New guy, chose the X-carve over the Shapeoko

Just ordered my X-Carve this morning, after 2 weeks of debating whether to go with the Shapeoko 3 or not. Ordered it with the Acme Z, which was probably the biggest thing that convinced me to go X-carve.
I have experience in CNC programming and machining, so I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions on the best software to use that will allow me to use true G-code, so I can continue to program with Mastercam, as I’m used to.
Looking forward to making some chips at home!!

Unless you purchase new controller hardware you are going to be using Grbl. I use Vcarve to create my Gcode and UGS or Easel to send that Gcode to the Grbl controller.

Grbl has been very reliable and understands all the Gcode I have ever needed to use.

List of Supported G-Codes in Grbl v0.9 Master:

  • Non-Modal Commands: G4, G10L2, G10L20, G28, G30, G28.1, G30.1, G53, G92, G92.1
  • Motion Modes: G0, G1, G2, G3, G38.2, G38.3, G38.4, G38.5, G80
  • Feed Rate Modes: G93, G94
  • Unit Modes: G20, G21
  • Distance Modes: G90, G91
  • Arc IJK Distance Modes: G91.1
  • Plane Select Modes: G17, G18, G19
  • Tool Length Offset Modes: G43.1, G49
  • Cutter Compensation Modes: G40
  • Coordinate System Modes: G54, G55, G56, G57, G58, G59
  • Control Modes: G61
  • Program Flow: M0, M1, M2, M30*
  • Coolant Control: M7*, M8, M9
  • Spindle Control: M3, M4, M5
  • Valid Non-Command Words: F, I, J, K, L, N, P, R, S, T, X, Y, Z

from the Grbl github site

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List of free / opensource CAM options here:

Commercial options listed here: (I believe Inventables carries MeshCAM).

FWIW, it would probably be pretty simple to change the Z-axis on the SO3 — I sketched it out, and did a parts list on my page on the Shapeoko wiki, but that’s out of scope for discussion here — we could discuss it on some other suitable site if you wish.

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