Carbide Create Construction Tabs?

I have made my first cuts with my SO3 and also have Carbide Create. Something I can’t seem to figure out is how to make tabs within the software. I feel this feature would be instrumental to the success of the software. Until it is added is there a way to do so within the software? I have tried maker cam and to no avail can i get the file to save on my mac for some odd reason.


The Beta I last investigated did not have support for tabs. I understand that this feature is coming.


Have you tried putting the tabs onto your drawing, and restricting the cutting area so that the tabs aren’t cut off? If that doesn’t work, and you really need tabs so your work doesn’t get cut off and fly all over the place, you might look into 3rd-party programs that support tabs, like SheetCAM, for example.

Andrew Werby

The Vectric products - Cut2D and VCarvePro have excellent tab support. There is an SO3 post processor available.

I understand a new Carbide Create release is coming real soon now. It may have added the missing construction tabs. We shall see…


I am able to do so in AI but it is a hassle… when most cad/cam software has this function. Also I’ve had a lot of fun with Carbide Create, as a beginner.

I’m super new to CAD/CAM design so pardon if this is actually easy and I’m just not grasping…

I’m wondering how you would do this manually… I’m going to try it but wanted to verify as I dont yet completely understand how gcode and CC works…

I could potentially see it going one of two ways; although logically the 1st one wont work but wishful thinking…

  1. If I have a square that I outside cut using a .25" endmill all the way to stock bottom and add tabs that are .25 wide that I only cut to .1 off of the stock bottom around that same outline…

  2. Create your tool paths in a way that you cut to stock bottom for a length, stop then cut to tab top, continue cutting to stock bottom, rinse and repeat for the entire outside of your project…

Ugh, any news on how long until this is added to the software? My Googling has not turned up much…


Ugh, any news on how long until this is added to the software?

Based on the recent emailing/posting of C3D status, we’re expecting a Carbide Create updated any day now. It is unknown if construction tabs have been added - but they were one of the highest priority requested features.

@edwardrford - any news on a release date yet? :sweat_smile:

If I have a square that I outside cut using a .25" endmill all the way to stock bottom and add tabs that are .25 wide that I only cut to .1 off of the stock bottom around that same outline…

One wants the maximum support of the piece to the stock to ensure the best/accurate/precise outcome:

  1. Cut all around but only down to 0.1".

    This leaves plenty of material to continue the support while doing the major operation.

  2. Now cut out - down to the bottom - everywhere except where the tabs should stay.

    Now you’re done.

In SharpCAM, a CAM package, one does essentially what I just described. Step two is done by extracting the outside contour, marking where the tabs should go, and machining all around - to the bottom - and skipping the tabs.


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The latest CC dropped and, alas, there are still no construction tabs.

Let’s hope they get added for the next drop.


Any news on tabs yet? Would be so useful.

I posted a topic “I made tabs” in the “how to” forum. It includes a feature request for design elements to be included in the “library”. Please check it out

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I am suprised to see no tabs as well. I do not have as much experience with CAD but I can work my way around Sketchup for enough to get started. I see Easel has tabs but I cannot import Sketchup files into easel… Does anyone have a work around they would suggest for me? Havent even done my first job on the Shapeoko because of all these nuances of this software does this while the other does not.

For CAM from SketchUp, I’d suggest considering:

More discussion at:

Tabs would be nice, but I just onion skin everything and I find that works great. In CC, just make the thickness of your material about 3-5 thou less than it really is. Your through cuts will stop short, leaving a very thin layer of material. This holds really well and is easy to remove with a utility knife. I use a deburring tool to knock off the edge.

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I would do that but as of right now I can’t even trust it’s accuracy. I bolted on a 2’ x 2’ MDF board and trammed it down assuming that would be the final thing I needed and then put in the job for the threaded inserts with the wider shallow holes so they fit in flush and the center most holes didn’t go as deep. And since I’m working with sheet metal that’s .04" thick and I’m a noob I’m going to try to find an HDPE alternative waste board per another’s suggestion.

One concern here is that HDPE has a low melting point — if you’re working with metals and you make an error in your feeds and speeds, you could have a real mess on your hands.

I don’t have as much time to look into it but a quick peek into HDPE and I did indeed see it was plastic. I had it in my mind that it was basically MDF but the High-Density version. When I googled HDF nothing came up which made me realize I was looking into the wrong thing.

When at Home Depot browsing most the plywoods were warped in one way or another so that wasn’t going to work but their Sande Plywood was triple sanded, and described as “stable and flat”. In person, they were definitely a hard and smooth surface. What do you think about using that as a waste board for sheet metal cutting?

And the other idea I had was simply, spend the extra few bucks for that Sande Plywood to get a really tough base layer waste board, square the crap out of the whole machine until it is reasonably perfect, then drill a few threaded inserts into it and bolt on a 2’ x 2’ MDF sheet that I won’t feel bad destroying over time and can be easily replaced and/or trammed down. Regardless the process is time consuming and I really dont want to do it without the confidence it will work.

I’d be inclined to use MDF before plywood — if you seal MDF w/ thinned wood glue and/or spar urethane it doesn’t move much at all — my experience is distorted somewhat since I keep my machine in a basement, but haul it outside to cut.

Didn’t someone seal their bed using a poured bar top finish?

Best of course is a metal bed — aluminum, even extrusion seems reasonable.

Any word on when tabs coming in to Carbide Create. I am resorting to using Easel because it does have the tab functionality. One more for tabs in CC.

I use MDF, and it works great on my SO3. You’re most likely problem is actually setting Z-Zero accurately. If you get that right, and you’ve already surfaced the wasteboard, the onion skin trick works ok. The critical part is getting Z zero set properly - a couple thousandths off on sheet metal and it’s a mess.

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