Shapeoko XL Final Assembly

Well I finished the assembly of my Shapeoko XL following the instructions found on the Carbide 3D website under Getting Started - Shapeoko XL/XXL Assembly Guide and have a couple of questions. When I get to the end of the Guide the last sentence says - Your machine should now be completed! What Now? Follow are item 1-4 Items 1 and 2 which are the Carbide Create and Motion User Guides - result is HTTP 404 Not Found - if selected. Not a big deal but it sort of leaves me hanging wondering if other steps are missing.

Item 3 is the Hello World exercise which I think I’m ready to do. When reading the installation guide for adding limit switches however, changes are made to the firmware thru Carbide Motion. Are those changes already made in the firmware shipped with my XL or are there more things to do before I run the Hello World task?

I’d imagine they are not. Quite easy to sort out though, just plug it in, power it up and enter the parameters into carbide motion then off you go running hello world.

Then you can get into the fun stuff.

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Oh, so that’s what the error messages I reported from that page are (or at least two of them).

My preference is that folks do “Hello World”, and then install and set up the homing switches — that way, machine motion gets sorted out separately from homing issues, and it’s just a more straight-forward bit of trouble-shooting.

I believe that all the official Carbide 3D stuff is listed at:

The only stuff missing AFAIK is the blog (and, oh, yeah, the YouTube videos — sorry, those aren’t getting added, I am not patient enough to load YouTube, or watch a video), which I started on proof-reading, but stopped when I realized I hadn’t been listing it. I’ll put that on the top of my “To do” list, and we’ll get all that added, and then that page will be compleat, and will hopefully stay up-to-date.

The only semi-official thing which isn’t listed there is the SO3 vacuum table which was posted to the other forums (and is linked to from the wiki — I’d like to think everything is on the wiki):

But, if anyone has any other suggestions, corrections, additions, &c. please feel free to make them.

Having just assembled a new SO3 XL a few weeks ago I would HIGHLY recommend checking the GRBL settings prior to firing up Hello World. My settings were nonsense out of the box resulting in some very rough movement and a smashed Sharpie marker tip.

If they were as messed up as mine, I would recommend first reverting to the default values (Step 5 in the above link), then going through and at least enabling homing so you can test that functionality with Carbide Motion.

You absolutely want to make sure the machine is jogging smoothly and that the axes are correctly oriented (especially that Z axis) prior to running the Hello World. Keep your hand on the e-stop (or the toggle switch for the power supply).

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Got it, thanks Brash. It’s also funny where one finds this stuff, since now this GRBL setting process is apparently found under FAQ’s, ( which I rarely read ) and not included as part of the build process??? William Adams don’t know how you’re going to get your arms around this problem of documentation.

I’m was spoiled by purchasing the Nomad 883 Pro first, and having had none of these assembly issues to face. Now I buy the Shapeoko 3 XL and assembly was still quite easy due to all the pre assembled modules and a good idea where things belong. It would be nice if all the basic and required setups needed could be found in one place.

Winston just uploaded a really good video to help get your SO3 tuned up once you get everything together:


Jogging works fine and directions are correct I believe, PLUS (+) directions are UP - RIGHT - BACK. Haven’t activated home yet as suggested by William.

What is the purpose of bringing up the LOG window? Does the message count ever stop counting up?

So then I need to click the INFO button and for my Win7 PC press CTL+1. Where are these default Values coming from? And are they being loaded into Shapeoko board? Then finally when I press settings I see apparently what’s present, and I see the X and Y are set to 430 or 420. Where in the assembly process am I going to be directed to change the X Value for my XL to something double what it is now? Can’t find this information in the build guide where I think it should be found. I see some of these setting in the Carbide Motion - Settings window. Can the needed values be entered here or do you send them to the Shapeoko with the MDI function? So many questions…LOL

Those directions are correct.

The LOG window shows any commands sent to/from the control board. Carbide Motion is continuously polling the GRBL control board (message count), so the message count should always increase.

You’ll only want to send the default values once, since you are re-writing the settings that are stored in EEPROM (electronically erasable programmable read only memory) on the control board. To just view the current settings on the control, type “$$” into the command line under the “MDI” tab. This command line is used to write values to the different parameters on the control board, simply by typing “$” followed by the parameter number and the value you wish to change it to. There are numerous examples of writing to parameters using MDI on this message board.

I’m still experimenting with the proper X/Y settings to avoid banging the gantry too much at the extents, but the basic (max.) limits were just mentioned here: Help setup please!

I defer to @WillAdams for when a good time to try homing is, but once you’re ready there is a good tutorial here:
and here:
How can I permanently activate my home switches in Carbide Motion?

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Thanks for posting this, Scott. I’ve been meaning to watch this, and now that I have done so I want the magnetic depth gauge mount Winston demonstrated. I’ve rigged my depth gauge with an aluminum extrusion for bed flatness checks, but watching how versatile this is for stepper tuning, I must have one.

Anyone have the line on these gizmo’s?

this was in the description of his video,i was planning to order myself :slight_smile:

My cheap dial indicator:
(Consider getting base w/ ball joints too:
Threaded inserts I put into the bottom of my supplementary wasteboard: (Note: Use w/ 5/16" pilot hole, NOT 9mm)
Dust boot that’s saved me from inhaling a ton of MDF dust:


Thanks Mark, for all the informational nuggets!
I have everything but the magnetic base…

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Though I don’t know how they handle shipping, it looks like Little Machine Shop has the dial indicator set for two bucks less:

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