From STL file to Carbide Create (PRO) [screenshots included]

Today I played a bit with taking STL files into Carbide Create (PRO).
This is a work in progress, but the question comes up here often enough that I figured I should show screenshots of what this process looks like

Step 1: Find a suitable STL file
Not all STL files you can find on the internet are suitable for machining on your Shapeoko. 3D printers can print “true 3D” objects that contain hollow areas underneath solid areas. With the Shapeoko, you can only “cut from the top”, so the hollow areas are out of reach. But eve with this limitation, you can find many great STL files on thingiverse, etsy or ebay.

For this tutorial, I’m using the STL file from

Step 2: Convert the STL file to a height map PNG
Using the tool from I converted the STL file to a heightmap grayscale PNG:

This creates the following heightmap PNG:

Step 3: Use the Modeling feature in Carbide Create (PRO) to create an appropriately sized design

Step 4: Create toolpaths
Generally I create 1 roughing toolpath and 2 finishing passes at different angles:

Step 5: Check the simulation

(the unstable release 433 from yesterday has a visualization bug in this preview)

Step 6: Export to GCODE and cut the wood
… we all know how this works …

The C2D file is here: heartt.c2d (678.3 KB)


That was fast! Looks awesome. I don’t use CC, but this looks nice and straightforward. I’ll give it a try later.

Carved it out of a scrap piece of walnut this morning

came out well but I cut a few corners with the stepover so there’s still some milling lines visible (this 3D carving does not carve quick)


Looks great and very useful!
What compilers do you recommend to compile your code into an executable for Windows 10 64 bit? ( its been a good long while since I needed to do this myself)

@fenrus Already built the .exe…just download and use as shown above.


I develop it on Linux (I really only use windows for cnc stuff, the rest of my world is linux) but I cross compile it to Windows… the github release have a compiled Windows binary for convenience (and I do test that)


This is so great!! Thank you for not only answering my question with a solution but sharing it. I’m going to try to follow your steps ASAP!!