Running Carbide Motion on Raspberry Pi, Tablet, or other dedicated device?

Hi All! I’m wanting to move away from having my primary laptop tethered to my Shapeoko when I run jobs. I found the following posts about running with a Raspberry Pi or a Tablet, but they’re all a year or two old, so I thought an updated thread might be in order.

What’s the latest solution you’ve found that’s working well for a dedicated or remote device to run your Shapeoko?

Thanks in advance!

I bought a very basic Surface tablet. It could run Carbide Motion fine, but I found I often wanted to change toolpath characteristics in Fusion 360 and Cut2D.
I can’t remember if it could run Cut2D, but it certainly couldn’t manage Fusion 360.
So I’ve got a basic modern gaming laptop (Gigabyte) for Fusion and Cut2D. I do all my design stuff on it. I use another older laptop for running Carbide Motion and I transfer files across from my modern laptop. The older laptop can manage Fusion 360, albeit slowly. And I don’t mind if I get dust on and in it. I have also managed to get some Super glue on the older laptop’s screen - don’t know how, but it sure won’t come off.

I am one of the people here who picked up a super cheap Fusion5 Windows tablet PC for running carbide motion. I have folder shared (and mirrored, not depending on the network while it runs) between this computer and the computer(s) I normally use for design. The shared folder saves all the hassle of USB storage and copying files around.

This works well although I find I do end up bringing my good laptop out to the garage with me sometimes. I don’t tend to have to make changes often, but I do feel more comfortable if I can look at the Fusion 360 toolpath simulation when I’m running more complicated jobs.

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I second the Fusion5. Not the fastest tablet, but for running CM it’s perfect.
I used Dropbox between it and my main PC for the synchronization of files.

I also use the same tablet for my Laser Engraver.

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I’ve been using a Raspberry Pi 4 w/ a Raspad 3 and it’s been working well.

Send files to it using e-mail (need to find the time to set up a machine as a media server).

I try to dedicate one computer per machine, so my SO3 XL gets controlled by my Samsung Galaxy Book 12, and I have an old Toshiba Encore 2 Write 10 which I used for my Nomad 883 Pro which will get used w/ my Nomad 3 when I get that.

The Surface Go 2 has become a popular choice judging by support tickets.

I also have the Fusion5 Windows Tablet in my shop to drive CarbideMotion. It also runs Lightburn, for when I’m driving the laser. The network shared drives are my “go between” to my office computer.

The touch screen is great for some things…lousy for others. In particular, when you need to actually type something, the keyboard is in a fixed location and it can be difficult to deal with. It’s also a bit tricky to jog the shapeoko.

So I attached a USB hub to the Fusion tablet and then plug a USB Mouse and USB Numeric Keyboard into that hub (along with the Shapeoko itself). The numeric keyboard allows me to use hard jog keys as well as the ability to select the speed shortcuts (1-4) and pgup and pgdn for the Z axis. The mouse just makes life easier for me because I prefer a mouse when I’m using Windows.

Rpi4 with a 7" 800x480 touchscreen hinge-mounted to my Shapeoko table. The screen may be a little small, but for just loading/0-pointing/running jobs it’s been a treat. The latest version of Carbide Motion for the Pi really cleaned up the UI issues on small, lower-than-specified-supported screen resolutions. I save my G-code files directly to the Pi via network share from wherever I am in either the house or shop. Keeps my tight shop-space free of the clutter of another whole laptop or other dedicated system & does the task of simply running the jobs.


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I run a windows stick PC connected to my Shapeoko, and then Remote Desktop into the stick pc from my MacBook. I have a network drive where all of my gcode gets posted. Wouldn’t do it any other way.

MELE is a good Amazon brand of stick PCs, and you typically can find them for $120-130 when they are on sale.

PS the reason I prefer this over a tablet next to the machine is I can take my MacBook into another room and still pause the operation if I hear anything go wrong or if I’m watching via a webcam.


First of all, I am very new to Carbide 3D stuff (hardware and software) but very old to computer stuff hardware and software. Here’s what I have done and am doing.

  • PC-Based:
    I bought a small fanless PC here for about $150 pre-loaded with Win11 and loaded it up with Carbide Create, CNCjs, Dropbox, and RealVNC server. I use DropBox to store my files in the cloud, and RealVNC so I can access the CNC computer (mounted onto the outside of my XXL near the controller) from anywhere on my home network using VNC Viewer. When I need to be in the shop to do CNC stuff, I take my small Windows Surface tablet thing out there and connect to the fanless PC via VNC and do whatever I need to. If I can do whatever I need to do from elsewhere, I can connect to the CNC PC (via my WiFi which gives me coverage in the house and shop) with any computer I have in the house.

  • Raspberry Pi:
    I grabbed an old Raspberry Pi I had laying around, loaded the latest OS from the RPi official site and then got it talking on my WiFi to my home network and to the internet. Then, I loaded Apache2 webserver, Carbide Motion, CNCjs, and RealVNC server and got it all up and running. CNCjs for the RPi serves up its app via the RPi webserver so from any machine on the same network I can browse to it and run the software. I loaded Carbide Motion and get to it via VNC like I did with the PC. As I write this, I cannot connect to my CNC, but I haven’t done any troubleshooting to figure out why. I figure it’s just some typical Linux archaic setting somewhere. EDIT: After a couple reboots and such, Carbide Motion has decided to connect to the SO4 and all is well.

  • Right now I have both the PC and the RPi running out in the shop, but will probably retire one of them after I figure out which one better suits the purpose, BUT, if I had to do this again, I would take the Raspberry Pi route (but if you’re not comfortable with that gizmo and Linux stuff, just cough up the $150 and go the PC route as it is easier to get going for most folks). Good luck to all!

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Hey Will
Raspberry PI OS comes with an excellent VNC Server. just connect and up load it. I assume you are on the same net

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This is really helpful–thanks everyone for sharing your set! I’ve also found that often I need/want to tweak files in Fusion360 or Carbide Create after initially running, so I’ll probably still need to bring down my main laptop regardless. I remembered that I have an old laptop that might work for now (and wouldn’t cost anything :)), and if it ends up falling short in anyway, think I’ll switch to trying the Raspberry Pi.

@MarkDGaal I really like your approach of being able to remote in to stop the operation if necessary, etc.! Planning to give that a go with my secondary laptop setup.

HP Elitepad with USB backpack.
Connects to fileshare on my NAS where all my CAD/CAM etc. is stored.
I do my modelling and gcode creation in the comfort of my house, and have the SO3 and tablet in the shed, connected to the LAN.


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