Finally got around to buying

Well it’s been a few months, but I finally got around to buying an X-Carve. I took advantage of the Back-to-School free shipping promotion. Got the 1000mm version with a bunch of add-ons, I am very excited. I should be getting the main kit tomorrow, and the wasteboard early next week. So here are some questions

  • What are somethings that I should have prepared before I start assembly? Beyond having a space big enough to accommodate the machine.
  • Looking back, what did you wish you had prepared or done differently when setting up your X-Carve?
  • What are some of the first things I should do once the machine is setup?
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Grab a drink and start reading these forums. There are tons of tips, etc here. And when you get stuck, there’s a little magnifying glass search in the top right corner that is very useful.


Welcome to the tribe! Enjoy.

  • Replace the tiny M3 pulley set screws with proper M3 cap screws. Get a precision hex driver set, too.

  • Have a dust collection solution in place, even if it’s just lashing a shopvac hose onto the Z-axis.

  • Use Blue Loctite on everything.

  • Try all the software (Easel, Chillipepper, USG, etc). Figure out a workflow that works for you.

  • Never wonder why you just spent an hour drilling a 1/2" hole with a CNC router when you could have gotten it done on the drill press in 30 seconds – that kind of thinking will drive you crazy.

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Thank you for your reply.

  • M3 cap screws eh? How long should they be? HomeDepot good enough?
  • I’m planning on printing
  • Blue loctite on everything everything? Gotta get a big bigger bottle then =)
  • Software is where I’m gonna be weakest on this thing. How quickly will I out grow Easel? I don’t mind spending some $ but I just finished doing that, so I want to give my wallet a break for a few months before diving into something that is costly. Any good software tutorials that you recommend?
  • I have a 3D printer. I stopped wondering why I printed a wall hook for 2 hours when I could have gone to the 99 cent store and bought 10 in half the time and a third the cost. =)

I’m completely new to this whole CNC thing. My 3D printer was off the shelf working unit, so even though I have a printer doesn’t mean I really know anything about it. “Look in the forums” is so overwhelming and using the search is only helpful if you know what you’re searching for. =) I’m super excited to be a part of the community, from what I’ve read on Reddit and basically everywhere else, the Inventables forum is super helpful and very knowledgeable. I’ll probably know better what I’m looking for once I get the machine put together. Any ways, any extra tips-and-tricks are totally welcome.

New machines only have screws in their Z axis ACME pulley. 6mm would be ideal for that. 8mm are too long.

Welcome to the family

The build is actually pretty easy, especially with the instructions from Inventables. Go through the instruction a few times before you start. I would start here Phil's help documents and Tutorials. I agree the amount of info here can be overwhelming, take notes and make a list of topics you want to explore more. When you run into problems or questions use the search button first you can usually find the answer if not there is a tremendous amount of help from the guys here.

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Good call. I don’t have any of those on my machine so I didn’t even think about it. Loctite will ruin nyloc nuts.

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Don’t use thread locker on anything plastic. The outgassing that occurs when it cures can make the plastic so brittle it’ll crumble apart. I ruined a torque wrench that way once (handle fell apart sitting inside the toolbox after I “repaired” it).