VFD Password 123

Anyone know if C3D will hand out the VFD password? I realize that might put me in ‘unsupported’ and warrantied territory, which I’m fine with.

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Excellent question - hopefully you’ll get an answer. :wink:

C3D wouldn’t give out the password, so I’ll need to sell it and pick up an aftermarket VFD and spindle.

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That seems odd. Did you rent the VFD from them or did you buy it? If it is yours, you should be able to do whatever you want with it. That includes breaking it.

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When folks buy a VFD, it is after seeing the following on the Shop page for it:

NOTE: In an attempt to make this as plug and play as possible, and to ensure that we can support it properly, the VFD comes preprogrammed with the parameters locked. This protects you from accidental changes to the configuration.


I have rather strong opinions on this topic which can make my response sound harsh. I do not want that to make it seem like I am attacking anyone. The people who work at Carbide 3D on all the hardware, software and the forum are great and I have had nothing but positive interactions with them.

I doubt we will agree on this.

I understand the complications involved with support on something like a VFD with users that may or may not have the knowledge required to properly make changes. However, it does not change the fact that if you don’t control it, you don’t own it. Preventing people from doing whatever they want with devices they own is extremely anti-consumer regardless of the motivation. If the way support and warranty is handled has to change in order to make the product viable while still allowing people to actually own their hardware then it should be changed. I bet there is a middle ground that would work. I generally like what Carbide 3D makes but refusing to give out the password to the VFD even if the user acknowledges that they are not going to get the same level of support is a mistake.


There are lots of situations where you modify something and lose warranty.

I’m guessing all VFDs have the same code but if they had been unique then
C3D could release the corresponding code to that unit on the basis the
user is informed and acknowledges that they are ending their warranty.

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I suspect if there was a unique code, it could be given out with a warranty disclaimer. Tracking these codes would be a nightmare, so I suspect it’s a generic code, and perhaps worry of it getting leaked?

Agree it’s generally disappointing how this is handled. No spare outputs, no braking resistor, no tinkering.

Nor do you understand it if you don’t know how it’s configured!

Especially since the current configuration is so limited. I.E., no control of chiller or dust collector power, no spindle speed override or display of spindle torque, power, run times, etc. Maybe someday? :wink:


Since that also apparently applies to HDMs - maybe that note should be added to their product descriptions too?
Also, the specified power requirements for the HDMs unfortunately don’t seem to reflect the reality of at least our 110V Version.
“220V Version - 2 x 110V outlets for spindle chiller and motion electronics + 220V outlet, 12 amp for spindle|
110V Version - 2 x 110V outlets for spindle chiller and motion electronics + 110V outlet, 15 amp for spindle” (IMO a dedicated 20A circuit would likely be required to get 1500W (2HP) out of that spindle!)

I think ultimately it comes down to if the advantages of a fully, actually supported system are valuable to you, or if tinkering, modifying, optimizing, etc, present more value to you. Neither is wrong, just a different mindset. If they do for instance allow you to change the settings, you loose a couple of the advantages of getting their kit, as that would likely void the warranty and support. Why didn’t you just buy something else anyway? It would be cheaper and you get to have fun tinkering on multiple levels.

If you want to tinker, get something else. It’s that easy. If you want a full PnP set-up with a company that stands by their product and you can contact for support, get the C3D. I don’t get being salty about it.


When I purchased my SO3, Carbide3d was listing their machines as “the most hackable cnc on the market”.

Is there a confirmation “checkbox” that verifies the reading of and acceptance of the non-tinker clause?

I think they have that verbiage as well when I bought my SO3 7 years ago. :slight_smile:

I can’t think of a single thing I’ve ever purchased that had a “non-tinker clause” with a checkbox that you had to check before you were allowed to purchase that product. At best you get a warranty paper in the box. I think it is generally implied in our society that if you mess with something, warranty and support are out the window. I used to design/produce aftermarket performance car parts for a living. We all knew we were killing our warranty.

Again, in my opinion, if you don’t like the way they’ve configured things, go elsewhere. You’re not their market with that particular product. There’s plenty of stuff I pass on because I don’t like an aspect of that product or the company. I just get something else and go on about my day. In the mean time the SO4 Pro at work and my SO5 Pro and HDM at home with C3D VFD spindles all function awesome and I get about to making things like research nuclear reactor parts, microscope parts, and experiment components, as well as just plain décor stuff.


As does anyone who unlocks their VFD as well.

PWNCNC doesn’t lock theirs and has found a way to provide a warranty.

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And that is how they run their business, and good competition is a good thing.

I feel that I have to re-re-re-iterate my point. If another product offers you more advantages by your metrics, then the answer is clear. You go buy their product and you get to making things. :slight_smile:


What are Carbide 3d’s warrantees on their VFDs/Spindles?

Same as on all our other Shapeoko products:


Thanks! Would spindle bearing wear/failure be considered “normal wear and tear”?

Normal as in it’s a consumable and not to be replaced?

Or normal as in, it happens, and if it happens during the warranty period would be replaced?

The latter is my understanding, but check in at support@carbide3d.com if you have this problem and we will do our best to work it out with you.

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First, I fully agree that if something does not fit your needs you should get something else rather that cause a big fuss complaining that it isn’t what you want. However, there is nothing wrong with voicing your opinion to companies about what they do. How else are they supposed to know what people want? Vote with your wallet and explain why without getting emotional. This especially applies to companies like Carbide 3D that are extremely community involved.

Second, it’s not about whether or not you can tinker. It’s about the concept of ownership. Tinkering just happens to be one of the largest pain points when you don’t truly own something. If you buy something physical, you should have the right to do what you want with it. This applies even if all you want to do is use it exactly as the manufacturer intended. Another example of the idea I am trying to communicate is this: Every person should have freedom of speech regardless of whether they have something to say.

The idea that manufactures of physical goods have any right to maintain control over it after it has been purchased is a fallacy. If they want to maintain control, then they should rent or lease it instead of allowing it to be bought.