Shapeoko Software Review-Carbide Create, Motion – MellowPine

In this article, I ‘m going to review the CAD, CAM, and Control/Simulation software that comes with Carbide 3D ‘s Shapeoko series of CNC machines .
Carbide 3D offers Carbide Create, Carbide Create Pro, Carbide Motion, Carbide Copper, and Design Elements on their web site that handles diverse software aspects of CNC cutting .
For the Shapeoko series of CNCs, they provide Carbide Create, Carbide Create Pro, and Carbide Control free of cost with the machine .
I ‘ll be reviewing these three software programs in this article.

Carbide Create vs Carbide Create Pro – Which one do you need?

Carbide Create windowCarbide Create window
Carbide Create and Carbide Create Pro are unlike versions of the CAD plus CAM software provided by Carbide 3D .
Create is an intuitive CAD plus CAM software software that you can use to create designs or to convert designs to G-code .
For a long time, Carbide Create as a broadcast was merely limited to the Shapeoko machines .
recently, Carbide 3D made Carbide Create freely available for anyone to use .

Carbide Create Carbide Create Pro
Price Free $120/year or $360
Dimension 2D 3D
OS Windows, Mac Windows, Mac
Internet Offline Offline
Updates Rare Regular

Carbide Create and Carbide Create Pro comparison

In the next sections, I ‘ll discuss the main differences between Carbide Create and Carbide Create Pro .


Carbide Create is a free CAD/CAM software available for anyone to download and use .
even if you are not a exploiter of Carbide 3D ‘s CNC machines, you can use Carbide make .
Carbide Create Pro on the early hand is a pay software and it comes with two buy options. You can either pledge to it annually or can get a life ceaseless license .
The annual subscription costs $ 120 and you ‘ll be able to get all the software updates when Carbide 3D releases them .
For the ceaseless license, they charge a erstwhile fee of $ 360 but you ‘ll only get software updates for one class .
After one class, if you want to update to a newer adaptation of the software you are allowed to do so but you ‘ll have to pay $ 120 for one full year of updates .

User Interface

Both Carbide Create and Carbide Create Pro have the same interface .
With its elementary invention, it ‘s well navigable and has several user-friendly features like the aid menu which will greatly boost the user know .
Both have a grid-based blueprint editor program, this helps you make designs with correct dimensions so that you do n’t make errors on the workpiece .


Carbide Create and Carbide Create Pro are regular G-code programs that have some neat features .
One major advantage you get by using Carbide Create Pro is that it can handle 3D model and machine .
Carbide Create on the other pass can only work on two-dimensional designs .
For the subcontract setup, you can select the type of work material you are using. These have some preset speeds and feeds which is a good start point .
The tool path section of the Carbide Create software has contour and V-carve options for you to choose from .
once your cock way is ready you can check the tool path pretense for different materials and it shows the simulation in a 3D viewer .
Though Carbide Create Pro has 3D model capability, do not expect progress capabilities as in CNC software programs like Fusion 360 and Solidworks .
It ‘s geared more towards woodworking and aesthetic applications .
Carbide Create Pro is built off the foundation of its regular version .
You can start with the basic 2D geometry as the basis for more complex 3D shapes .
close up vectors can be built in layers/components and it comes in three shapes, round, flat, and slant. This defines the conversion manner around the frame of the shape .
lean components create a furrow around the part, while rounded part results in a bonus. You can adjust the acme and angles of these modifiers .
Grey scale in Carbide Create ProGreyscale in Carbide Create Pro

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Carbide Create Pro uses greyscale to represent the altitude maps .
If you bring in stature maps as textures you can have extra control over these features .
3D roughing in Carbide Create Pro3D roughing in Carbide Create Pro

Along with these new model features, Carbide Create Pro besides has new tool paths. They are 3D roughly and 3D end .
These new features do precisely what they are called .
3D rough in will pocket out your form with a certain amount of margin left around the corner .
3D finish uses a parallel raster tool path to finish your model .
If you are using the regular version of the Carbide Create, you can try the pro translation by enabling the pro trial modality in the regular version. But it does n’t allow you to create cock paths .
If you want to try the cock paths of the pro version, you can get a free 14-day trial of the Carbide Create Pro from Carbide 3D ‘s web site .
This does n’t have any limitations and you can even try a full project on it .

Learning Curve

With a childlike and user-friendly interface, it ‘s pretty easy to maintain a smooth work flow in both versions of Carbide Create .
once you install the software you can easily navigate and learn the software .
It wo n’t take much of your time, it has a elementary blueprint and after running some test operations you should have a solve cognition of the software .
Carbide 3D ‘s YouTube distribution channel has detailed tutorials on how to use the software .

