The Shapeoko 3 is the current version of the Shapeoko. It has been available in several versions as discussed on the page Shapeoko 3 Launch.
Available in 3 sizes from Carbide 3D:
- http://shop.carbide3d.com/products/shapeoko-xl-kit (XL and XXL)
Upgrade kits are available for the stock machine size to enlarge it: http://shop.carbide3d.com/products/shapeoko-expansion
Speeds and feeds for cutting aluminum: http://projects.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4788&p=41107#p41101
- 1 Assembly Instructions
- 2 In the News
- 3 Official Hello World
- 4 Knowledgebase Articles
- 5 Overview
- 6 License
- 7 Videos
- 8 Questions
- 9 Planned Upgrades
- 10 Checklist
- 11 Carbide 3D control board
- 12 Carbide Motion Machine Control Software
- 13 Assembly
- 13.1 Build Notes
- 13.2 Squaring the machine
- 13.3 Wiring
- 13.4 Drawings
- 13.5 Using the machine
- 13.6 Member Builds
- 14 Parts List (unofficial)
- 15 Modifications
Shapeoko 3/XL/XXL Assembly Instructions
Note that all kits now include homing switch kits, but that not all instructions have them:
Note that for the different versions of the machines the control board placement varies:
- original SO3 --- rear of the X-axis rail, board text is upside down, power/USB connectors are to the right
- XL/XXL --- left Y-axis rail, board text is right-side up, power/USB connectors are to the left
The boards are labeled, but the text is very small and can be difficult to make out:
Note that for the XL and XXL the number of links removed from the Y-axis drag chain differs, 12 vs. 20 --- the chain should be mounted at the center of the extrusion so that the wiring can directly exit to the control board, and only be so long as to just reach when the gantry is at the back of the machine.
2015 (older individual parts kit)
http://carbide3d.com/files/so3manual.pdf --- note that newer versions of the SO3 have the new plate from the XXL and XL variants(see above) also a one piece Wasteboard, and pre-assembled components.
Note that upgrade parts are available so as to make an older machine equivalent to a newer one (most of these are included in the XL and XXL upgrades). Remaining differences:
- belt anchors --- M3 vice M5 --- on XL/XXL upgrades the old M3 style are re-used for the gantry motor mount plates for the X-axis
- electronics shroud
- wasteboard/straps (it's easy to buy a piece of MDF and make your own using the originals as a template)
Note that the assembly of the XL and XXL are substantially the same, the major difference being the number of links removed from the Y-axis drag chain.
Remove 20 links from the Y-axis drag chain.
If your plates are red, you probably have a Sparkfun Stepoko.
- Mechanical kit: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13713
- Stepoko (opensource all-in-one control board): https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13155
- SparkFun Stepoko Motion Control Add-On Kit (includes Stepoko): https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13757
https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/shapeoko-assembly-guide --- installing motors and Stepoko microcontroller board.
Differences between Carbide 3D and Sparkfun kits: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/shapeoko-3-sparkfun-vs-carbide-3d/1284/3
Two people on the Shapeoko forum posted their analysis of the differences:
1) The Sparkfun unit just has one y-axis motor controller (3 total controllers, not 4). The two y-axis motors are wired to this in parallel. 2) The Sparkfun unit has more versatile stepper motor configuration hardware: Microstepping increment options are 1, ½, ¼, and 1/8 (4-position switch instead of just 2). Stepper motor current is continuously variable from 1A to 2A using a rotary pot (instead of 2-position switch presetting current for NEMA 17 or 23 stepper coils)
The first is obviously a cost/space saver. The second is to better accommodate DIY builds with odd motors. Neither would really seem to matter if you are going to use a stock S3.[/quote]
Looks like they us a FTDI rs232 serial-USB which I suspect will be a more reliable connection than the carbide board.
And of course, one is red, the other black.
Also, the CM board uses plug-in connectors, while the Sparkfun uses terminal blocks and the Stepoko board is opensource.
Lastly the board sizes and mounting hole placement are different.
South Africa: https://www.riecktron.co.za/en/product/3544
Until such time as Sparkfun sells out and receives an updated shipment these may also be the differences betwixt their machine and the model from Carbide3D (note that they have a separate electronics board, and there has been one report of their machines having 9mm belts/pulleys for the X- and Y- axes)
- Enclosed electronics, no need for a fan --- easy to make a top/bottom cover
- One-piece MDF table, no need for bottom straps --- straps add more structure, esp. when moving the machine --- it's easy to use the two-piece wasteboard to make a new one piece one using a saw and a drill and some suitable bits
- 9mm Belts --- these are an easy after-market upgrade (note that they're only on the X- and Y- axes) --- parts list / sources at 9mm wide belts for SO3.
- New, more rigid Z plate --- available from Carbide3D: https://shop.carbide3d.com/products/shapeoko-upgrade-z-axis-plate
- US-Made V wheels and eccentric nuts --- this seems to just be a sourcing thing, with better quality control (fewer/no? untapped eccentric nuts)
- Partially assembled- cuts assembly time by 75%!! --- your machine is already assembled
- Homing switches included --- available from Carbide3D: https://shop.carbide3d.com/collections/tools/products/shapeoko-3-limit-switch-kit
- Carbide endmill included (1/4") --- an addition to cover the "everything needed in the box" moniker
- Adapter ring to fit Makita RT0701C router --- available from Carbide3D: https://shop.carbide3d.com/collections/tools/products/makita-rt0701-adapter
Notes on updated parts
http://carbide3d.com/files/s3plateupgrade.pdf Labeled image of new plate: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/max-out-the-z-axis/2151/5 https://www.dropbox.com/s/hjz760ea4fyokxi/Shapeoko_z_plate_assembly.pdf?dl=1  http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/File:New_zplate_assembly.pdf
Straps no longer needed on SO3: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/so3-no-metal-straps/2437/2
Note that homing switches are now a standard part of the kit (but the instructions may not be fully caught up) --- please see the instructions for the upgrade kit: http://docs.carbide3d.com/article/67-shapeoko-3-limit-switch-installation (arguably it's easier to build and initially test the machine without switches, then install them when a project warrants them)
In the News
1.71 (scale of 0--2) on user satisfaction survey: http://blog.cnccookbook.com/2016/06/07/results-cnccookbook-2016-cnc-router-survey/
Official Hello World
The following is preliminary information based on initial announcements and forum and twitter posts and is subject to change, verification and validation.
- Current price
- Shapeoko 3 starts at $ 1,099.00
- XL $ 1,499.00
- XXL $ 1,699.00
- Expected accuracy of .005″ or better
- under even heavy cutting loads, the rails should deflect less than 0.001″, even at the XL/XXL sizes.
- SO3: 28-1/2″W × 24″L × 16″H 
- XL 45″W × 24″L × 16″H 
- XXL: 45″W × 40 1/2″L × 16″H  (one user measured: 40 1/4″ (Y-axis) Front to back (from outside of black bracket on each end) × 44 13/16″ (X-axis) Left to Right (from outside of black bracket on each end).
- Cutting Area (note that this includes a 2 3/16″ overhang area at the front of the machine --- a further wrinkle is that the front and rear plate edges project slightly above the MDF wasteboard)
- Shapeoko 3
- Metric: 425mm × 425mm (note that Carbide Create limits this to 406.4 × 406.4mm)
- Imperial: 16+″ (X-axis) × 16+″ (Y-axis)
- Imperial: ~33″ (X-axis) × 16+″ (Y-axis)
- Imperial: ~33″ (X-axis) × ~33″ (Y-axis)
- Z-axis: Cutting distance: ~2″ (50mm). Cutting range: 3″ (75mm). These numbers will depend upon endmill selection and fixturing. It is possible to cut along the entire ~3″ for certain projects, esp. those which will fit in the overhang at the front of the machine. Total travel ~4.25″ (add 30mm if DWP-611 is mounted to top set of holes) --- on one machine constrained by limit switches: 14¼″ from center of endmill at back of machine to edge of Wasteboard, 16⁷⧸₁₆″ total travel; 16½″ side-to-side Note that it is possible to mount stock at the front of the machine, or to cut a hole in the Wasteboard and cut things which otherwise would not fit.
- Shapeoko 3
- main extrusion: 85mm × 55mm × 600mm
- new style end plates: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4788&start=290#p38587 --- image of machine frame w/ parts in background was originally 5 pieces of pre-machined 20×20 extrusion
- underside view http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4788&start=300#p38596 --- http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e8165260c9a0d9625ac3e25de&id=281b01edb9
- rubber feet: protect your table from scratches, keep the machine in place, and provide some sound dampening
- Power Supply 24VDC 8A (per home page as of 26 March, was initially specced at 5A, 10A was announced)
- Controller --- Carbide Motion: Industrial grade 3-axis(?) motion control board (which includes a microcontroller (Arduino?)) (which has 4 stepper drivers)
- Choice of no spindle included or Dewalt or Makita --- mount for 69mm spindle and adapter for 65mm provided (fits Dewalt DWP-611 or equivalent) http://docs.carbide3d.com/article/33-dewalt-alternatives 
- Collet Size --- depends on selected spindle. Suggested option is the Dewalt DWP-611: 1/4" (1/8" highly recommended)
- Motor Size
- NEMA23 motor with 120oz/in (per home page as of 26 March, was 125 in initial announcement) (upgraded from the initially announced NEMA17s)
- Belting --- GT2 Belting, 2mm pitch
- GT2 belts 2mm pitch w/ new screw tensioning system
- Rapid Speed --- 2500mm/min+ (100IPM)
- Carriages --- 10ga Laser Cut Steel Plates, powder plated
- Rail System --- Custom Extrusion designed specifically for CNC machining.
- two completely custom extrusions made specifically for Shapeoko. The new, larger, rail is about 85mm tall and 55mm wide w/ 5mm wall thickness
- Z-axis extrusion designed to bring everything as close to the X rail as possible. Decreasing the lever arm effect of the spindle
- Expandable --- Yes. Should be able to have rail lengths of up to 8 feet.
- confident that a 5′ × 5′ machine can be built without the need for additional support. Possibly larger
- a 5′ × 10′ machine able to handle full 4′ × 8′ sheets of plywood seems feasible
Currently: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/deed.en_US (as noted on www.shapeoko.com)
Clarification of how that applies to the ShapeOko project: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5658#p42296
Videos  
- How to change / update billing details?
- Instructions and contact information for doing this are included in the pre-order confirmation e-mail.
- What are the weight and dimensions of the Shapeoko 3 box?
- total weight, with packaging is ~55lbs newer batches 57 lbs.
- Box Dimensions are: 30" × 18" × 8"
- photographs of the layers of the packaging: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4788&start=1000#p44105
- If I order a Shapeoko 3 with international delivery, the shop adds 400€ for shipping/handling. Will I be charged taxes and vat locally/separately, or is that included?
- What lengths will the custom extrusions come in? Unofficial poll
- Will it be possible to customize a kit, replacing standard extrusion sizes w/ other lengths?
- when will upgrades be available ---  16" by 32" bed ... in a week or two R&D News!
- estimates on price and shipping: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5987&start=80#p54972
- What are the dimensions for the wasteboard?
- Max. feasible machine size on an unsupported axis?
- 5 × 5' confirmed
- What sort of side supports will be possible along the Y-axis?
- Two side supports evenly spaced along each Y-axis rail >5' in length should work.
- is the spindle mount (designed for OD of ~69mm) adjustable enough to accommodate a Makita RT-0701 (65mm) w/o needing an adapter?
- No. An adapter would have to be made / used: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5631
- will it open up enough to allow using a Bosch Colt (~71mm)?
- What is the maximum weight of spindle which the machine can handle?
- hole placement --- for mounting optional spindles such as lasers --- compatible w/ SO1/2 universal mount?
- assured ... that the necessary mounting holes will be present.
- Will the spindle from Carbide3D's Nomad883 be available separately? --- The spindle can not be ordered separately. It's designed specifically for the nomad and includes the spindle body, brushless dc motor, and custom motor driver that's tied into grbl to control via gcode.
- is the spindle mount (designed for OD of ~69mm) adjustable enough to accommodate a Makita RT-0701 (65mm) w/o needing an adapter?
- Does the controller use USB?
- Yes, Arduino-based --- other controllers may be used
- Also, what's the width of the belts used?
- what can be done to squeeze in an Acme screw Z-axis
- hide the Y-axis motors away inside the extrusion? 
- Cable management
- the default system will use plastic wire wrapping
- How will the machines be serial numbered?
- New number series: https://twitter.com/shapeoko/status/573600515411435520
- Does the Carbide/Motion with GRBL support adding a tool probe to the SO3?
- Will there be swag w/ the Carbide 3D or Shapeoko 3 logo?.
- Will the combination of the Carbide Motion controller board and the Carbide Motion machine control software have the functionality to control the speed of a Dewalt DPW611 trim router hooked up to a Super-PID unit?
- statement by the developer: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4788&start=1060#p44379
- Home/Limit switches --- this will probably be an add-on kit w/ a well-defined B.O.M. and instructions
- Tim Foreman has a kit: https://www.etsy.com/listing/249684351/shapeoko-3-limit-switch-kit-v20?ref=shop_home_active_1 , photo
- https://additive-aerospace.myshopify.com/collections/shapeoko-3-accessories/products/shapeoko-3-limit-switch-and-probe-kit 
- Obtain a router, Dewalt 611 preferred DWP611 (note that that is the more common version w/ accessories, if not planning on using it as a stand-alone router, the DNP611 is perfectly serviceable and may be available for less) --- Porter Cable 450 will fit as well but lacks variable speed --- Makita RT-0701 and other 65mm diameter tools would require an adapter
- Router bits, suggestions (these will require a 1/8" collet or adapter)
- Flat build Site: larger than footprint of 28.5" Wide x 23.625" Deep
- Assembly tools --- basic tools are included as noted on this page, also see Tools
- Camera to document the build if desired
- Computer to run your choice of Software
Carbide 3D control board
- The Nomad uses an embedded motion controller so you won’t have to dedicate a computer to control the mill like some PC-based CNC machines. Just plug the USB cable into your Mac or Windows computer and you’re ready to go. If you have a favorite CAM program and don’t want to re-learn a new workflow, no problem. Carbide Motion can read gcode from any CAM program.
- highly integrated hardware and software
- Arduino controller
- runs Grbl http://carbide3d.com/blog/2015/our-future-with-grbl-and-a-new-product/
- The Nomad883 uses an Arduino shield, the Carbide Motion Board, a single-board version is in development (see above link)
- largely gshield compatible
- cleaner layout
- buffered inputs
- an e-stop
- stepper drivers are rated at 2.0A
- connectors instead of screw terminals
- We got a big delivery from our electronics vendor and we now have completed boards for 100 machines.
- designed by one of our co-founders, and are made at a factory in Northern California, increase(d) reliability and ... additional protection, 2oz copper PCB’s and we buffer all the input lines to protect against stray input signals
- “In the near future, we’ll be releasing a variation of our Carbide Motion board through Spark Fun”
- Which post-processor should one use?
- Both the EMC and Mach3 post processors should work with Nomad.
- is there no where to access pins D13, A3 or A4 (for spindle control)?
- If we want to implement spindle control, what controller pins should be used for turning the spindle on (spindle enable) and for outputting the spindle speed? What needs to be configured in GRBL to use spindle enable and spindle speed control? I think we’ve been told that the 6-pin connector labelled SERIAL_PROGRAMMER has outputs for spindle control, but that we’ve not yet been given details of using spindle control.
- It's not the SERIAL_PROGRAMMER header, it's the unpopulated six hole header location on the other end of the board. I've been told documentation on how to wire that up is coming.
- The 6 pin header on the left side of the board is for spindle control. We're working on a one page document to explain how to use it.
- Are both min and max limit switch inputs available for all 3 axes? Or is each 2-pin limit switch connector on the to be used with a single limit switch? What needs to be configured in GRBL to use the limit switch inputs?
- There is only one input for each axes just like the regular G-Shield board. You can wire a max and min switch in parallel (which is what most people do) but Grbl doesn't support separate max and min switches.
- If we want an emergency stop switch, is the pair of pins labelled ESTOP to be connected to a single NO or NC switch? Or is only one of the two pins of the ESTOP connector to be used along with a connection to ground? Is there any configuration of GRBL needed to make use of the ESTOP input?
- Do any of the above require a recompile of GRBL? If so, is there a particular branch of GRBL’s source we should be using and are there any editing of #defines, etc in the source to compile it for the CarbideMotion controller?
- Is source available to us for the version of GRBL that preloaded in the CarbideMotion controller?
- Yes, it's the same as on Github https://github.com/grbl/grbl (some compile time options are enabled / changed)
- Is the schematic for the controller available?
- How much output 5VDC current is available at 5V_OUT (which has a place for a 2-pin connector but is not populated with one)? I ask because if enough current is available, I’d like to use it to power a SuperPID speed controller.
- Is the FAN connector a 3-pin connector because the controller can sense the fan’s RPM on one of the pins? Or are only two of the pins on the FAN connector used to power the fan and the controller doesn't look for feedback on the third pin?
- RC low-pass filters, pull-ups, and Schmitt triggers on all six inputs (three limits and three buttons).
- power up
- left blue light steady on
- right blue light(s) blink(s) on and off
- red and green lights blink --- indicating communication with the board
- blue lights blink as switches are hit
digikey part numbers:
- pins: WM2303-ND
- connector: WM2113-ND
- Molex KK-series .100" pitch 2-pin headers
- mating shell: http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?mpart=0022012027&vendor=900
- associated contact: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/0008500114/WM1114-ND/26475
- 6 pin connector: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/0022012067/WM2015-ND/171995 
- 12 pin: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Molex/22-01-2125/?qs=jsoPY5EnoNulm4AGapcRag%3D%3D 
- crimp pins: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Molex/08-50-0114/?qs=BLN8Q0P37WapYBZgTV5Zeg%3D%3D 
Instructions for installing relay: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7383&p=58363#p58363
Different anodization colours.
The base serves as a heat sink. Arctic Silver is used between the board and heat sink.
Images of the new board
- Annotated diagram: http://bit.ly/1Bt4qA3  or https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/9qCkGmqC2nNyZ9ygNY4DuugOVWDWgK64hLKqH6ibGJf8wHxv7IudePTB5WYX5ru9?dl=1 
Research and notes by Joe_C: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6104 Further? research http://community.carbide3d.com/t/isp-pin-1-reference-for-v2-2-carbide-motion-controller-pcb/2965/2
- closeup of the production controller. http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/download/file.php?id=5012
- http://timf.anansi-web.com/images/misc/carbide3d.jpg --- high-resolution (7MB)
Coolant on/off --- through hole pad A3 next to the reset button.
Grbl defaults and settings
Grbl defaults for at least one board as shipped by Carbide3D. Initial boards shipped w/ the same Grbl as used on Nomad883: http://carbide3d.com/docs/reflashing-the-nomad-883/
Version 0.9g, so comm baud rate is 115200. A copy of Grbl w/ the Nomad defaults is linked to from that page ( http://carbide3d.com/files/grbl.hex )
The board DIP switches on the initial batch of boards were to be set to NEMA23 motors and 1/4 (4x) micro-stepping. Changes should only be made in accordance w/ the Grbl documentation and to achieve specific, known results and each change should be tested. Newer boards eliminate the switches and have micro-stepping set at 1/8.
CarbideMotion 0.9g $$ $0=10 (step pulse, usec) $1=255 (step idle delay, msec) $2=0 (step port invert mask:00000000) $3=6 (dir port invert mask:00000110) $4=0 (step enable invert, bool) $5=0 (limit pins invert, bool) $6=0 (probe pin invert, bool) $10=255 (status report mask:11111111) $11=0.020 (junction deviation, mm) $12=0.010 (arc tolerance, mm) $13=0 (report inches, bool) $14=1 (auto start, bool) $20=0 (soft limits, bool) $21=0 (hard limits, bool) $22=0 (homing cycle, bool) $23=0 (homing dir invert mask:00000000) $24=100.000 (homing feed, mm/min) $25=1000.000 (homing seek, mm/min) $26=25 (homing debounce, msec) $27=5.000 (homing pull-off, mm) $100=40 or 20 (x, step/mm) $101=40 or 20 (y, step/mm) $102=40 or 20 (z, step/mm) $110=5000.000 (x max rate, mm/min) $111=5000.000 (y max rate, mm/min) $112=5000.000 (z max rate, mm/min) $120=400.000 (x accel, mm/sec^2) $121=400.000 (y accel, mm/sec^2) $122=400.000 (z accel, mm/sec^2) $130=425.000 (x max travel, mm) $131=465.000 (y max travel, mm) $132=80.000 (z max travel, mm)
“Depend(s) on certain Grbl compile options to provide better machine state feedback in their GUI.”
Carbide Motion Machine Control Software
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Carbide_Motion_Machine_Control_Software --- please note that while the software requires Windows Vista or later, the install program will run on Windows XP and will properly install the driver when so run (just remove the Carbide Motion icon afterwards).
Please see the Build Notes below.
SO3 Assembly tips from a beginner.
Find a sturdy table at a good working height with lots of light. This will save your eyes and back.
To separate the nuts and bolts into correct sizes, some form of a quick measurement tool is required. I used a Harbor Freight digital caliper. It measures in inches and in millimeters. There's a bunch of oddly sized standoffs. The digital caliper was critical in getting the correct ones.
Get a few, I used less than 6, small bags to separate parts. (Alternately, a plastic organizer w/ 16--18 compartments will work) Separating the m5x16mm from the m5x20mm into their own bags not only reduced mistakes, but it really sped up the assembly process.
