Cutting mirror image of file

Hello all,

I am using this Shapeoko Deluxe for the first time. My local Middle School bought this machine and asked me if I could get it going.

I am used to VCarve Pro software and am feeling very limited with Carbide. I understand it’s free so I am not complaining at all.

I have made a simple picture to test the machine out and noticed it’s cutting a mirror image of what I drew. I didn’t notice this until it started V carving the letters. They are backwards but would look right if you held it up to a mirror.

Please help, I really want the school to succeed with this.



I’d say first see if the machine is set up correctly. With the machine in the (about ) middle of the table. Tell what direction does the machine move if you press the :

  1. -X (TO the Right OR to the Left)

  2. -Y (To the Front OR to the Back)

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To expand on what @RichCournoyer noted — if the machine is moving backwards to how it ought, you can reverse an axis in a couple of ways.

First, if it’s the Y-axis, the easiest thing to do is power down and swap the two Y-axis connectors on the controller.

For the X-axis, check and see if the wiring for the motor is the same as for others — if it’s not, then power down and make it match (this should entail either swapping the left/right pair of wires, swapping the wires in either the left or right pair, or reversing all four wires).

If that’s not the case, then you can swap it in software (hopefully that’s what someone already did and you’d be setting it back) — see

I draw with sketchup and save svg file in sketchup and on inporting the svg file I always get a mirrored file into the cam software, warning…I use Estlcam but whether the culprip is estlcam or sketchup is unknown to me. If you are using sketchup to draw with …you may get mirrored svg files on importing, I always “mirror” it back to original after inporting into Estlcam. No solutions but just advising that this does happen in sketchup and probably has nothing to do with the Shapeoko itself. The OP did not say what they draw or cam with…

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Thanks guys,

grumpa, I drew my picture with VCarve Pro. I wanted to see what this machine would be able to do. Maybe like you I need to mirror the imported file. Just not sure how to do that, Carbide Motion seems limited on user interface.

I am sure the machine is moving in the directions it’s supposed to.

Anyone know a good way for re-zeroing the Z axis only after changing a bit with Carbide Motion? It seems I can only zero all or none of the axis.


VCarve Desktop didn’t mirror image my part the one time I used it — check its manual?

There should be four buttons in CM for zeroing — one for each axis, and another for “Zero All”

Thank you I will do that.

I didn’t notice the mirror image until I started my V carve file and the text was backwards. Is there a way in CM to mirror image a file?

I cut a file using Carbide Create and it seemed correct, not mirrored. I just am having a hard time with the limitations of both Carbide create and Motion.

I use Mach 3 on my own machine and am used to be able to see a picture of what it’s cutting and to be able to speed up or slow down the feed manually while cutting.

cool… IMO, my mirrored svg imports are an acceptable glitch from Estlcam or just my inexperience but it has a mirror function in it so it’s no big deal. Drawing with Sketchup also has it’s inherent drawbacks but “FREE” compensates for them along with the fact that I’m used to them and don’t want another learning curve to contend with. I do think you are correct about backwards movement is different than mirrored projection. Good Luck, Jude

Sort of.

Set up the file so that it has its origin at the center. Jog / home as you normally would and get the cut completely set up, then use to flip the axis which you wish mirrored, then send the file, then put things back the way they were.

Alternately, use a previewing program:

to examine the code before sending, and if need be, use a utility tool:

to mirror image it.

Better to get it right in Vcarve to begin with — I suspect you have the up/down faces mixed up there.

Ok, so latest update. I made a drawing with Carbide Create and used Carbide Motion. VCarve letters are mirrored/backwards.

I see the GRBL link that was posted earlier but I am not sure which setting number I need to use to invert x and y axis.

The machine does move in the correct directions while jogging.

Are you sure X and / or Y aren’t mirrored?

Gantry machines (including Shapeoko) are usually labelled X for the axis along the gantry (left and right, with right being positive) — X moves just the carriage on the gantry.

Gantry machines (including Shapeoko) are usually labelled Y for across the gantry (toward and away from you, with away being positive) — Y moves the whole gantry.

I use Aspire for all of my Shapeoko 3 projects and none of them have come out mirrored.

Not to disparage the work that these guys have done with with the Create program in any way, but if you have VCarve Pro why even bother importing your files into Carbide Create? Just save your toolpaths out in the GRBL 0.8c (*.gcode) format.

Hi guys, thanks for the replies

I am using Carbide Create because this machine belongs to the Middle School here and they asked me if I would try and figure it out. The school cannot afford to buy a dozen seats of a CAM program so free software is what I need to work with. Since Carbide Create and Motion are typically used with Shapeoko I am trying to learn it to teach them.

I will look at my X and Y axis again just to make sure they are not reversed on the electrical connections.

Swap the y motor leads on th board and you should be all set. I know that from personal experience

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