My take on assembly and my first piece plus questions!

Got my poko a day early and lucky for me the box was in great shape when it arrived!
I did my best to follow the directions but ended up looking at a bunch of different videos along the way for help. It seemed to me like all the hard parts were edited out lol.
A couple things slowed me up. There was powdercoat on *some of the threads of the black frame pieces, I had to run taps through them. Not a big deal for me but others might end up cross threading etc.
Carbide 3D put two of my stickers on crooked, and the one on the Router mounting plate was upside down compared to every other Shapeoko I could find on the internet… (2 bolts to the right) This had me confused and I mounted my router housing plate upside down lol! Sorry C3D I gotta remove your crooked stickers, you are making me look bad haha…
Not a big fan of 2 sided tape. Is there a reason they don’t attach the wire harnesses with screws and tapped holes in the rails? The newly designed control box does not leave much room for the wires when you wrap them around the back side of the box resulting in slight tension and the piece of 2 sided tape did not hold for me.
It seemed like a lot of excess wire bundled up for no reason, I had some wire looms laying around and did my best to do some wire management but I plan on trimming down the excess and doing a better job with higher quality looms or mounted sealed piping asap.
Some high res photos of the full view of the back and side angles of a XXL would have helped me tremendously during assembly in the instructions.
A better designed aluminum bracket for the top wiring harness is in my near future. It sits a half a millimeter away from the limiting switch and if you try to shim or bend it up to angle it away it hits the motor.
Limiting switches seem so small I wonder why not use something more robust. Also Would metal wheels cause resonance or vibration?
Also was not a fan of tightening the frame down with a MDF spacer. I felt like it needed something solid to bolt to. I plan to do a lot of aluminum work and I was picturing the mess I would make trying to use lubricant on a bit over MDF so I ordered the 600 hole 1/2 aluminum plate from at the same time as the Shapeoko and it is really really nice!
Upon initial assembly I immediately dropped one of the leveling feet and the plastic housing shattered on my tile. I ordered some Stainless leveling feet and will post some pics if they work out.
Anyway what a awesome machine. Could not be happier with it. Had a great time playing with the editor building this plaque. I screwed up and should have ordered some smaller mill sizes by now, I only have 2 bits so far and ended up having to design the plaque for a 90 v and a .25 lol! I am really looking forward to being able to create some more detailed designs.

Need to get some paint supplies and fresh stain tomorrow for finishing…

I have some design questions if anyone would mind helping out.
When the unit starts a run it travels from the home corner to the start corner and starts diving on the z axis along the way. I watched it diving toward my aluminum clamp and it got pretty close. Is there a way to specify to stay high till it starts its first cut? I noticed when it was done cutting it lifted up to the top of the z axis and went home. Do I need to just not clamp between the start point and home and make sure I leave a clear path?

Also I had to exaggerate my V cut line distances apart from each other in Carbide Create to achieve a desired depth, in a recessed area. I tried setting my material height to the correct offset for the recessed height but that was ignored. Why is there no V cut depth setting or am I missing it? Is it better to compensate with a fabricated Z height on probe?

When the program needed a bit change it parked right over my work piece and left me no room to change the bit? The only carbide motion option was continue? My only choice was to continue then stop, re probe the z on my changed bit, and reload the re-edited program with the previous work disabled?
What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for any help and sorry for the long post!

Thanks Carbide 3d for one of the coolest machines ever. Please design more upgrades for your product!
More attachments please!


That’s a really nice sign

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Nice work! For the carving /pocket integration please see: V carve + inside pocket?

Thank you for the detailed feedback! I’ve mentioned it in our team comms and hopefully someone else will chime in on the things I’m not able to comment on.

Things which I do feel comfortable addressing:

  • the VHB adhesive for the wiring harness is simpler, with less chance of user error, and a cost-savings measure — drilling and tapping holes (most folks use M3 or #4-40 machine screws) would add another operation for the rails which would increase cost
  • the wiring lengths are a best compromise, and I believe we’re still adjusting based on the new low profile enclosure
  • the drag chain bracket and the homing switch have been an on-going thing since summer 2016 — I addressed it on mine with a stack of washers as noted at:
  • metal wheels was considered as far back as the SO1 — it even had holes for mounting them — the problem is they don’t remove much in the way of deflection (it’s amazing that a material whose first industrial usage was for the plectrums in harpsichords, replacing the quill from a bird feather, is so perfectly suited to this usage) and they transfer the wear from the plastic wheels (inexpensive and easily replaced) to the V rail extrusion (expensive and difficult to replace since integrated with the structure of the machine)
  • the leveling feet are actually knobs — rather than stainless steel I’d suggest rubber vibration isolating feet such as: — or just forego them and put the machine on a sheet of foam and bolt it to a sheet of plywood

Thank you for the very thoughtful post — it really shows how much the project has grown, and also emphasizes the complexity of it now being not just a small opensource project, but a full-fledged commercial product with the complexities of working with outside vendors, minimum order sizes, tolerances and specifications, and the tradeoffs of custom versus off-the-shelf parts.

For endmills, we have a standard set of recommendations at:

  • three 2-flute 1/4" straight endmills (such as the #201 endmills from Carbide 3D — one will be included with the machine, a pack of two will fill one out with: 1 for initial experimentation/roughing, 1 for finishing passes, and 1 spare
  • two 2-flute 1/4" ball end endmills (such as the #202 endmills from Carbide 3D) — if one wishes to do 3D modeling or cut parts which have rounded profiles along the bottom (often a good idea in woodworking for increased strength)
  • two 90 degree V-bits such as the #301 from Carbide 3D — if one wishes to do V-carving or cut joints which use this angle

if getting a 1/8" endmill:

  • five 2-flute 1/8" straight endmills (such as the #102 endmills from Carbide 3D [9]
  • two 2-flute 1/8" ball end endmills (such as the #101 .125" Ball Cutters from Carbide 3D)
  • two smaller straight endmills (say 2 mm or so) (such as the #112 0.0625" endmills from Carbide 3D)


  • V-carving bits (say 30 and 60 degrees) — these are excellent if doing text

For changing endmills please see: — unfortunately, the Shapeoko lacks the nifty tool length sensor of the Nomad.

I’ve upgraded your trust level, so you should be able to see/do pretty much anything — let us know if there’s anything else which we can do for you!


Thank you very much for the response. I am shopping for end mills now and am following your suggestions and reviewing your links.

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