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 a little different than other machine controller software though, and it’s a critical difference.
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.
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 and it’s hard to make changes. It’s good, but not good enough.
We took it a little 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 imprement 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 gives you a nice user interface. 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.
Carbide Motion works with all of our machines, from the Nomad Pro to the Shapeoko 3, XL, and XXL.
The jog feature found in Carbide Motion allows you to manually move your machine around in a predictable repeatable way. From the jog menu you can move to your job zero, and prepare your machine to run a job.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We support both Windows and Mac for all of our software.
We think you should be able to use whatever computer you want, and we do everything we can to support them both equally.