Shapeoko 3 XXL Program

What is a good program for Shapeoko 3 XXL

This depends on what you need to do.

Naturally we advocate for Carbide Create and Carbide Motion when first starting out — but it’s easy to find tasks which the former is too limited for. Some common suggestions:

  • Inkscape — this pairs well with Carbide Create, and is free and opensource
  • various commercial vector editors — Adobe Illustrator is often used, and I can’t give up Macromedia Freehand. Serif’s Affinity Designer is the new kid on the block, and one which I often suggest.
  • DraftSight — hard to beat the value of this free (as in beer) 2D drafting package
  • FreeCAD — the opensource CAD option
  • OpenSCAD — 3D modeling for programmers — I use this, simply because the stuff I do in 3D is usually well-suited for it
  • SolveSpace — 3D parametric modeling — trying to work through the tutorials on this, and hoping it will work for some projects farther down the road (but its needing a mouse is pretty trying to me)
  • Moment of Inspiration — 3D modeling designed for pen tablets — this suits how I prefer to work (on a tablet w/ a stylus), but it’s hard for me to justify that kind of expense on software
  • Vectric — lots of folks doing signage rely on this — for folks billing by the job, it just makes sense
  • Autodesk Fusion 360 — sort of free, quite powerful, licensing must be renewed annually
  • SolidWorks — standard choice in many industries
  • MeshCAM — we bundle this with the Nomad and it’s quite easy to learn.

Hello! I’m just getting started out with my S3 as well. Just using CC since it is simple to use and understand. I was very surprised to see SolidWorks on your list. What other software do you need to use to go from a SolidWorks ‘part’ into Gcode ready to be sent to the S3? Note… I am VERY new to using a CnC and the software used (that’s why I only use CC right now), and I just have a basic trial student version of solidworks.

It’s my understanding that SolidWorks has CAM modules which are options which may be licensed to use with it (contact your re-seller) — if one doesn’t have that in one’s license, then export an STL and use any of the 3D CAM solutions.

MeshCAM is the prototypical commercial hobbyist option (and what we bundle w/ the Nomad).

Other options are listed at: and of course, there are various other commercial options:

Good to know. Thanks for the heads up.