Nudge, nudge...wink, wink

For those of us older folks who know where that came from, we also might remember using the “nudge” feature in Windows products.

Snap to grid works…“okay” in Carbide Create, but getting an absolute fit gives me fits. In Windows, all you needed to do was select an object (a picture, textbox or whatever) and hold down the [Ctrl] key and hit the cursor keys. The object would shift by .183" IIRC. By holding down the [Alt] and hitting the cursor keys, the object would move by single pixels. Very precise! If you have OpenOffice Suite you can use [Alt] cursor when you import a picture into a document and try it yourself. Once you use it, you’re hooked.


For those instances when one wants precision in Carbide Create, my suggestion would be to use the numeric fields, combined w/ at need Boolean operations (limiting those to regular polygons and polylines, not using them on circles or curves until one is at the end and has no other recourse — in its current implementation the Boolean operations result in polylines).

If you really want precision drawing and direct control over paths, then using some other tool might be in order (sometimes the limitations of Carbide Create drive me to the point of needing a drink).


The “create” part of Carbide Create is OK for creating toolpaths but the program leaves much to be desired for actually being able to make drawings to assign toolpaths to. It’s much better to create designs outside of the program (Inkscape, Illustrator or other CAD programs) then import those to assign toolpaths.

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That is sorta my point. Why have a program to “Create” things that requires that the user use a different program? Am I missing something? What was the point of downloading CC in the first place?

But, how many steps does that take, vs [click]…[Alt] [cursor] for a quick nudge. Wink, wink.

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The idea behind Carbide Create having rudimentary drawing capabilities is to provide an all-in-one, no other software required, basic option for beginners.

If you’re willing to put up with it making polylines after Boolean operations, it’s quite capable.

I’m not a good one to judge how many additional steps are needed, since I use by habit a tool which doesn’t support SVG, and have to wash pretty much everything through other applications 'cause Freehand is getting long in the tooth, and being left behind.


I’m used to using a couple of programs to achieve what I’m after. I’ve been making signs for many years using Illustrator to create the design then exporting that to the software that controls my vinyl cutting plotter. I’ve got a laser now also and use the same workflow. You “need” CC (or some other CAM program) to assign cutting/engraving toolpaths to the lines and shapes in a design; Illustrator or Inkscape won’t do that but CC will, it’s just not a very polished design program.

Since I’ve got my SO3 I’ve been spending more time exploring other CAM programs and controllers than I have using the machine but I’m not in a rush. I do wish CC had the ability to create tabs though, if it did I’d be happy to use it. That’s probably the main thing making me look at other CAM software.

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Manual work-around for tabs:

Yes, I read that and gave it a try but it’s labour intensive for a project with lots of parts to cut out when there are programs that make it so much easier.

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Isn’t there a CAM plugin for inkscape?


Yes, I’m aware of that one but haven’t tried it yet. I found the instructions a bit confusing but I might study it more at some point. Inkscape is a very good drawing program that rivals Illustrator for designing with but after using Illustrator for 25+ years I found the different names and locations of the functions difficult to adapt to plus I noted some fairly large differences in computing time for some operations, so for the time being I prefer using Illustrator to design with.

Another thing is the need not only for a good design program and CAM program to assign the toolpaths you also need a program to send the gcode toolpaths to the machine. Carbide Motion that came with the SO3 works well but there are others I’m exploring. So far I haven’t found one tool/program that will do it all though Fusion 360 looks like it might … but the learning curve for it is quite steep.
With all that said I actually like the user interface for CC for simple projects but would be happier if it could do more.