Shapeoko 3 Launch

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Available in 3 sizes from Carbide 3D:

Upgrade kits are available for the stock machine size to enlarge it:

Original pre-order link: Introducing Shapeoko 3 Direct order link on

Shapeoko 3 - Questions / Answers

How to prepare for Shapeoko 3 - New to CNC

Vote for your favorite Shapeoko 3 spindle solution


Speeds and feeds for cutting aluminum:


Assembly Instructions

Shapeoko 3/XL/XXL Assembly Instructions


More videos:

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

Shapeoko 3

2015 (older individual parts kit) --- 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.[2]

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.

Shapeoko XL

Shapeoko XXL


If your plates are red, you probably have a Sparkfun Stepoko. --- installing motors and Stepoko microcontroller board.

Announced on Reddit:

Differences between Carbide 3D and Sparkfun kits:

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.


South Africa:

UK: Robosavvy:

2015/2016 Changes

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[3])

Notes on updated parts Labeled image of new plate: [4]

Straps no longer needed on SO3:

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: (arguably it's easier to build and initially test the machine without switches, then install them when a project warrants them)

outdated, for reference only

XXL: [5]


In the News

Make: Shapeoko’s Steady March Toward a Better, Affordable CNC[6]

1.71 (scale of 0--2) on user satisfaction survey:

Official Hello World

Carbide3D: Shapeoko 3 - Hello World

Knowledgebase Articles

    • Shapeoko 3 - Hello World
    • What should the DIP switches be set to on my Shapeoko3 controller board?
    • Can I use a 4th axis?
    • Shapeoko 3 - Default GRBL Settings
    • Can I get a larger Shapeoko?
    • Measuring runout
    • I want to use an alternative spindle to the Dewalt Dw611 on my Shapeoko3—can I?
    • Materials that can be machined with the Shapeoko3
    • How to calibrate the machine for belt stretch
    • Where can I find the latest version of MeshCam?
    • GRBL G-Code Definitions
    • How to use UniversalGCodeSender (UGS) with Shapeoko 3
    • Where can I get the Shapeoko driver for Windows?
    • What software can I use to get started?
    • Where can I find the latest version of Carbide Motion?
    • Machine Operating Checklist
    • What is the correct way to route the z-axis belt?
    • What software comes standard with each machine?
    • Machine is moving/cutting at half-size
    • What file formats can I use with the Nomad883/Shapeoko 3?
    • How do I properly tension my z-axis drive belt?
    • How to home the machine in the absence of limit / home switches
    • What are the Shapeoko 3 spindle mount dimensions
    • Safety gear and necessary precautions when using the machine
    • Can’t connect to machine or jog
    • How to route the belts for the X- and Y- axes
    • Shapeoko 3 - Limit Switch Installation

Shipping Updates

If you have any questions about your order, please feel free to contact[7]

  • All units will ship from (the) shop in northern Illinois via FedEx. (T)o most locations not in the midwest, ... 2--3 days transit.[8]
  • Batch #1 (orders placed on or before January 10th)
    • As it stands right now, there is a possibility we could begin shipping late next week. In all likelihood, shipping will begin early the following week. (as of 19 March)
    • main roadblock right now is a *major* component that should have been delivered a month ago. We're working with that vendor every day to ensure the parts get here as quickly as they can. Unfortunately, once the parts do get here, they require another operation, which will take an additional couple of days to complete.(as of 19 March) Parts arrived 2 April.(as of 3 April)
    • Currently billing credit cards in blocks of 50.[9]... taking "a little longer than we anticipated"[10] Paused when parts failed to arrive.[11]
    • Lastly, we needed to redesign the box to accommodate some 'extras' we included with every machine that were not part of the original plan. Specifically, the enclosed power supply and the electronic's shroud were not part of the original design, thus didn't have a place to store in the box.(as of 19 March)
    • Orders have begun shipping[12] and will be shipped as parts are received from the powder coater[13]
  • Batch #2 (orders placed after January 10th through when the price changed) are scheduled to begin shipping in April. (as of 26 February 2015)
  • Batch #3 will ship in May. Orders placed now may not ship until May/June. “@winstonmoy @adam_shabeeb That's correct, right now you'd conservatively be looking at may/june for a ship date.” (as of 5 March) Machines should be received in May.(as of 24 March) estimated shipping date for current orders has been changed to May 2015 on the landing page.(as of 25 March)

Short update: another couple pallets went out yesterday, a few more pallets by the end of the week. [14]

Update providing different shipping dates:

A couple dozen units went out today. (as of 6 May)

  • The Batch #1 folks had to wait 4 extra months to get their units. (Expected in February, delivered in May)
  • The Batch #2 folks will end up waiting ~2 extra months (Expected in April, Delivered End of May through First part of June)
  • The batch #3 folks will probably only be a few weeks behind (expected in May, Delivered First half of June)
  • The most current orders are due to ship in July, and as far as we can tell, will ship on time!

Quick Update: Right now (Fri May 22, 2015 10:41 pm) we've shipped all domestic units through January 12th! Tuesday we'll have all international orders through January 12th shipped as well. By the end of next week, we'll have all orders through January 19th Shipped.

Current schedule shows that by June 8th we should have all orders through March 15th Shipped. I'll post another shipping update next Friday with a firmer set of numbers.[15]


The following is preliminary information based on initial announcements and forum and twitter posts and is subject to change, verification and validation.

  • Current price is $999, shipping and handling in the U.S. $50, Canada is $80[16] (was $75[17]) --- pre-order requires a deposit. (Initial pre-order price was $799)[18]
    • How to cancel a pre-order? Contact support at carbide 3d dot com to cancel your pre-order.[19]
    • to update your shipping address or payment info, click the "My Orders" link in your original email receipt.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • Footprint
    • SO3: 28-1/2”W x 24”L x 16”H [22]
      • Metric: 725mm x 600mm (616mm incl. fasteners and end plates); 370mm high[23]
      • Imperial: 28.5" Wide x 24.25" Deep; ~14.5in high[24][25]
    • XL 45”W x 24”L x 16”H [26]
    • XXL: 45”W x 40-1/2”L x 16”H [27] (one user measured: 40 1/4" (Y-axis) Front to back (from outside of black bracket on each end) x 44 13/16" (X-axis) Left to Right (from outside of black bracket on each end).[28]
  • Cutting Area (note that this includes a 2 3/16" overhang area at the front of the machine)
    • Metric: 425mm x 425mm (note that Carbide Create limits this to 406.4 x 406.4mm)
    • Imperial: 16+" (X-axis) x 16+" (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"[29] (add 30mm if DWP-611 is mounted to top set of holes)[30] --- 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[31] 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.[32]
  • Frame
  • 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[35])
  • no spindle included --- mount for 69mm spindle provided (fits Dewalt DWP-611 or equivalent) [36]
    • 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)[37] (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' x 5' machine can be built without the need for additional support. Possibly larger[38]
    • a 5' x 10' machine able to handle full 4' x 8' sheets of plywood seems feasible


Currently: (as noted on

Clarification of how that applies to the ShapeOko project:



Google Circle---Shapeoko: Cutting aluminum, mach3 Shapeoko 2, makita spindle, 1/16 carbide




To expand from 600mm to 1000mm (along the X-axis, the width of the machine, replacing the formed front/back plates)[42]


  • new, formed front/back plates
  • additional straps that go front to back
  • new center cross strap
  • larger wasteboard
  • M5x16mm button head cap screws


  • new ~1000mm extrusion for the gantry
  • new extension wiring
  • cable management?

upgrades will be available est. September--October[43] R&D News!


