeoko 3 XL?

Thanks,

Tom

Welcome Tom

Sure, take a look at the Gallery section of this board, you’ll see a ton of examples of what you’re looking for.

I carved this table apron, plus 5 others on my XL, as an example for you.

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The S3 wont create the CAM (toolpathing), you’ll need an intermediary piece of software to do that. If you’ve already got some high-end CAD packages, you probably have access to CAM packages as well (Fusion 360 is free, if you don’t). Carbide Create is Carbide3D’s CAD/CAM combo and can only do 2.5D toolpath generation.

Once you’ve got a toolpath generated (gcode)the S3 will run it all day long, within the bounds of physicality (can’t machine negative overhangs, for example)

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