Newbie - Just Ordered, A few question

Since I started at this ~5 years ago, there have been 3 revisions:

  • 0.7 — started here I think it was
  • 0.8 — first notable revision, pretty seamless, just added some new G-code features
  • 0.9 — major improvement which altered the settings standards and increased the default baud rate to 115200
  • 1.0/1/1 — this is a major update which markedly changes the way Grbl behaves — it was extensively tested by the community as 1.0, and the 1.1 release looks to be quite solid, but apparently makes interacting with it from a communication / control program quite a bit different and seems to require more work / testing than most developers were thinking

I design on my best computer and use dropbox to sync between machines and by the time i get to the cnc computer the files ready to load.


I do the same. I’ve got a Kangaroo PC at the CNC machine running Windows and CM (have tried others…CM works well enough), and do all my design work elsewhere. I remote desktop to the Kangaroo, it has no monitor, and is wifi connected.


@mikep how do you like the Kangaroo? I was looking at those.

Works pretty well, but was a little bumpy to get working:

  1. It requires an “HDMI/EDID Emulator” dongle to be able to use remote desktop with it and no monitor connected. There is a “feature that does not work as well as one would hope” if you’re connecting to it via RDP using the intel graphics drivers - the screen will either be blank, or flash an image every few seconds on the remote, but either way totally unusable. If there is a monitor plugged into it or an EDID emulator then RDP works fine. I think I eventually found a post about it on their forums somewhere. (one of these:
  2. The power plug isn’t well retained and kept getting bumped such that it wasn’t in contact and the machine would run on its battery. Because it has an onboard battery, that wouldn’t be totally obvious until the next day when it wouldn’t answer on the network any more because the battery was dead. A big cable tie around the power plug and the box fixed that.
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So I ran my first test on some wood tonight, and ran into a few issues.

  1. The MDF that comes with the Shapeoko XL, is that considered the waste board, or would a waste board go on top of that?

  2. While I was zeroing out my Z-Axis, I noticed a small set screw fall out, but I cannot for the life of me figure out where it came from. Aside from the steppers, where should I check?

  3. The first test I ran, I wasn’t getting a level cut from left to right. On the left side I was getting the proper cut depth, and as it moved right the bit wasn’t even touching the wood. After that, I completely re-leveled the unit, I’m curious what else I should try? Since I re-leveled I haven’t had a chance to run another test.

  1. Yes, it’s called the wasteboard, but it’s a part of the structure and one should avoid cutting into it if possible — most people put a spoilboard on top of it, esp. on an XL or XXL which have additional vertical area

  2. The only set screws are in the pulleys on the stepper motors – there are two per pulley

  3. You could try to adjust how your gantry rides / holds the extrusion, and try to adjust the Y-axis rails. Lengthy discussion here:

Official instructions: Squaring Gantry to Front/Rear Plates

  • Loosen all of the screws that hold the gantry together (4 on each side), these should still be loose from the initial assembly.
  • Loosen the screws that hold the Y axis rails in place (16 total). These should also still be loose from the initial assembly.
  • Slide the gantry to the front, so both Y plates are touching the front plate.
  • While holding the gantry against the front of the machine tighten the front of the Y rails (8 total)
  • Now - systematically begin tightening the 8 bolts on the gantry. Work your way from left to right, going back and forth in a X pattern (similar to tightening the wheel of a car).
  • After the gantry has been secured, slide the gantry to the rear of the machine and tighten the 8 screws while keeping the gantry pressed against the rear plate

@WillAdams your a good sport with all the questions, thank you for helping. Can I make one small suggestion regarding my experience with purchasing from carbide. Given that I ordered the DeWalt spindle a long with a bunch of bits, it would have been very helpful had someone notified me that I was going to need an 1/8" collet. Its a bit disappointing when you get everything and you’re ready to go and realize you don’t have the right collet. Maybe I missed it some where, but given someone had to put the entire order together I would have thought they might have taken the time to reach out to me to see if I wanted to purchase the collet. Now I have to pay additional shipping for that when it could have been included in my original order or either the machine itself, or the materials I ordered.

Not a criticism, just my two cents to pass on to the team.

Thank you again for all your help, I’m sure more questions will come your way.

That’s a very good point, and one which we should be aware of up-front — at one point in time (maybe even now still), Elaire was getting so many orders from the wiki for the Dewalt collets that they were cross-examining people about which machine they had so as to ensure that they got the right one.

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So one of the things I’m most interested in, is cutting plexi / acrylic. I’ve been reading quite a bit on here and one of the things I’ve noticed is that acrylic needs to be cut at low RPM’s and low feed rate to prevent both chipping and melting. The problem I can’t get my head around is that the DeWalt DPW611 has an RPM range of (roughly) 16k-28k. With that in mind, what are the solutions to achieving slower RPM’s?

I’ve browsed the wiki, but are there any other quality bits of information you might have a link to, or a place I can look?


You get different results with extruded vs. cast acrylic. I suspect the acrylic Carbide3d tested for feeds and speeds was cast, but they didn’t even go slowest speed on the DeWalt: . You probably want to keep the feedrate up (65 in/min from the chart) so you don’t melt the plastic.

If you want to go lower RPM, you could look up superPID.


That chart should be much easier to find…I’ve never come across it in all my searches. I’ll almost always be using extruded acrylic.

The other big thing for plastics is to at least consider using a single flute endmill.

The feeds and speeds chart isn’t that hard to find:

Unfortunately, since they’re images, they don’t show up in search engines — one of these days I’ll find the time to re-key them into the wiki — really wish we could switch to an SVG of them at least, though I’d liefer just see a real HTML table w/ text as text which one could copy-paste from.

Here’s an Excel Online version that should be copy and paste-able as text:!AjBdKfoZ_mVHazdhLKCP0tj5I5A

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Thanks! Well, that settles that.

The time spent copy-pasting is a lot easier to justify — thanks for the leg up!


  • typo: Polycarbonite vs. Polycarbonate
  • style? Carbonfiber vs. Carbon fiber

I’ve started this and will work on it as I find the time. Thanks again!

Well, got a start at it. I’m still kind of weirded out by how the Dewalt and Makita dial settings don’t always correlate — hopefully I’ll find some time to verify / experiment w/ those settings, and I’d be glad of anyone else who could do so.

I notice a lot of people are using Fusion360, is Fusion360 both CAD and CAM or just CAD?

Lastly, how do you add more end mills to Carbide Motion?

Fusion 360 is CAD, which has a CAM module.

Endmills get added to Carbide Create — Carbide Motion is just communication / control and doesn’t care what endmills are associated with a given path (there is no support in Grbl for cutter compensation in G-code).

I think one of the tutorials shows adding a tool, see:

Note that V-bit is taper, not overall bit angle:

Thanks for doing that!

Managed to get things copied / up-dated. I would like to ask that you put a hazardous or other cautionary note next to the entry for lead in your list (trying to get Carbide 3D to do that as well — why do we even have an entry for it? What’s the context for cutting that?)

All copied / pasted into: (and there’s a sortable table there, which worries me some — asking after it now).

So I built a touch probe, and I connected it to the probe pins on the board, but now I’m unsure what to do. I clipped the alligator clip to the end mill, placed the touch probe under the mill and typed in G38.2 Z-26 F100 that started the lower the mill on the z-axis, but it never stopped…it just kept trying to go lower. I was under the impression it would just stop when it touched the plate. I have tested the plate for continuity and it works.

What might I be doing wrong?

Tested the probe connector on the board?