First Impressions, X-Carve Pro setup instructions not very good

Grateful to finally have my XCP up and running. I’d would not be writing this is the XCP was being promoted as a beta product but it is being sold on the ease of set up. The video instructions (no paper manual BTW) are really sub par.

Inventables uses wide shots half the time and use voice over to explain detailed steps without showing you a close up of how to do it. Also, they jump back and forth between parts being attached or removed (on the spindle for example) that do not match the way the parts come packaged and some of the parts are different than in the video (braided usb cables). Another example, the waste board is attached during setup in the video yet you do not attach until you setup Easel software. There are also no instructions for setting up the Z-probe. In both instances, I thought I was missing a step but its just really poor instructions.

For the sake of future buyers please invest some time and money in a proper video that is user tested (ie, have a non-technical person put together XPC using your videos) so you can make sure your tech support is not overwhelmed with calls.

Unfortunately what I have found is similar. I bought the xcarve pro because there was great reviews about the community and how helpful everybody was in the community. After I purchased the machine, I wanted to do some basic stuff to prepare and needed some basic information about the machine. The reviews were correct and the community is very helpful but why do I have to go ask a group of random strangers for information about the machine i just purchased? Shouldn’t the company provide all kinds of information if I am spending $10,000 on a machine? I appreciate the community but I am nervous about a time that may come when the community doesn’t have the answer and I am fully dependent on inventables and I cannot get the info I need. Hopefully it gets better but It makes me nervous about what I purchased.

Just received my XCP and ran in to the same issues. Watched the videos over and over again just to make sure that I was doing the steps right. It would be helpful to have the screws/hardware bagged and labeled per step. The waste board I installed before I started on the software setup. It would have been helpful if they would have mentioned that before hand. I was able to get through all the steps including the planning of the waste board. Now where are the steps to secure material to the waste board? I had to watch other peoples videos to figure out what to do.

I would concur with this as mine just arrived this week. From an instructional design standpoint I hope they update this as there were many examples in the video and written instructions that caused enough doubt to be frustrating. While support is responsive they need to update this. A few examples.

  1. One of the first steps says to open up the y-axis to tighten the belts. But apparently they now come ready out of the factory and do not, or rarely, need to be adjusted now. But you disassemble something that is already correct without knowing this and one “feels” like you “need” to do something. Support is responsive and tells you they are correct after emailing.

  2. Video step numbers don’t appear to match up with written direction step numbers. For instance it says Step 10 in the video, but I appear to be in Step 8 in the written directions. Step 12 in video is Step 10 in written menu. Just confusing, although not insurmountable.

  3. In the beginning it says something about tightening and squaring cross members to y-axis. You sort of eventually figure out to tighten and square y1-axis and that it’s saying to hold off until step 13 or “later” to square and tighten the y2-axis. There should be reassurance on this as you go as this becomes very confusing when step 13 says finish setup with Easel. I’m still not there and don’t know what this fully means. But I assume some confusion exists around this issue as it pertains to what will happen in Easel with the waistboard as well. This is very confusing as well as it’s not listed in the steps at all and you see these pieces and parts, but see zero directions mentioning them. Now maybe these final things are so clear in Easel all frustration drifts away but I won’t know that for a while which leads to my final point. Some “be patient, you are on the right track” or reminder language that yes Easel, the software, has directions in it too, would assuage uncertainty.

  4. Apart from knowing that I should get on the forums before the machine arrived (I did not) I am stuck on step 11 in videos (step 9 written directions) because apparently my whole pole barn is wired GFI (GFCI?) and I cannot even power on the machine. It won’t work. I have read the forums now and the directions say when you get there

The spindle is powered by a variable frequency drive (VFD), and it is common for VFDs to generate some current that flows to ground due to the high frequencies and capacitive coupling between current carrying conductors and grounded elements. This ground current can generate nuisance tripping of the GFI since it creates an imbalance between the current on the hot and neutral lines

This would have been really good to know ahead of time and address in preparation as I cannot go on.

Finally, some of this is me being a novice with machinery I assume and some is they haven’t honed their instructions yet. Hopefully this encourages some who are confused to probably just keep going and also to contribute to the feedback that the link where the instructions are posted needs a few updates as of November 2021. Jonathan

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I totally get what your saying and 100% agree with you… I searched long and hard for information about this outside of the manual and found a single line about it (that nobody who is not a trained electrician would understand) in the FAQ page.

It would be a good idea to make this requirement very clear ahead of time…

I am at the point of plugging into the machine for setup. Did not realize I needed easel to set up the machine and I do not have internet in my shop. I will work on getting that but my question I need answered is:
do I put the waste board on and flatten the surface before I tighten down the Y2 axis to the crossmembers?

The last place I see anything about this mentioned is when I installed the gantry but after it was installed the instructions say to loosen the Y2 axis screws again.

I just really don’t want to screw something up before I ever get started so any answers will be greatly appreciated.


IIRC, you don’t put the wasteboard on first, but you do use the gantry to square up Y2. You loosen up Y2 again, then the gantry is driven down the Y-axis as you tighten up Y2. So it moves it to a bolt location, tighten, move again, repeat.

I believe after this is when the wasteboard is attached.

Tip on the wasteboard: I had a lot of trouble getting my wasteboard attached; it was pretty frustrating. The bolts did not line up perfectly with the holes in the board. I only found out after using it for a week that even though I cranked on the bolts, the board remained slightly warped. Two things I would do differently:

  1. Start the bolts from the middle of the wasteboards, not the sides. This should help make it easier to get the sides aligned.
  2. Used a mallet on the wasteboard as I tighten it down. Or at least banged down on it more.

I expected it to be easier because it’s all machined holes, and the wasteboard is heavy. As it is, I’ve now had to mill down almost 1/8" of surface because my first flattening made the boards so uneven. Luckily these are the original non-t-track boards, so in theory I’ll be getting a second set of wasteboards in the future and I can start over with those.

I installed our XCP this week and ran into the same issues and I consider myself very technical, people usually come to me for support.

The very first step told us to use a screw size that wasn’t even in the box. So we spent a good hour searching for screws that didn’t exist. Then the tightening loose belt step (belt was already perfect, but caused lots of doubt that maybe I’m messing up)… There was more confusion near the end because the videos showed the waste-board being attached, but things like the Y2 was still loose. Unfortunately we ended up running into a huge “rare” glitch in Easel, that when we went to the final step and selecting the 4x4 XCP it would connect and say congrats… skipping over the waste board install, y2 squaring, and planing steps. After hours of re-trying the final step, it randomly worked.

After a couple days of installing and troubleshooting we were finally up and running. Ran a bunch of tests for about 4 hours, everything was working great. Then this happened… We went to zero out the bit (like we did every time) and when we press “raise bit” it raised too high, then next time it raised even higher, next time even higher, now its carving inches above the material… Just hope we didn’t get a lemon. First project is due today feeling like a dead fish

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