Carbide Motion Machine Control Software

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Note that at this time the Sparkfun Stepoko control board requires a code one must request:

"rewrite(s) all of the gcode on the fly as it goes down to the GRBL processor" [1]


Current build:Carbide Motion Machine Control Software Download


Linux version: [3][4]

To reflash: and


Interface has option of switching between Imperial and Metric.

Send to Carbide Motion feature requires that both apps be running at the same time.[5]

On Jog/Position screen click the words “Work Position” and it will switch to “Machine Position”, click again to switch back.[6]

Feed rate override

Introduced in Grbl 1.1 and Carbide Motion 4 --- note that this is persistent in-between files when sending multiple files and should be reset to 100% if not needed on a successive file.

Network Connectivity

Tablet interface on port 8080[7]

connect with a browser to port 8080


Keyboard options

  • Main screen
    • L --- log window
    • M for an "MDI" window which allows manually interacting w/ Grbl.[8]
  • Jogging[9]
    • Arrow keys jog in the X/Y plane
    • ./, jog the Z-axis, +/- or <> or page up/down[10]
    • 1--5 --- speed control 1 = Jog Fast thru 5 = jog 0.01 mm
  • Homing / setting machine position / offset
    • note that the fields displaying machine coordinates are editable! and one may directly type into them.[11]
  • Info screen
    • ctrl 1 (or Command 1 on a Mac) --- resets Grbl to factory defaults --- open the Log window first to verify as noted below

Reset defaults

  1. Open Carbide Motion
  2. Connect to the Machine
  3. Press 'L' on your keyboard to open the log window
  4. Move the log window aside and click back on the main Carbide Motion window
  5. Press 'ctl' +1 on your keyboard (Command 1 on a Mac)- this will flash the default settings.


Supported extensions

  • .nc
  • .egc (for Carbide Motion)
  • .gc ?
  • .gcode ?
  • .tap (per Hello World file)[12]

Tutorials --- comprehensive tutorial covering homing, job zero, and creating a repeatable offset


Stuttering while jogging in CM3 is a known issue:

Refreshing the log window seems to make this worse, so keep it closed when not needed.[13]

Coordinate Systems

Note that G54 is reserved for Carbide Motion, and will be reset by the software:


If you have selected 1/8 micro-stepping, at the MDI window (see above) send $100=40.0 and $101=40.0 and $102=40.0 to set the steps for micro-stepping for X-, Y- and Z-axes respectively to an initial, calculated default (you may want to calibrate your machine for belt stretch, see Calibration and Squaring the Machine).

Progress updating requires that Grbl be compiled w/ line number reporting enabled.[14]

Enabling Homing

  1. In settings tab change "Shapeoko has homing" to "True: by clicking on the value (false) to toggle.
  2. In the MDI page type $22=1 then press the Send button.

Bug reports

  • jogging will occasionally stutter
  • open MDI or log window will cause a slowdown
  • multiple commands on a single g-code file line may cause a crash[15]

uncontrolled motion after zeroing using the Carbide Motion software.
Before jogging after a zero, exit the zero-ing screen, enter the jog screen. Then exit the jog screen, then re-enter the jog screen. You should now be able to jog without possession.[16]


System Requirements

Will only work w/ the Carbide Motion Machine Control board bundled w/ a Nomad 883 or a Shapeoko 3.[17] or a Sparkfun Controller w/ an activation code.[18]

  • Hardware
    • 1x USB port (USB2 drivers seem to be more stable than USB3)
    • 4GB or RAM or higher (this may be for MeshCAM, 1 or 2 GB should be sufficient for Carbide Motion Machine Control Software)
    • GPU?
  • Operating system
    • Windows: Windows Vista, Windows 7 (Starter edition said not to work[19]), Windows 8 or 8.1 64-bit versions of Windows may not work.[20]. Note the installer will run on Windows XP SP3 and may be run there so as to install the driver software.[21] (The Carbide Motion icon may then be deleted) --- Windows 10 reported to work.[22] (one user had to reinstall the driver[23]) Windows 10 64-bit version works on Surface 3.[24]
    • Mac: Mac OSX 10.7 or higher

Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family seems to not work.[25]


Requires Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013 which may be downloaded from: if it doesn’t get installed by setup.[26] it may be necessary to install the 32-bit version of the libraries by hand on 64-bit machines.[27]

Error message: The program can't start because msvcp120.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem. See

Carbide Create shares the same requirement and may install this DLL.

OpenGL --- the libraries used for this and Carbide Motion require OpenGL for 3D rendering and may cause crashes if not up-to-date. If possible to over-ride app settings software rendering may be an option:

Some problems may require .NET

Machine Configuration


Update the video driver[28] or try the Standard VGA video driver.

Try a different machine.

Uninstall and re-install.

(Mac OS X) uninstall USB drivers for other FTDI devices.

OPME (program for USB Dell Printers) can interfere, requiring that that program be uninstalled in order for Carbide Motion to work.

Carbide Motion just quits. A possible fix is to open the program in 256 color mode:

1) right-click the executable (Carbide Motion.exe) 2) click Properties 3) click the Compatibility tab 4) check the "run in 256 colors" box 5) click OK

Similarly, changing the colour mode to 256, starting the application, then changing back to 32-bit has allowed some users to run the program successfully. (Notably on Dell Inspirons)

Install a different Communication / Control program, connect, and then try Carbide Motion.[29]

Known working configurations

  • Asus Vivotab Note 8 (on battery)
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4 [30]
  • Samsung Galaxy Book 12 (using USB-C to A adapter or cable)
  • Toshiba Encore 2 Write 10 (using an official Toshiba adapter which affords Micro USB power in and a standard port)
  • ThinkPad x61T running Windows Vista SP2 32-bit (a bit sluggish, and text display is blurry for some colours) --- this was for an early version of Carbide Motion, the min. system requirements have since moved up to Windows 7 or later.
  • Mini tablet PC (Win 8.1) to use as dedicated controller
  • WinBook TW700[31]
  • RCA Cambio 10.1" tablet [32] --- markedly underpowered, one user configures his to only run dropbox (synching to a single folder where G-code files are uploaded) and Carbide Motion.[33]
    • RCA Cambio 10.1 2-in-1 Tablet 32GB Intel Quad Core Windows 10 Black Touchscreen Laptop Computer with Bluetooth and WIFI (Amazon)
  • Teclast X98 II [34]
  • Lenovo Yogabook [35]

Known Issues

Spindle enabling: Re: Delay in movement

Early versions may have issues with some high resolution monitors.[36]

Running with the Log Window open will result in slow (possibly extremely slow) operation.[37]

Cannot handle special characters in toolpaths names.[38]



Click on the Settings button to bring up the Settings window.


Any desired changes to Carbide Motion's preferences may be made here.

Click on the Log button to bring up the Log window.


and then move it aside.

Click on the MDI button to bring up the MDI window.


Grbl may now be configured by entering commands.



Windows devices com.png

S03 load jog.png
SO3 connect cutter.png
SO3 MDI.png
SO3 log.png

CM viewgcode.png