Carbide Create Basics

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This page is intended as a supplement to the official user guide for Carbide Create at: and to the page on Carbide Create here on the wiki.


Clearing the drawing

Carbide create openingscreen.png

Note that when first launched, Carbide Create will start with an initial logo graphic. This will likely need to be deleted as part of the initial setup.

Click on the gear symbol in the upper left corner to access setup.

Carbidecreate setupscreen.png

Enter the desired size for the stock, machine, material and other settings.

Note that it will be necessary to scroll down if everything is not visible, and to click on the "Clear Drawing" button, then "OK" to apply the changes.

Carbidecreate setupscreen bottom.png



Carbide Create does not have support for points as stand-alone elements --- some applications allow this, which facilitates "Drill" operations, which Carbide Create does not support.

Other applications such as MakerCAM will drill at the center of a selected (usually circular) path.


Carbide Create supports several types of lines as noted in the manual and shown in the interface:

  • Polylines
  • Curves

These allow one to leave a shape unclosed (open) by clicking on the "Done" button.

Open paths are differentiated from closed in Carbide Create by being magenta rather than black when not selected. Note that for an open path's toolpath, it is not possible to assign a Pocket operation (see below). There is at least one commercial vector drawing program which allows one to assign a fill to an open path, which may be confusing when opening files

Cc basic paths openclosed.jpg


CC screens icons polyline drawing.png

If one clicks on the "Done" button rather than returning to click on the origin to close the path, the result will be an open path which will be shown highlighted in magenta as shown above.

Please note that any Boolean operation, and the import of a DXF will result in curves being converted into Polylines


CC screens icons curve heart.png

Curves have on-path nodes, and a pair of off-path nodes which define how the line will be drawn in-between the two on-curve nodes.

Tutorial on drawing an ellipse:

Node Editing

In addition to being able to drag nodes around, when a path is selected and "Node Edit Mode" is engaged, one may right click on the path to insert a node, or right-click on a node to delete it.

The basic "Node Edit Mode" applies to on-path nodes, and may be used with both Polylines and Curves:

CC screens icons curve heart nodeeditmode.png

There is also a "Curve Edit Mode" which may be engaged for paths which include curves after "Node Edit Mode" is active:

CC screens icons curve heart curveeditmode.png

One may also insert and delete nodes on curves as described above.

Drawing curves:

A basic overview:

Joining Paths

Paths may be either closed (describing a region with the begin point linked to the end point so as to close the path --- indicated by being drawn in black) or open (the begin and end points are at separate locations and the path does not describe a region (unless it crosses itself in which case the crossing portion(s) will) --- indicated by being drawn in magenta.

As part of node editing, one may draw in the geometry to close a path (it must begin and end on the open points) and when selecting both paths, one is afforded the additional icon "Join" as shown below:

CC screens icons join.png



CC group.png

Boolean Operations

c.f., and

Boolean operations, while they will result in essentially uneditable polylines in the current implementation of Carbide Create, afford a very powerful ability to modify paths so as to achieve designs which would otherwise be difficult to draw. They are a feature in most, if not all drawing programs.

A fairly typical arrangement is shown below:

Cc basic booleans first.jpg

One would want to join the two rectangles together and then subtract the circle from the lower rectangle --- depending on order of object creation this may be simple, or complex. Boolean subtract operations (needed for the latter) are somewhat complicated by the need to identify one object as the one which will be removed from the balance of the selection.

Ideally one would get a selection like this:

Cc basic booleans circlesel.jpg

If it doesn't, union other portions, or duplicate geometry, delete originals, and reposition duplicates, until one arrives at the desired selection highlight scheme.

Boolean Examples

For selections involving only two objects, it is worth examining all the possibilities:

CC semicircle circle rectangle.png

The key object is indicated by its being drawn with a dashed line, here the rectangle:

CC semicircle circle boolean.png
Boolean Intersection

(For this operation, which object is key does not matter.)

CC boolean rectangle intersection.png
Boolean Subtraction (Rectangle as key)
CC semicircle.png
Boolean Subtraction (Circle as key)
CC boolean circle subtract.png


(Again, which object is key does not matter)

CC boolean union.png

Toolpaths and Geometry Selections

Only those paths which are selected when one instantiates a toolpath are considered when calculating a toolpath, all others are ignored. At this time, Carbide Create only considers one level of nesting.

One may select multiple geometry by either drag-selecting, or by control-clicking on geometry to add it to or remove it from the current selection:

CC islands selection.png

Then apply the toolpath:

CC islands toolpath.png

The big thing is, only geometry which is selected when one instantiates a toolpath is considered.

Adding a few more toolpaths one arrives at:

CC islands preview.png

Engineering drawing example with rounded corners

c.f., and and and

Need a U handle shape with rounded corners on the top and inside corners.

First, set the dimensions as close as they can be in Carbide Create:

CC engineeringdrawing jobsetup.png

Also set the Grid Spacing to 0.125 in and be sure that "Show Grid" is checked.

Draw in a rectangle a little more than half the total width needed and at least twice the height needed:

CC engineeringdrawing rectangle 1.png

Assign a Fillet with the desired radius to the rectangle:

CC engineeringdrawing rectangle 1 fillet.png

Drag the rectangle to one corner, duplicate and drag the copy to the other corner (if need be, adjust the numerical positioning to place it in the corner):

CC engineeringdrawing rectangles 2.png

Select both rectangles and Boolean Union them:

CC engineeringdrawing rectangles 2 unioned.png

Draw in a suitably large rectangle to define the bottom edge and align it at the bottom of the stock. Select the rounded rectangle, and add the larger rectangle to the selection as the key object (dashed selection) by control clicking on it:

CC engineeringdrawing rectangles 2 subtracted.png

Then do a Boolean Subtraction:

CC engineeringdrawing rectangles 2 subtracted after.png

Draw in a rectangle to set the desired spacing of the cutout and position it appropriately:

CC engineeringdrawing rectangles 3 setspacing.png

Duplicate the rectangle and position the copy as desired:

CC engineeringdrawing rectangles 3 setspacing redux.png

Draw in a circle of the desired size and position it:

CC engineeringdrawing circles 4.png

Repeat, and then draw in a pair of rectangles of less than the width desired, taller than needed and aligned to the top center node of the circles (the word "quadrant" should appear as they are dragged into position):

CC engineeringdrawing circles rectangles 5 arranged.png

Select the circles and rectangles:

CC engineeringdrawing circles rectangles 5 selected.png

and do a Boolean Union:

CC engineeringdrawing circles rectangles 5 unioned.png

Then delete the extra rectangles and select the large part and control-click on the smaller one to make it the key object (dashed selection):

CC engineeringdrawing circles rounded 6 selected.png

and do a Boolean Subtraction:

CC engineeringdrawing circles rounded 6 subtracted.png


Clearing area around drawing

Carbide Create has added a feature to do this automatically for machines with a BitSetter:

c.f., and

To clear the area round a drawing add geometry around it and cut as a pocket. If doing a V carve, add geometry twice so as to cut around it with a V carve (original and outermost geometry) and pocket cut (added geometry in-between that twain).

Start by importing the graphic, then select all the outermost geometry:

CC pocket around geometry select.PNG

Offset twice by half the desired depth which you wish to cut (assuming use of the 60 degree V bit), so in this case, for 0.25", we need to offset by 0.125" twice:

CC pocket around geometry offset.PNG

Select all extraneous geometry and delete it:

CC pocket around geometry cleanup.PNG

Select the outer geometry originally used for the offset path and the outermost geometry added (do not select the geometry half-way in-between).

CC pocket around geometry selectforvcarve.PNG

Toolpath | V Carve with a #302 and appropriate feed and speed settings:

CC pocket around geometry vcarve.PNG

Draw in geometry which describes the area which you wish to cut out:

CC pocket around geometry boundary.PNG

Select it and the in-between geometry which was added earlier, but not selected for the V Carve:

CC pocket around geometry selectforpocket.PNG

Assign a pocket toolpath at the desired depth:

CC pocket around geometry pocket.PNG

Repeat for any inner paths, but with an inside offset:

CC pocket around geometry inside.PNG

and one will arrive at:

CC pocket around geometry preview.PNG

For a discussion of clearing the interior see: