Complete newbe basic question

I just started working with the Shapeoko 3 which we have at work but no one has used it for much since we got it. I got a few people to show me the basics.

I made a few minor things including a jig for this project that involves just putting drill hole in the same place. There will be about 20 pieces and each piece has 3 or 5 holes. The hole will be counter sunk for flat head screws. I tried to play with it a bit at work yesterday but it kept wanting to make circles not a plugging drill hole.

Question is how do I have it make the just a drill hole?

Thank you

Unfortunately, Grbl doesn’t have direct support for drill operations, nor does Carbide Create.

One can coerce Grbl to do drilling by using a CAM tool which will manually create the peck and drill commands for this — one such free tool for this is MakerCAM:

Please note that the endmill you use has to be center-cutting to drill, and that endmills aren’t as good at drilling as real drill bits are, so one must reduce the plunge / feed rate — a bit on that on the wiki:

Any deflection will result in an oval, rather than a circular hole — probably this is why the expectation is that one use a smaller endmill than the desired hole and cut it as a pocket.

Please request drill operations as a feature in Carbide Create — if enough people ask for it, hopefully it’ll get pushed up the priority stack and get implemented sooner. (or maybe not, due to the limitation noted above)

I was afraid of that. most all of the projects I have coming up require small precise screw holes. I will look in to the options you have given. maybe I can figure out a workaround.

Thank you

Another option is to manually write the G-code using the drill commands (which aren’t supported by Grbl) and then use a pre-processor to automagically convert them to the step-by-step commands which Grbl understands.

I believe that such a pre-processor was recently added to bCNC: — I think there are some listed at:

wow that looks like it will expand my knowledge of this program. I’ll let you know if I can get something to work

I’m fairly sure Fusion 360\HSM Express will handle peck drilling. I don’t use drilling operations that much but if memory serves I was able to do it without any issues. I think I use the generic grbl 9.0 post.

I believe V-Carve does peck drilling too, by the way.

sorry about taken so long to get back to you my PC was down for the day. I’m at home the router is at work but I played around in create and it looks like V-carve might just work and be the simplest. I’ll let you know what works when I get time to work on this project again.

Thank you

A fellow noob here. FWIW, not knowing any better, I’ve used my S3 to “drill” hundreds of very accurate holes in wooden multirotor frames. I had no idea it’s not supposed to “drill”. Of course it’s not truly drilling in the CNC sense but boring accomplishes the same thing: a nice, round hole in a project.

I use Fusion 360 for CAD and CAM.

Tried to upload a pic of one of my hole-rich projects but it didn’t wok. Will have to see what I’m doing wrong.

For now I have to work with what I have or free. being we are just starting to get into making parts on this it has not shown it’s benefit yet. I hope once I get things laid out and saving the company money then maybe they will let us get better software.


Kenny, Fusion 360 is free to “enthusiasts” and startups making less than $100,000. Killer software even if it is cloud based.