Carbide Motion does not show cutter position

Using the Shapeoko has been a nightmare so far. After one year of owing the machine, I am getting close to give up. So many problems. First it was EMI and after a trial and error process for the 10 or so different recommendations from the support team I got a solution, Now the software is not helping. Carbide Create is so elementary that it is useless. Now Carbide Motion stop showing the cutter position. The cutter position indication freezes in the initial position and does not change when moving the cutter using the jog function. Please help me out.

Hi Miguel,

Wow, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a frustrating experience with the Shapeoko. I’m a pretty new Shapeoko user, so I’m probably not the best one to help, but I am curious about the issue your facing, so I thought I’d respond.

What version of Carbide Motion are you running?

Can you possibly post a screenshot of the problem you are experiencing? To be honest, I didn’t even know showing the cutter’s position was an option in CM, so I’m curious to go try it and see if I have a similar issue as you.

In regards to Carbide Create, I agree that it’s a bit limited, but I also think that is partly on purpose so that it is easy to use. C3D is a small company trying to do a lot, they’re never going to create the ultimate CAM software, it’s just not what they’re about (IMHO).

There are lots of other CAD/CAM toolchains to try out though, so you might want to check out the wiki ( for other good options. Personally, I have found both MeshCAM (in combination with Blender and/or SketchUp), and the Vectric programs to be excellent. I find Vectric’s VCarve to be very intuitive, and the video tutorials make learning the more advanced things much easier. Of course, neither MeshCAM or VCarve are cheap, but they are worth it (again, IMO).

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Sorry to hear you’ve had so many problems. I’m using VCarve Pro but started with Cut 2D. It’s not expensive to purchase, very easy to learn and may make your experience much less painful.
As far as Motion is concerned, you might try reloading it on the computer. Might be a quick fix.

For Carbide Create. It’s pretty surprising how capable it is despite its simplicity if one just adapts to working as it needs for one to work:

If there’s some specific task which you aren’t succeeding with, please let us know here, or at and we’ll gladly create a customized tutorial for you.

Also, remember that you can always draw things in a CAD program and import as a DXF, or in a vector drawing program (the free option is Inkscape: ) and import an SVG — at that point, the only limit to Carbide Create is your patience in assigning toolpaths. If that becomes too tedious, my suggestion would be to switch to 3D CAD and use a 3D CAM tool such as MeshCAM.

To look into the position information problem:

  • first please try standard computer troubleshooting options: reboot, check for updates, shutdown, restart — if that doesn’t help, unload and reload the software
  • open up Carbide Motion, open up MDI, open up the Log window and set it aside, go back to the main window, open up Job and then begin interacting as before — if you get the problem again, please make a screen capture which includes the Log window and the Job window — hopefully that will let us puzzle out what is happening.

I will note three further things:

  • we do have a native Spanish speaker who can help you out personally at in case that would be more comfortable (your English is way better than my one year and one week of high school French — but sometimes for technical things such as this, more direct is better)
  • there should be an update to Carbide Motion in the very near future, CM4 looks to have a lot work done on it to address such problems
  • if you wish, you could try one of the opensource comm / control programs such as bCNC or Universal G-code Sender
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First, I would like to apologize for my English. Second, I would also like to apologize for being honest and for not realizing that C3D is not a software company. With that in mind, now I understand that the main reason of my frustration is the software. I have nothing bad to say about the machine. The Shapeoko 3 is an excellent machine which shines on its own. The software is just the black shadow that follows it. I have tried all the things you recommended and the only thing left is to expend the money and got new software. Based on your experience, what kind of software you recommend?

Not sure which operating system you are using, I recommend Intelli-Gcode from software redefined. It’s easy to use and very functional.

Chilipeppr is also good, but has limitations since it is a browser based gcode sender.

Please, do not apologize for your English — as I noted, it’s quite good — the only reason I mentioned it was in the context of offering you the option to communicate in your mother tongue.

The community maintains lists of software:

Mostly I use opensource, OpenSCAD, Inkscape, MakerCAM, pyCAM. I’ve been learning MeshCAM, and every so often get tempted by Moment of Inspiration and Vectric Vcarve. I also use Macromedia Freehand, since I started w/ it back when it was Altsys Virtuoso.

Do yo mean the lines of code? Becasue it still shows this, but just in a different place on the screen.

What version of Carbide Motion are you using?

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Hi Rich,
This is what I meant:

When you move the cutter using the X, Y and Z commands, the position shown on the left should change. The cutter moves as it should but the software is not reflecting that movement.


If you change to another screen (like MDI) and then back to Jog, do the coordinates change?

It would seem to me to be a problem with the display driver more than Carbide Motion, if that is the case.

Another item you may want to check is your com port speed? Is it set to 115200 8-N-1?

The coordinates do not change when I change to another screen

How can I check the port speed?