Operating System

Carbide Create and Carbide Create Pro are available for both Windows and Mac OS .
It supports Windows 8, 10, and 11 with an AMD/Intel processor. besides supports Mac OS/X 10.14 and higher .
The calculator should have 4GB of RAM and a screen with a display solution of 1280 ten 1024 pixels .
Both versions of Carbide Create can work offline and only requires the internet for authentication, update activities, and integration with Carbide Motion Control.

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Since Carbide Create has been made freely available for anyone to use, it has attracted a set of people in the CNC diligence .
Though the Pro interpretation is paid, both the Pro and regular adaptation of the software has several active users .
For the Pro interpretation of the software, Carbide 3D provides give support to walk you through any software-related problems .

Carbide Motion Control Overview

Carbide Motion control software interfaceCarbide Motion control software interface

Carbide Motion Control
Price Free
Function Control
OS Windows, Mac
Supported Machines Shapeoko and Nomad series of CNC machines
Internet Offline

Price and features of Carbide Motion Contol

Carbide Motion is what controls your Shapeoko CNC machine ‘s motion. It accepts universal joint G-code and helps you do simple and promote operations .


Carbide Motion is a free-to-use software and can be downloaded from Carbide 3D ‘s web site .
There is no pay translation of this software available, so nothing is kept behind a paywall and all the features are freely available to use .

User Interface

Carbide Motion has a elementary user interface that makes it easy to load the G-code and control the Shapeoko machine .
The jog/position window shield of Carbide Motion looks like a video game control and is reasonably easy to understand what each button does .
You can do the jogging process either by clicking the on-screen buttons or by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard .


once you start Carbide Motion software, it ‘ll ask you to connect to the CNC machine. After establishing a successful connection to the Shapeoko, it ‘ll perform a homing sequence .
If you use a snatch setter or creature length probe like the one in Nomad, Shapeoko will measure the length of the install router bite or end mill once the homing operation completes .
once the above process completes you can load the G-code plan to run and start the job .
Shapeoko BitSetter users will have an extra button in the run window for loading a tool of their option .
The jog/position windowpane in the Carbide Motion is where you can position and set your origin .
To manually set the origin of any program that you are going to run, you have to go into the set-zero menu and character in your values .
The rapid position menu has nine different presets which can help easily position your CNC at nine positions .
Carbide Motion has a working probe window where you can zero your axes. You can besides switch your display and jogging units from millimeters to inches .
It has an MDI window, this is where you can send manual commands to your CNC .

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Controller Compatibility

Carbide Motion alone connects to the Nomad and Shapeoko series of CNC machines from Carbide 3D .
These CNC machines use an Atmel 328 microcontroller flashed with GRBL firmware .

Learning Curve

Carbide 3D has lessons on how to use the software on their youtube duct and it has a detail explanation of the work flow in Carbide Motion .
It is pretty easily to get started. Having a simple exploiter interface helps you do the operation without getting lost in the overplus of menu .
Though simple, Carbide Motion does n’t take off any control condition options for promote users. You can dig a short deep on each control to get to the progress manipulate options .

Operating System

Carbide 3D ‘s Control software can be installed on Windows and Mac OS .
For Windows, you ‘ll need an Intel/AMD processor with 4 GB of RAM. It supports 8, 10, and 11 versions of the Windows OS .
For Mac, it ‘ll support OS/X 10.14 or higher versions. It besides requires 4 GB of RAM .
Carbide Motion requires a screen expose with 1280 adam 1024 resolution for optimum performance of the interface .

Supported CNC Machines

Carbide Motion Control lone supports the Nomad and Shapeoko series of CNC machines. It looks for a unique VID/PID whenever you connect a machine .


Both the Shapeoko and Nomad CNC machines have a huge and active agent customer base .
The users are largely active throughout the Carbide residential district web site, Facebook groups, Reddit and YouTube .
Carbide provides regular updates on bug fixes and besides upload videos on youtube to notify their customers of what updates they ‘ve made to the software .
Carbide 3D has a resource foliate where you can find a batch of software documentation on how to use Carbide Motion and their other software programs .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What files does Carbide Motion use?

Carbide Motion can import and use files like G-codes, .egc ( encrypted G-code ) files from MeshCAM and .nc ( NetCFD ) files from Carbide Create .

Is Carbide Create free?

Yes, Carbide Create is unblock to use. It can be downloaded directly from Carbide 3D ‘s web site .
Carbide Create has a paid translation excessively, that is the Carbide Create Pro. It is more advance than the standard version and comes with two subscription options .
For Carbide Create Pro, you can subscribe annual for a price of $ 120 or you can get a life subscription for $ 360.

Can Carbide Create do 3D designs?

Carbide Create ca n’t work on 3D designs but Carbide Create Pro can design and machine 3D components. Carbide Create is only a 2D CAD/CAM software .

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