CNC Piranha FX with Bosch Colt and VCarve Desktop $1599

Sorry to post about competitors but this looks like a great deal and could drive prices down.

The deal breaker for the Piranha is the 12x18" workspace, plus it has none of the open-source aspects of the XC in the sense that I can make my XC as big as I want (within reason) with component upgrades.

I paid less than $1500 for my XC 1000, and even though I had to buy VCarve desktop, I did not need it to get started, Easel is free and a great starter tool.

I looked at the Piranha many times before the XC, but the size was the deal killer, and the fact that it’s an appliance, can’t really be upgraded, versus the XC which is about as flexible (in a good way) as you can get and still be reliable.

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I had a Piranha and sold it to get an xcarve due to the workspace and open source aspects.I can freely make modifications,share ideas for mods as well. This is somewhat discouraged on the “dark side”
The customer service is better with Inventables and this online community is much more upbeat and supportive than what i experienced over there.


About the same story here, I looked it over quite a bit and even went over to the Rockler in Tuckwila to play with one myself. The working area was just too darn small, a lot of my planned projects wouldn’t fit in it.

Thanks for the replies, and thanks for not “flaming” me. Very positive community here.

I asked Next Wave about the VCarve license included with the Piranha, because I was concerned about restrictions. Their reply is below.

“The V-Carve software is compatible with a lot of machines not just ours,
however the license provided only allows you to have it installed on
one computer. If you want to switch computers then you would have to
contact Vectric about transferring the license to a new computer.”

The Inventables open source spirit does attract me and I understand the value in that. I am something of a modder or maker if you will. However I’m concerned by the numerous posts about “flexing” and need to re-enforce the X-Carve structure.

I’d like the X-Carve to be ready for my intended application, which is making personalized plaques for my wood projects. These would be small wood box lids, brass name plates, and wood and copper “Intarsia”.

Thank you - Alan

Alan - I bought my XC for the very same reason, I wanted to be able to turn out plaques for the Boy Scout pack and Troops that my sons are part of.

I will tell you, that “Out of the box” the XC will do what you need. The frame is rigid enough to handle most woods without any mods needed, and the Easel software will allow you to jump right into carving within mere minutes of finalizing the build.

I don’t believe that any CNC is going to have 0 learning curve, but I will tell you that Inventables has designed the XC to have as low a learning curve as possible. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve not been afraid to do pretty much anything with my XC, and it’s because of the flexibility of the machine and the willingness of the folks on this forum to share their experience and help out.

Now, if you are a tinkerer, be prepared to mod the machine, because if you’re like most of us, you will find something that you want to change, and the beauty of the machine (and the people on this forum) is that you CAN make whatever changes you want.

You’re in the right place, I’d recommend the XC again in an instant, and in-fact, my wife likes mine so much and won’t leave it alone, that I’m probably going to get her one of her own so that I don’t have to wait at the back of the line to use the machine I had to convince HER that would be useful :smile:

If \ when you have questions, ask here, nobody will judge, we have all been in the same spot…

The only real mods I have done to my framework for stiffening is the x axis with a piece of 3/16" aluminum between the makerslides (big improvment) and a couple of angle brackets at the center of the y axis rails and fastened to the waste board to eliminate any side flex.

Both mods are really not a big deal if one is a tinkerer.

Same, I added bolts (instead of steel) to my X to stiffen it up. It was a cheap and easy add, and made a difference for super hard walnut and aluminum.

Instead of angle brackets, I just used a piece of 1/2" black HDPE down both sides to attach slide to the base, and it also keeps dust inside the machine and off the belts. (You can see it in the pic here)

The ONE KEY thing I would recommend, is making sure your platform is as SOLID as possible. As you can see in the pic, I built a torsion box for my machine, and avoided buying the wasteboard, mostly because I didn’t want to spend $128 on a piece of 3/4" MDF… As long as your machine is on a surface that is rigid and dead flat, a lot of your setup and carving woes will disappear, so you should consider that before buying.

if you have ANY questions about the machine etc… just ask, everyone here will be glad to answer, and there’s a LOT of great ideas and experience here

I have a 2 year old SO2 (1m x 1m) and I decided to buy the Piranha as I was excited about the all-in-one functionality it touted (carving, laser, 3D printing), but I bought the basic model (just the carver) to start. It was promising, although there were a few issues (could NOT get it running on an old laptop running Vista). I decided to get the laser module, and then the bloom started coming off the rose.

I’m in Canada, so I couldn’t order it from Rockler. Not sure if it was NextWaveAutomation (NWA) or the local distributor (CanadianWoodworker) but it took almost 8 weeks for me to receive the thing. And then I started to realize what a nightmare their support was. Documentation is horrible. Emails take days to get answered. I had to solder a wire that came out of it’s connector fitting. Software is buggy.

Short story long: it was too good to be true. An all in one device isn’t going to happen anytime soon (not for hobbyists anyways). It sucks because a nice stable platform with decent software (or pendant) would be perfect for the hobbyist that doesn’t want to lose all their shop space to 3 different machines running different software.