How to create uniform hole patterns

I wrote Carbide Motion instead of Carbide Create… early morning typo. :slight_smile:


interestingly, carbide motion creates motion :upside_down_face:


That’s right! Carbide create creates code carbide motion consumes creating motion!

But… back on topic… if you are familiar with javascript, you can do this sort of thing (I hastily adapted a jsfiddle for an SVG library) and save the SVG element:

It would be nicer of course to have a site like this but for 2D thingies: Cone (truncated) ✂ Templatemaker ︎


Pretty cool, and a good answer to the original question I think!

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Oh, that explains it then. :smile:

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Carbide Motion is not really CAM, and you don’t ever have any CAM connected to your Shapeoko… that’s basically the clarification :slight_smile:


Yes, it was funny, Julien. We should make you an honorary Brit for your use of sarcasm. :wink:

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Thanks for that clarification, Gerry. As a newbie, where does one go to get tool changes and probing? It is provided by the CC/CM composite and my point stands that I found the value of automatic tool change and probing early on. Fusion 360 appears not to offer the free user those facilities. At least not unless one can look under the hood and tweak the code to suit those purposes.

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er no. Now what? :smile:

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I think the point was that automatic tool change and probing is not due to the specific combination of CC/CM and is readily available in other CAM and GCODE sender options.

For the beginner, you seem to be declaring that all beginners want to pay nothing for software even though they’ve just spent a substantial amount to buy a machine. This is a likely stance, but not the only stance. So building up an argument based on “it must be free for the entry level” establishes a precondition you have decided upon but is not universal. If you scrap that precondition, then the “automatic tool changes and probing early on” has many ways of coming about.

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Find an alternative way of solving the problem?

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The problem is easy to solve…we’ve identified several free ways to get it done…even CODING the circles! (@Julien Honestly, that’s not one I had considered).

This is going to be a tangent.

I think the real problem for Carbide is the transition they’re about to make: From free software to paid software…and whether this company is prepared to put in the commitment in terms of software quality control, consistency, release discipline, function road map, documentation, and formalized support - to warrant charging for the code.

Telling people to look to other software packages, to do awkward and repetitive tasks, or learn by trial and error rather than documentation to get basic functionality that’s available in other company’s packages, works when your software is free, but when you claim to be developing PROFESSIONAL software (as in, you charge for it), the game changes.

From what I’ve seen of the CC Pro deliverable (my honest opinion, for what it’s worth, as an ex-software professional), Carbide is not there, yet. Selling CC Pro for a substantially lower price point than the competition (which is being suggested by @robgrz in another thread) is a band-aid for professional software development. The real answer is to figure out how much it will cost to get a viable, stable, fully functional, fully documented paid product ready and then have the confidence to charge accordingly.

The tinkerers will always tinker and the engineers will always gravitate toward the power-packages, but Carbide could put out a strong, well-designed, WELL DOCUMENTED, formally tested piece of professional software at a good - but not cheap - price point - and pull in the majority of their clients. I’m convinced of it. I just don’t see things going in that direction…yet. I remain hopeful.


Encapsulated my thoughts perfectly, Gary. Thank you.

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I’ve written up the basics of Carbide Create at:

If anyone has a question about it which isn’t addressed in the on-line tutorial videos:

then our experience on support has been that they are best served by a custom tutorial which specifically addresses the file which they are working on — anyone who has a problem with a file or project should write in to and we’ll do our best to assist.

That said, I’ll note that a lot of support questions are answered with a kind word and a link to a specific video.

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Yes, I have for me but this is really circular. I can use any one of several vector design packages so it is not a problem for me. I don’t worry myself specifically about 2D design. I can draw 2.5D if I must but talking to the machine in 2.5D tells me I have no choice but to learn 3D. This is why I am learning FreeCAD, so that I can design and make from that design in 3D.

When we are new to the CNC world, we barely have a clue about that which we do not know about or understand. On that level, having software that drives the Shapeoko without difficulty is a blessing. Very soon I learned that although changing a tool in the middle of a job is easy and entirely doable, it is not effective working. two or three tool changes in one job becomes onerous. We know (now) that the work around is create different files for each toolpath. I found the use of BitSetter and BitZero revolutionary. Possibly one could make a case for their inclusion as standard but I understand that would add quite a significant amount to the base cost.

