The visualizer update to Motion is great, but what about a live version?

Hey y’all! I’ve been on Carbide Motion for the past few months after using CNCjs for a while (wanted proper bitsetter support and the ability to easily use an Xbox controller.)

I love that we can now get a visualization of gcode when we upload it to Motion, but one thing I still miss from CNCjs and UGS is live visualization of where the CNC is in relation to where the file is, seeing it move through the carve on the screen and what was next is something that I loved with the other software. It would be great to have this function in Motion, and with the new visualizer I could see it actually becoming a reality. Is this something that could actually happen, or is it just not a priority? Just curious.

Thanks for all the great work y’all do for these machines!


We’d consider it, but a real-time visualizer is pretty far down on the list at this point.

If you don’t mind my asking, what benefit do you get from it? We’ve talked about it here, and nobody really sees a reason to see a live toolpath in the controller when you can look at the machine. (Other than the fact that it would look really cool)


when using CNCjs the one (only?) benefit I see from realtime visualization is telling which depth pass is currently being run, and how many passes are left (since CNCjs also colors differently the part of the toolpath not yet executed). This has saved me a few times (when realizing that the machine still had 4 passes to cut when visually I was already down to where I needed to be, because I had made a mistake in the toolpath). Other than that I agree it’s pretty much only because it looks cool and it’s easy to get used too (and therefore miss it afterwards)


What Julien said is kinda the main key, seeing what depth of pass it’s still on is really good info to have. That, plus I’ve realized too late that a design was going to cut outside the bounds and I can stop it when I see where the CNC is vs what’s left to cut with a quick glance.

That…and it does look cool to watch it all progress lol

Actually, while on the topic of CNCjs and Motion, is there a function in Motion to have the CNC outline the file? That’s another thing that has saved me in many ways with CNCjs, having the CNC run the outline of the toolpath before it starts milling. I know you can technically set the Z height above the material and run an air pass but the reset of the CNC after a job completes adds a lot of extra time when a quick button press could outline the max bounds of the job right before cutting (optinally)


Not in current versions.

I’ve drawn in and manually done this when necessary, when using workholding which allowed for it.

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I don’t necessarily need to see things in real time but two things I would like are:

  1. A warning to say before the job is started, that the job will go out of bounds. I think that would looking at maximum machine coordinates. Even if it is a warning that says programmed cuts will be close to machine cutting boundries, check your zero and positioning.

  2. An estimated time till next tool change. It would be nice to have an idea of whether I should stand and wait for it, or I can go to bench 10 ft away and work on soimething else (finishing a prior project, etc)



I love the idea about time until estimated tool change!


I’ve thought about this before as well. The depth pass is interesting, but I think I can deduce it by looking at the depth reflected the Z indicator while it’s running.

What I have wished I had was an indicator as to which toolpath is currently being cut (the name I assigned to it), what percentage of that toolpath is complete, and how much time is estimated to be left for that toolpath. In effect, a toolpath-based subset of the overall timer that’s running.

What that would let me do is know how long before the next tool change is needed, or get me ready to pause, and check something once a given toolpath is completed. I don’t run the jobs without “watching” the machine…but, like John (@Stankus ), I often do something else and listen or glance over regularly…so knowing how long I have (not just until tool change, but how long for a given toolpath) would be quite helpful.


Effectively, it would be nice to have the toolpath list: with it’s estimated time for each step and tool to be used - along with an indicator of which toolpath is currently running, it’s % complete and remaining estimated time.
EDIT: And, of course, without losing the overall time and % complete that’s there already

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I also think this would be useful - or a FRAME command (a la Lightburn). Just PLEASE don’t give me another dialog to clear with a click before starting - UNLESS there’s a problem!

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The clicks have always been annoying to me…until I figured out “spacebar” also works to “click” next in those boxes! Makes it so much easier than trying to hunt and click with the mouse

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Yup…except I’m using a tablet and don’t have a keyboard hooked up to CM :frowning: I’ve lobbied for a “Don’t show me this again” checkbox, but it hasn’t come yet…There’s always hope…

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I added an request in the request section…hopefully, it covers all the thoughts here: Add 'Toolpath Road Map" while running jobs


Would it be possible to set up an API that lets the community build their own visualizers? The API would also potentially enable the community to build an add-on that can display countdown timers, as requested by @Stankus

(I’m relatively new here, forgive me if there’s already a discussion or documentation around APIs)

A look ahead at next cutting blocks would really be great if you also had single block operation. Being able to step through blocks is a must. I am a retired CNC installer/ trainer and single block was important for debug of program.

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