Hi guys and gals, new here

Hello all,

As the title suggests, I’m new to the forum :blush:
No doubt I’ll have many many questions for you all, but in the meantime I’ll have a look around what seems to be a pretty friendly community.

Once I think of something intelligent to say, I’ll be back. Having said that, I do have a rather important question to ask, the main reason for joining this forum actually, but if it’s already been asked countless times I don’t want to begin by upsetting people on my very first post!

So I’ll go and read all the others first.



The only dumb questions are the ones not asked. People are pretty friendly so even if you ask a question already asked people do not jump on you here. I am on some other forums that people are pretty terse and tell you to RTFM. You wont get that treatment here. But do search and see what has been asked in the past and if you still do not see what you need ask away. Welcome


Welcome @TURK,

By all means ask any and all questions you have. In case you’re new to CNC and the Shapeoko, you may be interested in this introduction.


Thanks Guy, very nice of you :wink:
I always tend to think that if the question hasn’t been asked, that it may be so bleed’in obvious ( or stupid ) that no one else asked it!

I have been looking around now for a couple of hours, also been ‘Google’ ing ( if there’s such a term ), found nothing as yet!

So here goes …

I’m still relatively new to CNC machining, built my own CNC machine last year, the ‘Openbuilds’ ‘Workbee’ machine, some of you may be familiar with it. When I bought it, it was a toss-up between the Shapeoko and the ‘Workbee’ … the ‘Workbee’ won me over for a few reasons that I won’t mention here.

Being as I have very little money ( unemployed ), I still enjoy creating stuff in my workshop at home, I’ve been on the look-out for ‘Free’ or ‘OpenSource’ CAD/CAM software, Vectric stuff is way out of my budget! :anguished: I’ve already tried a few, all I found have their issues. ( or maybe it’s me that has the issues! )

So, I came across ‘Carbide Create’ and ‘Carbide Motion’ on YouTube, and wondered if they would work with my ‘Workbee’ CNC … I think I understand enough about my machine now to know that the important stuff is maybe the ‘Controller’ being the brains. It uses the XPro V3 board running GRBL v1.1

Will I have any issues running any of the Carbide 3D software on my CNC machine?

I’m thinking ( wrongly maybe ) that ‘Carbide Create’ is basically just a design package, so won’t have any baring on the type of machine you intend to use it on. But it does generate the GCode does it not?

Once armed with your GCode file, you then open it with ‘Carbide Motion 4’, will I have any issues running that GCode on my WorkBee? All the information I’ve read so far, and seen on YouTube just mentions Shapeoko ( or the Nomad ), no mention of ‘generic’ CNC machines.

Apologies for the ramblings, just trying to put you guys in the picture.


That’s an excellent link Julien, many thanks mate :wink:
I did do a search for something like that via Google, but I was looking for a PDF version … is there a ‘HowTo’ in PDF format anywhere?

I haven’t read the entire article yet … I’ve included what my first concern was about the software.

In Carbide Create , there is a single G-code post-processor that gets executed behind the scenes, and it knows what Shapeoko model you have since there is a dedicated “Machine” parameter in the job setup.

Watching the YouTube tutorial videos uploaded by ‘Carbide3D’ and various other YouTube users, I noticed that the very first thing they did was to select the type of Shapeoko they used …

Shapeoko 3
Shapeoko XL
Shapeoko XXL

This I thought was weird, why would they design a piece of software purely intended for use on just those Shapeoko CNC machines!? It was obvious to me that those were ‘internal’ settings so the software would know the size of your machine.

But my CNC machine is 750mm x 750mm - and there’s no obvious way to change those settings :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

My CNC machine isn’t a Shapeoko, so if I select the ‘Shapeoko XXL’ setting, how will this effect my ‘Homing’ of my machine?


Carbide Create will work with any machine which will accept G-Code.

The machine selection currently only influences stock size for 3D previewing, but you can make geometry and toolpaths of arbitrary sizes and use a 3rd party G-Code previewer such as CAMotics.

You may find


of interest.

In CC406 Carbide Create adds the option of 3D features in a new “Pro” license. Currently available as an open beta for testing at: https://carbide3d.com/carbidecreate/ (see: https://carbide3d.com/blog/2019/carbide-create-400/ for the initial announcement and consider checking out a beta if available)

To activate the features see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dMVzLTbego and https://launch.carbide3d.com — creating an account will allow a free trial. “This trial is fully functional … so you can generate G-Code and try a full project.”

See: Carbide Create Pro - First Look for some more details.

A video tutorial at: Starting with 2.5 d carving and see Vcarve pro wide flutes for a decorative 3D design.

Pricing discussion for the “Pro” license (the base functionality will remain free): Carbide Create Pro- What do you want to see?

A recent beta has added post-processors, so probably there will be some sort of machine configuration option, at least in the Pro mode — that’s just a guess though, check in w/ @robgrz and the other partners.


Hey @TURK,

So @WillAdams answered about CarbideCreate capabilities, you’re good to go if you want to use it for generating G-code for your CNC. But on the long run it MAY not have all the flexibility you want to tweak the output G-code, that will depend on how flexible/customizable the new post processor feature ends up being.

Talking about “free” CAD/CAM software, the elephant in the room is Fusion360: it’s a very generic tool, and you can use the post-processor of your liking. It’s (still) free for hobbyists, but it does have a steep learning curve.

Now, once you have decided what CAD/CAM solution you like, the next decision is which G-code sender/machine controller you want to use. EDITED CarbideMotion will work, however it has a few hardcoded behaviors that are best suited for a Shapeoko (for example: the rapid positions are based on the Shapeoko dimensions, so using those on your custom CNC would not work well)

You can use generic G-code sender, there are tons of them and they are almost all free. A very popular option around here is CNCjs, but you may also want to check Universal G-Code Sender, or bCNC, or LinuxCNC. They can be tuned/optimized for any CNC, using custom commands/macros.

Regarding your “HowTo” PDF question, I’m not sure what you are looking for ? How to do what exactly? I generated a (poor) PDF conversion of the online ebook here, if this is what you are after.

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Another free and easy to use CAD/CAM is Easel. While it was built for a competitor of Carbide, it can generate generic GCode for other machines like the Shapeoko and probably your CNC. You will not be able to use Easel as a sender but as @Julien mentioned, you can get very powerful senders for free.

Carbide Motion won’t work on non Carbide 3D machines. It’s only Carbide Create which will work on others.

For a list of options see:



Right ! And I should now, I found out the hard way trying to get CM talking to an Arduino. I’ll edit the post.


LinuxCNC is not a g-code sender and would not work with a Grbl based controller.

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Oops. Note to self: stop posting before bedtime.


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