Carbide 3D Blog

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Jan 9

State of Carbide 3D 2017

It’s time for our somewhat-annual State of Carbide 3D. We’re a small company but at the core we’re product development people so we always have a lot going on. Here’s what we can share:

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Dec 2

DeWalt vs Makita

We get a lot of questions about what router to use with the Shapeoko, the DeWalt DWP611 or the Makita RT0701C. We’ve been meaning to do a deatiled writeup for a while but it looks like we can cross it off the todo list.

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Nov 29

Carbide Create 289

We just uploaded build 289 of Carbide Create with some bug fixes:

  • Rotations for polygons were not loaded/saved
  • Zero marker position was not updated when a file was loaded
  • Better DXF compatibility for some Solidworks DXF files

Check it out and let us know what you think. (Your existing install should see the update available)

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Nov 18

Edwards Commute Projects

Edward’s been doing a series of projects on Youtube on the Shapeoko. We realized yesterday that we haven’t shared these on our own site at all, only with our Youtube subscribers.

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Nov 3

Carbide Motion 366

Yesterday we uploaded Carbide Motion 366 to fix reports of “Cutter Stopped Responding” messages. This should almost never happen “in real life” but it’s happening anyway. From what we can tell, it seems to be the operating system delaying some messages getting passsed around the program.

Build 366 has the following changes:

  • Boosted priority of main thread when program starts
  • Eliminated timeout for GRBL to reply to status requests
  • Extended timeout for initial GRBL reply

As we begin to finish up support for GRBL 1.1, we’ve stopped putting a lot of effort into this branch of Carbide Motion so this might be the last release of Carbide Motion V3.

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Oct 20

GRBL 1.1 Update

As many of you know, our machines are based on the fantastic GRBL machine controller, which is open source and available for everyone to play with and review. For the past couple of years, we’ve stayed with the same version because it was stable and because the newer releases didn’t add much that we needed.

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Sep 7

Feed and Speeds Part 2

This is a guest post by Bob Warfield, founder of the popular CNCCookbook blog and author of G-Wizard, the leading feeds and speeds calculator.

cnc cookbook banner

In this second part of the multi-part series of guest posts, I want to walk you through the basics of feeds and speeds.

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Aug 18

Carbide Motion 364 and Probing

We just uploaded a new build of Carbide Motion, 364. It includes:

  • G10 is enabled for running programs, not just the MDI
  • Fixes for a couple of bugs in incremental movement (G91)

We can also share a litte more of our probing work lately: We’re making an active probe with a steel body and probing commands built in to Carbide Motion. Here’s what all of that means:

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Aug 16

Carbide Motion 363

We just uploaded a new Carbide Motion, build 363. This build fixes the weird jogging that could occur in 362 after setting the zero position.

Thanks to everyone who reported the problem.

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Aug 10

Carbide Motion 362

We just uploaded Carbide Motion Build 362. It includes a handful of great updates, and shows where we’re going next.

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Aug 4

Feed and Speeds Part 1

This is a guest post by Bob Warfield, founder of the popular CNCCookbook blog and author of G-Wizard, the leading feeds and speeds calculator.

cnc cookbook banner

In this multi-part series of guest posts, I want to walk you through the basics of feeds and speeds.

Read more
Aug 2

Carbide Motion 361

We just uploaded Carbide Motion 361 with the following changes:

  • Ensure spindle is off before tool probing
  • Ensure spindle is off before too change (Weird edge case where this could have happened before)
  • Added an explicit “View Gcode” button on info pane. This lets you view gcode from Carbide Create
  • Fixed jerky jogging from 360
  • Show machine coordinates during program running
  • Eliminated “Continue with homing” button for tool changes. This behavior had become redundant in the past few releases
  • Added line number reporting while job is running
  • Fixed bug where machine may not home before running a job
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Aug 1

New Warranties

When we started shipping Nomads, we told customers that we had a 90 day warranty because that seemed to be industry standard for a machine like ours. For the Shapeoko, we never really stated that we had a warranty because we didn’t know how to deal with a warranty on a kit.

Internally, we never put any limitation on the warranty because we coundn’t imagine telling a customer, “Sorry but it’s been too long”. Instead we put an emphasis on trying to eliminate any problem that we could and we never charged anyone for a part.

Today, we feel confident enough to put a new warranty in place. The Nomad now has an 18-month warranty, which is the most generous in the industry. We’re also making it retroactive so that machines shipped in the last 18 months are all still under warranty.

For the Shapeoko, we’re adding a 90 day warranty. This gives news users plenty of time to get the machine up and running, and then run it hard for a while.
 We’ve got a competitor that sells extended warranties, and another competitor that explicitly states that they are unable to offer a warranty. To us, this is totaly upside down. We want our customers to know that we stand by our products and that we’re in this together.

We hope these new warranties demonstrate our commitment to quality and support. (And that we’re really confident in our machines.)