  • How to change / update billing details?
    • Instructions and contact information for doing this are included in the pre-order confirmation e-mail.[44]
  • 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?[49]
  • What are the dimensions for the wasteboard?[55]
  • Max. feasible machine size on an unsupported axis?[57]
    • 5 x 5' confirmed[58]
  • 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.[59]
  • Spindles
    • is the spindle mount (designed for OD of ~69mm) adjustable enough to accommodate a Makita RT-0701 (65mm) w/o needing an adapter?[60]
    • will it open up enough to allow using a Bosch Colt (~71mm)?
    • What is the maximum weight of spindle which the machine can handle?[61]
    • hole placement --- for mounting optional spindles such as lasers --- compatible w/ SO1/2 universal mount?[62]
      • assured ... that the necessary mounting holes will be present.[63]
    • Will the spindle from Carbide3D's Nomad883 be available separately?[64] --- 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.[65]
  • Does the controller use USB?[66]
    • Yes, Arduino-based[67] --- other controllers may be used
  • Also, what's the width of the belts used?[68]
    • belts were originally 6mm[69] --- switched to 9mm standard ~January 2016.[70]
  • what can be done to squeeze in an Acme screw Z-axis[71]
  • hide the Y-axis motors away inside the extrusion? [72]
  • Cable management
    • the default system will use plastic wire wrapping
  • How will the machines be serial numbered?[73]
  • Does the Carbide/Motion with GRBL support adding a tool probe to the SO3?[74]
  • Will there be swag w/ the Carbide 3D or Shapeoko 3 logo?.[75]
  • 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?[76]

Planned Upgrades


  • Router:
    • 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[78] but lacks variable speed[79] --- Makita RT-0701 and other 65mm diameter tools would require an adapter
  • Router bits, suggestions (these will require a 1/8" collet or adapter)
  • Collets
  • 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


  • drilled and pre-tapped holes on the spindle mount for mounting accessories[80] --- would there be a useful synergy in matching the hole placement used by Inventables?
  • timetable (currently “near future”[81]) and list (matrix?) of sizes for expanding the machine
  • pre-drilled / standard holes in wasteboard for mounting a spoilboard

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.[82]
  • highly integrated hardware and software[83]
    • Carbide Motion Machine Control Software[84] Download --- see the section below.
  • Electronics
    • Arduino controller[85]
    • runs Grbl[86]
    • The Nomad883 uses an Arduino shield, the Carbide Motion Board, a single-board version is in development[87] (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[88]
    • We got a big delivery from our electronics vendor and we now have completed boards for 100 machines.[89]
    • 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”[90]
  • Which post-processor should one use?
    • Both the EMC and Mach3 post processors should work with Nomad.[91]
  • 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.[92]
    • 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.[93]
    • 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.[94]
  • 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?[95]
    • 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.[96]
  • 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?[97]
  • 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?[99]
  • Is source available to us for the version of GRBL that preloaded in the CarbideMotion controller?
  • Is the schematic for the controller available?[100]
  • 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.[101]
  • 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).[102]


Connectors are Molex KK.[103] Spacing is 0.2", some connectors may require filing.[104]

digikey part numbers:[105]

  • pins: WM2303-ND
  • connector: WM2113-ND

Re: Carbide Motion Spindle Control --- Arduino ISP connector Shapeoko 3 and spindle controlled by Estlcam 8.2

Re: SO3 Control Box

Instructions for installing relay:


Different annodization colours.[110]

Heat Sink

The base serves as a heat sink. Arctic Silver is used between the board and heat sink.[111]

Images of the new board

Research and notes by Joe_C: Further? research

Coolant Control

Coolant on/off --- through hole pad A3 next to the reset button.

Spindle Control


Laser Control

Limit Switches

Normally-open switch

Grbl defaults and settings

Grbl defaults for at least one board as shipped by Carbide3D.[116][117] Initial boards shipped w/ the same Grbl as used on Nomad883:

Version 0.9g, so comm baud rate is 115200. A copy of Grbl w/ the Nomad defaults is linked to from that page ( )

DIP switches

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.[118]

Carbide3D: What should the DIP switches be set to on my Shapeoko3 controller board?

