Shapeoko3 Newbie- Need first time help with 3D letters

Hi Guys,

I’m a proud owner of a new shapeoko3 and just getting started. Let me tell you a bit about my experience because I’m not a complete Noob to cnc, just to Shapeoko and Carbide Create basically.

I have 3D letters I created in Maya and can put into Fusion360 too. But I’m not looking for 3D carving as much as needing to just get a few 2.5D letters with a pocket cut, maybe at 2 heights and then a final cut around the edges.

My problem is how to make my files correctly speak to Carbide Create or import directly to Carbide Motion. I cant seem to find any good tuts on youtube so hoping someone here is willing to assist me. I can share SVG or stl files as well as Coreldraw CDR or SVG if necessary.

I have Skype too and willing to do some live chat walkthrough if possible. Give me your email and I’ll share more details and files.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance-Michael
SteamMaker Factory

We have a standing offer on that we’ll work up step-by-step tutorials for folks who have difficulties with projects or files — just send it in.

For importing SVG, the community has the following notes:

  • no overlapping or intersecting geometry (if possible — overlapping geometry is often discarded)
  • no pixel images
  • some files will work more reliably when winding direction is correct (outermost path is counterclockwise, next is clockwise and alternate as needed)
  • can interfere with import — ungroup down to just paths, joining them all into a composite path will help with the above
  • some programs don’t provide a size, specifying 100% for dimensions — please edit them to specify dimensions (SVG is just XML) or open in Inkscape and resave

There are some additional tutorials linked to from there.

Carbide Create is almost embarrassingly simple, but is surprisingly powerful once one wraps one’s mind around using it. Just give it a whirl and let us now where you get stuck!

Thanks William!
I replied by email with my files. Email bounced back but I think it went through. Maybe the attachments cause the error. Let me know if you didnt recieve the email.


I’m afraid I don’t see your message in our help queue, so I’ve upgraded your account here — you should be able to upload the files now.

Thanks William. I’ll resend the files in a moment. I’m currently experiencing a stange issue with the machine. Last night the cut test stopped about half way and had an error due to my file being on a usb I think instead of the hard drive.

But this morning the machine is making a loud grinding sound and Motion is saying there is an unexpected GRBL error. I tried restarting the computer twice and have the test file on the HD now but the machine wont stop this loud buzzing or home.

Not sure what to do. Researching the forums now for a solution. Everything was running peachy last night.


Yep your email is refusing attachments, so going to attempt uploading my files here.

Horrible sounds are often caused by wiring faults, please check per

If it’s bumping up against an axis and grinding there, see

yeah its not a homing switch. I move all axis to the center when restarting. I disconnected and reconnected both the usb and power cables before but havent checked the wirings since she was working fine last night. will do that now.

I’m not sure how to get my zip file to you. Can I upload it here somehow? You mentioned you upgrade my account but dont see a way to attach the files.

Click on the upload button in the reply:


thanks again for the help.

Update on machine:

I had success getting the loud buzzing to stop. I grabbed the Y axis bar and pulled it slightly. Seemed to make the buzz lessen until it finally stopped. Not sure why. All wires look secure.

Only issue now is Motion says cannot see the cutter. I’m thinking it might be a usb driver issue on my older computer. Checking forums now for what others did to fix it.

Okay, that’s going to be challenging — a CNC can’t quite have the detailing of a scroll saw.

One approach would be:

  • select the letter
  • do an offset path

to the outside by the thickness of the material (assuming using a 60 degree endmill)

(orange is the selection, black is the resultant path)

Select everything and do Toolpath | V carve

Select the letterform and do Toolpath | Contour | Outside right:

Which will then preview as:

(I changed the stock thickness to 0.25" and overcut the profile to 0.251")

Attached.V-test-fixed.c2d (1.6 MB)

1 Like

great thanks. Is there a way to also add a pocket inset cut on the interior of the letter but leave a nice border like 1/6" or 1/8" border then the inset?

Yes, just add the inset geometry:

Attached. (231.9 KB)

Awesome, thats what I was looking to create :grinning:
Thanks for your help William.

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