software choices

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software choices

Post by jpmreno » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:10 pm

i bought Vcarve Pro thinking I had to have it for my Shapeoko XXL. Now I'm finding out I need other software too. How many different software do I need?

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Re: software choices

Post by WillAdams » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:29 pm

You only need Vectric VCarve Pro if there's some specific feature which it has which you're willing to pay for.

The only software you should need is:

- Carbide Create --- this will allow you to draw and modify designs and assign toolpaths, see: and ... tutorials/
- Carbide Motion --- this will allow you to control the machine, jogging it, setting zero relative to the stock, and sending files to it: and ... userguide/

(there's a bit more on the wiki which may be of interest)

You can see how this software fits together in the tutorials:

The usual additions are:

- a vector editor / Bézier curve drawing program --- this is used as a front-end for creating designs more easily and with greater facility than Carbide Create readily affords. The usual choice is Inkscape:
- a CAM program such as Vectric which offers more features than Carbide Create
- a 3D CAD and CAM pair for folks doing full 3D

There's a bit more at: and related pages on the wiki.

If you'd let us know what sort of work you wish to do we could be more help.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

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Re: software choices

Post by stuarttaylor00 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:53 am

Vcarve pro (for design, and creating Gcode) and Carbide motion ( to control your machine and send Gcode to it - it is free) are the only two programs you need to make almost anything you could want on your shapeoko.

Carbide Create(for design and creating Gcode - also free) is a great simple software to design your projects, to make anything complex it needs the support of a vector editor, as Will mentioned. It is getting updated all the time and is very easy to use.

Personally I use Vectric Aspire (next level up from Vcarve Pro) and Carbide motion, it's a pretty great combo
Shapeoko 3 #1095 - Aluminium wasteboard, homing switches, Modified Z plate, Makita 700 router
Flashforge Dreamer Dual extruder 3D printer

2013 Ducati 848 Evo ;)

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Re: software choices

Post by chilinski » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:53 am

Fusion 360 (free for hobbyists) and grbl-panel (free) to control the S03 and send gcode are all I have needed in about a year. Fusion 360 because I can do a lot with it including 3D printer projects. Grbl-panel because it has a limited number assignable macros and programmable table locations. But most of my work is pretty flat, uninteresting and repetitious.

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