Users have been buying spindles and VFDs from the very beginning of the Shapeoko 3, but a spindle kit wasn't something we wanted to offer until we could do it right. Doing a spindle kit right includes finding good vendors, doing lots of testing, making it safe, and making it as plug-and-play as possible. We think we've nailed all of those with this kit.
What makes the Carbide VFD Spindle Kit different?
First, we've tested just about every VFD and spindle vendor we can find and we've picked the best of both. Then we add custom electronics around the VFD to reduce electrical noise. We also add a custom controller board to make it plug-in compatible with a Shapeoko so that your spindle RPM is controlled by your G-code. Next, we prewire the whole unit and put it in a custom enclosure to make sure the high-voltage wiring is safely hidden.
Finally, we program the VFD and break in the spindle. Once the spindle has been broken in, we measure the vibration to make sure it meets our standards. Even using the best spindle vendor we can find, we end up rejecting a significant number of spindles because of vibration.
NOTE: In an attempt to make this as plug-and-play as possible, and to ensure that we can support it properly, the VFD comes preprogrammed with the parameters locked. This protects you from accidental changes to the configuration.
- 65mm Air-cooled 1200W spindle
- Uses ER-11 collets
- Maximum cutter diameter: 1/4" / 7mm
- 110V, 12A draw
- 8k - 24k RPM
- RPM is fully controlled by your G-code
- VFD Enclosure with AC filtering built-in
- Adapter board for speed control from Carbide Motion
- Fully supported by Carbide 3D and Carbide Motion
- 65mm Air-cooled 1200W spindle
- Pre-wired, pre-programmed VFD unit
- AC Filter (Inside VFD enclosure)
- Speed control board (Inside VFD enclosure)
- Includes 1/8" and 1/4" ER-11 collets
- All wiring
- Collet wrenches
- 12-Month warranty against manufacturing defects
The VFD controller cannot run on a GFCI (ground fault) outlet. If you have a GFCI outlet, the VFD will not function properly. This is not a limitation of our particular VFD, it is a limitation of all VFDs.
This spindle is 65mm in diameter, so it should fit any Shapeoko 3, 4, Pro, or 5 Pro. That said, it is significantly heavier than a standard trim router, so we prefer to pair it up with an HDZ but the Z-Plus works well too. We do not recommend adding the VFD Spindle to the original Shapeoko 3 belt-drive Z-Axis.
This 65mm spindle is compatible with Sweepy 65 for dust collection.
If you have Shapeoko 3 with a V2.3 board and below (Shapeoko 3 machines purchased before Black Friday 2019), you will need to add the Carbide Motion PCB with an enclosure, which includes a new circuit board with the BitRunner connector installed.
If you've been using our Sweepy Dust Boot, you should add a Deep Sweep adapter to your order. The Deep Sweep adapter adds more reach to Sweepy to account for the long nose of the VFD spindle compared to a trim router.
How loud is it compared to a trim router?
The total sound of the machine includes the spindle, the noise from cutting, and the noise from your vacuum system. The VFD spindle is much quieter than a trim router but the benefit might be outweighed by the rest of the system, especially if you have a loud vacuum.
Does it work with CNC routers other than Shapeoko?
No, we engineered this product to work with our CNC machines only. It is not compatible with other machines.
Does it work with BitRunner?
The VFD Spindle eliminates the need for BitRunner because it already includes the functionality to control both spindle power and spindle RPM.
Why does it cost so much?
Our spindle kit costs more than buying the parts a-la-carte and putting together your own solution. We've handled the testing, integration, and wiring for you. In addition, we provide a 12-month warranty.
Compared to an a-la-carte solution, our VFD kit adds:
- VFD enclosure
- AC filter
- Carbide Motion adapter electronics
- All wiring
- 12-Month warranty
- Testing and break-in before shipping
What about water-cooled spindles?
Water cooling adds more cost and complexity because you need water plumbing and a chiller unit. For this spindle kit, we've done everything we can to avoid adding complexity so water-cooling would be a bad option. Air-cooled spindles do not require a chiller or any plumbing to make them work reliably.