Loading a file, first attempt

It’s almost turning into a joke, can’t get a break. other sites open in my browser.

Hi Michael,

On PCs you can right-click and “save target as” to download a file. On Mac you’d Ctrl-click the link I believe.

Then you can open Carbide, and open the file with the “load project” option after you’ve connected to the Nomad. Is that what you’ve tried doing?

Sorry to see the website is down—Rob’s aware of it and will be getting it back up. In the meantime we can try to help you with the other parts of the process here.

Ultimately I think it may be helpful to slow down a bit and make sure you understand the whole process from start to end, so you don’t miss anything. It’s kind of like baking a cake, so you don’t want to leave out any ingredients or forget to turn the oven on :wink:

I redid everything with the 2D tutorial used a different .png everything looked good in mesh cam when I open carbide I get the connect cutter first then load project move cutter. I get the “limit switch hit”. program is not responding. would there be anyone available for a call any time soon?


I have seen the ‘limit switch hit’ error once. Try the following:

… Make sure the emergency power off button, the big red one on the right side of the Nomad, is not pushed in. Turn it and gently pull out.

Turn off Nomad power, using the switch on the left side, and gently move the X-Y table near the center of the machine area.

Un plug then re-seat both ends of the USB cable.

Quit Carbide motion.

turn on the Nomad, then start Carbide Motion

click on move cutter to see if you no longer get the error and can then set up for a cut.

Hope this does it …

Can you hop on skype? Usually it’s much quicker to troubleshoot if we can see the machine in action


Did you get the problem resolved?

No, I have no idea where to even start to figure it out. I’m new to cad and cnc so all the terms are new to me. I was able to vectorize my drawings and save as a few different type files. .png seemed to open in mesh cam and I followed the tutorial. I couldn’t open the wrench document .nc So I don’t know where the problem is. Your website was down so I couldn’t re download carbide motion. I thought maybe I chose the PC instead of the MAC. But I was able to measure tool and zero machine at the lower left corner before I started getting the limit switch hit. So my computer is talking to nomad. I’ll try to get the wrench again when your site comes back on line. The download I have will not open from finder. the mesh cam program isn’t available to it, unlit. I seem to go round in circles in carbide motion, homing, load file, move cutter, begin, limit hit switch, homing etc. Skype isn’t available to me, poor bandwidth. I can’t imagine sharing the monitor with Skype and the program.

I’m pretty sure the wrench file is already an actual toolpath file so you would open that from carbide motion and not meshcam. So that is likely why meshcam is greyed out when you are looking for a program to open an nc file.

Meshcam is for importing your image files and it creates a toolpath which is the .nc file format.

And with the machine off, try manually moving the table to the middle and then turning the machine back on.

We got it worked out, it was a matter of making sure the program zero was set correctly. No more limit switch error. Happy Nomad.


It is great to see the Carbide3D team quickly jump in to help out a customer. A strong customer focus can take a startup pretty far these days.

Will you guys be at the Bay area Maker Faire next month?

Thanks @3dsteve, we’re always happy to troubleshoot with our customers, we want Nomads churning out parts!
Yeah, the whole team will be at maker faire so make sure you stop by the booth to say hello :smile:

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thanks Randy for responding. Jorge got me up and cutting and I noticed your comment on artifacts on my surface. I was able to use the magic wand and cut out my design and get rid of those artifacts, I hope. I don’t know how to make sure it’s a one bit image. It’s one layer. I had ,“don’t machine top of stock” checked, and it did anyway. Hopefully, I got rid of those artifacts. Do you know how to add my V groove tools, to the tool list? Is there a way to look at the Meshcam settings for the wrench? I just want to do clean 2D contour cuts like the wrench with my V groove. thanks

Hi Michael,

Glad to hear you got up and running :relaxed: Now for the longer journey from the first cut to your best cuts!

By “one-bit image” that means that it’s just all either black or white, with no dithering or gradient between, since you want to produce 2D tool-paths instead of doing relief cutting in 3D. If you have any speckles of gray in the image those will turn into “dimples” or “spikes” in the created 3d mesh from MeshCam, instead of just having a nice clean single plateau to cut. In Photoshop you can use the “threshold” adjustment which converts the image to all black/white based on some filtering middle-gray value. Anything lighter becomes white, anything darker becomes black.

