Carbide Spindle owners can you manually turn on

your Spindle without sending commands through the MDI window? Does controller have a “switch” that toggles to a manual mode?, and then you can control from the panel on the controller?


No. MDI is it.
You could create quick actions (macros) to turn the spindle on at preset speeds, and one to turn it off.

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MDI is a control that I am very familiar with in the big CNC machines in the machine shop I work. I use MDI to type in a command to the machine to do some actions. Most of the times I only use MDI to either tool change or to turn on the spindle. I have to speak in code to the machines to get them to understand what I want them to do for me. So, I type in M codes for direct function and G codes for processes.

Meaning, M codes have a specific single function for the machine to perform. For example: I would type in an M3 to tell the machine to turn on the spindle, but that’s not all. I also have to tell the spindle how fast to turn on the spindle by also typing in maybe an S400. Meaning that the M3 S400 tells the machine to turn on the spindle @ 400 rpm. By being able to manually turn on the spindle, or doing other functions, outside a project allows me to have manual control of the machine to move the spindle around for me to work on something manually. I still have to take into consideration the material, the tool size, manual feed rates, and depth of cut, as I push the tool across a cut.

I don’t know how to go into MDI mode yet on my Shapeoko 5 Pro, but I haven’t had a reason to go looking for it yet, but I will find the options on it and make sure I understand how to speak code to my mill for manual control.

Hope this helps you a bit.

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I have only figured out how to turn on my spindle manually by using MDI.

Sort of a pain, too, because when I want to jog the machine with my spindle on, it turns off after I adjust x or y axis. Meaning if I want to flatten a slab I have to create an entire tool path in vectric vs just controlling via jog in CM.

If anyone has found some workarounds on this I’d love to hear it.

That works (or at least worked) with the earlier models but not the 5.

@neilferreri I think posted a link to a web page to generate flattening paths quickly based on a few parameters. The post was fairly recent, but I can’t track it down right now. I thought I bookmarked it.


I found the link:

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Carbide should consider a manual override switch on the controller and thereby you could use the controllers panel to run the spindle independent from the Motion. It’s offered on other competitors equipment as a standard feature. No more a safety issue then turning on/off the trim router they already supply. Carbide if your listening offer it an optional service bulletin and watch how many spindle owners snatch them up.

maybe they could offer it but I feel like this may be an overestimation of how many people would want this “feature”. I have no particular desire for it. I got the spindle to control it from code, and it does that.

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Surfacing material is actually a lot easier then one thinks. To make a program for it, all you have to do is draw a square larger then your material enough for total cleanup. Then create a pocket toolpath inside the square. The program will create the toolpaths for you and then you make sure to click on ramping so you don’t plug directly into the material. Also pick the tool depth to maybe .02 or .03 depending on how badly it is out of flat.

If you need more taken off after the run, just adjust depth of cut and run again. I have created, what I call, a dummy program. This program is only for surfacing material when needed. I can run the program by itself now as one of my standard programs. All I have to do is go into the program, adjust the size of the square relative to my material and save.

Yes, but a lot of people prefer a raster style rather than the default concentric rings of a pocket toolpath.

I wasn’t the OP, I usually draw my own raster path for the bit to follow. However my design computer is upstairs from the CNC and CM so that’s a pain. I may try the page from @neilferreri next time to save a trip upstairs.

Lemme know how it goes. I originally created that as a solution for times where climb vs conventional paths or grain direction make a difference in finish surface. You can choose different options for single or both direction.

It’s a web page front end so it should work from my Pi?

It’s all self contained. You could download the single html and run it locally.


The controllers look like they’re all sourced from the same manufacturer. It’s likely an option on the board that just needs a wire and switch connected to it.

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