Does my Nomad 3 sound normal?

Hi everybody,

my Nomad 3 is pretty new (~ 1 month old) and so far I have only done some soft wood/PCB scratch milling projects (probably less than 5hrs in total). The CNC works really nice and produces awesome results.

However, as I haven’t owned a CNC before, I do not know which sounds are normal for a CNC and which indicate that something’s off. In general I would say that the sound of my CNC is rather high pitched (I get the same sound no matter whether I do PCB scratch milling or milling some soft wood).

The machine currently stands on the kitchen countertop - which I guess could maybe affect the sound a bit?

I’ve uploaded a video here (Nomad 3 Sound - YouTube) and would really appreciate your opinion.

Many thanks!

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Hi Bernhard,

I’ve had mine for a couple of months and it sounds exactly the same as on the video you posted to Youtube.

Fab machine isn’t it :slight_smile:


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Hi Gunter,

thanks a lot for the quick reply!

I am not sure if I understand correctly. Does that mean something’s off with my machine or am I good?
Did you do change anything on your machine or does it still sound the same?


I don’t hear anything out of the ordinary. I assume you’re concerned with the sound when it reaches a corner and changes direction.

Hi Bernhard,

It sounds completely normal to me and I haven’t changed anything on my machine.


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Thanks a lot for your replies @gunter511 & @Steve.Mc - very much appreciated!

I did a bit more testing today and noticed that the machine starts to squeak when I move the tool head on the x-axis to the middle (the first third of the rail is fine, but as soon as I hit the middle it starts to squeak). It isn’t that noticeable when the machine does some milling, but I can definitely hear it while jogging.

The documentation mentions that X- and Y- rails need to be lubricated after ~50hrs. Could it maybe be that my rails need to be lubricated sooner?


Yep. Sounds like it.

Thanks for your reply! I tried to lube the x-axis but unfortunately it didn’t change much.

The strange thing however is, that it only squeaks in one direction. If I move the tool from the left to the right, everything is fine. But if I move the tool from the right to the left, it starts to squeak (roughly) in the middle of the axis.

Here’s another video: Nomad 3 squeaking - YouTube

Does anyone know what that could be? I used the recommended lube, applied a bit on the axis and moved the tool a few times from the left to the right and back. But unfortunately that didn’t change anything.


Please write in to us at — if lubricating the rails won’t address this, may need to arrange to have your bearings repacked.

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I contacted support - hope it can be resolved! :crossed_fingers:

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

Many thanks to @WillAdams for re-opening!

I want to give a short update (for anyone who has the same problem and finds this thread through search and wonders if the problems were resolved):

As already mentioned above, I’ve contacted support and told them about my squeaking Nomad 3. They asked me a bunch of questions and gave me some instructions (clean + lubricate rails). But as I’ve already done that a bunch of times without any success, they told me to send in the machine for repair. Last week, about a month later (just want to emphasize that this is not Carbide 3D’s fault - I live in Europe, so shipping takes pretty long) I got my machine back.

I am not totally sure, but I am fairly certain that they sent me a complete new machine (I guess repairing my machine would have probably taken a bit longer, so I guess they decided to send a new one to speed things up (it probably also helped that my machine was only used for a couple of hours of light milling). But nevertheless, very much appreciated from my side to send me a fast replacement instead of letting me wait a few weeks!).

Unfortunately, the new machine makes the exact same squeaking noises as the last one. The high pitched noise begins in the middle of the X rail and the noise gets louder and louder the more I jog the tool to the left. This again only occurs when I jog from “right to left” and not from “left to right”.

Out of desperation I also tried a bunch of things (which most probably won’t make any difference):

  • replaced the USB cable with a different one
  • used a different power outlet
  • moved the machine to a different location (my workbench is really stable, but just to rule that out, I temporarily put it onto the floor for testing)

I also tried to lubricate the X rail. But unfortunately nothing of the above changes anything.

I contacted support again last week - I’ll update the thread when I get a response.

Unfortunately, Fedex also damaged one corner of the shipping box pretty severely. So if support tells me to send the machine back again, I am not sure if I can use the box again (maybe I can patch up the box with a bunch of duct tape) or if I need a new shipping box - which then probably takes longer than a month until I get the machine back.

I know that shit can happen and I don’t want to blame Carbide 3D (I am sure they are doing their best in those post-covid and supply chain shortage times), but I have to admit that I am also a bit frustrated/disappointed at this point. I mainly bought the machine to tinker a bit in my workshop, but also to help my buddy (who runs a local hackerspace) to evaluate the machine for his place. He wants to buy a few new desktop machines soon and only heard good things about the Nomad 3 - so he gave me the recommendations to have a look at this machine for my workshop. I still think it is a good machine, but the machine and I, we definitely have a rough start. Hope it gets better soon.


Other than the noise, is there any other problem with the machine?

Mine is really noisy (a Nomad 883 Pro) and makes horrid noises - I put it in a box to shut it up - but has worked (ie: made things) perfectly for two years without issue.

Is it possible you have a perfectly normal machine that just happens to make a noise you don’t like or understand?

Thanks for your reply!

I haven’t milled anything with the new machine yet. Just moved the tool a bunch of times from the left to the right and back. Apart from the noise, the last machine was woking fine (i.e the things I’ve milled with it looked good). But I’ve noticed that the noise got louder and louder the more I milled with it.

I am a software developer/electronics guy, so I do not have that much experience with machining. During my education (~10 years ago) I worked about a year on a lathe and a mill and the sound the machine makes reminds of the times I didn’t use use enough cooling fluid/wanted to take away too much material at once.

I definitely expect the machine to make some noise while milling, but right now I just jog the tool from left to right and it already squeaks annoyingly loud.

FWIW: My buddy (who has some experience with CNC machines) also told me, that this doesn’t sound nice.

edit: I tried to record another video with a better sound quality than the videos above, but unfortunately my smartphone is quite good at filtering those high pitched noises, so it sounds nicer on a recording than it actually sounds.

edit #2: another strange thing is, that it only squeaks when I move the tool from right to left. The other direction is perfectly fine. And the first few centimeters from right to left also sound perfectly fine, then it starts “screaming” and gets louder and louder.

There is a spring-loaded nut (anti-backlash) that keeps the bearing in constant pressure on the drive screw, so that when you change direction the spindle doesn’t remain motionless until the other side of the screw engages. This could be why things sound different when going right-to-left rather than left-to-right.

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I’ve tried to use a different recording app on my smartphone. This time it is audio only. Unfortunately I am not allowed to upload wav files, so I’ve put the two wav files in a zip. (770.4 KB)

The screaming noise that you can hear roughly in the middle of “right-to-left.wav” gets louder over time. After I’ve freshly lubricated the rail it was better, but a few times back and forth and it got louder and louder.

Ouch! I can see (hear) why you are concerned. A very unpleasant sound.

That sounds quite familiar to mine except for the second youtube link.
I removed some of the noise from the X screw by packing some grease into the end bushing of the X lead-screw. The hole is a bit oversized so it clacks and grinds a bit. But that screaming was horrid…
I also have a strange squeak that builds up but it sounds like something wet dragging on rubber.

Yeah… perhaps there’s a sizing or tolerance issue on some of the bearings?

I have some mild grooves on my horizontal bars from the bearings (my machine is two years old though), but this fellow has pits on his Nomad 3 that look quite different - harsh even - even after replacing the whole machine: