Forum moderation

I agree 100% with your comments Ray.


HalfNormal, I also agree with your comments. But only 95%. :wink:


I agree with the thought but I can’t even start to comprehend how and the amount of effort it would take to do this. Not sure of the total post count but it has to be massive. Personally, I would just allow them to stand BUT as others have suggested we do need a dedicated FAQs section. This needs to be kept very clean and any unnecessary post removed. Also, it would make it easier to locate and delete information that becomes out dated. Once developed it would become the search database of choice and yield much more pertinent information.

My suggestion would be start to archive and track activity. Move into hibernation if no visits to posts. This has to be in conjunction with a good FAQ. For the info don’t clear it, just move to like a junkyard that doesn’t pull up in the main search function, but still able to be found if need be.

Enforce the new posting policy for easy searching moving forward.

I have no real suggestions other than to continue to remain calm. I think passion for the craft is good, but there’s no reason to be emotional. The tone in the forum will follow the tone of the “regulars”, the “leaders”, the “popular”.
@Zach_Kaplan, if I were you, I’d reach out to @WillAdams. He’s a moderator on the Shapeoko forum and a regular helper here. Although it doesn’t have quite the level of activity, that forum has a wealth of info, and a very positive vibe. I’m pretty sure Will also manages the wiki over there which I’m sure alleviates some common questions. Personally, I think some of the “basic” questions re-asked in this forum encourage more participation (when not met with emotion). If an experienced member doesn’t want to answer a question AGAIN, let one of the newer guys handle it. Someone that doesn’t have an X-Carve yet will be making awesome stuff regardless of who answered their questions.
Good luck!


I too am sad to see @RobertCanning go as I have read a lot of posts/projects he had posted and he had some valuable insight.

This forum is invaluable, the amount of information here is astounding(but yes often difficult to find/search).I had trouble finding the correct procedure on calibrating steps with GRBL. PhilJohnson directed me exactly to the right post on this forum with the video from Manhattan Wood Project.

Why was I unable to find it? I wasn’t searching for the correct phrase…seems obvious after I get the correct answer, but I was specifically searching for upgraded 9mm and steps, and then steps, and motors, and lots of other things just randomly guessing. Still have my training V-Wheels on… Even doing a clean search not remembering the exact phrase again, I found it - it was the 8th link down.

I see the post is in the Wiki, but being new to this I was not using the correct phrasing, or the search isn’t superb, or I should have gone to the wiki and looked harder myself, happy to admit that.

A more in depth FAQ section would be great!

BUT as a new user, without the help by various members here I would be totally lost.

Please and thank you go a long way. Be civil, as my father always says.

I am a newbie, nobody has bitten my head off here, everyone has been ridiculously helpful and patient.
I’ve lurked on these forums awhile, and the forums were the sales pitch to me and a major reason as to why I chose Inventables over many other options. The welcoming, helpful and active community is important. Seeing Zach, the CEO active on the forums, engaging and contributing and asking questions and helping others is awesome!

Zach - important must have for the new setup whatever it ends up being.

Signature - As an example, I have a 2017 X-Carve, X-Controller, CNC4newbies Z, upgraded 9mm belts/pulleys, etc.

This alone will help a lot. Knowing what machine a user has, wether modified or not, has to contribute greatly to less repeated questions and more accurate answers, right? I’ve seen it on other forums, and yes users often don’t fill out their signature, but people politely mention “hey, fill out your profile so we can assist you better”.

Another important feature.

Sections that are detailed/more specific.

Finishing section - many users have posted great tips on how to properly finish items created with the X-Carve.

That is again invaluable information, but it is often buried in unrelated posts somewhere, or as side note to someone who says wow, how’d you do that?

I’m also against all this info out there now going away, that’s not good either. Keep the old forums? transition all the old posts?

I’d love to see PDFs or even video AND PDFs with guides on such subjects, maybe similar to the $100 create a project. It takes a fair amount of time to create something like that, detail the steps etc. But truly nice guides, and there are many capable users here who can or have already done that. But a section specific to this would be great.

Sorry if the post is a little scatter brained, it’s how mine works.

Zach - the next absolute must have…

Getting started guide, with steps, videos etc.