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.”[119]


(T)here is a micro button under the capacitor that has to be held down in order to flash the Uno.[120][121]

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).[122]

Assembly Instructions

A preliminary version is here:

A video is available.

Please see the Build Notes below.

SO3 Assembly tips from a beginner.[123]

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

Build Notes

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:

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:

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:

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.[124]


YL == Y1

YR == Y2

Z-axis rails

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.


Belt routing:

Use the weight of the machine to tension the belts: --- suggested method:

Tune for the Z-axis: — use wooden shims: Easy way to tension the Z belt.

Tension: Z-axis belt wants ~20 lbs. (total)[125] --- by inference the X- and Y- axes should have ~10 lbs.

3D printed insert to help prevent belt slipping:

Video tutorial on belts:


The machine has been revised to have a one piece Wasteboard, eliminating the center straps:

The countersinks on some wasteboards have been cut too deep resulting in screws protruding and pushing up the wasteboard.[126] 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:

T-slot option: [127]

Pro-tip: You can insert the hex key wrench through the holes to line up the pieces. — drilled out holes to better square the machine.


Use the motors with the short wires on the y axis.[128]

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).[129]

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: 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.

Leveling Feet

Squaring the machine

Discussion of this and list of tools:

C.f., Calibration and Squaring the Machine

Warped steel plates

Shimming V-wheels



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 - [130]

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.


Re: 3D model of Shapeoko 3

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[140]
  • 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)

Member Builds

Parts List (unofficial)


The following is intended as a convenience for people who have received their machine and wish to verify the contents of the package before beginning assembly. Please compare with the B.O.M. page as well as the section below and the packing list:

Top layer

  • serial number plate [143]
  • Sharpie
  • 1 bag of Tools --- see
  • 1 Fastener Pack (13 bags)
    • Bag #1
      • 2 #10-24 Thread, 3/4" Length - SS
      • 12 M3 SHCS 16mm
      • 12 M3 hex nuts
    • Bag #2
      • 1 M5 BHCS 25mm
      • 2 S3078 M5 x 55mm, SHCS - SS
      • 4 S3077 M5 x 40mm, BHCS - SS
      • 20 M5 flat washers
      • 22 M5 BHCS 20mm
      • 28 M5 BHCS 16mm
      • 29 M5 hex nuts
    • Bag #3
      • 1 M6 hex nut
      • 1 M6 BHCS 30mm
      • 4 M6 square nuts
      • 4 M6 washers
      • 30 M6 BHCS 12mm
    • Bag #4
      • 6 M8 BHCS 35mm
      • 6 M8 hex nuts
    • Pulleys
      • 4 matching pulleys
      • 1 odd pulley
    • Cable management, &c.
      • 10 small zip ties
      • 5 plastic stick-on pieces
      • stick on silicon feet (10 or 12 provided, only 9 needed)
    • Bearings
      • 12 large bearings
      • 2 small flanged bearings
    • GT2 belts
      • 1 loop
      • 3 cut to length
    • 16 V-wheels (pre-assembled)
    • aluminum spacers
      • 4 AS38-12-64 1-1/4" #12 Bore, Aluminum Spacer --- changed to 1" length?
      • 6 S3016 Aluminum Spacer 1/2 OD x .319 ID x 10mm Long
      • 4 S3082 Aluminum Spacer 3/8 OD x .219 ID x 3/8 Long
      • 1 S3018 Aluminum Spacer 3/8 OD x .257 ID x 5/16 Long --- Aluminum Standoff M6 x 9mm x 11mm
      • 2 AS50-1024-64 Aluminum Standoff, 1/2 OD x 10-24 Thread x 1" Long
    • 6 belt anchors
    • 2 springs
    • 8 eccentric nuts
  • 2 motor mount plates
  • 1 small plate
  • 1 large plate
  • 2 bent end pieces w/ P.E.M. nuts
  • Cross pieces
    • 2 narrow
    • 1 medium
    • 1 I-shaped w/ P.E.M. nuts

