Work Flow Designing/Cutting

Shapeoko Pro XXL
Carbide Create ( not PRO)
Carbide Basic Spindle

I am just 5 months into CNCing. I want to improve my workflow but until I start earning, I am limiting my budget for big improvements.

I run Carbide Motion on an old Acer mini-laptop my oldest son was tossing and that’s with the CNC in the garage.

I run Carbide Motion on an older desktop that another son built for me 10-12 years ago and that’s in the house.

Run in, run out, run in, make a change in design, run out, always have flash drive, oops…left it in garage, etc…

Any suggestions for a step up solution would be appreciated.


JRC[date=2022-05-27 timezone=“America/New_York”]

The big change I would insert here would be to add 3D previewing of the G-code — get in the habit of looking at the 3D preview and turn the toolpath/rapids on/off to get an idea of how the machine will cut, then export to G-code.

Use a suitable third-party 3D G-code previewing tool to show the G-code and look through it and verify that the origin is as expected and how things are going to cut.

One thing which helps is to put the origin and tools and stock dimensions in the filename.

Other things to look into, if you have internet in the garage (perhaps a simple repeater or running an Ethernet cable?):

  • setup up a dropbox or onedrive or other drive sharing site
  • add a remote control program which allows controlling the main machine from the laptop in the garage

Are you able to run carbide create on the laptop occasionally? If so you could do the designs inside like you are and just use the laptop by the machine for small fixes when needed.

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Store your files on a OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or similar service. I never use USB unless my internet goes down that way. Not only that but most of those services will also provide some change management for you. If I made a mistake on a file OneDrive keeps copies of the previous saves so I can just restore one from when I knew it worked.

I also would look at making sure you have the latest Carbide Motion with the preview capability. It is awesome to help make sure you have the right file.

Also install Carbide Create on the laptop in the shop just in case you only need a small change so you don’t have to run back and forth.

A lot of this hinges on you having internet in the garage. If you don’t have Wifi that is able to reach the garage look at getting a Wifi Extender. They can be cheap. Here are some options on Amazon.
If you are using the Wifi from the modem you got from your internet provider then check to see if they offer a mesh network as an option. It would mean it extends your network without having to hook up to a different Wifi SSID. Not a huge deal but worth doing if you can.

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Spot on! I have learned I can do that but often I will crash Carbide Create and have to open it again. That has helped and thank you for suggesting that.

Thanks. I will try OneDrive. I do have a wireless mesh system will good service in garage.

I really appreciate the benefit of One Drive and OneDrive it keeping “copies of the previous saves.”


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Check on onedrive retention and/or size restrictions. I remember reading an article about onedrive and google drive having limits but dont recall limits. FYI

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