Carbide Motion

Carbide Motion is the machine control software used to operate your Nomad or Shapeoko CNC machine from Carbide3D.

Think of Carbide Motion as the dashboard for your CNC machine.

Carbide Motion is only available for the Nomad and Shapeoko CNC machines

Get Carbide Motion

About Carbide Motion

Carbide Motion is a ground-up rethinking of how a machine controller should work. We've focused on just a few things:

  1. Easy to get started
  2. No loss of control for advanced users
  3. High performance without needing a fully dedicated computer
  4. Supports Mac and Windows computers

A brief history of CNC controllers...

PC Controls (Old and functional)

Most lower-cost CNC machines (those that cost less than a used car) use a computer to control the machine. Most of these use a PC to directly control the CNC machine and the timing of the signals that move the motors must be absolutely perfect or you're going to have nothing but problems. For this to work, the PC must be dedicated to running the CNC machine and doing nothing else. No music, no Youtube, no CAD or design programs. This wasn't something we wanted to do.

Embedded Processor (Newer but limited)

The second approach is to put a small controller in the machine itself to handle the motors and critical timing and then use a PC to send gcode commands down to it. Now you can use your computer for your CNC machine when you need to, but it doesn't need to be solely a "CNC Computer". The big limitation here is that you can only support features in the embedded controller (which is very limited) and it's hard to make changes. It's good, but not good enough.

The Hybrid Approach (Best of both worlds)

We took it further with a hybrid approach to a machine controller. We don't just send the gcode down to the controller in the CNC machine a little at a time, we read it all into Carbide Motion and modify it as needed. This lets us implement gcodes that don't exist on the embedded controller and add features like our Nomad tool length sensor. The embedded controller does the real-time control and the computer does the translation and a nice user interface. Problem solved.

As far as we can tell, we're the first company to implement this hybrid approach and it's one of the critical details that let us make machines so easy to use.

Features

Jogging

The jog feature found in Carbide Motion allows you to manually move your machine around. From the jog menu you can move to your job zero, and prepare your machine to run a job.

Rapid Coordinate System

When you design and produce the machine, and write the software to control them, the two can work together in a way not possible to those who rely on 3rd party vendors for support.

The Rapid Coordinate System built into Carbide Motion allows Carbide3D machines to move very quickly from the home position to 9 waypoints on the machine table. Carbide Motion detects which Carbide3D CNC machine is connected, and acts appropriately.

Work Offsets

The work coordinate system can be complicated and intimidating. With Carbide Motion, we took the liberty of managing the work coordinate system for you. Carbide Motion remembers your last offsets and gives you easy access to return to those positions, reliably and repeatably.

MDI

Not everyone needs and MDI, but if you're interested or have a need to send you machine manual commands, the MDI has you covered.

Support for Windows and Mac

We support both Windows and Mac for all of our software.

Works with Carbide Create

Carbide Create is the 2.5D CAD/CAM program from Carbide3D and is dsigned to work hand in hand with Carbide Motion.

Design your projects and create toolpaths with Carbide Create, then export the gcode and load it into Carbide Motion to turn your digital project into a virtual creation.

Click here for Carbide Create.