Any ideas?

There are probably loads of posts like this, but I’m unable to find any that are step-by-step guides, please link some if you know of any.

I bought a Carvey and it arrived on Tuesday. We followed instructions, we used a 1/16 upper cut fish tail bit on a piece of 18mm. It snapped half away through. I thought, well maybe I’m using the wrong bit but my partner tells me “No, everyone on this forum is saying the bit is fine, they’re all using it without a problem”.

I ordered another 1/16 upper cut fish tail bit last night and it came today. Same thing happened on the same design, in the same place, it also dragged the bit across the design causing it scratches on the MDF. I’m guessing this is a fault with the design.

However, when I swapped it over for a piece of 3mm acrylic and a 1/32 upper cut fish tail bit - it instantly broke, it made a small dot and then snapped.

What is going on?? …I didn’t change any of the recommended settings on Easel but understand this may be causing the problem, however I cannot find any posts relating to this.

Please help, as you can imagine I’m really gutted and have lost out on about £35.00 already from buying bits.

All I’m thinking in my head is “Please, please, please don’t be anything like the Lulzbot Mini that kept failing”.

What are you using for feed rate and depth per pass? that may be your problem. You can’t always rely on the recommended settings. I have yet to cut with anything smaller than 1/8th bits and I was snapping them in MDF trying to cut to fast and too deep. with a 1/16th you probably wont want to go over .03 depth per pass.

Easel’s bog standard settings. I believe it was 0.3mm for acrylic and 0.4mm or 0.7mm on the second try of the 1/16 with 18mm MDF.

On our first go of the 1/16 (with 18mm MDF) we didn’t change the settings - we didn’t think we’d need to - we thought Easel would work it all out for us and we would be good to go.

Obviously didn’t realise you need to tinker and test, but it seems even “testing” your machine equals a broken bit which leads to a very expensive bill and time wasting waiting for it to arrive. I’m sorry to sound negative but there are no step-by-step guides on the internet about cutting certain materials on certain thicknesses and speeds, which you would think Inventables would kindly provide (this machine has been out for 2 years!?), plus I really don’t want to have to keep buying bits because I’ll end up sending the machine back to get a full refund.

I’m going to try 75 mm/min and the depth per pass as 0.1mm (Easel will not allow me to change it to ‘0.01mm’ and automatically puts it to 0mm) on 3mm acrylic when I get my second 1/32.

Easel suggested rates do not take end mill diameter into the account.
Thin bits and deep cuts (you dont mention your end depth) is also a factor.

How small diameter bit do you need / aka how large is small enough?

Our first cut with 18mm MDF was 2mm engraved, and it appears deeper than 2mm when using a ruler to measure in the engraved bits.
Our second cut with 18mm MDF was again 2mm and that seems to be deeper than 2mm as well.

For this project Easel is suggesting we can use 1/16 or 1/32 to engrave and/or cut this project using the “on path” tool.

Easel suggests that 1/8 will be too thick for some lines and they’re red.

2mm total depth or depth per pass?
1/16" are fragile and have a narrow operation window in terms of feeds and speeds.

I hope others with more experience using smaller bits will chime in, I mainly use 3mm (which also break on occation…)

Total depth.

DPP was 0.7mm or 0.4mm I think for 18mm MDF.

So what feed do you recommend I should put it to for 18mm or 3mm MDF for 1/16 and 1/32 (if possible)

I really hope that when you say that they “break on occasion”, that it’s once in a blue moon due to wearing out and not a daily basis :joy:

Are you tightening the collet holding the bit enough? Is the bit perhaps slipping and breaking? Where on the bit is it breaking?

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Those extra gouges that look like they have nothing to do with your design may hold the key. It looks like the bit isn’t being raised up away from the material properly before traveling to another part of your design. Try emailing support with pictures and all!

Failing to properly tighten a collet causes no end of grief. Ask me… I know. :smile:

Looks like the the bit isn’t loaded correctly to me too…or your height isn’t set correct. Did you actually measure your material? Mdf but the bit will heat up eventually, anneal, and soften. Watch your chip load and see if it’s not a combo of bad loading and too much speed

Our Makerspace local had a Xcarve that goes through hundreds of projects a week and I researched carefully before choosing them for our campus. It’s not a scam one I promise

It’s breaking half way between the two ends of the bit.
I’m sure it’s very tight when it’s in the holding.

Inventables customer service have emailed back saying that it’s something wrong with the machine itself, because it was meant to engraved 2mm and it’s more like 4mm.

We are going to try 1270mm/762mm/1.6mm with 18mm MDF and a 1/8 bit to cut around and a 1/16 to engrave with
Do you think that is correct? Maths isn’t my strong point.

@Rael Feeds sound too fast for the Carvey. I’d half that (600mm/min or even 500), and see how you do. Depth of .8mm for the 1/16" bit. If you’re sure your end mill is secure (sounds like you are), check that the spindle isn’t dropping.


I think Inventables are going to arrange to send three new bits, but I want to buy some from eBay, as they are £10 for a pack of 10 instead of £10 for 1 single bit. Struggling to find a 1/16 though.

Still not working.

Inventables have kindly sent us some new bits, both the 1/32 have broken within minutes of using them. My partner carved on “recommended” settings for engraving 3mm MDF as he believed that the machine has been fixed over the internet by Inventables. I’m not convinced it is fixed or he’s done it right with the settings.

I’ve had this machine for over a week now and nothing to show for it.

I really think your feeds are too aggressive for the bit, 1/16" and 1/32" are quite fragile. MDF can also be a very abrasive material to cut in.

For test sake - can you try a 1/8" bit and carve a range of pockets with incremental depth change / pocket size ? This may add to why / if there is sudden shifts in height during carving.

Your original image postings indicate that the bit engage during transitional moves => lost steps on Z / or something slipping in the Z-axis (bad motor wire, loose pulley or other mechanical issue?)

Sadly the drill bit isn’t long enough and has rubbed away the blue rubber thing on the bit.