Almost ready to pull the trigger on an X-Carve

I have been reading a lot of the posts in the forums and I am just about ready to pull the trigger on the X-Carve. I am wondering if there is a time line for the X-Controller being available to the public? I know you just started testing it but would hate to buy and then the next day it becomes available, It seems that it is going to make the setup so much easier. Also how much will the X-Controller cost or effect the overall price?

I’m not too sure on the expected release date, but I would have to guess fairly soon. They have a listing for it on their site already HERE. You can subscribe to get updated once it goes live!

After using the X-Controller for a few weeks I can say it is worth the extra cost.

Based on the pricing Inventables has posted the Grbl Shield, Arduino, enclosure, power supply and the power Supply PCB is about $196. The X-Controller which replaces all that is $329. So by my math the X-Controller ($329) upgrade should add about $133 to the total cost.

If I was going to order a new machine I would almost certainly wait until I could get the X-Controller with it.


I concur with what Allen said. Unless you are going to upgrade to something that is much more complicated and much further from the price of the standard setup, the X-Controller is definitely worth it.

That said, if you are looking to buy and X-Carve now and just don’t want to wait, then getting the standard setup and “cutting your teeth” on it while you wait for the X-Controller to come out wouldn’t break the bank either. Upgrading from the standard setup to the X-Controller (esp. if you plan to do so) is pretty easy. I did it in an afternoon in an 1.5 to 2 hours.

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If you upgrade after you purchase the Arduino and Grbl shield can be used for lots of other projects.

Correct. I am repurposing mine to run another mill that has just been sitting because the owner found it too complicated to operate. The spare Arduino and gShield will help him get some use out of the machine.

It is possible, and comes with the extra wire to do so. Standard setup with the X-Controller is to run Y1 and Y2 separately and only as an option would you run them from 1 channel now.

Not like a rotational axis… it still does only 3 axis, but each Y axis motor is driven separately instead of just 1 driver for the two steppers.

I’m planning to use my old controller either for a mini-mill that I have sitting around (currently manual) or replacing the electronics in a ChinaLaser™ to make a tons-cheaper Glowforge alternative.

I would likely wait for the X-Controller as well, it’s a considerable improvement! Although, that being said, the stock electronics do work just fine.

I think it comes down more to what the onboard firmware supports. GRBL doesn’t support 4 or more axis, and so the X-Controller wouldn’t be able to. The problem with adding that extra Axis is that prices and software and complexity tend to sky rocket.

I ordered the machine without the motion controller. I too am waiting for the X-controller. I figured that I would get the machine and take my time building it adding the extra modification along the way. As of now I have the machine done and ready to go just waiting for the X-controller. I am on the email list so as soon as it is officially available I will be ordering it.

Wow, I love this forum and the passion you all have. thanks for all the responses. Everybody is so helpful here. I think I will try and wait a little longer, but it will be hard. I am itching to get started.