FAQ

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Safety

What safety gear do I need to operate a machine? --- At a minimum eye protection and heavy clothing to protect against a broken bit, hearing protection or a sound enclosure, dust collection and if necessary a filter mask or respirator depending on the nature of the material being cut. See the Operating Checklist.

Usage

What else do I need to operate a machine? --- a trim router (you can order with a machine, but Carbide 3D only has 110V so international usage would need a step-down transformer, or a Dewalt D26200 or 220V Makita RT0701), some endmills (one is included with the machine, but they're consumables: https://shop.carbide3d.com/collections/cutters/products/201-25-end-mill-cutter-qty-2 ), a place to set the machine up (the Shapeoko is more suited for use in a shop environment), dust collection suited to the material which you are cutting (at least a shop vacuum --- many of our customers rig up dust shoes and formal dust collection), workholding (some way to hold the material in place --- we have clamp designs: http://carbide3d.com/docs/tutorials/shapeoko-clamps/ ), and of course, material to cut. If you wish to do small-scale or precision work you may want a 1/8" precision collet (we sell one for the Dewalt: https://shop.carbide3d.com/collections/tools/products/precision-collet-and-nut-for-dewalt-dwp611 ) and smaller endmills (https://shop.carbide3d.com/collections/cutters/products/102-125-flat-cutter-qty-3 ). If you wish to do 3D or work with rounded bottoms you'd need ball-nosed endmills (https://shop.carbide3d.com/collections/cutters/products/202-25-ball-cutter-qty-2 ) and if you wished to do V-engraving or angled joinery a V-bit (https://shop.carbide3d.com/collections/cutters/products/301-50-v-bit-cutter )

Upgrading

Is it possible to upgrade a ShapeOko 2 to a Shapeoko 3? ---No. The only parts in common are the V-wheels and a few connectors.[1][2] if there were such a kit, using it would result in one essentially having a second machine as a pile of parts.

Purchasing

What commodity code is used to describe this machine for customs? --- “other milling machines, numerically controlled.” USPS has instructed companies selling kits to put “build it yourself kit” as the code descriptor.

Can parts be removed from the kit for a savings in price or weight? --- No. At this time, in order to keep costs (and price) as low as possible, the kits are put together in large quantities. As such, it is not possible to customize the kits.

What is the weight and size of the box for a full kit? --- Full kits for the Shapeoko 3 weigh approximately 55 lbs (~25kg)[3], and the box size is 30 × 18 × 8 inches (762mm x 460mm x 204mm).

What bits are included in a full kit? --- Since the SO3 doesn’t include a spindle, it is not possible to bundle Endmills (that page also has a list of recommended endmills and suggested vendors). One can often find a local vendor for end mills (they're needed by machine shops which are more common than one might think).

Is the machine available in Europe (or anywhere other than the U.S.)? --- The Shapeoko 3 is now available from Sparkfun and its distributors: https://www.sparkfun.com/distributors MakerSlide Europe sells the eShapeOko through store.amberspyglass.co.uk. Shipments to Europe typically take 1--2 weeks.

What defines a Shapeoko? --- http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=621

What are the differences between a Shapeoko and an eShapeoko? --- http://wiki.amberspyglass.co.uk/index.php?title=EShapeOko_FAQ

Capabilities

Can the ShapeOko cut Material <X>? --- http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Materials

Is CAD/CAM program <X> compatible? --- the ShapeOko is usually controlled by an Arduino running Grbl which accepts G-codes (up to 50 or 70 characters per line/command), so any program which can export to G-code or which can create a file (.dxf, .stl, .svg, &c.) which one of the CAM programs here: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAM will accept, will work.

What is the X and Y resolution on the Shapeoko? --- the resolution for the X- and Y-axis is 40 steps/mm (~1000 steps/inch). This was determined using inputs of 200 steps/rev, 8 micros/step, 20 teeth pulley, and 2mm belt pitch. http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Grbl_Configuration

What is a reasonable expectation for accuracy? --- If tuned properly you should be able to get to a resolution of 0.003″ –- 0.005″ (~0.075mm -- 0.127mm) --- 0.001″ (0.025mm) is achievable with careful setup and an upgraded machine. Note that at such small dimensions many factors can affect this number --- temperature, humidity if using the MDF wasteboard (upgrade to an aluminum one), &c.

What are the dimensions of an assembled machine? --- The dimensions of an assembled, stock Shapeoko 3 are approximately 28.5″ × 24.25″ × 14.5″

How to make letters to cut out? --- A tutorial from the ShapeOko blog touches on this: http://www.shapeoko.com/archives/988

Can the machine cut 3D parts? --- Yes. http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Projects

How long can the machine run? --- http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4674&p=34701

Upgrading

Upgrading the spindle? --- http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Spindle_Options

Upgrading to NEMA 23 motors? (for the ShapeOko 2) --- See http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/BOM and http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ShapeOko_2#Upgrades

Are NEMA 23 motors necessary? (for the ShapeOko 2) --- No. They are helpful if one wants the machine to move faster, or if one needs to mount an exceptionally heavy spindle which requires the additional torque, but most users do not need the additional power (or weight and expense).

