Carvey smart clamp button not responding

Hey guys,

Big disappointment for me this morning as I wanted to run another job on my Carvey and I found out the hard way that the smart clamp button is broken :frowning:

I got my Carvey in February and used it probably no more than 50 times… I can’t believe the button is not more robust than that!
This being said, the fact that my Carvey was homing and the button didn’t respond also means that the head kept pushing down and down, ever harder until the board below it flexed and made funny noises so I jumped to the stop button… :s
I hope it didn’t break/decalibrate anything internally as a consequence!

Anyways, what can I do to be able to use my Carvey again if the button no longer works?


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Hello! Hello!
Dear Inventables, I really like you and your products, but right now I spent a weekend without being able to carve… :’(
Is there any warrantee on the Carvey? Could I maybe get another button-board mailed to me?

They basically don’t have a warranty. Read it. It’s absolutely ridiculous. They give you almost nothing and they force you (among many other things) to buy their overpriced materials to carve with to not void the warranty. Some of the things that void the warranty are not even provable, which means that they are meant to give them an invented reason to void even the meager warranty that they say they provide. How on earth did you spend 3 grand on a product which basically has no warranty, and no proof of reliability? You could have bought a whole woodworking workshop with that; a good scroll saw and router, files, sanders, accurate saws, chisels, planes etc; mostly tools that will last you a lifetime and will allow you to work with cheaper materials.

The intent of the approved materials list included in the Carvey limited warranty has absolutely nothing to do with forcing customers to purchase materials from us. Customers are welcome to buy the materials approved for use in Carvey from any source. The materials on that list are the types of materials that have been tested by Inventables and we can confirm will work with this machine. The reason we include the approved materials list in the limited warranty is to prevent customers from breaking their machine by attempting to carve a material the machine was not designed to work with.

Read plomac’s statement above and notice how it leads the buyer to believe that the warranty is still valid if they “buy materials approved for use in Carvey from any source.”

It ISN’T. This is a copy and paste from one of the first excerpts in Carvey’s limited warranty:

What is not covered by this Warranty

The following items are expressly excluded from warranty coverage:

● Defects in the Carvey related, in any way, to the use of any media not provided by us.

In other words, you “buy materials approved for use in Carvey” from anyone other than them, and if anything goes wrong with Carvey, bam! no warranty, as they can always claim that the media is in some way related to the problem.

Even if they sell you a defective machine, and you can PROVE that it is defective and that it wasn’t YOU who caused the defect (no easy feat, given the impossibly heavy burden of proof that seems to be placed on the buyer to “prove” he isn’t guilty of the many things that make the warranty void), you will have to self-service and you’ll “be responsible for all shipping costs.”

Compare that to something like the best industrial scroll saw in the world, the Hegner, which costs $1550-$1800. It offers a 7 year warranty. I have a used one from the 80s that I bought for $700 and still works perfect. Built like rock.

Not sure what the costs of production are with Carvey, but I would say that with the almost non-existent warranty, unless the product is given enough reviews proving much better reliability, I don’t think it is worth more than a used Hegner.

I’d enjoy playing with this thing, but not for this price and under this warranty.

@JonathanShockley I appreciate your feedback and the forum is a great place to have constructive conversations and post reviews of the Inventables product lines including a discussion about the limited warranty that comes with Carvey. I understand how the language in that document could make one feel that way. I am really sorry for that and it was never the intention. I am glad you brought it to our attention. The document was developed working closely with our legal advisors. I am concerned because what you are posting is simply not an accurate interpretation about how we actually operate or treat our customers. We stand behind our products and if you receive a defective machine or defective part we replace it free of charge. I am happy to add some clarification to that line in the warranty so it is clear the specific point you referenced does not mean that if you buy materials listed as approved materials from anyone other than us it voids the limited warranty. If you have other concerns I am happy to discuss those further with you. Thanks for posting.

@JonathanShockley It is very interesting what you dug up there. Indeed it would seem, from the text, that your interpretation is correct. However, I would like to let others know what really happened.
Initially I wrote here in the forum and had no reponse, but that’s because it’s a user forum. As soon as I wrote to Inventables directly, I got a reply very quickly and they were extremely friendly and professional. They sent me a new smart clamp (to Germany), which arrived no more than a week later.
So all in all I must say well done to the customer support of Inventables!

