Carbide Motion 2 Beta


The MeshCAM/Carbide Motion requirements are at

I think that the 4GB RAM is mainly for MeshCAM, which can consume a ton of memory. I’m running Carbide Motion on a used Dell Latitude E4200 running Win7 Pro that I bought just for the Nomad. It only has 2GB memory and runs CM fine. It’s a 1.6GHz Intel Core2 Duo. The largest nc file I’ve loaded into CM is about 694k lines. Not run it yet for other reasons.

How does one go about updating the firmware to allow one to use other controller software?

I seriously doubt that would be possible. AFAIK the motion control is built into the Nomad controller board, and Carbide Motion is just sending high-level commands. But I could be all wrong.

Believe me, this weekend I was wishing for a step-and-direction input so I could control the Nomad through Mach3. I used CNCPro and TurboCNC in DOS for 8 years on my Sherline mill and lathe, and then my Tormach mill with Mach3 under WinXP for the last 8+ years, and this little Nomad scares me more than either. And I accidentally rapided a spinning face mill into the Tormach vise over the weekend. 1.5HP spindle and carbide inserts make big sparks…

But I’m at the bottom of the learning curve on the Nomad looking uphill right now. I’m thinking “this is scary fast” :fearful: but in a couple weeks I know I’ll be thinking “this is crazy fast!” :thumbsup:

Thanks. Hadn’t seen that.

Carbide Motion is “just” Grbl running on a custom board, w/ a custom header string to identify it and some specific compile-time settings — while it should be possible to just compile and install a fresh copy of Grbl, that’s a nuisance to do, and after wrestling w/ the trackpad on that Compaq 8510W, I’m just not in the mood for such.

It would be great if they could add the updated .hex file for the SO3 here: or in some similar place.

I moved a post to a new topic: Shapeoko 3 Beta issue with Jogging

Rob, I was having some trouble zeroing and such in universal gcode sender and was wondering if it had anything to do with moving offset management off the board (not sure if that was a statement aimed at Nomad users or if the Shapeoko boards were configured the same way.

Hi there Winston,

Because the Nomad and the Shapeoko3 share the same software and controller board setup, it is as you’re observing, there’s a bit of ballet between the GRBL board and Carbide Motion.

Is there a reason you’re not using Carbide or some functionality that you need that it doesn’t have at the moment?


For the most part, Carbide is a satisfactory program for sending gcode. It’s cleanly designed which is both good and bad, I’d like to see a couple more metrics thrown into the UI, like which line of code you’re at in the program, program run time, total run time, etc. Return to zero button would also be helpful since no methods of jogging in custom increments is provided.

Also curious as to what sorts of custom softwares can/will eventually arise for controlling the S3 (ex: how the S2 has a bunch of people who are doing PCB leveling/surface generation via Chiipeppr)

Those UI metrics are good suggestions that you’re in good company making (as you’ve seen in the “feature request” thread) :relaxed:

As for support for custom software packages that can/will arise, that’s a good question as to perhaps a “Carbide Motion API” or more direct way to work with the Grbl controller for those use-cases.

Just now I tried to start Carbide Motion, version 1.0.266.
There was supposedly a link to a new version (update available).
But the link brings up an error at

Try instead :smile:

We may have had a server outage or something, but I just checked the link and downloads are available currently.


When was Carbide Motion V2 released? Are there release notes? Is carbide motion still in Beta or is it finalized?

@3dsteve I’ve been using it since… March? Possibly earlier. I don’t think there are substantial release notes beyond Rob’s comments in this thread. He’s currently tied up with some major “under the hood” changes for the next set of updates, but I’d say it’s safe to say it’s stable enough and good to go :relaxed:

I’ve put what I’ve been able to find here:

I was able to download and install the latest version of Carbide Motion yesterday.
I hope to have a chance to try it this weekend.

Using Version I have noticed that for every tool change it indicates the correct tool that I defined in MeshCam but that the actual tool definition always says ‘1/8" Square…’.

I’m not sure if this is a failure with MeshCam or with CM2 but wanted to bring it up if anyone else has noticed this (seems that it’s not a functional bug rather display only as the toolpath itself is still fine per the cutting).

I wish you were able to put a lot more description on the tool presets

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I jut posted a new beta for Windows at:


​I added a software rendering option that may fix the rendering problems that people have had.

I was in a rush to get this out for testing that problem so these are also in there but untested:

  • No homing cycle on a Shapeoko when the program is cancelled
  • Table forward on Nomad on an M30
  • Spindle on/off command in jogging in Nomad
  • Optional homing after tool change
  • Recognizes new tool numbers: 201, 202, 121, 122
  • Updated installer to overwrite QT libs on each install to make sure uninstalls are not required before updates.

Those may or may not work reliably at this point but you can try them. I’m very interested to hear if the rendering problems or blank windows go away.


Cool Rob!. Any idea of when updates might be coming to the Apple OSX version?.

Probably a couple of days. We just need to get feedback on the Windows change and test the other features.


The latest beta fixes the OpenGL problem I was having on the Dell notebook!

I haven’t tested any of the other new features.


Thanks Samuel- that’s good to know.