Deciding between xcarve pro or alternatives

hey guys, so i cant decide if the xcarve pro will satisfy my requirements. I create artistic wood inlays and other patterns on 4x8 sheets of plywood or glued together wood for flooring for gyms. I dont need to pump out crazy volume is why i was looking at hobby CNC machines, im trying to decide between a xcarve pro or a camaster x3, im new to cnc machines. I liked that the camaster can cut aluminum sheet metal aswell as i have design ideas for smaller pieces of gym equipment, and is rigid (welded) in its design. Is it possible to upgrade the xcarve pro to accept 4x8 sheets. can i just weld a table together so i dont need to worry about alignment? why is the laser engraver add on void the warranty? ive seen alot of the DIY machines that are cheaper but are their issues with accuracy? accuracy is hugely important to me as theres alot of fine lines and id like really detailed work. appreciate any guidance, i hope the xcarve can suffice for my application but if not id appreciate some information of why or why not

Hey Warren,

I know this is an old topic, so I hope it reaches you okay. (And if not, maybe it’ll help someone else out)

So, this is my first ever CNC, and i’m about 3 days into it.
The machine can cut 4x8…as with the new tiling feature, it can technically cut 4 x Infinity.

The machine comes with leveling feet, and leveling/squaring the machine is one of the steps in setup. With that said, the first ever “cut” you do, is using the planer bit, and it’ll get you that flat surface.

The laser engraver isn’t a supported option, as it’s not what the machine was designed for, and if somebody were to add a laser (at the time of this writing), would imply they modified the machine to make it work, and that could definitely void the warranty.

Accuracy with this machine is pretty spot on, even though it uses stepper motors, I had one slight issue at first, which was easily corrected by properly tensioning a belt.

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TCarter, question.

I’ve yet to receive my X-Carve pro, so I can not speak of the build yet. You mentioned “I had one slight issue at first, which was easily corrected by properly tensioning a belt” What part of the pro uses a belt?

@MarcCharge ,
The X/Y ultimately use belts.

the X axis has belts around gears, which turn the screw.

It’s fairly accessible, and once tensioned, it’s there for good.

You can see it from this step: X-Carve Pro Assembly Instructions

Thanks for that info.

I, like you have never used a CNC before. If you don’t mind sharing, what’s your thoughts on everything so far? I’ve heard some negative feedback about the Pro, maybe I’m just second guessing my purchase.

@MarcCharge , i’ll be real with you. It’s an expensive piece of equipment. It’s easy to be in the mindset of “Oh No! What have I done?!”. ESPECIALLY during the waiting period. (Trust me, me and my wife had legit fights about the money I spent on it, even though I could easily afford it.)

On the machine itself, It doesn’t feel cheap at all. Everything feels high quality. It’s beefy, all metal and just feels super strong. Installation took me a bit longer than the 2 hours they said, as I was going to assemble on the floor, but then found that to be a big pain, so i built a table for it, and that helped out quite a bit with putting it all together.

I had the issue where my designs were getting messed up, but that was due to the belt tensioning issue. I am an impatient man, so speed is kind of a thing to me. I don’t know if I am going to turn this into a business, but if I did, i’d want speed. So, the XCP with the claims of speed meant a lot to me.

I’ve debated on the whole “Should I just get the cheaper X carve?” and I decided to stick with the XCP, and then after watching their upgrades video (https://youtu.be/UFSdm_D7-Vo?t=2030) you can see the speed difference between the machines (Regular, Upgraded, vs Pro), and i’m super glad I didn’t go the other route.

But, using Easel is quite easy to grasp (at least for me), i had numerous designs ready to go months before the machine arrived.

If I were you, and since you were kind of like me, I think this might help:

  • Stick with the XCP, you won’t be disappointed.
  • Make sure you got a nice sturdy table to build the machine on.
  • Start stocking up wood to carve on. I went to Lowes, got some nice 4x8 sheets, and had them cut them in 2’x4’ sections, then some nice 1’x8’ mdf (cut in 1’x2’), which not only allowed me to fit in the back of my SUV, but it was precut and ready to go.

All in all man, I am happy with mine. I don’t have any other machine to compare it against, I am sure there are better machines out there, but for the price i got mine at ($6500), I can’t complain at all.

The only machine I would consider trying beyond the XCP is the Axiom CNC Elite series, a lot more items available for it (servo driven, rotary, higher spindle power), but it also starts at $11k for the base machine.

Feel free to PM me, or reply again if you have any other questions. I hope this helped.

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Thanks for the info. Still on the fence as I wasn’t an early adopter and dropped more coin than you did.

Looking at earning with this machine, so have ideas that need to be in production when this turns up. I may touch base with you in a month to see how things are going.

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Fair enough, I would say this is a $9k machine all day long… but that’d be at the higher end. I wouldn’t pay $12k for it.

I will say this: On the site, they do have a demo option, i assume its some virtual meeting where they can answer questions. Might I suggest you partake in that, and you can ask any questions and get their opinion why they think you should use it over another machine? They may be able to provide additional more…technical reasons.

@MarcCharge I’ll second the live demo (I host it :wink: )

Link is at the top here: https://www.inventables.com/technologies/x-carve-pro

@Brandon_Cullum I’d love to have a live demo only all the dates up to August aren’t available.

Go ahead and pick a live demo time and even if you can’t make it we can send over the recording!

@Brandon_Cullum Unless I’m being really dumb here, I can’t. See screen shot.