Your preferred software for your Shapeoko?

I’m curious to know what software users on this forum prefer to use with their Shapeoko.

Preferred design software
  • Carbide Create
  • Fusion
  • Vectric
  • MeshCAM
  • CarveCo
  • Other

0 voters

Preferred machine control software
  • Carbide Motion
  • CNCjs
  • G-Code Sender
  • GrblController
  • bCNC
  • Other

0 voters

Of course, I might get in to trouble for asking, but I’m a grown-up.

Sucks to not be able to select multiple options in this poll.

For example I use Fusion 360 for a lot of 3D parts, but use Illustrator for easy to reason about 2.5D design, and Vectric when I’m doing v-carving or engraving.

I use CNCjs mostly but use bCNC when I need autoleveling for PCB milling.


Sorry, @mingle, I wasn’t trying to make it ‘suck’ :blush: but just to get user’s “preferred” option, but thanks for your vote :+1:

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What this guy said, sept LOVE Carbide Create for 2D (Yay for the drilling operation…finally) and Fusion for the complex 3D (Ball and Claw Desk legs, B&S Engine Blocks, etc). So perhaps a CAD-2D and CAD-3D Poll

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Again? (Maybe not by you, though.) :smiley: Perhaps you should explain your reasons for collecting this “preferred” information?

PS. This is a C3D forum. If you were on the Vectric forum, they would blank out all those “other” software names! I haven’t seen C3D censor anything like that yet, but I wouldn’t blame them if they did.

We’ve had polls in the past on this on the old forums:

as noted on the wiki:

and there’s a page listing communication/control programs: Communication / Control - ShapeOko and another for commercial software: Commercial Software - ShapeOko

The most popular programs seem to be:

  • Carbide Create
  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • Vectric
  • CarveCo
  • Solidworks
  • EstlCAM
  • CamBam
  • pyCAM
  • FreeCAD
  • CNCjs
  • bCNC
  • Universal G-Code Sender

along w/ various vector editing programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Serif’s Affinity Designer, and the opensource Inkscape.

Which programs folks use should depend on what sort of work they wish to do and how they wish to approach it.

Certainly my own approach verges on the bizarre:


but I haven’t found anything as simple and straight-forward as Carbide Create.


I’ve not been around long enough to even know about those forums and, in any event, I was looking for a more up to date view, but thanks for your input.

Yep, for the reason I gave to @WillAdams

That would be up to them, wouldn’t it?

Hmm, I thought this was an open forum, but if Carbide3D want to do that, then let them do so.

There was a poll on G-Code senders here:

as well as one on the old forums:

Are you saying that V****** are actively censoring opinions?

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I’m saying what I said, and not what you imply with your question.


I think you have inferred something from within your own biases.

Redacting information is censorship, no ifs, buts or maybes and I was only posing the question. I don’t have a dog in this particular fight.

OK, it’s time I came clean.

I have trust issues with Carbide Motion, and am actively looking to dump it in favour of something more reliable. I want to make stuff, but not firewood. CM has let me down several times now, but it does so randomly and is difficult to investigate - and kudos to support who have tried valiantly - but I’m left with having to write a step-by-step log of the next few projects to make sure it’s not user error. If it is user error, I’ll need to look at something more “Peter-proof”.

I’ve not had any problems with Carbide Create.

Thanks for completing the poll, those that did. I’ll close it soon and release the results.


That information is here on the forum. You just need a different sender. The Shapeoko electronics run on gbrl. One alternate sender that is popular here is CNCjs ( Its function is the same as CM; sends gcode to the grbl control box. You just start CNCjs instead of CM, since they coexist.

There’s more detail available, so search for it, but with alternate senders one moves out of the Beginner’s mode of CM.

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Thanks, Tex.

I’m thinking CNCjs is probably the way forward for me, and I’m in the process of transitioning over to it as we speak.


The poll has been closed and the results released.

I’m not surprised by the results for the design software, but the preferred control software did surprise me a little.

Thanks to everyone for completing the poll.

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Another option by the way is to replace the Carbide Motion controller (the PCB attached to the Shapeoko) with a different one. You’ll also need stepper drivers and such but it gives you the option of using Mach3/4, LinuxCNC and all the other controllers on the market.