Close to purchasing an x carve, opinions on what to get?

I’m looking to order an x carve in the next week. It would be used for milling parts from aluminum and carbon fiber. I have zero experience using a cnc of any type and because of this, I don’t know what my best upgrades would be.

Now assuming a budget of 1600-1800, and purchasing a new 1000mm x carve. What add ons should I do, and which should I avoid for my uses?

Is the dewalt 611 enough or a different router?
Is the waste board worth it?
Milling bits?

I greatly appreciate any help!

8 eccentric spacer you may need instead of eccentric nuts. lot more easier to adjust v-wheels.

DW611 is very good choice in my opinion.

Starter bit set is .125" and enough for you for now. So you may need to order either Colette or Colette adapter because DW611 have .25" Colette. Follow this link.

Elaire or Precise Bits Collet for my DeWalt 611?.

Waste board is heavy and expensive to ship. It is nice but ordering is your decision.

Also you need DC to AC relay to activate your DW611 automatically. You can find plenty enough info by searching this forum.

When you finish installing, check to see what other people doing for stiffing your axis rails ETC.
Consider buying or making Dust Shoe to keep yourself breath easier.

Go slow from beginning to install to all the way carving process. Take small steps and use search engine in this forum.
We’re always here to help.
Good luck.

I skipped the waste board and got a sheet of MDF from Home Depot. Take a look around the forum for stiffening mods and do them as you assemble your machine. You will want at least the 60 minute mod and some type of y axis stiffening with the 1000mm if you want to do aluminum. Also go for the NEMA 23s, the ACME screw Z axis and the X Controller if they are in your budget. @PhilJohnson types faster than I do :smile:

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Get the big one.

Also, If you’re milling carbon fiber, a real respirator and dust collector would be my number one purchase.

You DO NOT want to breathe that dust.

As others have said, make your own waste board. It’s not as intimidating as it seems. You can have your local big box store cut the 3/4" MDF to the final size so all you have to do is drill the required holes.

I made a quick video when I made mine hoping to help others:

Making your own waste board probably saves over $200. You do need to order the threaded inserts, some extra TNuts and some M5 bolts to attach it to the frame though, so keep that in mind.

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Awesome thank you everyone! I’ve been reading the threads about custom waste boards and it definitely seems more cost efficient just because of shipping. I think I’ll also be ordering the suck it vacuum setup and 3 axis zero setup as well. I’ll start looking into the x and y mods today.

There’s a local x carve for sale on Craigslist with a 4" z mod but he won’t answer his email so I’ll be ordering from I’ll this week!

I didn’t used any stiffening mod. It just work nice in my opinion. I used some thread locker for some of the screws without a nyloc nut.

And for the wasteboard I made myself, quite easy in my opinion but I modified a bit the design, much less holes and no ‘sliding’ cuts as the original.

I have the 1000, I kinda wish I’d bought the 500. Given the 2 materials you listed, unless you know you’re going to be doing other large things, I’d buy the 500 with NEMA 23’s , I’d do the stiffening mods as part of the build process, and I’d add dust shields and a dust shoe right then too.

The 1000 is a great machine, but it takes up alot of room in a small shop. It’s also harder to stiffen up, which I think is necessary for aluminum milling imho.

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Dust shoe!

How limiting is easel vs vcarve pro? Is it possible to accurately make 2 cuts to one piece? I.e. cut the top, flip the part over and then cut the bottom?

Also, this may be a stupid question but I feel I have to ask it… I keep seeing mention of carving in 2 dimensions. Does this mean that the xcarve cannot carve a 3 dimensional shape?

I’d like to get into building spark plug covers and other automotive pieces out of billet aluminum but I need to be sure this thing can carve something like this.

Everything these other reply’s say is spot on. Making a waste-board is not difficult.My son bought me my X-Carve so I ordered the 500mm to save him a few dollars. Wish I had gotten the 1000. I put a Makita router on my machine and am really happy with it but the dewalt has some advantages. It’s a little beefier, a mount is available from Inventables and it seems to be the preferred router of the majority on this forum. One last thing (my Columbo impression) Easel is an amazing piece of software. Some complain because it doesn’t do some of the things other software does but it’s price is several hundred dollars cheaper than the others and it’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use. Look at the projects on this web site that were done with Easel. This is a small sampling of what can be done with easel.

So with that being said Can vcarve Pro do all of these things? I am completely new to this and I apologize I’m doing research on my own as I’m asking these questions; but what all do I need to do something like this? I have Google SketchUp on my computer I think it’s the free version though so I’m not sure if I can use that as well as other programs? or if maybe there is a link you can shoot my way that possibly walks a noob through this process?

It would be awesome if I don’t have to learn more than one program but I don’t necessarily have the funds right now to spend $1,500 on software alone, i might be able to budget 5 or 600.

VCarve Pro is only a 2.5D And cannot design 3D objects. It can import 3D files, but cannot create them. Another Vectric program, “Aspire” can do 3D design, but it is rather expensive.

So is it safe to say that the free fusion 360 will accept 3d designs and crave in 2.5d?

Is it possible to carve something with slopes like in the picture above using fusion 360?

If you are planning to cut that out of a chunk of aluminum, on the X carve, I don’t think you’ll be happy with the results. You need coolant, first of all, and second, the time it takes to actually cut it will be longer than you expect. A lot longer. This machine is the night and day difference between a cnc machining center, that will spit these parts out all day long for a few dollars each.

Have you been cutting using Fusion360? It’s been the CAD program i’ve started learning on recently, and I’m wondering what is required to go from design to X-Carve.

People use the phrase Post Processing for a lot of things. I don’t understand what that means. I am so sorry that I repeatedly take up your time. But, when you have time sometime, would you mind being so kind as to please producing a video on going from like Fusion360 to X-Carve, so that my (apparently infantile) mind can wrap itself around what is happening?

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Post processing is an interpreter, allowing you program put the g code into a language you machine can understand.

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