Anyone have a Shapeoko or X-Carve?

Hi, I’m looking at both to compliment my GF. I bet some of you have one of these. I’m looking at the XXL at the Shapeoko 3 most closely. Anybody have any opinions or advice? Thank You!


I have a Shapeoko XXL and am quite happy with it. I’ve only done a few simple jobs with it so far, but it’s performed nicely. It’s a pretty rigid frame design, which helps with it being more accurate. I looked at the X-Carve and almost got one of those instead, but it’s frame design is not as rigid. That swayed my final choice, along with the Shapeoko XXL having a slightly larger cutting area (extra 1/2 inch z height, and a couple extra inches in each x and y).

For many things, both machines are quite fine.


There’s a lot of prior discussion about them in various topics. You may want to do some searches.

I don’t think there’s a TL;DR. Lots of people have various CNC machines, mostly we agree they’re more work to fixture and zero and clean up after than a laser cutter, but they have their uses. I’m thinking about making something similar to an “Operation” game board out of thin sheet metal with shapes cut out of it, and my X-Carve should be up to the task.

I have the 2017 version of the X-Carve 1,000mm x 1,000mm deck and am super happy with it. I’ve used it on several projects from wood, plastic and even aluminum and its been awesome. The community is fantastic so support and help is never more than a click away.

I’m sure the Shapeoko is just as good, I wanted to build my machine so I knew exactly how it worked and could easily fix any issues that came up. Plus the DIY aspect was part of the draw. It was really easy (might seem intimidating), but it was a day and a half after work to do.

I think the two machines are going to be a great compliment to each other as the X-Carve can cut much deeper and faster, then do the detail work with the GlowForge.

Hope that helps,

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I don’t have either the Shapeoko or the X-Carve. When I first started getting into CNC, the X-Carve had just been announced, but I wasn’t crazy about the rigidity of it, so I went with an Openbuild-based OX build. I use better software than what is provided through Inventables Easel package, and I also like the ease with which I can expand and enhance the Openbuilds machines.

Since then I’ve rebuilt my OX into a custom designed machine that’s about 960x1000mm, another custom machine that I’ve built specifically for vertical machining, and an Openbuilds C-Beam based machine that I use for milling aluminum.

I’ve got some ideas for projects that will make good use of both the GF and my CNC machines, so if you have room for one, and the patience to learn how to use it correctly, I highly recommend adding a CNC to your arsenal.

I started my home CNC adventure with a Carbide Nomad883. It was a great little machine but I quickly learned that the 8x8 build area was not enough. So I upgraded to the X-Carve 1000. I’ve had it a few years now and have upgraded it multiple times. I’ve made quite a few projects on it over the years and am looking forward to complementing my shop with the Glowforge. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity for the machines to collaborate on a few projects.

Something to note, the X-Carve sizes are not the actual cut/work area size. For example, the 1000mm x 1000mm machine’s cut/work area is 800mmx800mm.

Not sure why they did that with the naming…

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Lots of discussion, but a new model of Shapeoko came out this year. Most of the other threads are from last year.

It’s based on the length of the extrusions for the frame. Other machines, but not all, use a similar convention.

I have a 1000mm X-Carve (with an external PID Controller for motor control) and a micromill

I have had a Shapeoko XXL in the past and now have a Nomad 883 Pro. Nomad is great for precision and cutting things like aluminum and brass (also wood and plastic). XXL was great for less precision, larger pieces, mostly wood.