Feedback: Nomad after a few months - okay, could be great

I managed to find the recommended lubricant on Amazon UK, but boy was it expensive (£18 per tube).

It lasts a long time, though. I’m happy to buy you a tube and post it to Schweiz if you think your machine needs a little lubrication.

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Thats a pretty good writeup! First things first - edge finding. I know Carbide3d used to sell a 1/4” shank wiggler edge finder that ran on the Nomad but couldn’t find it on their shop after looking (admittedly briefly). The one you want is made by Fisher Tools and is sold in various places:

For precision Z zeroing using a feeler gauge in the same way as the paper and then adjusting the zero to take into account the thickness of the guage works more accurately for me. One can do the same procedure with measuring the paper thickness but I find it varies more.

I too have dreams of Haimer style indicating but the big restriction tends to be (a) the shaft size and (b) the available Z height is insufficient to fit one in and clear the height of most material I use. If one was made it would have to specifically made for minimum height. One day I may get to it.


Wait a minute, am I hearing a product request for the Nomad??! I’m on it! :cowboy_hat_face:


I use a touch probe from on my Shapeoko, It has a 6mm shaft. I have their WL model (Wireless with replaceable battery), but looks like they only offer their rechargeable (WLR) and wired (PR) version now. I would just make sure you have enough Z travel for clearance.


PS, those Edge Finders should be operated at relatively low RPM (~1000), the Nomad is only spec’d as low as 2K RPM.


@Gerry thanks a lot for the offer! I’ll wait to see if I can hear back from the German distributor though. It also occurred to me that although it makes no sense to ship it here from the US on its own, I could ship it with a larger package, as long as it’s fine to airmail.

@WillAdams I found an Irish distributor that will ship to me for a not-too-insane price but they don’t stock the precise variant of lubricant that was linked, rather they sell “synthetic lubricant” in a spray can or “synthetic grease” in a tube. Will any of these products work?

I also found a Polish distributor that appears to have the precise variant linked but they wanted to charge ~$70 USD for shipping to Switzerland.

@PhilG Are you sure that the linked edge finder is the same variant, that’s safe to be run at 1500rpm?

On the zeroing, I’ll try the feeler-gauge. I ran into the same problems looking at more advanced indicators but the sensor I linked should only stick out 70mm total. I think we could get around it a bit as well with a precisely-machined holder that can go on the Z-axis carriage. This way you’d give up a bit of range on the Y-axis. @TonyDangerCoiro also pointed me to the C8-ER16A-100L, which gives me a larger collet so more flexibility with diameters. It was $8 on AliExpress.

@DanStory thanks for the link, that looks great! It should fit in the standard collet, only sticks out 63mm and it’s cheaper than the one I was looking at as well.

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The grease form is what we use to pack the bearings with in the first place.

Please contact us at and we’ll do our best to work through this with you.

The Wired version is a little shorter at 52mm but the interface is limited on configuration. You will also mostly likely have to split the single probe input a Grbl (Carbide Motion Board) can support, much like they have to do with the Shapeoko BitSetter+Probe.

While the WLR probe supports a tool setter input to join the signals as one (either probe will trip the input) it expects it to be a Normally Closed (NC) tool setter circuit, which I doubt the Nomad uses for it’s tool setter (coming from Shapeoko’s experience). They also offer a converter that you might have to use to convert a NO to NC switch, or if you have the electrics wizardry to do yourself.

Also, third party accessories like these are not going to be supported in Carbide Motion, I don’t know what probing cycles Motion has on the Nomad, but it is going to need to know the tip diameter so you will either have use the MDI and/or manually adjust the DRO when you probe. Alternatively you could use a different g-code sender like CNCjs or Universal G-Code Sender but have to configure and script tool changing and probing operations (might be some sources out there to ease this upfront effort)


Not to take this off the rails but deep in the GRBL code reference, it explains how you can do on the fly XYZ work coordinate offsets via probing cycles. This is definitely getting in the weeds even for an adventurous user but here’s the sample code for reference:

N010 (probe to find center and diameter of circular hole)
N020 (This program will not run as given here. You have to)
N030 (insert numbers in place of .)
N040 (Delete lines N020, N030, and N040 when you do that.)
N050 G0 Z F
N060 #1001=
N070 #1002=
N080 #1003=
N090 #1004=
N100 #1005=[/2.0 - #1004]
N110 G0 X#1001 Y#1002 (move above nominal hole center)
N120 G0 Z#1003 (move into hole - to be cautious, substitute G1 for G0 here)
N130 G38.2 X[#1001 + #1005] (probe +X side of hole)
N140 #1011=#5061 (save results)
N150 G0 X#1001 Y#1002 (back to center of hole)
N160 G38.2 X[#1001 - #1005] (probe -X side of hole)
N170 #1021=[[#1011 + #5061] / 2.0] (find pretty good X-value of hole center)
N180 G0 X#1021 Y#1002 (back to center of hole)
N190 G38.2 Y[#1002 + #1005] (probe +Y side of hole)
N200 #1012=#5062 (save results)
N210 G0 X#1021 Y#1002 (back to center of hole)
N220 G38.2 Y[#1002 - #1005] (probe -Y side of hole)
N230 #1022=[[#1012 + #5062] / 2.0] (find very good Y-value of hole center)
N240 #1014=[#1012 - #5062 + [2 * #1004]] (find hole diameter in Y-direction)
N250 G0 X#1021 Y#1022 (back to center of hole)
N260 G38.2 X[#1021 + #1005] (probe +X side of hole)
N270 #1031=#5061 (save results)
N280 G0 X#1021 Y#1022 (back to center of hole)
N290 G38.2 X[#1021 - #1005] (probe -X side of hole)
N300 #1041=[[#1031 + #5061] / 2.0] (find very good X-value of hole center)
N310 #1024=[#1031 - #5061 + [2 * #1004]] (find hole diameter in X-direction)
N320 #1034=[[#1014 + #1024] / 2.0] (find average hole diameter)
N330 #1035=[#1024 - #1014] (find difference in hole diameters)
N340 G0 X#1041 Y#1022 (back to center of hole)
N350 M2 (that’s all, folks)
Table 6. Code to Probe Hol


Went back and checked where I specifically got mine - it was here:

They are rated to 1500 RPM which was a factor in choosing that particular model.

@DanStory - Carbide Motion I believe indicates 1500 RPM while jogging though I know there has been discussion in the past about Nomad 883 and possibly (can’t recall) Nomad 883 pro being limited to 2k RPM spindle speed. Unclear if that is a torque/cutting floor RPM or a “can’t rotate” floor RPM. Can’t recall if anyone has actually measured. For what its worth, 2 years of service with this edge finder and no rapid disassembly so far.

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I’m due to take delivery of my Nomad this week, I’m pretty excited but also concerned about the noise after reading this. This is going in a relatively quiet manufacturing environment, so it could be a problem if its annoying the other workers. I suspect we will be mostly doing plastics and circuit board materials.

Keep in mind that I’m talking about metal. I haven’t cut anything other than metal since the starter project, when I cut the gummy material sandwiched between two sheets ot Aluminium.

Plastics and PCBs might be quieter, I expect they will since they’re softer. Worst case, you can build an enclosure like I did. In the enclosure it should definitely be quiet enough for a quiet manufacturing environment.


Lucas jumped straight on to one of the noisiest things to cut because he lives only for excitement and adventure (assumption).

I find the noise level varies greatly by material, speed, depth of cut and type of endmill and flutes… It varies by volume but also by pitch, which can sometimes be more annoying than volume. Often, using CM’s rate adjustment to change the rate by ±10% can sometimes turn a whine into a tolerable hum.

The type of noise varies too. There are variable frequency tones when the axis are moving, and varying-pitch high frequency sounds when its cutting.

For wood and softer materials, with conservative speeds and depths of cuts, I find it’s fine to be in the same room as the Nomad. Under these circumstances it is indeed far less noisy than the vacuum I use to clear the chips. Though, my vacuum is very, very loud… so, relativity in all things, eh?


Forgot to mention previously, but when cutting aluminium I’ve found a little spray of WD40+PTFE knocks off a lot of the higher frequency sounds. Regular WD40 works too but I think it has a different phase equilibrium and evaporates quicker.


Pretty safe assumption. Part of the reason I bought the Nomad was also because I’d seen videos of it cutting steel :slight_smile:

When you do this, do you just spray once before cutting or do you spray a few times throughout the job?

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A few times throughout the job. If it’s a pocket then the fluid sits in it and you don’t need to spray as much.

If you use a lot, it will affect the way the chips disperse. They will form a sort of a loose amalgam, but as yet I’ve never had that clog a job or anything like that.

I don’t have any of the upper end fancy coated endmills - perhaps they also affect the noise?

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@Lucas: I may have missed it in the discussion above, but what CAM are you using to generate toolpaths? When milling aluminium, adaptive clearing toolpaths go a long way to control how quiet/loud you want things to be (i.e. if MRR/cutting time is not a concern, choosing a conservative optimal load will produce a cut that can be moderately quiet, it’s almost an enjoyable sound when it’s set just right and it purrs along nicely :slight_smile: )

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@Gerry thanks, good to know! I’ll try it out and see how it goes. If it works well I might have to invest in a small FogBuster or something.

I have the fancy ZrN endmills and they definitely make a difference. The Aluminium chips don’t stick to them, like at all.

@Julien I’m using Fusion 360 and generally use adaptive toolpaths. I use Winston’s settings from here, though I play with the feed rate override in Carbide Motion to get it removing as much material as possible without making ugly noises.

I’ve tried using less aggressive settings but I can’t get the machine anything like quiet enough that I can use it without its enclosure. Do you have any suggestions for quiet adaptive feeds and speeds?

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disclaimer: I’m a Shapeoko guy, I don’t even have a Nomad (yet), and my workshop is my garage, so chances are my definition of “moderately quiet” is not the same as yours. I checked the settings from that video, went back to check which ones I used in a couple of my projects (like this one), and I happened to use the exact same 0.012" stepover (~10%D), which is already conservative. You could try and reduce it further (say half), but then you would have to increase your feedrate to maintain the same chipload.

Your settings are

I would maybe try 0.006" optimal load, 47ipm:


My machine is not available right now or I would have tried and measured noise level in both cases, but that last case would shave off so little material at each pass that I imagine it should be quieter.

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Thanks! I’ll give it a go.

Of course you are :grin: