XXL Rigidity and Flex? Can S3 only be used with Carbide Software?

Hi Everyone.

Planning to get an S3, I’m interested in the XL and I’ll be fine with the size, but I’m thinking if I should get an XXL (for future-poofing). I’ve had a Shapeoko 2 (1m x 1m) before, and had flexing issues on the Y rails, and some deflections from the steel plates.

In the XXL, are the any such issues too? Maybe minor? Is it rigid enough? - If there are, maybe I’ll just stick to XL.

Also, can the S3 only be used with Carbide’s own software? Or I can use other software like Mach 3,Mach 4, UGS, bCNC, etc?

The S3 is much more rigid than the S2, and I believe you can upgrade the XL to an XXL with a new frame kit if you outgrow it.

You can use a variety of software to send the gcode to the machine you aren’t locked into Carbide3d’s offerings, and frankly some of the fanciest stuff you see in the gallery is made using more capable software, that comes with a price tag.


If anything, the XXL flexes less along the Y-axis (two extrusions) than the XL along the X-axis (a single extrusion supported by plastic wheels) — the extrusions have proven out via FEA as being good for up to a 5’ unsupported span.

You can use any software which you’d want pretty much — anything for an SO2 would work, since they use the same control firmware, Grbl. Using Mach3 or Mach4 would require suitable electronics though.

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