It's time to say good bye

Anyone who has followed my Shapeoko journey over the last few months will know the road has been somewhat rocky. I’m not going to repeat the difficulties I’ve had with the machine or the rather poor support from Carbide 3D because it would take too long, but I think you’ll get the drift.

I no longer have a Shapeoko CNC machine (although I still have some accessories I’d like to shift here), so I won’t be on this forum very often, but I will ‘lurk’ from time to time.

Where has my machine gone? Well, it’s been disassembled, repacked and returned to the supplier for a full refund - including legal costs as I had to start Court proceedings before anyone started to take me seriously.

I’m going to continue in my chosen hobby, but take a different as far as my chosen machine is concerned, so I can actually determine if it’s a user error, as has been suggested many times, not least of which is this thread, where the symptoms are almost exactly the same as for my machine and has yet to be resolved. Good luck @mynamejefff!

It’s true I’ve learned a lot from the forum and have made a good number of friends, but there are one or two complete tossers on here. No names, no pack drills, but even suggesting this could lead to the thread being censored or deleted completed.

Here are two of my favourite quotes by Einstein:

  1. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

  2. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So, stay safe fellow Makers, goodbye and good luck for the future,


Take care, Peter!

In the grand scheme, a speed bump rather than an end to your machining journey.


Best of luck in your future endeavours, Peter.

You can change your username wherever you land. You are now seasoned, and no longer new to this.


Haha! Wait till you see the next speed bump…

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That’s some serious grounding lol.

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I thought that was completely fictional haha. Since it exists, it’s probably happened and continues to happen at some frequency.

To paraphrase the Dolphins, “So long and thanks for all the parts”

Best of luck with your new machine.


Let’s hope the Stepcraft salesperson doesn’t read him some poetry …


Thanks to you and @jepho for reading my story and taking me seriously. It truly means a lot to read those words! I’m sorry your journey was as rocky as it was and I wish you all the luck with your new ventures. Please do stay in touch, I suspect I’ll be close behind you and I’m genuinely interested to learn what kind of machine you choose next. I’m certain that you’ll have success with it and I eagerly await hearing about those projects and that journey.

obviously user error needs to be examined. However, in my case and yours I believe it can be ruled out. We all know the torment and frustration that these machines can create. The toll on one’s mental health can’t be understated although most times that dissipates when the root cause is discovered. You cite the definition of insanity when reflecting on your experience. I would cite the definition of gaslighting when describing mine.

Gaslighting: To put forward a false narrative which causes another person to question their very reality.

I’ve been made to question the reality that I can see with my own eyes. I have watched my machine behave in unreasonable, unsafe ways despite knowing that it’s being operated correctly. That reality, I’ve been told is false. The false narrative I’ve been told to believe is the idea that I am to blame. I am an ineffective operator. My machine is fine and if only I could be better…

While my comment on mental health related to cnc frustrations was meant to be hyperbole, it is not hyperbolic to say that those frustrations in concert with being gaslit truly is taking a toll. If that weren’t enough I’ve then been greeted with ignored emails for weeks at a time as I watch deadlines come and go causing my small business suffer. That is to make no mention of the thousands of dollars worth of inventory that I’ve had to watch my machine destroy. No hyperbole there.

With all of that said I truly appreciate this community and the fantastic people who have supported me, offered excellent help and believed me. Thanks to you!


I’m sorry you had a bad experience. For me the experience has been 180° opposite. C3D has been the best company I have ever dealt with and have gone out of their way to help me learn to use their machine.
I hope you have a better experience down the road. The hobbyist cnc community is full of fantastic people regardless of the brand of cnc you use.


Agreed about the community.

I too have had positive experiences while dealing with support. When you have their attention and there are options to troubleshoot they’re great. However when the problem can’t be identified their playbook is to simply stop communicating with you. I’m not the only person who has experienced that and until you do I guess it’s hard to believe.


In my experience, C3D has the best customer service and support of any company I’ve ever dealt with.


I have to agree with you!

I haven’t had the need to contact customer support yet… :crossed_fingers:

Also, I feel the people on this forum are awesome and very helpful. I know everyone is busy, but people seem to send responses with 5 or 10 minutes of posting a question.


@mynamejefff have you read this article?

Personally, I’ve only needed customer support from C3D at the very beginning of my journey and frankly, they went above and beyond to help me. They Skype’d into my workshop and walked me through my process until we got down to the culprit (overly aggressive feeds and speeds).

That said, I have heard the accounts of others and I believe them. I have also been on the warpath for better documentation and support for people who want to use the machines WITHOUT going through lots of trial and error (not everyone who bought a VW Beetle did it because they could maintain the engine themselves!). I think some of the frustrations would be resolved if there were better, more organized official resources - and less reliance on “watch this video, read this article, and here’s a dozen more youtube clips that you can glean some of the info from”. I’ve been outspoken about that.

However, as a business person, anytime you need to get lawyers involved to get resolution with a company, it’s bad customer management. If you’re going to yield to legal pressure, yield without it. Reputation is worth more than taking back a machine.

Since Peter’s ID is gone, Peter - I am sorry to see you go. I haven’t experienced what you’ve experienced, but I believe you’ve felt pain. Please do touch base and let us know how your new experience turns out.


I hadn’t seen that page but that is not what I was doing. I never change the tool without a prompt and I was getting the Z axis failure even if I installed the cutter before initializing the machine, hence never touching the tool from initialization through to job start.

  1. Install the cutter I need
  2. initialize
  3. load job
  4. set zero
  5. start job
  6. Z axis failure.

It’s all moot anyways as I have reached the same conclusion as Peter, I am no longer a Shapeoko owner.

@mynamejefff I don’t think you meant to quote me on that reply!

Best of luck to you and your future CNC endeavors.

I now own my second Shapeoko. My first was a second hand Shapeoko 3 XXL and I now own a Shapeoko Pro XXL. My Shapeoko 3 was upgraded with almost everything but most importantly a BitSetter. My Shapeoko Pro came with the BitSetter and it is my favorite accessory offered by C3D. However I have experienced random plunges and random air cutting every now and then every since I got my first BitSetter. I was actually discussing it very recently with a friend who also has a Shapeoko Pro.
We are both admin in the Carveco Facebook group and I would say both pretty experienced with our cncs. We were both convinced it was a problem with the Shapeoko in some way. I just stumbled across this and must say that the mystery has been solved and the problem was… USER ERROR!!


Sorry to have run into this post and to hear these perspectives. I program (as in writing code), and so many perceived issues come down to reproducibility and pinpointing the root cause. This is almost never easy. It takes an immense amount of work to completely isolate the issue and remove all confounding variables. Go read some issues on github and watch the frustration between the “bug” reporter and the developers. Many turn out not to be bugs.

I’d be curious if you or @NewToThis e.g.:

  • shared the exact model
  • shared the exact g-code that was run
  • took a video covering the entire setup from machine initialization to the issue

If not… then sadly one can never be sure. Also sadly, countless users were positive that their issue was not their fault only to find out it was. There’s few experts supporting thousands of users. One can only really support the users where the problem and all supporting details have been provided, otherwise it’s anyone’s guess.

However when the problem can’t be identified their playbook is to simply stop communicating with you.

For a counter-story, I had @Bee go 21 emails with me on a Carbide Motion issue. I just wrote sales today asking about Bitsetter ETA and they responded in less than an hour. No one wants to gaslight you… but strong claims (C3D doesn’t care, they know their machine is faulty, being positive your operation is 100% correct and thus the machine is 100% at fault, they run away from resolving hard problems) have to be backed up by strong evidence.

Both C3D and tons of people on these forums are here to help, it just takes being preposterously methodical to figure things out sometimes. And if they did pinpoint an issue with the evidence you provide, I can not fathom C3D dodging it from my experience. I can’t count the number of times I see @WillAdams tell folks to contact sales to get things resolved when a real issue is suspected. Just doesn’t track with what I’m reading above.