The wasteboard is made of MDF. Both water and oil are bad for MDF. A couple coats of polyurethane will seal the MDF. Quick light wipe with high grit sandpaper, 300 to 600, will smooth out the poly after each coat. Do this a few days before assembling the base. Poly takes about a week to fully cure.
The big extrusions, as said before, are heavy. Be careful handling them. The cut ends can be quite sharp. Yep, the cut on my left thumb proves this point. One of the three extrusions was full of chips and those chips can be nasty as well. (These may migrate to other parts --- vacuum / wipe things off as needed.)
See also: Assembly Troubleshooting
If this is your first CNC machine, it may be helpful to review the balance of the wiki and docs, esp. the Pro Tips. More thoughts: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4788&p=45485#p45485
When assembling the frame, it may be helpful to use a set of clamps or ratchet straps to bring the frame into square. Photographs and discussion here: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6088&p=47019
The diagrams for the Z-axis are hard to make out for the pulley orientation. It should be arranged so that the belt runs true, and if the pulley is on the bolt already it may need to be disassembled and reversed: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6069&p=46852#p46851
When assembling the gantry, a stack of three pieces of the foam which held the waste board halves in place is perfect to support/balance the X-axis rail and Z-axis carriage while attaching the Y-axis motor mount plates.
When mounting the gantry on the Y-axis rails, cover the end plates w/ wax paper or some similar material to allow for adjustment and prevent scratching the end plates.
For the XL and XXL the electronics move to a Y-axis extrusion rather than on the gantry.
YL == Y1
YR == Y2
Regarding part number 13 (the two silver colored custom extrusions held on to the back of the plate with square nuts that engage in slots -- strangely, they are listed in the parts but not identified in the drawing...). It is important that these be parallel to the vertical axis of the plate, equidistant to each other at their tops and bottoms, and are pushed towards each other given the slop allowed with the v-groove wheels.
If they are not parallel to the plate, your router will not be perpendicular to the table. (This I learned the hard way.) [By the way, here's how I figured that out: remove the router, make sure the power is off so you can move the carriages freely, and slide the z-axis all the way down to the waste board. Look where the x-axis carriage plate is touching the waste board -- it should be contacting the waste board evenly.]
If they are not equidistant to each other top and bottom, the carriage will get looser / tighter against the extrusions as it goes up and down. In other words, your router will have more slop depending on whether you are at the top or bottom of its range.
Lastly, if the extrusions are too far apart from each other, you may not be able to adjust the offset washers enough to get a nice firm contact between the v-wheels and the extrusions.
They can be adjusted while the machine is assembled (I just did), but its not fun. And in order to tighten the bottom set of v-wheels, you'll need to slide the y-axis carriage all the way to the front so that the z-axis hangs off the front so you can lower it just past the waste board and get to the hex nut from the back.
Use the weight of the machine to tension the belts: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=5948 --- suggested method: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Belts_and_Pulleys#Proper_Tension
Tune for the Z-axis: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6765&p=53075#p53075 — use wooden shims: Easy way to tension the Z belt.
Tension: Z-axis belt wants ~20 lbs. (total) --- by inference the X- and Y- axes should have ~10 lbs.
- The bottom of the belt is wrapped around an 'idler' (two small bearings installed back to back).
- That idler is in a slot that has quite a bit of room to move down (towards the floor)
- To tension that belt further, you only need to loosen the nut slightly and pull the idler assembly down.
3D printed insert to help prevent belt slipping: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/a-review-of-the-new-shapeoko-z-axis-plate/2635/13
Video tutorial on belts: http://www.shapeoko.com/blog/archives/1554
The machine has been revised to have a one piece Wasteboard, eliminating the center straps: https://www.reddit.com/r/shapeoko/comments/4qav0o/one_piece_wasteboard_and_missing_frame_straps_on/
The countersinks on some wasteboards have been cut too deep resulting in screws protruding and pushing up the wasteboard. Add suitable washers (#10 are slightly too large), use thicker bumpers, grind off the excess or source shorter bolts.
A nice easy DIY way to make a 1 piece wasteboard: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6693&p=52543#p52543
Pro-tip: You can insert the hex key wrench through the holes to line up the pieces.
http://timf.anansi-web.com/wp/shapeoko-3-assembly-part-2/ — drilled out holes to better square the machine.
Use the motors with the short wires on the y axis.
The x axis pulley goes in the opposite way of the others.
The x axis idler bolts have to go in with the nut on the bearing side.
Adjust the z axis wheels before putting the x axis on the extrusion.
