Shapeoko Controller

Hi, I’m expecting my first Shapeoko 3 CNC any day now. I’m trying to get a better understanding of the machine before I assembly it.

I’m not a total newbie as I have built an Openbuild C-Beam machine in the past. Didn’t really get on with it, and after a couple of years mothballed have only started to use it again.

Anyway I have been used to OpenBuilds Control v1.0.252 which I think is great, and from what I have seen of Carbide Motion control is far superior, but not sure if it will work on the Carbide Control board?

Do you think the Openbuilds Control application will work with the Carbide Control board?

Other than Carbide Motion what are others using for their motion control and is anyone using Openbuild “BlackBox” or replaced the Carbide control board.


Hi Tony,

Welcome onboard!

If you want to get familiar with the Shapeoko you may be interested in this introductory (and free) ebook. The intro to CNC concepts won’t be very useful for you, as you already know about that, but the Shapeoko-specific info might be of interest.

The Shapeoko controller runs (an almost stock version of) GRBL, so I suppose it should work just fine to use OpenBuils Control to drive it.

Most people around here either use Carbide Motion, or Universal G-Code sender, or CNCjs (and a variety of other senders, but those three at the most popular ones)

Some folks did replace the C3D controller with their own electronics, you can search for “Eding720”, “Gecko540”, “Masso”, or “SuperGerbil” on the forum for lots of posts about that.

I would recommend you start with Carbide Motion if only to be in a known-good situation, follow the tutorials, etc…and then after you are at ease with the machine, consider migrating to some other sender if you feel like it.

Enjoy assembly time, take your sweet time and don’t hesitate to ask for help here, and/or contact if you have any trouble.


Hi Julien,

Thank you,

Yes I have just downloaded the ebook as a PDF, I must say being an older person this ebook really does explain the process well. Excellent book.

I agree that starting with the Shapeoko and carbide motion as it comes “Out of the Box” is the best way forward.

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The openbuilds control may work, but is free so it won’t cost anything to try. As Julien suggested use cm first. You want to make your machine first before trying alternatives. There is a steep curve in the beginning with any machine. Once you get up to speed then experiment. You don’t want to start frustrated. Learn to crawl, walk, run and walk and chew bubble gum at the same time and you be happier.

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I can definitely vouch for that comment!