And I dare to hope that this is the treatment they give all their customers :wink:


I’m sorry to dig up this thread from the grave but the second smart clamp that I received at the end of last year has stopped working again too…
I must say I’m quite disappointed with the quality of the button :confused:

I used a multimeter to test them and the problem is really the button, it is simply dead…
So now I have two smart clamps which are not so smart anymore.

In order to even be able to use my Carvey, I had to create an extension for the cable and I connect the two ends manually when I think that the bit is more or less at the right height…

@plomac: any ideas as of what I should do? No need to send an expensive international package with a new smart clamp again, but maybe half-a-dozen buttons so that I can solder them on and off every time they break?

Hi Cedric,

Really sorry to hear. For the immediate fix I have forwarded your case to our support team so we can get a couple replacements sent out to you. Unfortunately the buttons on their own are not an approved user-serviceable part. What was the reason you needed to create an extension - I am simply curious. We had one other report that I am aware of that the cables were a bit short but we have since updated that on the production assembly drawings so the length is specified. When you say it is simply dead you mean that when you actuate the button it does not produce a signal - am I understanding that correctly? I want to make sure there are no tiny bits of pieces or debris stuck inside and preventing the button from engaging when actuated. I am guessing you already checked this.

I will also pass along the feedback to our engineering team in case there are further changes we can phase in to minimize this issue in the future. (i.e. a better quality button, etc.)

Hey Phil,
thanks for the reply.

The extension I’m talking about is made of two (isolated) wires which are long enough to reach outside of the Carvey so that I can close the lid and start a job. During the automatic calibration, I short-circuit the two wires when the tip of the bit has reached the desired height.
This is what I have to do now since the button doesn’t work anymore.

As you said, I unscrewed the PCB from the smart clamp, unplugged the wires coming into it and tested the button with a multimeter. Pressing the button no longer closes the circuit between the two wires (ie produces no signal).
I am an electronics engineer, so I think this much I did right :slight_smile:
And for sure I cleaned everything before making the tests, so no debris stuck anywhere.
In fact, I now have two of these PCBs; the first one which stopped working last year is really completely dead since the button no longer even “clicks” when pressed. The second one which broke last weekend still “clicks” slightly when pressed, but no longer closes the circuit electronically.

Also note that this problem is extremely dangerous since it is unpredictable and it leads to the spindle not stopping when calibrating for z. The first time it happened it started bending the bottom plate and the spindle made weird noises before I had time to press the stop button. Since then I watch carefully each calibration… simply because I cannot trust the button anymore :confused:

Hi Cedric,

I see why you added the extension - I misunderstood at first and thought you were doing it for another reason besides the issue with the smart clamp button. I agree this is a serious issue. We have not had a lot of reports of the button failing in the field - we have had some issues with debris getting stuck and preventing the button from actuating. I will bring this issue to the team at our next engineering meeting and suggest we investigate an improvement to the button.



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I had almost the exact same situation. I just received my second replacement smart clamp this week. (As a side note, the folks at Inventables Customer Service were GREAT and got me the replacement immediately!) Although I can’t identify anything I’m doing that would likely have caused the failure, I’m in the same situation of not trusting the zero process. In my case, the failure seemed gradual both times, with the zero depth becoming greater with each project. Somewhat frightening to see the whole platform flex downward before hitting the stop button. While the first time it happened, I thought that debris in the smart clamp might have been a contributing factor, the second time I was fairly meticulous in keeping the smart clamp clean. Still happened.

I’m OK with the idea of that little smart clamp board (or even the entire smart clamp unit) being an orderable consumable/field replaceable unit. User has to remove the board from the smart clamp anyway during the installation process in order to plug it in .

Hi George, thanks for the additional information. I will bring these two and some other cases we have observed to the engineering meeting next Monday to see if we can look into the root cause and investigate potential improvements.

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Hi All,

Quick update: I presented both of your cases along with a few other recent smart clamp field failures recently reported by customers to our engineering team this morning. They are going to review the information and explore some new design ideas to potentially fix this issue. It may be a while before we are ready to phase something in but we appreciate the community bringing this to our attention. I will do my best to post any updates as I am made aware of them.

closing this thread for the time being but will reopen or start new post for future updates that come in as mentioned above

Quick Update: Three broken Smart Clamp PCBAs were acquired from customers. Each switch was failing due to a buildup of dust under the contact dome. After cleaning this dust, each switch functioned properly. We are working on a design fix to address this issue moving forward and for folks who may experience this issue with the current clamp in the future.