Limit / Homing switches? --- http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Home_switches and http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Limit_Switches

Increasing the work/cutting area (X- and Y-axes)? --- http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Scaling_Up

Can the Z-axis be extended? --- Yes. http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2241

Assembling

What else should I have on hand? --- http://community.carbide3d.com/t/considering-shapeoko-3/3842/2 and http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5626#p41942 and http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2325#p17646

How do I reverse an axis? --- This can be done by either re-wiring the machine, or by flipping bits in the Grbl#Invert_Bits Grbl configuration---invert bits.

Placement of eccentric nuts? --- The circular portion of the eccentric nuts goes all the way into the matching hole: MakerSlide Eccentric placement

Do I have to tap the MakerSlide? (for the ShapeOko 2) --- Yes, if the extrusion isn't already tapped. http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Makerslide#Tapping The Shapeoko 3 kits will have their extrusion already tapped.

Are larger versions of the diagrams available? (for the ShapeOko 2) --- Click on the images to open much more detailed versions.

Using

Where is the FAQ for using the machine? --- Operation Troubleshooting

What skills do I need to assemble and use the machine? --- The ability to read and follow directions, tighten a bolt (used to be one need to be able to tap a thread); and the ability to use (or learn to use) vector drawing (such as Inkscape) or CAD software and a CAM program and some utilities.

Should the Z-Axis motor be hotter than the others? (for the Shapeoko 2) --- Yes. holding requires more energy than spinning a stepper motor and it's not bolted to a large metal part which functions as a heat sink.

error: Unsupported statement --- Problem is likely that you have comma defined as a decimal separator in your localization file which your CAM program is wrongly using in the G-code.[4]

Communication program connects but machine doesn’t move --- Incorrect baud rate. Grbl v0.8 and earlier use 9600, 0.9 uses 115200.[5]

USB disconnection --- http://carbide3d.com/blog/2016/disconnect-problems/ [6] and http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Electronics#Recommendations

Machine cuts/moves at wrong size --- http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Operation_Troubleshooting#Machine_cuts.2Fmoves_at_wrong_size.2Fscale

What spare parts should be kept on-hand? --- brushes for the trim router, belts, a pulley (the SO3 would want two different bore sizes), set screws (though these can be acquired at any decent hardware store), stepper drivers or a spare controller (this last is a fairly pricey investment and arguably not needed unless down-time has serious repercussions)

Maintenance

What parts will need to be lubricated or replaced? --- Machines with metal screws and nuts for motion such as the Nomad may need lubrication, belts will wear and require replacement, V-wheels will wear and require replacement. If using a spindle with brushes (such as a trim router) brushes will need to be replaced --- usually EMI will increase before the router quits working, so disconnects suddenly occurring may indicate a need to replace brushes.

MakerCAM

G-Code previews okay, but circles and arcs are stair-stepped? --- Lines are too long. Turn on truncating lines in your Communication / Control program or edit them by hand or use a javascript wrapped up in a zipped up html file. Note that there have been some instances of arcs (measured in inches) failing when trimming to 2 digits, 3 is suggested for Imperial files, 4 for metric as a reasonable compromise.[7][8] 5 may be necessary[9]

Expected command letter --- this can also be caused by the too long lines noted above.

Carbide 3D Software

What software does Carbide 3D bundle with their machines? --- Carbide Create and Carbide Motion Machine Control Software --- these are proprietary programs developed for use with the Shapeoko 3 and Nomad 883. Carbide Create outputs .egc which only Carbide Motion can open, while Carbide Motion will only run if attached to a machine (when so attached it will allow one to copy the plain text of a .egc file). It is possible to request an activation code to run Carbide Motion on a Stepoko from Sparkfun.[10]

Invalid G-Code: Error 33

Invalid arc format / calculation. --- Increase precision to 5 decimals.[11][12] May be caused by stacked paths. Another possible cause (esp. if using AutoDesk Fusion 360) is inaccurate conversion from Imperial to metric — convert project to metric, then do CAM in metric, then send a metric G-code file to Grbl. Seems to be an accuracy or calculation problem.[13]

Wiki

Is more information available? --- Click on the grey Section heads in the sidebar (which have a right-pointing disclosure triangle) to access the sub-sections.

How can I upload a file? --- Disclose the Toolbox Section in the sidebar and use the Upload a File link.

Where can I record information about my machine? --- Each registered user gets a user page: User:<username> and one can store additional pages in one's User: hierarchy.