General Lessons in CNCing...I'm out of my depth but willing to learn!

Hi all, firstly super excited to have my machine assembled and become a part of this community! However… I am starting to feel a bit frustrated with my x-carve results. I think I’ve solved some USB connectivity issues through some casual browsing on here but am now hoping to properly gain an understanding of the main DOs and DONTS of the X-Carve.

I know this is a bit vague but I just feel a bit out of my depth with where to start on learning how to get the best from my machine? Do I need to tune up and run some tests? Should I stick to one material for a while? Is there anything I shouldn’t attempt till later?

So far I’ve had a few basic 2.5D cuts go well (approx 40mins - 1 hour) and have tried cutting ply, corian and acrylic, with varying results but nothing particularly accurate or neat. Eventually I’d like to be able to cut lots of different materials and will be learning how to do CAM in Fusion for more complicated 3D jobs,

Thanks for any and all help (even if its just a link to a forum page i’ve missed)


Check out my videos. They are setup for beginners just starting out. Welcome

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I think you’re on the right track. Do some experimenting on your own. If things don’t turn out the way you want, do some searching on how to remedy that particular issue. Don’t try to learn everything at once. :slight_smile:


Along with this forum follow a bunch of X-carve users on Instagram and when you are having a problem hit someone up with the problem /question.

We answer a dozen or more questions a week on Instagram and are happy to do so. It’s a quick and easy way to get help without ending up with a long thread.

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I don’t do intagram or Facebook but I do answer a lot of questions on YouTube and here on the forum.

I first started cncing by learning how to do cad. My first project was a little wooden old timey sled ornament. I wrote the gcode to cut out the parts and then proceded to cut it out of thin basswood. At this time, CAD/CAM programs to do the work for you were in their infancy, so writing code wasn’t that odd. I would suggest you do something similar.

Find some simple clip art shape and find out how to put it into Easel. Then figure out how to hold it down and cut it out. Ornaments would be simple to do and a good starting point. Examine the Gcode in a word processor like wordpad or notepad. You’ll start to see what does what.

Martin makes great suggestions. If there was one thing I learned early on it was making sure my material was secure and that I didn’t try to do to deep of cut and watching the speed of travel. I managed to break a few bits early on. I tried some simple stuff first and since then I have done some stuff for my work where precision was highly important. So far it has worked out well. The different X-Carve communities on the web are a great source of info. Also maybe look into some different software. I just purchased Vetric V-Carve desktop and also the Photo V-Carve. Knowledge of cad helps a lot but anyone can learn the software and once you do, you will be able to do things that you may have never thought possible.