First post. Newbie questions

Greetings. I am a hobbyist and have just ordered (but not received) a Shapeoko Pro XXL. I have two questions to start off my endless list of them:

  1. I plan to build my own stand for the machine and would like to get started before it arrives. What table top dimensions have worked for you?
  2. I am looking at the confusing array of CAD software options out there. I would like software that can create a 3d portrait from a scanned 2d image. I would also like it to be able to arrange pieces from a project (e.g. a jewelry box) flat for cutout and to maximize material use.

Can Carbide Create Pro do these things? If not, are there other software options that do? What do you all use for your CAD needs?

Thank you!

Dimensions are on the web site at

  • Footprint: 50" (X), 42" (Y), 19" (Z)

Hope this helps. This is what I used to prebuild mine.

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foot print question…The dims on my table top are actually square ith the foot print of the machine, however, I have an extra two feet on each side so that i can slide bigger pieces over if needed when carving.

@Carl - will you be enclosing the cnc? If so, you need to leave a bigger footprint because the walls need to attach (mine is 52” x 49” and I wish I was an extra 1 or 2 inches wider. Note that when the sweepy is attached to the router the unit will go beyond the footprint and hit the front glass doors if the unit is not deep enough.

My suggestion is to troll the pages on this forum and look for the table/enclosure style you like best, then post a link and ask for the measurements, source, etc

On another note - there is a great how to guide in torsion table tops - the pdf file is available on this link Torsion box ( long winded) - #2 by gdon_2003

One key: when the majority of people built/made tables lumber was at reasonable prices. Right now, sheet goods are crazy expensive. It might make economical sense buying two standard tables and hooking them together

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I was at lowes yesterday and I looked at 4x8 3/4" maple plywood and it was $90.00. Two years ago it was $45.00 a sheet. Even though plywood is quite high I am not convinced that buying pre built tables is necessarily a good answer. The inflation we are experiencing is driving up the price of a lot of utility type things like benches and so on.

Even though the price of raw material is more now than in the past the satisfaction of making your own solutions is priceless. I am very proud of my shop and practically every thing in it has my hand print on it. I did not make the machines but everything they sit on and are serviced with has my imprint on it.

Even with the extra price of material I still think you can make your own shop equipment that is cheaper and certainly customized to what you want/need.

I will admit that buying some wood working jigs are faster and maybe just as cheap as making it but it will never have the personalization or the satisfaction of making your own.


@Carl I made my Table 58" wide and 49" deep. MDF comes 49" wide. 48 " will work. Just remember if you have dust collection it sits in front of the router normally and the Bit Setter sits in front of the waste board so you have to consider all that. @Intohouse mentioned he would have liked wider. I agree. mine is 58 " to allow for the sidewalls of the upper enclosure, ability to do maintenance on the machine and get to the wiring.

As for 3D relief carving. that is more in the advance area IMHO. That’s OK however I suggest you start with some 2d projects when you get your machine, learn the machine and the work flow. what is 2.5D and what is 3D they are different, When you get into 3D you are normally into the pro versions. However there are free ones out there. IE Fusion 360. Carbide Motion and Carbide Create are a great place to start. They have made a pretty good work flow to follow. And as you learn you can reach out to other programs
Hope this helps

Thanks to all who responded. Much appreciated!

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