Second layer

  • microcontroller and enclosure
  • USB cable
  • small fan (newer kits include 4 self-tapping screws for installing this if desired)
  • power supply
  • power cord
  • spindle mount
  • 4 NEMA23 stepper motors
  • aluminum extrusions
    • 2 600mm large (for the Y-axis)
    • 1 600mm large w/ 2 drilled and tapped holes (for the X-axis)
    • 2 small Z-axis extrusions

Bottom layer

  • 2 MDF wasteboard halves

Other Items

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[144] 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[145] --- alternatives: use zip ties? 4 M3 SHCS 25--30mm and 4 or 8 M3 washers and 4 M3 nuts

Make parts for top / bottom of electronics enclosure? Best to ensure that this will block electrical noise (covering one side w/ metallic tape works).


The following is copy-pasted from the exploded view diagrams:


This is the Y-axis gantry motor mount assembly and should be built in two mirrored pairs using the motors w/ short leads as noted below.

Images of pulley alignment:

1 1 S3001 210.5mm x 160mm x 10ga, Y-Axis Mount Plate
2 4 S3014 8x22x7mm flanged bearing --- no flange in early kits
3 2 S3016 Aluminum Spacer 1/2 OD x .319 ID x 10mm Long
4 4 S3045 Dual Bearing V Wheel Kit (assembly)
5 2 S3038 M8 Hex Nut - SS
6 2 S3030 M8 x 35mm, BHCS - SS
7 2 S3042 Eccentric Nut, SS
8 4 S3025 M5 Flat Washer, black oxide - SS
9 6 S3044 M5 Hex Nut - SS
10 4 S3035 M5 x 16 mm, BHCS - SS
11 1 S3023 GT2 pulley, 20 tooth
12 4 S3076 M5 x 20mm, BHCS, SS
13 1 S3080 120oz/in NEMA23 Stepper Motor, Bipolar


1 2 S3063 Base Frame - Edge Strap
2 1 S3064 Base Frame - Center Strap
4 2 S3066 Wasteboard, half, MDF
5 14 S3035 M5 x 16 mm, BHCS - SS
6 2 S3060 Base Frame - Front Back Plate
8 1 S3067 Base Frame - Cross Strap


Mount pulley on X-axis motor (the one on spacers) before attaching.

Use a square to ensure the Z-axis extrusions are parallel.[146]

1 1 S3003 160mm x 200mm, 10ga Powder Coated Plate
2 4 S3045 Dual Bearing V Wheel Kit (assembly)
3 12 S3044 M5 Hex Nut - SS
4 4 S3025 M5 Flat Washer, black oxide - SS
5 2 S3042 Eccentric Nut, SS
6 4 S3014 8x22x7mm flanged bearing --- no flange in early kits
7 2 S3016 Aluminum Spacer 1/2 OD x .319 ID x 10mm Long
8 2 S3038 M8 Hex Nut - SS
9 2 S3030 M8 x 35mm, BHCS - SS
10 4 S3026 M6 Square Nut
11 4 S3032 M6 x 12mm, BHCS - SS
12 4 S3024 M6 Flat Washer, black oxide - SS
13 2 S3006 20mm x 27mm x 200mm Custom Extrusion
14 1 S3018 Aluminum Spacer 3/8 OD x .257 ID x 5/16 Long
15 2 MF126ZZ 6mm flanged bearing
16 4 S3035 M5 x 16 mm, BHCS - SS
17 4 AS38-12-64 1-1/4" #12 Bore, Aluminum Spacer --- changed to 1" length?
18 4 S3077 M5 x 40mm, BHCS - SS
19 2 S3023 GT2 pulley, 20 tooth
20 2 S3082 3/8 OD x .219 ID x 3/8 Long
21 2 S3080 120oz/in NEMA23 Stepper Motor, Bipolar
22 1 S3079 M6 Hex Nut - SS
23 1 S3074 GT2 Profile - 524mm Endless Belting
24 6 S3076 M5 x 20mm, BHCS, SS
25 2 S3075 10-24 Thread, 3/4" Length - SS
26 2 AS50-1024-64 Aluminum Standoff, 1/2 OD x 10-24 Thread x 1" Long
27 1 S3081 M6 x 30mm, BHCS - SS