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Jul 28

Big Carbide Create Update

For those who haven’t heard of it, the Cameo Silhouette is a computer controlled paper and vinyl cutter that seems to be mainly for the craft/scrapbooking market. This is not something I would expect to see mentioned in my circles, but I kept reading rave reviews about it. I had to try one.

So I ended up on a making cardstock bookmarks on a Saturday afternoon, just to see if it was “that good”. It is remarkably easy to use and after an hour we had a couple of new items on the Carbide Create todo list. (Now on the “done” list)

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Jul 25

Refocusing on Customers

For the past few years, we passed responsibility for customer support between different people in the company depending on who had time to dedicate to it. We’re a small team so this was a necessity if we wanted to ship all of the hardware and software that we do.

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Jan 20

The Disconnect Problem

We’ve been working with some of our customers to fix a problem on the Shapeoko 3 that has quickly gained a mythology that far surpasses its reality. We’ve tried to answer questions when they pop up in forums but we decided to post a more definitive statement here.

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Jan 18

Carbide Create - Now with V-Carving

2016 is off to a great start here at Carbide3D

In December, we ran a poll asking all of you for the number one feature you wanted to see in Carbide Create. The results were impressive, with lots of great suggestions. We almost immediately released the ability to import DXF and SVG files, and then began working on another request called v-carving.

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Jan 4

2015 Wrapup

2015 was a big year for everyone here at Carbide 3D so we wanted to take a little time to fill everyone in on what’s been going on.

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Oct 10

Nomad Wins "Best Desktop CNC"

Make: magazine, leader of the Maker Movement and producer of the popular Maker Faire events, just released their “Ultimate Guide to Desktop Fabrication 2016.” Make: reviewed a wide variety of digital fabrication machines, from 3d printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, and vinyl cutters.

Carbide 3D had a machine place in each CNC category with Shapeoko 3 winning 2nd place in the “Best Mid-Size” category and 3rd in the “Best Large Format” category.

The Nomad was named “Best Desktop Mill”.

It’s a huge honor to win an award the first time we submit one of our machines to be reviewed. We couldn’t be more excited.

Here’s the best part of the win: it was the original Nomad 883 that won, not the new Nomad 883 Pro. The original Nomad 883 won without the new frame, the thicker rails, newer electronics, and without our new Carbide Create CAD/CAM software.

The new Nomad Pro machines are starting to ship in quantity now so it’s a great time to order a machine and get “The Best Desktop CNC”.

Read more about the Ultimate Guide to Desktop Fabrication here

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Sep 29

Sept 2015 Update

Today’s a big day at Carbide 3D- we finally get to announce some of the things that we’ve been working on for the past few months.

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Jun 16

July 2015 Update

It’s been a few months since our last update so we figured it was about time to let everyone here know what we’re spending our days doing.

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May 7

Nomad in Action #2

Once again, we've got a user who has really impressed us (this is becoming really common).  Marc, one of our earliest users, just posted a thread in our forum showing his process for milling PCBs and the results.

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Feb 23

Our Future with GRBL (and a new product)

We found GRBL, the motion control software that we use, a little over a year ago after other solutions failed to deliver the performance and reliability we needed.  Since then, we've used it for both of our machines, the Nomad 883 and the Shapeoko 3, and it's safe to say that any Carbide machine in the foreseeable future will be based on GRBL.

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Jan 22

Nomad in Action #1

We’ve gotten more Youtube videos featuring the Nomad than we ever expected. We love watching them to find out what users are doing with their machines but this one blew us away.

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Jan 9

How to buy a Haas

For those who have been following our progress over the past few months, it’s clear that we’ve been limited by the machine shops we rely on. We should probably just declare now that we’re control freaks- rather than find addition vendors, we decided to buy a machining center to make it possible to do more in-house.

This turned out to be more complicated than we initially though so we decided to document it here to help others.

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Dec 9

Welcome Edward to the Team

 

UPDATE:  Bob at CNCCookbook.com has posted more information about The Big News at http://blog.cnccookbook.com/2014/12/09/breaking-news-shapeoko-carbide-3d-join-forces/

 

We can finally announce one of the things we've been working on for a while:  Edward Ford, the guy who created the Shapeoko CNC router, is now a partner at Carbide 3D.  We've been working on making this happen for months and we're thrilled to finally be able to tell everyone about it.

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Nov 6

We Moved!

We just finished moving from our shop of 9 years in El Segundo to a new shop in Torrance, California. We now have the space for additional employees and machinery to keep up with demand for The Nomad.

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Sep 17

Interview with Carbide 3D

We've been hard at work building machines so the blog section of the website has remained empty for too long.  Luckily, Bob from CNCCookbook.com got in touch for a quick interview about our Kickstarter experiences and to find out how we're heading towards production.  You can read it here: http://blog.cnccookbook.com/2014/08/29/update-carbide-llc-nomad-cnc-mill/

If you haven't been to CNCCookbook.com before, be sure to dig around on the site.  Bob has put together one of the biggest online repositories of CNC information anywhere.

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