Spindle mounting hole choice
Note that the middle set of holes may reduce chatter (if using the original Z-axis carriage plate).
Alternative Small Shop Assembly Technique
First, what ever you do, don't do like you see in the videos, getting everything out of the out of the box and spreading all over your working area. This takes a lot of room, it's too easy to lose parts.
Open the box and lift out the top layer of foam packed parts. Compare the number of "bags" to the packing list above. No need to open any bags yet. Lift out the middle layer of foam packed parts and place it on the top layer. Admire the parts, and compare also. Left in the bottom of the box are the two waste board halves. Pull those out of the box and set them aside. Put both foam layers and parts back in the box. I kept the box under my assembly table.
Put some kind of sealing coat on the waste boards. See discussion: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6176 I placed a dowel thru a hole and hung the dowel/waste boards from the ceiling for drying.
If you plan on attaching a sacrificial board to the waste board, now is the time to perform any required machining on the waste board.
While the waste board dries, read the Assembly Instructions and relevant sections ofthe wiki.
Do not do Assembly #1 now. Go directly to Assembly #2, "Y Axis Carriage Plate." Do Assembly #3 and #4. Finally, combine the X- and Z-Axis plates as described in "X/Z Assembly". As you finish each plate, place it back into the foam in the box.
Assemble the Gantry. Tape, blue painters tape works well, the X/Z Assembly to the heavy extrusion (the one with the drilled holes) so the X/Z assembly won't crash into the end plates each time you move the gantry assembly.
During the assembly, continue to place sealing coats on the MDF Waste boards.
With the 2 Y- plates, the X/Z Assembly and extrusion creating the Gantry , and at least 2 (3 is better) dried sealing coats on the MDF Waste Boards, go to Assembly #1 and put together the Base Frame. This is where the heavy lifting starts so get ready.
Check the base for square. If it's way out of square, check your assembly. You've probably done something wrong. My base was less that 1/8 inch out of square at this point. Diagonal measurement.
Take a breath and go to Final Assembly and progress thru the rest of the assembly manual.
It isn't hard, but limited space creates some challenges on its own. You can do this even on a 3 by 2 foot table.
Squaring the machine
Discussion of this and list of tools: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6599&p=51558
Warped steel plates
The way to do the wiring, and this will make the long vs short make more sense if you're looking at page #34 of the instructions - 
The Short wires need to be on the Y axis motors, the ones bolted to the gantry side plates. Those wires are static. Plug them into the Y ports on the controller, then zip tie each one, around it's middle point, to each of the Y axis tie-downs (tie down points #2 and #3 on the print).
The longer leads goto the Z and The X motors. The way to wire these up is
- Place a self adhesive tie down right in the center of the top of the X axis extrusion (Self adhesive tie down point #1 on the print)
- plug each on into its respective controller port.
- Slide the X axis all the way to the right side of the gantry (from the rear view).
- To rough out the zip tie placement, hold the wires against tie down point #1, then slide the the carriage all the way to the left side.
- If the wires didn't catch, put a zip tie around the wires through tie down point #1. If the wires catch, give it a little more slack and try again.
- Once the wires are tied down to point #1, use a couple more to zip the X and Z wires together to build a small bundle.
- https://www.dropbox.com/s/271fcka1wmyntp5/S3_Drawing_Pack_v1.zip?dl=1 Shapeoko3_Master_Assy_v0.1.zip
- PS3000.pdf --- 85x55 custom extrusion S3000 - Extrusion v6.zip
- PS3001.pdf --- Y-Axis Mount Plate S3001 - Y Axis Mount Plate v6.zip
- S3003 176mm x 255mm, 10ga Powder Coated Plate S3003 - X Axis Mount Plate v4.zip
- PS3004.pdf --- Spindle Mount Plate S3004 - Spindle Mount Plate v2.zip [ Shapeoko 3 Z-axis plate (3rd version).stl
- S3005 Belt Clip - 14mm x 35mm S3005 - Belt Clip v3.zip
- S3006 --- 20mm x 27mm x 200mm Custom Extrusion
- S3056 --- DNP611 Mount, Aluminum
- S3060 --- Base Frame - Front Back Plate
- S3063 --- Base Frame - Edge Strap
- S3064 --- Base Frame - Center Strap
- S3066 --- Wasteboard, half
- S3067 --- Base Frame - Cross Strap
- Wasteboard: http://carbide3d.com/files/S3_Wasteboard.pdf S3099 Unofficial_S3099_xl.svg
- files for the Nomad: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/replacing-the-bed/477/21 --- potential synergy?
