Now that Carbide 3D is producing a pretty advanced machine like the HDM, I think it would be really cool to see some updates to Carbide Motion.
I would argue that if you are buying an HDM, there is a good chance you are trying to make money with it. Optimizing the software to improve functionality and reduce effort on a business machine is a pretty big deal.
Here is my wish list (Please chime in if you have any other wish items):
- The jog, rapid position, zero setting and maybe the probing pages should be unified into one. The amount of clicks required to go between all those places and therefore job setup is sometimes irritating.
- Multiple work offsets (G54-G59). On a machine like the HDM, having multiple fixtures/vises can really help with throughput. You can do this with other software but it would be nice if it was in CM.
- Some sort of panel that shows the Gcode you are running and highlights the line you are currently on. Some people won’t need this but I have found it very useful on my larger machine I run at work. Maybe make this an option to show on the status page when running a file.
- More probing options. You should be able to probe from any corner using either BitZero v1 or v2. For those of us that run mostly aluminum, it would be nice to be able to probe directly off the stock/part itself.
I like how CM is easy to use for beginners. To make sure this added stuff doesn’t confuse new people, maybe have two modes? Beginner and advanced?
It would also be pretty cool if we could have access to an API of some kind so we could build our own operator’s console with physical buttons for cycle start, feed hold, feedrate and RPM overrides, etc. A side note, I have a wild guess that the closed beta that the recent contest was for could be some sort of CM on RPi based controller with an operator’s console. Seems to fit the “will work for both Nomad and Shapeoko and is worth about $500” criteria.