Inventables Community Forum

Hello Everyone guitar builder new to the X carve

Hello Everyone,

I am an acoustic and electric builder who just purchased an 1000mm X-Carve from a guy on a whim. This is going to be a fun experience I’m sure. my main initial goal would be to rough out my electric bolt on necks quickly, and maybe do some simple inlay on acoustic headstock veneers.

From a software point of view, what does everyone use? I just downloaded ink scape to create SVG files, but what about a CAD type program like Sketch up, or Fusion 360? I can’t see being very accurate using just Easel… Also, can someone point me in the right direction to maybe a crash course on Easel?

Thanks in advance.


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yeah Easel is not limited in accuracy, but it is limited in functionality.

Vcarve is good. Meshcam and Fusion360 are good alternatives that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Thanks everyone. I will keep moving along with Fusion 360. My machine should be here later this week. Hopefully I get over the learning curve with 360 sooner rather than later. I appreciate the input.


Fusion360 may feel intimidating at first but once you have the grasp of things it is very powerful indeed.
Its free for hobbyists/start-ups and is a full blown 3D modelling (CAD) and post processor (CAM) system.

Sorry - not an answer but another related question. Inlay bit selection? I have an X-Carve machine and V-Carve pro software. My mission is to cut wood and Mother/Pearl, etc. for inlay work with fine detail (headstock logo, fretboard deco, etc.). I need capability for fine detail but small dept cuts (1/16 - 3/32) . My thinking is that a very small angled bit (10-15 degree) would be a good choice for this. I’m seeing “engraving” bits that fit this description but not cutting bits. Will an engraving bit work if used slow enough? Do I really need an angled bit (I never used one in hand work but looked like a good idea). Is X-Carve even capable of doing this kind of work or am I dreaming? If not, any help on bit selection would be much appreciated.

I’ve never cut mother of pearl, but I’ve had good results cutting fine detail in wood with end mills similar to these. Drillman1 - 1/16 bits.

If you need to put mitered edges on your inlay and pockets you could use a 60 - 90 degree v-bit after cutting the pocket/inlay. Something like this.

Another option for fine decoration would be something like a tapered ball end mill

At some point I’m hoping to use my 1000mm Shapeoko2 to make an acoustic guitar (preferably a Dreadnought, but I’ll start with anything). I was wondering if anyone had any links to plans or files I could import into Fusion360 (which I have used for other things). Since this will be my first guitar, it would be nice if I didn’t have to start from scratch in Fusion360. At first glance it seemed to me that the neck would be the hardest part to model. Thanks.