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.
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).
code.org 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.