I ordered my first router and I have a few questions

I ordered my first router it is a Shapeoko Pro XXL. I know I should have gone with the 5 Pro but I am on a budget and this is my first. My question is what bits should I get? Should I put leds on it and is it useful to set up a raspberry pi for it and add a camera?

1 Like

The Pro is a perfectly valid choice for work which fits its working areas, and tooling and feeds and speeds which suit the material you are cutting.

Which tooling you get depends on what sort of material you are cutting, how you are approaching that cutting, and the toolpaths and finish you need.


for a bit on this, and you may find:

of interest.

LEDs are something which a lot of folks like — I do w/o, but arguably, I’m waiting for an official kit for the Pro or my SO3.

A Raspberry Pi can be quite nice for running Carbide Motion and controlling the machine — lengthy thread here:

I use one, though the tablet setup (Rasped v3) is a bit clunky — currently considering a CutiPi instead.

Some folks do cameras — I suppose if you need to document cuts/make contents it helps.

1 Like


What do you want to do with the system ?

What you need is determined by your answer. Why do you want a camera ? Why do want LED’s

What expectations do have for the CNC router ?



Wow that is some great information Thank You

I want to use it to make some extra money. I just didn’t know where to start.

For making money see:

1 Like

You have to start somewhere. Usually you figure out what you want to make and then buy something to make that. However you bought the machine to make stuff first. It is 6 of one and half a dozen of another.

The business case for making things and selling them have two basic forks. The first fork is local craft shows, farmers markets, fairs and festivals. This customer base is just a casual visitor and will have an out of pocket limit on what they impulsively buy. So the age old battle of quantity over quality. So as an example if you are making $10.00 objects and your goal is $100 dollars you have to make 10 objects for less than $10.00 and then sell all 10. The other case is you make 1 $100.00 object and sell that. At a local type market you only have to get one person to buy your $100.00 item and the day is made. Or you have to get 10 to buy your $10.00 object. Likely the $10.00 items would sell to an impulse buyer easier than the $100.00 price point. Now you could stock both types of items. The real question is what to make to sell in the first place. There are lots of advise on youtube but a lot of that is just hot air. You should attend some of the local events and see what is on offer. Now you dont just want to copy what others are making but you could get an idea of what is selling by talking to the vendors.

The second fork is online selling. There you can advertise on FaceBook Market or sell on etsy. Both can help your presence because they are well established. Facebook will only reach people that you can link that too. Not every Facebook user will stumble onto your market place. Etsy has some advantages because they are handling your sales transactions, collecting tax and making your business self running in a way. The down side of etsy is when people search for say a jewelry box and the click on your jewelry box at the bottom of the page are others making jewelry boxes. You are still back with the quantity over quality as I talked about above. There are other online markets to try.

The bottom line any business takes planning and execution to make it. There are thousands of casual side gigs that never make money because either they are not trying or or trying but going in the wrong direction. The sweet spot is making things people want to buy at a price point they can afford and at a cost point that you are making money. Sound tricky well it is.

What I would suggest is you make things that you want to make and see if they sell. After a while you will get the hang of what people might want and change your product line up. At the beginning you want to make a few of your products but do not make a warehouse full of them because you do not know if they will sell. Having a few on hand will make shipping timely and customers happy. However if you are going to make customized stuff be sure you let the customers know that that times time. Many will make say a jewelry box and leave it unfinished so they can customize it and get it out quick. The basic box is already made but left just unfinished enough to customize. The other end of that is you make your items in one way only and finish them and they are ready to go. Nothing says you cannot do both but you should decide if you want to make complete items or customizable items.

1 Like

Tom, I have my Shapeoko 3 XXL running on a pi4 with a camera setup. I really like it because the pi is meant to just run and doesn’t do funky things like enter sleep mode or take over ports or whatever. I use CNCjs, which is a free controller, loaded to the pi and I have a webcam setup to monitor the cut area. (normally I’m within in a few steps, but on long runs, it’s nice to go inside to eat dinner and be able to keep an eye on it.) CNCjs will display the cam in its interface, which is a nice feature, but you can also display through a webpage. I don’t use it often, but I like having it, and it runs through the same pi4.

Carbide Motion has a pi option, which @WillAdams mentions. I played a little with it, but have not used extensively. But I think same applies, a pi offer a better level of stability and connectivity especially for long runs. I like CNCjs because it serves up a webpage on your local network that you can access from any computer, I don’t believe CM has a remote access mode yet. (gSender is another up-and-coming controller on my radar that has pi compatibility with remote access.)

On lights, I tried mounting some LED strips under the gantry, wasn’t really worth the effort. Good overhead lighting is better overall. Start with a couple LED shop lights to brighten up the whole workspace.

But big caveat on all of this. I’d wait until you get your machine (as painful as that is when you have a new toy on the way). Set yourself up with Carbide Motion on your laptop, try it out. See what you like and don’t like. Same on lighting. Run it a few weeks, then see where you really want to spend time/money on improvements for your space and workflow. There are a lot of upgrade rabbit holes you can follow when you’re ready and you have a better idea about what you’re doing with it. :laughing:


I love my Pro XXL with my RPi 3 option. I do use the C3D Pi CM and it works great. I have a 42 inch monitor above the machine as I am blind :slight_smile: a xbox game controller, a mini keyboard I rarely use. and a mouse. I VPN (VNC) from my office machine to transfer the files.

In the RPi OS, turn off the power sleep mode and the screen time out and you are good to go. It seems every time I need my windows machine for something quick, something decides to do an update or inventory or marketing data mining :frowning: The Pi just works and has no fan to draw in dust. For me it lives in the the torsion box table with all the other wires.

One note I found out the hard way, is to keep your low voltage wires away from your AC wires. I did do this for ever wire except for one :frowning: My vacuum AC line ran pass the Pro Power Supply and Oops dumb mistake. In some rare cases the Vacuum caused a spike when I turned it off :frowning: I just separated the wires and life is great :partying_face:

Happy Carving


I have a 10.1" raspberry screen but without the raspberry pi and I have it hooked to my computer as a duplicate screen so I can look at what I’m working on make changes upload different files from the touch screen I have set up right in front of where I zero most of my work so it’s pretty handy thought about getting a pi and running it on the carbide motion for pi but I’m happy with how I’ve got it now


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.