Inventables Community Forum

Anyone in Arizona?

Hello. It would be very helpful to my husband if there was someone knowledgeable who lived in our area around Mesa Arizona. He would just like someone to come and look to see if he has set everything up properly and maybe help him calibrate the machine. We live in Apache Junction. He’s not comfortable with forums. Thanks if anyone can help.

Hopefully you will find someone in your area to help you. If not, consider looking at the videos on YouTube that I have produced. Many people on this forum and other places have found them very helpful in getting up and running. My channel is https://Youtube.com/c/PawPawsWorkshop

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As Phil notes below, watch his channel. I teach cad/cam at the graduate level, but have learned so much from his channel. I already owned a 4-axis milling machine for metal work, but x-carve is a slightly different beast (and of course there is the theory and the practice of actually using the thing). Switching to tape/glue on his recommendation changed my life! Phil’s videos are easy to understand even for a beginner, and many of the projects are quick to do so you will rapidly get confidence from success.

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Thank you so much Phil. My husband has in fact been watching many of your videos and finds them very informative but there are occasions when he thinks that something must have been left out of the explanation because he feels a bit lost. So far I think he’s only tried cutting out three things and none of them have worked out correctly so it’s possible the machine is just not set up exactly right yet. For instance, I designed a snowman with the letter l to the left and the letters v e to the right of the bottom circle of the snowman. So that the snowman is part of the word love. It seemed to be carving out everything good until it got to the right side of the snowman and cut everything out a little higher so that the whole snowman is a bit lopsided. What could possibly make that happen?
Thank you for any suggestions you can offer.

Thank you for your encouragement Henry. We’re just beginning and I told my husband that we would probably have a lot of learning to do before we can actually create something nice. I expect it’s going to be a lot more difficult just because we’re a bit older. But I will continue to encourage my husband as well as ask questions in the forum.

@CherylHeflin Thank you very much. Yes, there is a rather steep learning curve. That is one of the reasons that I started my channel. I will try to answer any questions that you have and I know that there are many people of this forum who will gladly jump in and help you.

Since the letters moved up and continued to carve, it sounds like something is loose and you missed steps. Pictures help a lot when trying to solve problems.

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Cheryl I live on the west side of the Phoenix metro area (Goodyear) and work M-F but maybe we can work something out for me to stop by on the weekend. My wife wants to head down to Cave Creek Olive Mill next weekend so you’d be on the way if either the 24th/25th works. You’re also welcome to make the trip out to my side of town any day of the week since I work from home these days. He could see how mine is setup and we could test the carve so see if its a problem with the design or the machine if that works. Mine is the 1000x1000mm unit with a couple of upgrades and has been in use for about two years.

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Just remember, we all learn from mistakes. If you aren’t routinely making mistakes you aren’t learning. Heck half my coolest projects started out as derived from failures on other projects (like, “ooh, while that’s terrible for this purpose, that kinda looks like X…” then someone asks for an X).

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Hello Phil,
I am going to attach a photo of the design that didn’t cut properly. it’s off about an 1/8 of an inch from the beginning to the end. Not just the snowman that is lopsided, but each letter is slightly shorter than the first all the way to the last. Also the letter V was cut funny, a bit of a curve and thinner on the first side. And the tops of the letters as well as the snowman’s hat cut funny as well. I needed to sand the tops to make them even as the back was raised a bit. Not sure if that’s normal or not. Hopefully someone can tell us what we might need to do in order to fix this problem. I am very grateful for ALL the help offered here for sure! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Cheryl

Thank you so much for the encouragement! I know we are JUST barely beginning here and will probably make many more mistakes. Nice to know we are not alone.

Hi Scott,
Thanks so much for your offer to come visit at our place to help my husband. We live in Apache Junction so it might be further than you are thinking. I will let my husband know your offer. I doubt he would be able to come out there as he is having some eye trouble and it’s hard for him to “safely” drive long distance anymore. But he might want to give you a call and figure out about getting together. Do you have FB messenger? He is available there if you wanted to text or call him. Thank you again so very much!!
Cheryl

Most likely the result of your stepper motor losing steps. Basically, the force on the machine is greater than the force the motor can provide, so it “skips”. The machine is dumb and has no idea that it’s not cutting where it’s supposed to.
The difficult part is determining WHY it happened. It could be any number of things. The more details you can share, the easier it will be to diagnose.

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The best way to explain skipped steps, and the mayhem they cause, is your car’s odometer. If you are driving on ice, the odometer doesn’t know whether when the wheel went around if the car went forward or the wheel spun. if you were using the odometer to do precise navigation it’s wrong…there are steppers or other forms of motors that actually check to see if they moved the requested amount (servo drive) but not on the x-carve.

I will note; coming from Arizona that may not resonate as much as those of us from the northeast…

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Cheryl you can give him my number 480 399 2283 and we chat and see if we can work it out or find a time to meet up

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Thanks so much Scott. I believe he also sent you a message on here with his number. Hopefully you can connect soon.

Thank you Henry!
I am actually from MA but never really drove much so it’s not resonating with me BUT I’m pretty sure it will make complete sense to my husband. Thanks for the info!

Thank you Neil. I’m really hoping my husband will get into the forum and begin taking over because since he’s the one running the machine, he knows best how to explain what is going on. I’ll pass this on to him. Thanks again.

Isn’t it nice to see so many helpful people

Well done to all
Kel

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Hi, We live in Mesa not far from AJ. We’ve had our X-Carve for 3 years now and just love it. We would be happy to help out anyway we can, because we know you’re going to love yours too once you get it up and running.

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Hi Kel. Yes, it’s awesome! :blush: