Did I buy the wrong machine? (X-carve 1000mm)


My X-carve should be arriving next week, and I am currently preparing some files for my first projects.

The it hits me, will the X-carve only be able to carve simple 2D patterns?

I am currently doing some 3D models that sits flat on the table, but has some different layer height, these cant be converted to a .SVG file?

Any suggestions to how one will be able to carve something like the image I have attached?

You can cut 3D, but you’ll need software and endmills that are capable. There are lots of forums out there about free software, but I’m using my student copy of autodesk inventor HSM with great results. It’s too expensive without the student license, though.

Your biggest trouble will be selecting appropriate endmills for the angles. Not to mention the texture. If you’re making positive molds you might consider applying the texture to a reduced-size positive plug.

As AlexDenton stated it in more eloquent terms. the machine is capable of doing 3d work but it is a matter of tooling and software. I dont believe Easel supports 3d but other software companies do. The one that I use, (dont know if I can say it here) begins with a “V” and ends with “C” and there are others.

I’m really just a noob at cnc but I can already tell that I am looking down the rabbit hole and the bottom is a long ways away, yet I dont think you made a mistake in your purchase. I’m really close to squeezing the trigger myself.

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The machine is capable of full 3D but you need a software tool chain that supports it and a ball end mill. You need a CAD, CAM, and machine control package.

Here are some options:

Fusion 360

Solid works
Autodesk Inventor

Cut 3D
HSM Works

For machine control you can download universal gcode sender for free.


Hi @JohnSorensen

It all depends on the type of 3D that you are trying to achieve, but from the picture you posted, it should be within the capabilities of the X-Carve to achieve what is in the picture. Aspire by Vectric and MeshCAM are pretty good at doing what you are describing and will import STL files. Inventables even offers them in their store:

You can even get a discount on Aspire if you bundle it with your X-Carve order.
You can also get a 1 year free license for Fusion 360 if your profits stay in the hobbyist range.

Like @JkWestphal and @AlexDenton said, you’ll need the tools for it and the right knowhow, but it can be done to great effect.

Heh, and as usual @Zach_Kaplan is pretty on to it and posted as I was typing my response.

To answer your topic title question, you probably picked the right machine and then got a great service team and support forum as a bonus. :smile:

I think that Meshcam is in my price area, and I the free trial is a Bonus.

So just to be clear:

Meshcam + universal gcode sender and the correct end mills would give the user the ability to create 3D carvings… no other hardware needed? :smile:

Correct! The hardware itself is entirely capable of the 3D work. I’m playing with MeshCAM right now while I wait for my X-Carve, and it has proven very impressively easy to use in the CNC simulator. :smile:

Easel is designed for profiles, sign-making, etc. For ease of use, it just plain WINS. But for serious work, you need g-code and a proper CAM tool. :smile:

you can get autodesk fusion360 for free with a “hobbyist” license. just an FYI

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That’s actually on my “want to try” list! Have you had a chance to compare it with MeshCAM?

unfortunately fusion360 only works with windows 7 and 8 and im still sitting here with vista haha. been tearing the house apart looking for the upgrade disc i got with my computer 5 years ago

I’m in the same boat, have a good vista 32 bit computer but Fusion 360 is a 64-bit program only, fortunately upgrading for me will be relatively inexpensive, just a new hard drive and an upgrade version of Win7 64-bit should do it. I was hoping I could just upgrade but going to 64-bit requires a clean install, the reason for a new drive.

i have 64bit vista just need an update disc. hate to buy one because i have one somewhere i just cant find it! haha

Just got my 3D stuff up and running based on suggestions in this thread. I’m using Blender, MeshCAM, and Universal Gcode sender with some urethane tooling foam. Still working out a few bugs (you can read about them here) but I’m getting some pretty nice cuts!

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Not being an idiot, where does vcarve pro fit in…under aspire?

I’m guessing V-Carve Pro handles the Cad/Cam part?

They are both CAD/CAM. VCarve Pro provides a solution for 2D design and calculation of 2D and 2.5D toolpaths for cutting parts on a CNC Router. Aspire does 3D.

Also check out Fusion 360 from Autodesk it is free for a year.

My plans are X-Carve, V-Carve pro ($699? Or is it discounted with x-carve purchase @ what price), universal gcode sender (whatever the hell that is / free download) and I’m pretty much set to carve ANYTHING? Like uploads.

Just doing a check list on all the things I need to do the things I wanna do. Would I need anything else besides what’s listed above, along with bits and materials?
The bit change and zero (x,y,z) is where I think I’ll have some problems.

V-Carve Pro is discounted when bought with the X-Carve.(you save $174)
I went that route after trying out various other systems and feel it will do everything I ask of it.

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You got X-Carve, vcarve pro, download universal gcode sender, bits, and material. Did you need anything else? How’s you system working? Any problems or advice?