Carbide Create vs Carbide Motion vs Meshcam

Complete and Utter Noob here - Recv my machine but have not had a chance to put it together so if I get a reply of " go build it and play with it first!" I’m ok with that answer :slight_smile: But here goes. From what I understand - Create is used to create your project and generate gcode. Motion then takes the gcode and sends it to the machine. If I wanted to use something like Meshcam or VCarve - those programs would replace Carbide Create (I.e. - I design my project in Meshcam or VCarve) and then export to gcode and still use Motion to bring up gcode and send to Shapeoko controller. Correct? I am looking to do basic stuff like signs, some parts (tool holders as an example) for my workshop, small boxes. would also like to import images/photo’s (been looking at the various means of doing that) and create carvings of those.

  1. How suited to those types of applications is Carbide Create and what is it’s ease of use/learning curve to Meshcam and/or VCarve.
  2. In terms of Meshcam and/or VCarve - Meshcam has their normal version and a Pro version. VCarve has desktop and pro. If you had to recommend one of those two - which one and why (or why not)
  3. Suggestions on any other alternatives?

Any feedback is appreciated up to and including - come back when you’ve done some actual work! :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

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You are correct … Carbide Motion is the gcode sender only. The rest you use to design your carving.

Strongly recommend you use Carbide Create until you outgrow it… It will do just about all you need in a pretty simple manner. You will make a much better decision at that point when you choose to spend money for other CNC design tools that you mention.


Thanks - This is the kind of feedback I am looking for. I’ve been involved in a lot of forums over the years (IT related, cars, wood working) but I will have to say this one is by far the best community I’ve seen… Thanks again.