X-carve vs Shapeoke

Why, in all of the comparisons on this forum, is Shapeoko XXL or xl never mentioned? It seems this would be a better comparison than the $10-15K machines. Both use belts, both use “in house” software, both require assembly. I am just curious as these are the two machines I am considering. Dr J Popa

Well for one thing it’s a direct competitor to the people who are paying for this forum…:-). Probably another reason is that people who buy the X carve join the forum after the fact. In the beginning there was the Shapeoko, then key people went their separate ways and started the two different entities.

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You are right, the two are similar, more than the 5 to 15K alternatives and meet the needs of most prosumers. I have a Shapeoko XL, I like it and it is well built. I researched both and after looking at the pros and cons, I decided to buy the other. I think the machines are comparable and they each have strong points. You need to determine what is best for you. Since this is an X-Carve forum, I will not promote the competition and why I made my choice, I don’t think it would be the place to discuss.

You do not need to use the software provided to operate them, there are many 3rd party alternatives to design, create GCode and send the commands to the machines. In fact, you can also use Easel to design and create GCode for the Shapeoko and I think there is a way to use Carbon Create to create GCode for the X-Carve. Both are available for free to anyone. Easel is cloud based while CC is a desktop application for the PC and MAC, again, pros and cons.



Edward R. Ford created the Shapeoko on Kickstarter at about the same time Bart Dring was doing his Makerslide Kickstarter — the synergy was obvious, and the Shapeoko was redesigned to use Makerslide.

Zach Kaplan contracted with Edward to distribute the Shapeoko (which was originally designed to have an 8" x 8" x 3" working area, cost $300 and fit in a USPS flat rate box to save on shipping), then Edward and Bart were hired and the Shapeoko 2 was developed.

Edward left Inventables to join a competitor which had just launched a machine on Kickstarter, and developed the Shapeoko 3 as a clean sheet design, applying everything learned from the previous machine designs — the only parts in common are the M5 bolts, eccentric nuts, precision spacers, and Delrin V wheels. Bart Dring when hired had stated that he would only stay for a fixed time, and then retire, which he did.

The X-Carve was developed as a cosmetic fork which gradually added new extrusion profiles to reduce parts count and simplify assembly, and the Carvey was added to the lineup (which is a competitor to the afore-mentioned competitor’s Kickstarter machine).

There’s a history page on the Shapeoko wiki which has most of the above dates.


In fairness I compare them all the time and recommend the Shapeoko XXL over the X-carve at the moment. The X-carve is in between generations right now and doesn’t compare very well with the Shapeoko outside of price.

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I agree

Do yourself a huge favor and check out the Openbuilds Lead 1010.