Carvey ignoring carving instructions

I’ve had the Carvey in the classroom since October and we’ve done many projects (5th grade is particularly fond of fidget spinner carves) but this is the first time I’ve seen this.

It was programmed to cut a pretty simple “bookshelf” project with a place in the front that will hold a cup and two cut outs (one on each side–.75" wide and 3.5" on the y axis) ) for the vertical boards that will keep the books from falling off the shelf.

It cut the circle and the left side space for the vertical board fine but it cut the right side vertical space in the middle of the board! So, I’m looking at the picture that says how this board should be carved and it’s pretty clear and easy, yet Carvey put that other cut in a completely random place. (And chewed up the plastic clamp I had there in the middle, too.) :frowning:


Lost steps perhaps? Something blocking the axis travel? Does it need to be cleaned?


Thanks for your reply.

  1. Not sure what a “lost step” is but it sounds like something I should know.
  2. The only thing between the cut on the left and the cut that should have been on the right was my little plastic clamp thing (that is now half plastic saw dust). There is nothing else in the machine. When the bit moves to a new cut, it must travel higher than the clamps, no?
  3. I vacuum the Carvey after every job but haven’t “cleaned” anything other than vacuuming the obvious sawdust. Is there something else I should be doing?
    (You know, I’m always in the room when the Carvey is going…except for today when my teaching partner said she would keep an eye on it…and then she got busy with a classroom filled with 4th graders. The machine must not have made a racket when it chomped up that clamp because no one noticed.)

The steppers that drives the axis are “open loop” => they are told to move x-number of steps but there are no feedback of it actually moving said distance. Alas, there are no correction done if steps are lost. (lost = told to move certain distance, but didnt)

Mechanical friction / too high load on the axis / overheating of the motor drivers etc can all cause lost steps.

I don’t have a Carvey but from my understanding, the spindle moves left and right while the material itself moves forward and backwards.

The left to right motion would be on some sort of rail system. The Xcarve uses an aluminum rail and has Vwheels to move the X carriage. That rail needs to be cleaned off regularly or else you’re increasing the friction which may cause the steppers to not be able to step which causes a lost step like @HaldorLonningdal was describing.

Make sure that the rail gets a good wiping/cleaning. Most likely just hitting it with a vacuum won’t get it all off. It’s probably compacted a little now. You may also need to use a cotton swab or something similar and clean whatever lets it move (wheels I’m assuming) to make sure those are clean.

I would think Inventables would have some cleaning recommendations/instructions somewhere so I’d look for those. And, if not, contact their Customer Success team and ask. They’ll know the best.