- Spindle mount: Shapeoko3_Spindle_Mount.pdf
Using the machine
Please use the Operating Checklist.
- Check the DIP switch settings on the Carbide Motion Microcontroller board --- They should be set to NEMA23 and your choice of microstepping (default is 4x) Note that new boards do not have DIP switches and the new standard for micro-stepping is 8x.
- Check the switch setting (110/220) on your power supply and make certain it matches your local electric
- plug in the power supply
- turn on the power supply --- if you've installed the fan, it should come on
- plug the machine into the computer on which you've installed your choice of Communication / Control software (note that even if you're not using the Carbide Motion Machine Control Software you may need to install it so as to provide driver support)
- atrueresistance 
- jbquinn: Shapeoko 3 #622 build log
- twforeman's Shapeoko 3 #0004 Upgrades - Long
Parts List (unofficial)
In addition to the kit itself, one May want some additional items as discussed in the forums:
Spiral wrap for cable? Techflex PTN0.25BK25 Flexo PET General Purpose 1/4-inch Braided Cable Sleeve, Black - 25 Foot 3/8" spiral wrap works okay for X- and Z-axes combined, 1/4" would be better for each Y-axis.
Hardware for fastening fan later kits include self-tapping screws for this --- alternatives: use zip ties? 4 M3 SHCS 25--30mm and 4 or 8 M3 washers and 4 M3 nuts
Use washers on the spring posts to keep them in place: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4788&start=1380#p45299
Reverse the bolts on the lower (Z-axis carriage) spring holders (or use hex head bolts) for easier manipulation and tightening.
Zamp modified his machine to align and adjust the Z-axis belt: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6044&p=48276
CastIrony changed his washer location to keep the springs from interfering: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6417&p=50485
Add a rubber grommet to the cutout used to manage wiring on the end plates, #1152 RG-XJ from True Value works well (cut a slot to the center so as to load the wire).
Upgraded to 9mm belts: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4266&start=30#p51284 see also Belts_and_Pulleys#Belt_Width
Duct tape Side shields: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6048&p=55305#p55305
There have been issues with the manufacturing tolerances being off in the v-wheel assemblies causing bearing slop. twforeman wrote up a procedure to re-shim the wheels: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7507&p=60081#p60081
3D printed GT2-30 pulley
Modify pulley, drill new holes: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6044&p=49423#p49423
New spindle carriage plate design w/ bent edges to increase rigidity and shield parts from debris: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6551&start=20#p51901 http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6551&start=30#p51914 Review of final version: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/a-review-of-the-new-shapeoko-z-axis-plate/2635
Add T-track to edges to stiffen plate: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6836&p=53746
Aluminum rectangles: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6836&start=10#p53889
Custom cut pieces tapped in: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6892&p=59665
Plate and V-wheels
Wasteboard from 1/4" aluminum: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=5984&p=49546#p49546
Wasteboard workholding w/ HDPE Wasteboard and hardware workholding: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=6045&p=48138 HDPE Base
1/2" alu.: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6551&p=51813#p51810 1/2" anodized with 81 6mm-tapped holes (50mm spacing)
http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=7221&p=57423 --- one piece replacement of MDF and links to transfer punches and Forstner bits recommended for make a pretty much exact duplicate
Custom Enclosures for the Nomad and SO3 --- bed of aluminum extrusion mounted to bottom of machine, w/ opening which allows standing tall stock beneath the machine for vertical milling.
Drag Chain for the Z-axis
Forum user RawIndDesign implemented cable management for his Z-axis / X-axis connection using drag chain.
- 30331-01 Drag Chain 15mm 30mm 1m Semi Open
- M4X20MM Flat Head PHIL (2x)
- M5X70MM SHCP (1x)
- M5 Hex Nut (1x)
- Tools Required:
- 3.25MM (.128") Drill
- M4X.70 Tap
Modify terminal link to fit X-Axis Nema 23 top motor mount detent. Replace hardware with M5X70MM SHCP and additional M5 Hex. Drill & Tap for two M4X20MM at center of X Axis Extrusion. Be sure to position overflush to edge to avoid interference between belt guide bushings and the Drag Chain. You may also notice that the X & Z Limit Switch Cables can also be routed through the drag chain. Although not complete, the DWP 611 Cable & SuperPID cable will also be routed along the outside edge of the Drag Chain as well.