After the machine is built, specific steps/Tutorials that a new user can go through.
Step 1 - Calibrating your steps with GRBL, each machine has different components, your belts, v wheels, etc may not be the same tightness/specs as another machine. A -detailed- walkthrough on configuring your machine before the first carve. User learns more about the machine, understands why this is being done, and is now more familiar and capable and has learned some/more of the terminology.

Step 2 - after calibration, basics of what/how/why the machine works.

Zero, work zero, home, something to familiarize what these terms mean and doing it to learn it.

Step 3 - Now carve the easel dude, but maybe more maintenance info other basics on the machine first. Stop button is here, why is it important? Basics yes, but if everyone went through the basics first it would surely cut down on a lot of the repeat questions?

Step 4 - Your first carve is going to be a ruler with numbers, in inches or mm to verify your machine on this first test carve has carved a 6" ruler with notches to measure easily with an actual ruler or tape measure. If it’s not, now you know from Step 1 how to go calibrate it with the guide that is available. Along with a circle, square, triangle, to see if steps are good in all axes axis’ axisies axis’s - hey wait the easel dude has all this… just to verify there’s nothing loose, that it is reasonably accurate etc. I think this would be a great thing to have, for everyone.

Step 5 - 10, not 1,2, or 3 but TEN specific projects to familiarize with what you can do with this machine, that overall teaches you the basics, and more.

A picture frame. Then the lesson continues, but wait, flip it over for 2 rabbets in the back(at different depths) for glass and to support your back pieces.

A simple sign.

A coaster.

A box.

Whatever the projects are, not saying they have to be what I mentioned above, it’s learning, it’s doing. And you progress to the next one.

10 projects that encompass what the Inventables staff and users in the forum think are the best projects for a new user to learn/grasp all the various aspects/capabilities of the machine. 10 from Inventables, 10 from the community. I know a lot of this does exist on the forum, but the difference between a projects section and this proposed Tutorial is that the tutorial projects are to familiarize a user with projects that also teach them to use the machine.

AND then when a user has run through all these tutorials, Easel can confirm they’ve gone through the beginner’s course, they get a badge. That would be fun, actually. And then some advanced courses. Building an LED backlit sign, complicated boxes, toys, games, there are so many projects.

Now you would have users who in a sense have received their X-Carve drivers license, and in theory, traffic will then be far more civilized.
But again, it’s structured, it’s 10 lessons that everyone has now gone through, like a drivers license, I’m on the road trusting you also have one too.

As an example.

Emblaser 2 Tutorials @ Darkly Labs - another neat place where the CEO is active in the community(I really think that’s awesome). has basic super beginner lessons, and you get a congratulations when you move the angry bird 2 steps right, 2 steps down, and one step left to get that awful pig. Yep I did the very beginner course and it was fun!

That is what should be created.

Oh and a quick note on moderators, fine, but not if they’re super scary abusive moderators who are power hungry(happens too often on forums, I’ve left a few forums after in some cases years of being involved as a productive member due to abusive moderators).

Just my lengthy 2 cents.


I couldn’t agree more with such an approach. As a new X-Carve owner, I would have certainly got up-to-speed (relatively speaking) more quickly with a much greater level of confidence to move on to bigger and better things.
For what it’s worth, your submission is “worth” a lot more than 2 cents!!!

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I believe that Robert Canning should have the right to have every post deleted. He came here and posted answers to questions at his own free will in an effort to help others,

If he feels that betrayed then it is only right to let him leave in peace.


I agree. I’m just another member of the forum and that is exactly why I started doing videos and posting them on my YouTube Channel for all the new people to learn by seeing how I do it. I remember how hard it was when I first started.


Oh I agree he will be missed. even I have enjoyed his company here. I am just trying to express that every action has consequences and that this one has them as well.

If you want to keep assets, then make sure that your assets are kept. turn them out or show them that they are not needed or wanted then accept that they may not stay.

********* Slightly off topic *********

I began in the early days of X-carve and the forum was, indeed “wild and woolly”. A group of individuals formed a culture that was friendly, a bit abusive, and somewhat bawdy. Not exactly your picture perfect business environment, but I looked forward to reading the posts first thing each morning and last thing at night.

It was a wonderful and very productive time and I miss the people and the forum as it was. I am sorry for the abuses that occurred.