Finding solutions is not such an easy task when new to the hobby, techniques or forum and it may take a person a considerable time before they get the courage to ask. I am old and don’t particularly care how I look to others. Some folk are quite sensitive about appearing to be foolish in front of people that they do not know. I think that @MattM26 got lucky when he asked his original question because @WillAdams was able to answer the question that Matt asked precisely. I see no problem with that because the question was about how to solve the problem in CC.

I understand that there are many ways to achieve what was required. As a beginner, I certainly don’t want to pay for Vectric Aspire, even if it may be fantastic. This is the same as saying Fusion 360 is a must. Beginners have no understanding of what they want or actually need and I suspect that an introductory free software is more helpful than not. I don’t think we are separated from each other’s viewpoint by very much.

Complex, all singing, all dancing software that is easy to drive is as rare as rocking horse faeces. Comprehensive software takes a lot of correct use before the user gets comfortable with it, develops the muscle memory for the UI and can make the software behave in ways that are not detailed in a manual. CC and CM have the benefit of being quite simple to drive and they are designed to get results. This ensures that while the learning CNC machinist is learning, right at the start of their journey to becoming proficient, they do not have to be concerned with does the software work types of question.

I don’t see the Shapeoko as a turnkey solution but it is quite near to that definition for people who can use a screwdriver and spanner (wrench) comfortably.

Yes, I understand this point very well. If I were in the business of making SO3s and Nomad CNC machines to sell, I would still want to control the initial experience as much as possible. I would hope to provide new users with a pathway into getting their machines working after they had assembled them. I would not want people writing in and complaining vociferously that this or that does not work and find they were using a piece of software that was poorly written, laying around or completely inappropriate. It is not just because one ends up with having an unhappy client needlessly. Ultimately all negative critique tends towards being corrosive for people in the wider community who were not necessarily unhappy or dissatisfied.

Edit to add: I made a series of holes in Affinity Designer for my test of a spoilboard using my cam clamps. It was taken in to CC as an SVG file and output as an .nc file. This was a 2 minute job. viz

Working out an alternate solution for this using free software at:

I know this isn’t the same thing, but the solutions you and others have provided sparked me to look at this feature in Fusion 360 and I learned more than I expected. In Fusion, you can very easily create one object (a hole, for example), select it and build a rectangular or circular pattern in both x and y in a few clicks. So I thought I’d try a greater challenge. What about doing a pattern that follows a path, like a cribbage board? I drew a snake-like path and put a hole at one end. Then I chose to make a pattern on a path, selected the path, told it I wanted 100 holes and it was done. Then I went and deleted every sixth hole so the scoring holes would be grouped in fives. I don’t know that anyone has presented a solution that’s less involved. Just for transparency, I purchased F360 when my startup license expired in December. Since I use it extensively to design crap I sell online, it wasn’t a hobbyist decision.

Well put @GJM. I am a huge supporter of Carbide3D and their free version of CC is extremely useful for the experienced and people starting out alike. As you say though, once you charge a premium for software people are going to expect premium features. In my mind CC Pro still has a little way to go before being on par with Vectric software at the same pricepoint. I am likely biased though as I’ve been using Aspire for a few years now and find it extremely easy and powerful - I have come to expect that from the other software I use.

For those that find Carbide Create lacking features they want, make some useful notes and suggestions, and raise them with @robgrz when they next go through a big update-fest. many of the features you see now were requested and put in, which is awesome. Carbide Create has come so far in the last year or two

@stutaylo Thanks Stu. It seems carbide isn’t interested in competing with Vectric…and that might be a wise choice. The strategy is to charge less than vectric so that it competes on price rather than functionality.

The problem is: Quality, Consistent - intuitive interfaces, Ease of use, DOCUMENTATION, etc. are requirements that are independent of the level of function and are expected of professional software.

It will be unacceptable, for example, to not be able to go back and edit the parameters you set in Modeling and instead be forced to remember what you put in, then delete and rebuild every component to modify them…or not being able to cut and paste designs between multiple running copies of the software (in this day and age, how can that NOT be supported?), or not having documentation that supports the current version or that details the available features and what they do (modeling is completely undocumented) - it’s basic stuff that just has to be there in a product that’s paid for…at any price other than free. And it’s not like these are hard things to do…they just need focus and a will to see it done - and THEN you can charge fairly for it and not have to sell yourself short.

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