Inventables Community Forum

Carving with Autodesk Fusion 360

I found some claims that Carvey does work with Fusion 360. However, I can’t find any details on that. Specifically, which post processing to choose for path export, how to initiate homing and auto-zero procedure or is it necessary at all. There are quite some related topics on other milling machines from Inventables, but none about Carvey yet, which is unfortunate considering it’s different in some important aspects from other machines (the auto-zero for example).

Has any one tried to use Carvey with AF 360 with any success?

I would think, given that Carvey is also GRBL-based (assumption, but I’d think a solid one) that sending $H from your console would initiate the homing process as it does with other GRBL hardware.

Fusion should work fine with the standard GRBL post in that case, and UGCS or CP to send your code.

Thank you, for your suggestion, DanBrown!

I just tried UGCS, however, it seems it does not recognize Carvey’s firmware. Whenever I try to send a command to Carvey it says “Grbl has not finished booting”. I believe I connected successfully to the machine, because I’m able to see the prompt:

**** Connected to COM3 @ 115200 baud ****

gCarvin 1.1.5 ['$' for help]
GrblFeedbackMessage{message='['$H'|'$X' to unlock]', distanceMode='null', units='null'}

I think this “gCarvin 1.1.5” is what confuses UGCS, as it probably expects some GRBL id. I just hope we will get some official howto from Inventables on this, because what Easel really misses (and is what I’ve hit just after 1 week of using it) is the ability to carve 2.5D figures (like a half sphere). I mean you can do it, kind of, by manually making a lot of layers of circles, but it too painful. It’s a great device, but we desperately need a good tool like Fusion 360 (which is also free for startups/students).

I really love it, I use it for pretty much everything now, both for my X-Carve, and my Epilog laser. I design the parts in Fusion, then export them as DXFs for the laser.

Perhaps give Chilipeppr a shot? Maybe you’ll have better luck? That’s the one I use, I’m running an X-Controller. :slight_smile:

I found they already working on having this feature in Easel:
https://discuss.inventables.com/t/new-feature-g-code-sending-through-easel/
I hope they will let me test it. Easel + Fusion 360 would fulfil 100% of my CNC software requirements.

That they do! The only reason that I’m not using Easel for the job so far is that it doesn’t support length touch probing for the Z axis. I know you can enter your own code to do it, but I like CP’s single-button solution (even if it’s wrong most of the time and I have to manually over-ride it anyway).

I was wondering if you could help me since it won’t let me create a topic:
I am about to take the plunge and pre order my Carvey however i have not been completely sold on it yet. I was wondering since some of you guys already have your that you can help me out. I mainly want to cut a 16 gauge aluminum (not super thick) so i can cut different shapes for my jewelry business. I was wondering if anyone can show me or tell me their successes with cutting aluminum or metals in general… i am definitely excited about doing other things but for my jewelry business this is my number one thing! Thanks you guys! I saw the video Inventables did but i am wondering how intricate you can make it!

In short, yes. Aluminum is most definitely workable on the X-Carve / Carvey. It takes a bit of care, but I’ve seen some really nice stuff around here done with it. Thin stuff for jewelry will be most definitely within its capability.

I had a really pleasant experience using Fusion 360 & Chilipeppr to do CAM and g-code sending. I’m not sure what I’m doing is super smart: instead of sizing the stock properly in Fusion I just made the stock big enough to enclose the part plus enough slack that Fusion wouldn’t just not cut the perimeter. I put the Stock Point to the lower-Y, lower-X corner of the fake stock and then used G0 to get the cutter to the right point and G92 to reset the position when it was in the right point for the part.

I haven’t figured out how to used the tool touch-off feature yet, which I think means I won’t have to use manual Z positioning when placing the part in the stock. Additionally, there’s a move right at the start of the generated code (I think it might be M6) which made the tool do a linear move to actual home, which almost crashed into the corner bracket.

Anyway, I took some photos during and after. Super happy with the machine and with Fusion 360 + Chilipeppr.

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A couple tips from a dude who uses that exact toolchain for everything:

Fusion 360 uses the G28 position of your machine for each operation. M6 tool changes go there, as does the beginning of each program. I reset my G28 fairly often, based on what fixture I’m using. For me, I’ve found that with a L-type fixture that orients my stock repeatably in an exact position, having my G28 set to the corner of the fixture, and 2mm below the homing position on the Z seems to be about ideal. To set G28, just home your machine, jog your spindle to wherever you want it, and send G28.1 From that point on, any time G28 is called, the spindle will go straight back to that position. Be aware, that if that straight line goes through clamping hardware, etc, the machine will very happily slam right into it. Watch your clamps!

You are correct in that ChiliPeppr offers the touchplate feature, which does just that. If you have a touch plate equipped, you can zero your Z automatically. If you don’t have one equipped, you should do so immediately. It’s a massive improvement!

Build a fixture! I’ve found toggle clamps and a pair of perpendicular stops mounted on top of a piece of 3/8" MDF to be of incredible help. Saves me an absolute ton of time, and saves the wasteboard from being screw-perforated all the time.

Congrats on a good run!

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Hi Dan, I’m confused why you say " If you have a touch plate equipped, you can zero your Z automatically", it’s my understanding the Carvey comes equipped with Auto-Z?

Thanks for the comments. My machine is it transit so I’m fighting very hard to contain the excitement.

Cheers,
Robbie

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Whoops, my bad! I didn’t realize off the top of my head that this was the Carvey forum, crossed over to the X-Carve. Yes, you have touchplate capability built right in, without having to add anything. :slight_smile:

No worries, thanks for clarifying.:ok_hand:

You can download the Fusion360 compatible post-processor from the Easel downloads page. Installing the post processor can be tricky, if you are on osx, place the .cps file in ~/Autodesk/Fusion 360 CAM/Posts. Then, when you are post processing, you can select Personal Posts in the drop down and the Easel post processor should be listed. Theres also a way to upload it to Fusion360’s cloud (which would show up under Cloud Posts in F360), but I haven’t messed around with that much.

Setting up your stock in F360 can be a bit confusing because of the smart clamp. Generally speaking, you should offset your model (in stock settings) by ~.75" from the front and left of your stock.

Also, if you are Fusion360 savvy, you can download the 3D model(s) for the wasteboard and import them into fusion. You can then create a construction point at the “real” X0 Y0 Z0 and set that as your touch-off point in your stock setup.

The above wasteboard files are in a .f3d format, which is fusion 360’s archival format. You should be able to import them like any other file into fusion. Then you can add it to your design and position it how it would be IRL.

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Hey Eric, thanks for the 3d models of the waste board.

I don’t suppose you have the time to step by step run through of how you integrated them into your process on by sure that the stock is lined up.

I’m going have an experiment with a couple of things today to try it out but I’ve already managed to cut one clamp clean in half :slight_smile:

wow this great :slight_smile: I definitly will use these.

I would like to echo John’s request for a step-by-step guide to using Carvey with Fusion 360 and also with Meshcam!
Basically the more details the better and it can only help sales of your machines if beginners can see upfront how they can use your machines with external software that fills in Easel’s gaps.

Hey Eric thanks for the explanation,

What machine settings do you recommend for Carvey in Fusion 360 CAM settings?
As Carvey’s base can move as well as the drill head, in which settings panel should I mention this? With my current setup, it seems in the simulation only the drill head is moving and not the wasteboard area.

all the best

Did you create a model of the Carvey to use in a machine simulation or are you just simulating the toolpaths?
If simply simulating toolpaths, it doesn’t matter. The XYZ motions are all relative.