X-carve or Shapeoko or?

Hi, I’ve had my GFPro for about a year, and I’m thinking of getting either an x-carve or shapeoko xxl to compliment what I’m doing on the GF. I cut whatever, then engrave. It seems there are a lot of complaints about x-carve’s rigidness, but it looks like their software/store is a similar model to Glowforge. Does anybody have any advice or opinions? Today is the last day for Black Friday sale at Carbide3d and it saves me over $400 for shipping so it’s a good time to buy.


I have no experience with any other CNC but I’m quite happy with my X-carve.

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I just pulled the trigger on a Shapeoko!


I have a shaper origin, which is an interesting option.

It’s quite flexible, but you need to do all the guiding yourself, which can be a bit tiring.


I’ll be very interested in how it works out for you and what you use it for. I am still dithering about making my own or buying. I have had the electronics and motors for a while. Just not sure what I am going to use it for. Belts and pulleys are fine for wood and my motors a ok for that, but watching the folks do aluminum and stuff with mills. I guess start with the easier stuff and work my way up.


I know it is probably an unfair bias by me but I don’t like the idea of belts with a CNC, yeah, I know the :glowforge: and my 3d printer are using belts but they don’t have the back pressure that a CNC router has.

Anyway, you have pulled the trigger so let us know how it works for you.


I have been happy with my Shapeoko XXL. It’s much more rigid than the x-carve machines. Being more rigid generally means more precision and repeatability.

I recommend getting that addon kit with tracks for hold down clamps, and the touch plate.


Hi, can you please tell me which kit to which you are speaking? Is this something Carbide3d sells? I was kind of guessing on what bits to order. I got straight and ball 1/8", 1/16", and 1/4". I also heard about the Suckit dust collector.

Carbide3D sells the t-track kit and touch probe in their store… go to the accessories pull-down tab and choose Shapeoko. I have added both items to my SO3 and feel that they are well worth the cost.

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jjmacdougall covered the t-track kit and touch plate (sold by Carbide3D).

I have the suckit kit, and recommend it also.

For cutters, it greatly depends on what you want to cut. Winston Moy has a lot of videos on CNC (mostly with the Shapeoko) and some of them cover cutter types and uses. Well worth watching most of his videos in my opinion: https://www.youtube.com/user/krayvis/featured?disable_polymer=1

If you are going to be cutting plywood, then you might want a downcut flat cutter because it will produce a cleaner cut (the top layer of the plywood will have less “chip out”).

If you want to cut aluminum, then you might want an upcut flat cutter, since it clears chips out better and helps with heat and producing a cleaner edge.

However, I would definitely watch Winston’s videos, especially the intro to cnc ones. He covers important things that will make your experience and results much better.


I have a CBC shark. I am very happy with. Compliments Glowforge nicelyj

I’ve tried aluminum with the Shopbot but found it to be really hard to get it to work. The High Z has liquid (water mist) cooling which works great but means spoilboards get wet which shortens their lifespan.

Winston covers cutting aluminum in his videos. It requires tuning feeds, speeds, and tool paths along with what cutter to use. He does it without liquid cooling.

This video in particular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-yBVOiJ4dY
But he has others if you look through his uploads.


I’ve had an X-Carve (1000mm) for about four years now. Here’s what I can tell you:

  • Some assembly required. It wasn’t bad, but took about a week to finish it off.
  • The stock spindle (24V) was fine for small projects and thinner materials. The Dewalt 611 made the machine so much more versatile. Worth the upgrade and I would recommend starting with it.
  • There is quite a learning curve with the whole bit/depth/feedrate thing. I did a lot of test cuts in different materials to find my machine’s sweet spot.
  • Easel (the web-based CNC software from Inventables) makes it super simple. Great features for the beginner.
  • Inventables is awesome with customer support. Super responsive and super helpful.

Let me know if you have any specific questions!


Great. Thanks. I’ll watch it and maybe I’ll be able to replicate his success. Appreciate the tip.

Do you have a spread sheet that summarizes your results for the Dewalt 611?

Have you seen the feed & speed calculators on CNC Cookbook?

Sorry, I do not. Generally you can run MDF, pine and softer woods at two to three times the feed rate. Also, you don’t have to run the Dewalt over a 1 or 2 speed setting.

I have not – do you have a link?