1 4 S3045 Dual Bearing V Wheel Kit (assembly)
2 1 S3004 Spindle Mount Plate
3 2 S3042 Eccentric Nut, SS
4 5 S3044 M5 Hex Nut - SS
5 8 S3025 M5 Flat Washer, black oxide - SS
6 1 S3023 GT2 pulley, 20 tooth
7 1 S3033 M5 x 25mm, BHCS - SS
8 2 S3078 M5 x 55mm, SHCS - SS
9 1 S3056 DNP611 Mount, Aluminum
10 2 S3082 3/8 OD x .219 ID x 3/8 Long
11 2 Extension Spring 2.25in to 6.25in Extension Spring
12 8 S3076 M5 x 20mm, BHCS, SS
15 2 S3081 M5 x 15mm, Threaded Standoff
16 2 S3035 M5 x 16 mm, BHCS - SS

Bill of Materials (B.O.M.)

c.f., B.O.M.


Note that there are also 4 NEMA23 motors included in the list below:

X2 has the longer leads, X1 has the shorter leads. Use the X2 motors for your X and Z, and use the X1 motors for your dual Y.[148]

Extrusion, Hardware Frame, &c.

Notes on dimensions:

Sortable table
Quantity Y Axis Carriage Plate (S3103) Base Frame (S3107) X Axis Carriage Plate (S3108) Z Axis Carriage Plate (S3109) Bag #1 Bag #2 Bag #3 Bag #4 Part # Description
3 S3000 S3 - 85mm x 55mm x 600mm custom extrusion.jpg 85mm x 55mm x 600mm Custom Extrusion (X- and Y- axis)

Note that the one with the holes drilled and tapped is for the X-axis, the other two are for the Y-.

2 2 S3001 S3 - 210.5mm x 160mm x 10ga Y-axis mount plate.jpg 210.5mm x 160mm x 10ga, Y-Axis Mount Plate
12 8 4 S3014 S3 - 8x22x7mm flanged bearings.jpg 8x22x7mm flanged bearing --- no flange in early kits
6 4 2 S3016 S3 - alu spacer .5in OD x .319in ID x 10mm.jpg Aluminum Spacer 1/2″ outer diameter (OD) x .319″ inner diameter (ID) x 10mm long
16 8 4 4 S3045 S3 - dual bearing V wheel kit x16 pieces.jpg Dual Bearing V Wheel Kit (assembly)
6 4 2 6 S3038 S3 - M8 hex nut x6 pieces.jpg M8 Hex Nut - SS
6 4 2 6 S3030 S3 - M8-35 x6 pieces.jpg M8 x 35mm, Button Head Cap Screw (BHCS) - SS
8 4 2 2 S3042 S3 - eccentric nut.jpg Eccentric Nut, SS
20 8 4 8 20 S3025 S3 - M5 flat washers.jpg M5 Flat Washer, black oxide - SS
29 12 12 5 29 S3044 S3 - M5 hex nuts.jpg M5 Hex Nut - SS
28 8 14 4 2 28 S3035 S3 - M5 x 16mm - 28 pieces.jpg M5 x 16 mm, Button Head Cap Screw (BHCS) - SS
4 2 2 S3023 S3 - GT2 pulleys.jpg GT2 pulley, 20 tooth, 5mm & 6.35mm bore (Note that the pulley mounted on the Z-axis carriage will be fixed in place by the bolt and will not rotate. It is this static part which allows the pulley on the motor to move the Z-axis carriage up and down)
22 8 6 8 22 S3076 S3 - M5-20 x22 pieces.jpg M5 x 20mm, Button Head Cap Screw (BHCS) - SS
2 2 S3080 S3 - 57BYGH218-X1 stepper motor.jpg 120oz/in NEMA23 Stepper Motor, Bipolar --- short leads for Y-axis
2 2 S3063 S3 - base frame edge straps.jpg Base Frame - Edge Strap
1 1 S3064 S3 - base frame center strap.jpg Base Frame - Center Strap
2 2 S3066 S3 - both wasteboard halves.jpg Wasteboard, half, MDF
2 2 S3060 S3 - base frame front back plate.jpg Base Frame - Front Back Plate
1 1 S3067 S3 - base frame cross strap.jpg Base Frame - Cross Strap
1 1 S3003 S3 - 160mm x 200mm x 10ga X-axis mount plate.jpg 160mm x 200mm, 10ga Powder Coated (X-axis Mount) Plate
4 4 4 S3026 S3 - M6 square nut.jpg M6 Square Nut
30 4 30 S3032 S3 - M6 x 12mm - 30 pieces.jpg M6 x 12mm, Button Head Cap Screw (BHCS) - SS
4 4 4 S3024 S3 - M6 flat washer.jpg M6 Flat Washer, black oxide - SS
2 2 S3006 S3 - 20mm x 27mm x 200mm custom extrusion.jpg 20mm x 27mm x 200mm Custom Extrusion
1 1 S3018 S3 - alu spacer .375in OD x .257in ID x 0.3125in long.jpg Aluminum Spacer 3/8″ Outer Diameter (OD) x .257″ Inner Diameter (ID) x 5/16″ long

(S3018 Aluminum Standoff M6 x 9mm x 7.9mm long)

2 2 S3091 S3 - 6mm flanged bearing.jpg 6mm flanged bearing (MF126ZZ)
4 4 AS38-12-64 S3 - alu spacer num 12 bore x 1in long.jpg Aluminum Spacer #12 Bore x 1″ long
4 4 4 S3077 (duplicate) S3 - M5-40 button head cap screws x4.jpg M5 x 40mm, Button Head Cap Screws (BHCS) - SS
4 2 2 S3082 S3 - alu spacer .375in OD x .219in ID x 0.375in long.jpg Aluminum Spacer 3/8″ Outer Diameter (OD) x .219″ Inner Diameter (ID) x 3/8″ long
2 2 S3080 S3 - 57BYGH218-X2 stepper motor.jpg 120oz/in NEMA23 Stepper Motor, Bipolar --- long leads for X- and Z-axis
1 1 1 S3079 S3 - M6 hex nut.jpg M6 Hex Nut - SS
1 1 S3074 S3 - 520mm GT2 endless belt.jpg GT2 Profile - 524mm Endless Belting --- changed to 520mm in later kits. [149] Robotdigg: 520-2gt-6 endless belt
3 GT2_800 S3 - 800mm GT2 open ended belt.jpg GT2 Belting - Open Ended, 800mm
2 2 2 S3075 S3 - 10-24 thread x 0.75in length.jpg 10-24 Thread, 3/4" Length - SS
2 2 AS50-1024-64 S3 - alu standoff 0.5in OD x 10-24 thread x 1in long.jpg Aluminum Standoff, 1/2″ Outer Diameter (OD) x 10-24 Thread x 1" long Aluminum Spacers
1 1 1 S3081 (duplicate) S3 - M6-30 button head cap screw.jpg M6 x 30mm, Button Head Cap Screw (BHCS) - SS
1 1 S3004 S3 - Z-axis spindle mount plate.jpg Z-axis Spindle Mount Plate

1 1 S3023 (duplicate) S3 - GT2 pulleys.jpg GT2 pulley, 20 tooth, 5mm bore
1 1 1 S3033 S3 - M5-25 button head cap screw.jpg M5 x 25mm, Button Head Cap Screw (BHCS) - SS --- this may be installed on the GT2 pulley (above)
2 2 2 S3078 S3 - M5-55mm socket head cap screw.jpg M5 x 55mm, Socket Head Cap Screw (SHCS) - SS
1 1 S3056 S3 - DNP611 mount aluminum.jpg DNP611 Mount, Aluminum
2 2 S3090 S3 - 2.25in to 6.25in extension spring.jpg 2.25in to 6.25in Extension Spring [150]