That forum is dead and will never return.

Most likely the new forum will be helpful and provide newcomers valuable information, just as the previous forum did, but it will be in a dry and somewhat lifeless form. Much more appropriate to business use, but not nearly as much fun.

Most of those that made the early forum what it was are now doing other things, or maybe “background” forum users and I miss their presence as I will miss @RobertCanning’s contributions to that time.

Such changes are appropriate as Inventables moves from the hobby world to the business world.

I wish them well.

I suppose that I also am becoming a “backgrounder” as the Inventables forum is not much of a draw anymore.

************ Back on topic ***********


So sad Larry.
You have been one of the most helpful people to me.
And always in a professional manner.

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I think it is necessary for the forum that users do not have the right to ask that all of their posts be deleted. While I sympathize with a user who feels the host has wronged them and they want to take their marbles and go home, Inventables has to protect itself against the damage that this would cause. Posts and replies are not in a vacuum, so if you pull your posts then you also lose the context of all posts that reference or reply to it. Imagine if certain very high profile posters here deleted everything they’ve posted. Even worse imagine if any of them approached Inventables and said “pay me or I delete my posts”?

The terms of service must include a nonexclusive license to keep the content posted here, but do so in a way that avoids the mistakes if companies like Makerbot/Thingiverse which were perceived as taking ownership of others intellectual property.


I feel that an important issue that has been raised here, and by recent events, is what it means to make a contribution to the Inventables community. The context for my comments hereafter are that Robert Canning is angry because he felt some in the forums were abusing him and now he has left and wants to take every contribution he ever made with him. How Inventables decides to address Robert’s particular case is their call because the forums belong to Inventables and because Robert posted freely and of his own will to the forums with no claim of copyright or any expectation of return for his contributions. But Robert’s case raises a general concern that really ought to be addressed in whatever plan is developed to revitalize the forums for future use by the community. That concern is, of course, how, in the future, to prevent forum users from walking away and taking all their contributions with them.

To the best of my knowledge, NO forum or discussion group anywhere has ever allowed users/members to take all their “cookies”; all of their posts or whatever; with them when they leave. The reason for that, given the volatility of most online forums, is precisely because of the damage and loss to their communities that would occur regularly if they allowed it. If information of value to a community is continually allowed to be drained away as members come and go, then how can that community ever come to be considered as a reliable source of information?

If users don’t have confidence that information which was available to them yesterday will be available to them tomorrow, then they are simply going to look elsewhere for more consistently reliable sources of information. And as more and more of them do that, the community dies.

All of that said, what I think Inventables needs to do is establish a policy - based on the “Creative Commons” model - that makes it clear to forum users, up-front, that they are granting a perpetual, non-exclusive copyright license to Inventables for any information they share in the forums.

This is precisely how things work when I write an article for a newspaper, magazine, etc. As the creator of the article, I still own it and the copyright to it. But for publishing my work (usually, but not always, in exchange for payment) the newspaper gets a nonexclusive right to use it and reproduce it in the future.

That would work for Inventables I think.


Just my .02 on who my votes would be for to make good moderators - just off the top of my head based on many posts/replies I have seen, and how they always seem to be pretty even keeled and helpful, from the following:
@RobertCanning (sadly leaving us)


I didn’t mean to say that the terms currently include this, but they must be changed to do so - a business cannot be expected to take the kind of hit that not having this could cause.

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I’m no lawyer too but I don’t think I ever heard of a forum deleting all content from a certain user when he/she decides to leave. And it would surprise me if he could legally enforce it. Idk I’ve not seen this situation before… Anyhow, I think it’s kind of petty to have all your stuff deleted. The internet sticks. We all know that. Just move on if that’s what you want to do. IRL you can’t take back lost time and effort either.
No disrespect intended to anyone who wants to leave. To each his/her own I guess.


@StevePrior: I agree wholeheartedly about the TOS. And beyond the hit that Inventables might take, there’s also the simple matter of community that, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one”.

As have a couple of mine. I wondered what was happening…

Better than the alternative I suppose. I would however have suggested keeping the userid unique “Anonymous1234” so that at least the posts by that individual be distinct from others. Or else Anonymous could be perceived as having wildly different levels of quality.