This really annoys me

I do not misspeak both the shapeoko controller and the Gecko 540 are stepper drivers. You are right the gecko and Mach 3 are very powerful and may be overkill. I mention it only because I chose to convert to something that I already use, carbide is great as I said but if you would read the whole text you would see I posted the extra cost involved and also said the first-timers will be well pleased with Carbide. However, webtop is most likely a step above many and may benefit from such a conversion. I did not say any one had to copy me! If your going to learn why not learn on something that can handle what you throw at it. Mach 4 is the new Mach and is USB. You say you feel it is excessive then don’t convert keep on hacking away to your heart’s content, I do all the time. By the way, my tool setter cost $13.00 and tool changes can be made on the fly. To each his own.

I could be wrong because I don’t have this issue, but I’m not sure that its Carbide Motion that is retracting 1/4 off your part and requesting a tool change but the gcode and from you project. If you post your gcode we could see. Are you setting Z-0 at the waste board, model top or stock top? What is the retract of your final op before the tool change? Have you tried just adding a G91 Z50(some number up) G90 before the tool change command M6 to just move the Z up by some number relative to the current position?

The gcode is from Carbide Copper, unedited. My zero point in all axis is generated via a probe. So I could edit the gcode and retract the Z height after the last tool operation, but imagine it from the point of view of a new user. To compound the issue, you cannot cancel the operation in Motion, you must hit Continue and then hit Pause before the next operation, then hit Stop…at which point you have an incomplete workpiece, and if you created a job with multiple operations in one file you have to either edit the gcode, or start over. This is fine, but from the perspective of a new user, this would be a very confusing issue.

If Carbides response is to output each operation in a new file, then they should incorporate this in their software and give access to the MDI between jobs. But they don’t, so you can’t, and so we are here.

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definitely right on the fact that this is confusing for someone new like me who only knows side dish. appreciated that you responded.
thanks for all your helpful replies and info.

I think we are all just trying to help by providing areas you can learn from that is part of learning CNC and to get you past the issue. Just one thing to keep in mind and I really think this is the crux of your issue is that the software you are trying to run on the shapeoko is really designed for the Nomad. So you’re frustration, while understandable, is at the expense of the fact that they tell you on the front page of Carbide Copper that the software is configured for the Nomad CNC. So the software is setup to make assumptions that the machine its running on is a Nomad with bitsetter. If you aren’t running it on the Nomad, but want to use the free software then consider the workarounds folks have recommend and enjoy the learning process.

" Free to use

Carbide Create is free to use for everyone. We made it for our Nomad Pro CNC machine, but we welcome owners of other CNC machines to use it as well.

Feel free to use Carbide Copper if you already have a CNC machine. If not, check out the Nomad. "


All the chat of altering codes and going in and re-writing commands when it would have been way more efficient for the machine to retract the z to max height and then pause when prompting for a tool change.
… or you have to purchase a “bit setter” which has its own issues and reasons not to install.
…or you have to use a different g-code sender
…or take the extra time to go into your path code and write in extra commands
… or save paths in different files for tool changes
pick whichever you choose, the software as it is is incomplete.
but like they say at support, This is NOT a working machine, it is a KIT. How well it works is up to the owner.
May as well have sent me a 40 pound block of aluminum and a spool of copper wire for my $1,800.00

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To be clear as I mentioned in my previous response about this, the Copper software he is using is designed for the Nomad which has certain features, his need for work arounds is based on him using the shapeoko which doesn’t have the same features.


I think they are aware…It’s pretty clear that they’re always working on it.
Carbide Motion is not made for those that want to find their own ways to do things. It, as it seems to me, is made for those that want to follow instructions and have the machine work as they expect. GRBL is open source which makes it possible to have a machine that the operator can adapt and create new ways to use it.
Their official stance for tool changes, without the BitSetter, is to export separate toolpaths.

How will you deal with the new Z height after the tool change?
If you have a plan for that (a few of us have used little 3D printed devices), you could just take the router out of it’s mount.

True,Carbide Motion is incomplete, but it’s nice to see that it’s being actively developed. If there is something that would work better for you, the cool thing is that you’re free to use that instead.


How will you deal with the new Z height after the tool change?

Stick the probe back on the workpiece, reset to zero. The machine should be able to figure it out from there, as it should always know where it just was.

That’s why I’m against buying a bitsetter…I have a probe.

Grbl doesn’t have a mechanism for probing during a pause, “knowing where it was”, or even interpreting an M6 command. The sender needs to handle that. Sounds like you need to move on to something else.

You’re free to use that. The hardware and electronics from C3D make it doable.

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