2 2 S3081 (duplicate) S3 - M5 x 15mm threaded standoff.jpg M5 x 15mm, Threaded Standoff
12 12 S3027 S3 - M3 hex nuts.jpg M3 Hex Nut --- used with the M3 x 12mm Socket Head Cap Screws (SHCS) and belt clips for belt anchoring [151]

Nyloc specced on some versions of the B.O.M., but plain stainless steel provided.[152]

12 12 S3029 S3 - M3-12mm socket head cap screws.jpg M3 x 12mm, Socket Head Cap Screw (SHCS) - SS --- used w/ the M3 nuts and belt clips for belt anchoring[153]
6 S3005 S3 - belt clip.jpg Belt Clip --- 2 for the X-axis belt, 2 each for the Y-axis belts


  • S3092 4" Cable (Zip) Tie 10
  • S3015 3/4" x 3/4" - Adhesive Backed Cable Tie 4
  • S3078 3M Bumpon - 7.9mm x 3.6mm (10 or 12 provided, only 9 needed) --- for the bottom of the machine to quieten it, and keep it from scratching up tables


Tools in newer kits have changed:

  • S3T01 8mm Combination Wrench 1
  • S3 - jet lube thread locker.jpg S3T02 Jet-Lube Thread Locker, Blue 1
  • S3 - hex keys.jpg S3T03 1.5mm Hex Key, straight 1
  • S3 - hex keys.jpg S3T04 2.5mm Hex key, ball point 1
  • S3 - hex keys.jpg S3T05 5mm Hex key, ball point 1
  • S3 - hex keys.jpg S3T06 3mm Hex key, ball point 1
  • S3T07 Slip Joint Pliers 1
  • S3 - hex keys.jpg S3T08 4mm Hex key, ball point 1


Use washers on the spring posts to keep them in place:

Reverse the bolts on the lower (Z-axis carriage) spring holders[154] (or use hex head bolts) for easier manipulation and tightening.

Zamp modified his machine to align and adjust the Z-axis belt:

CastIrony changed his washer location to keep the springs from interfering:

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).

WFA SO3 rubbergrommet.jpg

Wire routing:

Upgraded to 9mm belts: see also Belts_and_Pulleys#Belt_Width

LEDs under the X-axis

Duct tape Side shields:

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:



3D printed GT2-30 pulley[155]

Modify pulley, drill new holes:


New spindle carriage plate design w/ bent edges to increase rigidity and shield parts from debris: Review of final version:

Add T-track to edges to stiffen plate:

Aluminum rectangles:

Custom cut pieces tapped in:


Z-Axis Plate Upgrade - V-Wheels / Aluminum Reinforcement

Plate and V-wheels [156]


Wasteboard from 1/4" aluminum:

Wasteboard workholding w/ HDPE Wasteboard and hardware workholding: HDPE Base

My first Shapeoko 3 Thing. Wasteboard Cut for T-nuts

1/2" alu.: 1/2" anodized with 81 6mm-tapped holes (50mm spacing)[157] and --- 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.[158]

  • BOM:
    • 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.

SO3 dragchain motorcloseup.jpg
SO3 dragchain endblock controller closeup.jpg
SO3 dragchain.jpg

Electronics Enclosure

top / bottom

Cover makercam design.svg

Forum: Shapeoko 3 electronics top / bottom enclosure

Note that new machines have an updated electronics shroud which affords slots on the sides:

Note that one should consider the implications of possible sources of electrical interference when selecting material for this. Forum user apspurgeon did so, and covered the top of this electronics enclosure in foil tape which seems to have fixed difficulties which he was having w/ disconnections caused by the router: [159]

Shroud for laser electronics

Limit switch kits

Limit_Switches: Shapeoko 3


LEDs under the X-axis