I’d like to get some advice and opinions about the X-carve. I’ve heard conflicting opinions. Can the X-carve handle the type of daily activity needed to run a small business? I currently own a hobby cnc machine now but I’m considering turning it into a business and the X-carve is one of the machines I’ve been considering. Any opinions/advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
I think that would depend on the quantity, quality, and accuracy of the part you are making. I primarily make wooden guitar components. Some of these parts can tolerate more variation in part size than others.
If I were trying to make a business out of cnc-ing something, I would want an industrial quality machine for the rigidity, accuracy, repeatability, and daily rigor I would be subjecting it too. This would include supported linear rail, ball screws, steel or beefy aluminum structure, large steppers, Spindle or 1/2" Router, Pro software and electronics, etc. This kind of machine probably costs $8000-10K and up these days. You get what you pay for with CNC routers.
I’d put the Xcarve in the hobbiest category based on what I have here. I own 2 lower end commercially made machines and the x carve. They are a Pcncautomation 24" x 36"….now defunct, and a K2 25 x 14…K2 is now Velox cnc. Both use Mach3.
None of these machines are capable of the repeatable accuracy I so desire. That fact is based on the components used in their construction. :-). I’m having fun with the x-carve but I’m not trying to run a business with it either. I’m sure some people can though, and I have been amazed at some of the things I see it making here.
If I had to do this all over again knowing what I know now, I’d buy my last machine first and deal with the sting of the high prices just once.
I’m not sure I’d rely on the X-Carve as a singular source of income. But as a supplementary source, most definitely (and plenty of people do)!
You have to be willing to learn the ins and outs of the X-Carve if you plan to use it for profit. I feel like the majority of people with negative things to say about it simply aren’t willing to spend the time to educate themselves, and expect the X-Carve to be an “out-of-the-box” solution. At its price point, it’s an amazingly capable machine, when operated correctly.
If you’re totally new to the CNC world, it’s definitely a great, and relatively inexpensive, place to start. With little prior knowledge, it’s generally a good idea to scale up your business over time, and the X-Carve can potentially be your first stepping stone.