X-Carve versus ShapeOko 3

Well that’s good to hear Will for the Shapeoko 3 Customers. I hope it’s more timely than the orders still waiting from batch one that was due to ship end of March. Do you have any videos, or will you soon (of the Shapeoko 3 in action from a customers build)? I would love to see some. Just a thought you might pass on, a video tutorial assembly like Inventables has would go a long way to helping new CNC customers and old alike. Cheers!

Has anyone checked out the like 3 shapeoko 3 videos online? That thing seems crazy loud. They did officially announce 1000mm extrusions for it however, they aren’t yet you can’t order it as a kit and all the belts and things have to be bought as separate kits so it seems. Not that I care I already bought m. Xcarve and if for no other reason than inventables has better customer service I’m,glad.

I don’t even watch videos. There are apparently some new ones though — a quick search shows videos by Improbable Construct and Timothy Foreman: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=shapeoko+3 — I’m sure more will follow, esp. once Winston has time to assemble his machine.

Thus far, the initial version of the instructions (or earlier, just the exploded drawings) has worked fine for assembly of the SO3 — the lower parts count helps that, and it being DFA (designed for assembly). FWIW, I actively mislike assembly videos since they’re difficult to edit / correct and I’ve had at least one instance of having to troubleshoot an incorrectly assembled machine 'cause the person used an assembly video rather than the official instructions.

Thanks for the link, looks good. I have to go now, my X Carve is coming EARLY and I need to get ready!


The 1000mm X Carve can handle the weight of a DeWalt DWP611 with no problems?

@Aaron We run the DeWalt 611 on our 1000mm shop machine. We use it virtually every day and is runs great. It flies through materials, but it is very loud.

We use collets from Precise Bits for the smaller bits…

Edit: We have a new mount coming for is soon.

I’m going crazy trying to decide what I should get. What are the wait times look like?

@Aaron We don’t like to make early promises on things like this. This will be the first production run of these parts. Things can always go wrong and we could reject the entire first lot. We are about 2-3 weeks away from getting those parts.

1 Like

Aaron you can’t go wrong they are both great machines. But if Service, ease of proven operation and assembly, and easy access to upgrades now and in the future matter, the X Carve currently has these, and it is shipping earlier than the long wait for Shapeoko3, so you would likely get your machine sooner with X Carve. Hope that helps. Read posts above theres a more detailed comparison.


Footnote - The Inventables team has been excellent communicating and they don’t want to make promises they cannot deliver on, but from what I have seen even if they encounter a delay, they have a solid team of individuals committed to getting anything resolved quicker and more transparently. I am just a customer but have been studying hard like you.


+1 to don. Also watch any of the inventables videos on like Twitter they have used their shop machine SO much the black coating is all coming off ha ha. At least they don’t have a shapeoko 3 running in their shop. I bet carbide 3d secretly buys an xcarve though. :wink: that’s how,they make,all the parts for their machine lol

1 Like

Winston Moy uploaded his build video of the shapeoko 3


Looks like a cool machine. Those giant x and y extrusions look nice. I couldn’t see well, but is the z axis driven by a belt instead of a lead screw?

Also, given the way it is put together, with just the steel plates connecting the y rails, it looks like it might still have problems staying square. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t use extrusions for the front a back of the machine instead of the plates.

Looks like a very nice machine, those big rails look nice. Yes it’s a belt raising and lowering the z with springs to counteract the added wight from 3 motors, router and electronics. Though the added weight will reduce deflection, I wonder how much added stress is on all the belts moving all that weight, as well as wear and tear on the bearings, pulleys and steppers. Not sure I like everything mounted all over the y carriage, it looks hard to get to and see the belt and pulleys which I expect will need re-tensioning often with the added weight. Looks like a pretty easy build and looks like once it is square it will likely stay square. Still very glad I chose the X Carve’s size, service, already available customization,on-time delivery window, waste board and other benefits already discussed in this thread. Nice job Ed and the Shapeoko3 team.

Plus there are more features coming for the x carve that are on the Carvey like
automatically zeros itself in all three axes, So I will go with the X-carve for tons of support from company and support groups on the forums aswell.


I would ask the forum members here a few questions as I too am looking at the X-Carve and the Shapeoko 3. I have another post going comparing the X-Carve and the Stepcraft 420 and I have scrapped the idea of the Stepcraft.

Shapeoko 3, I don’t like the Z axis belt drive or the front and rear plates/Y axis connectors or the lack of limit switches. I like the bigger extrusions and the four screws used to connect the Y axis’!

X-Carve, I would want a table size at least as big as the Shapeoko 3, 16 X 16, the 1000mm is way too big for my purpose, The better Z axis screw and limit switches should be included as a standard.

I am not an engineer but I have to ask if the extrusions the X-Carve has, being smaller 20mm X 80mm as compared to the Shapeoko 3 55mm X 85mm would be as strong??

Appreciate any feedback!

Tim Foreman has begun selling home/limit switch kits for the Shapeoko 3, and there are holes on the plates for attaching switches — they’re quite simple to do: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Home/Limit_Switches and a number of people have done them on their own.

As regards the strength of the extrusions, we have data on Makerslide here: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Makerslide#Extrusions — still waiting for someone to perform similar calculations for the new SO3 extrusions, but Sonny Jeon (author of Grbl) did extensive FEA though, proving the machine out as suited to 5’ x 5’ areas w/o needing supports (by extension, two or four supports and appropriate lengths of rails should provide for a machine able to cut full sheets of plywood).

When I had a Shapeoko 2, it was quite capable, and well-suited to the stock size (and far easier to move around than my SO3). My SO1 is extended along the Y-axis, which works well, and I think an SO2 at the default 500mm X-axis width, but w/ 1000mm Y-axis rails and side supports is a very good value.

at 16x16 i dont see how the larger SO3 rails would be much benefit ove the x carve rails

Now that the Shapeoko 3 with it’s big aluminum slides is available in larger sizes (up to 33"x33"), the same DeWalt router that most X-Carves are now using, NEMA23 motors, limit switches, etc. would you still buy an X-Carve?

Thank You Don! I too have been going back and forth between the two and I believe this post may have just solidified my choice in new toy!