The v-groove tools are a bit trickier, because those require that you measure the taper angle and “fake” the size of the tool some in MeshCam, or enter it as a different kind of cutter (a bull-nose or ball-nose) and adjust your geometry to get the desired output.

I would recommend however that before you try to push ahead with the v-groove engraving bit that you get your feet wet with the regular tools and materials, so that you can get comfortable with the machine operation and process to go from idea to cut parts. If you’re looking for some STLs to work from, Thingiverse is a good source of free content you can download to experiment with and try out.

I’d also recommend going to your local Lowes or HomeDepot (or other home improvement store) and get a sheet of 1-2" Polystyrene foam because it’s really cheap and can be cut easily down to reasonably sized pieces with a utility knife to tape down to the MDF wasteboard. That way you can try different files and tool settings without putting wear on your tools while you get up to speed.

I’ll be revisiting your v-groove cutter question later with a better answer on how best to set it up; I’m working on figuring that out myself!


Jonathan, good and informative answer. A V-groove cutter is just a flat or ball endmill with a non-zero taper angle. There was a little discussion on the MeshCAM forum at http://grzforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=47&p=285 The taper angle is per side, and use something realistic for the flute diameter (at the tip) of .005-.010" or .1-.2mm.


The v-groove bits that I have are .005" and .003" on the ends, with 10* and 15* included angles (super sharp little buggers) but you could get ones that are at 30, 60 or even 90* included angle pretty easily.

I’d also point out that when using engraving cutters, they’re usually one flute cutters instead of 2 like your typical end-mill, so something to keep in mind with your feeds and speeds, so you aren’t accidentally doubling the chip-load on the cutter!

thanks you guys. I’ll try the threshold idea in photoshop. I haven’t tried to load a new design yet. I was hoping to see the settings for the wrench in mesh cam. I think that they should be similar to what I’m attempting. All in all what I’d like to do is cut out a contour shape and put some detailed engraving on the top. While I was waiting for Nomad to arrive, I created this animation with some of my designs. If you check it out, you’ll get an idea of what kind of projects I’m attempting. And of course if you have any advise on how to achieve this, I’d very much appreciate any advise. I feel pretty much like flailing in the dark, trial and error. At least I’m zeroed and cutting. I can see what the artifacts look like in Mesh cam and I’ll see if I can make a clean parameter cut. here’s my animation link https://www.flickr.com/photos/newmichael/14837725415/in/set-72157605446928973

Hi New Michael,

That video helps a lot—now that I see better what you’re trying to make, hang tight. I’ve been working on a brass bookmark for my wife that is a similar process. I’ve been documenting my process. I’ll try to finish that today and get it out so you can see it and follow along.

I’m digging what you’re doing, and I want to praise how much you’re cranking out! Yu’re quite prolific, between drawing and music you can’t turn the creative off, can you? :wink: It’s a good problem to have!

Also, what are you looking to cut these out of when you’re done? These remind me of stained-glass medallions I’ve seen, is the end goal to make yours out of acrylic and then color them, or just wood and stain them?

thanks Jonathan I’d like to cut these pieces out of brass, copper, silver, and hopefully some mother of pearl and jade.
I’m getting the idea that I’ll have to dial down the feed rate. I really don’t know what that would be, to start. thanks for helping out. I’d also like to incorporate video into this project. I like watching machines do things like this.

Hi New Michael, if you search the forum for my posts I explain feeds/speeds a bit in a number of different places. i’m working on putting a few reference pieces together that tie it all into a single piece of content that we can “sticky” or something to make more readily referred to.

This post is probably a good place to start, and I recommend everyone check out Michael Zalewski’s CNC guide.

When you go to cut silver, be sure to save the chips and vacuum them up into a clean vacuum so you can make the most of them!

I’m not making any progress. I changed the -z to +z and that made the graphic look right. but figuring the tool path is crazy. Is there a mesh cam file for the wrench available? That just simply cuts out the profile and leaves the rest of the stock intact. I’d like to eventually add the inner veins of the leaf, but I’ll leave that till later. This is to be cut in thin gauge brass with a V groove. It’s one inch stock. I get an incorrect RGB error that pops up. Other than that, all the tool paths are about the parameter of the outside of the square. What do you think