I finally finished my X-Carve and I wrote a blogpost about it - Summary in this Post

Here is the blogpost: LINK
Here is a video of my first cut: LINK

Final Thoughts – 39 1/2 Hours Total

The Good:

  • The machine is very well built, sturdy, and everything fit snugly.
  • For an uncalibrated first cut, it cut very cleanly.
  • The machine itself did not require a lot of finicky calibration
    after building

The Bad:

  • The Machine comes with almost no spare parts to speak of, especially
    no spare parts for the tiny nuts and screws.
  • The Limit Switch Connectors don’t seem to snugly fit the supplied
    wires and G-Shield Pins.
  • The instructions are woefully vague and the pictures are taken at
    weird angles

Parting Tips:

  • You can buy most screws, nuts, bolts, and parts at Home Depot and ACE
  • Some people refer to security cable as in-wall speaker wire.
  • Place your zip-ties as close as you can to the Y-Plates because the Smooth-Idlers can hit them.

Sounds like you would have benefited from reading through all of the instructions once before starting. I noticed that there are some minor inconsistencies but it’s not hard to figure it all out, especially if you go through all of the instructions instead of starting the build ‘blind’.

Also, you mention that they do not show an image of the front of the X-axis carriage to show where exactly to position the Z-axis makerslide, but if you go down further in the instructions they show you where to position it with a note in a blue ‘tip’ box. Like I said, it helps to read through instructions once before doing something, whether it’s a recipe, tutorial, or assembly instructions. They should indicate this at the beginning of the instructions though.

If you have a moment, out of curiousity, I’d be interested in your thoughts on the instructions for the previous machine, which was pretty much equivalent to the X-Carve (though w/ a greater number of parts for the carriage since it was assembled from components rather than a single piece of extrusion)


I’d especially be interested in any ways in which this style of instruction could be improved upon. (Unfortunately too late to fix the photography which was done at a time when I didn’t have access to the wiring diagram)

Limitations caused by the system (content is in Markdown on Github and converted to .html by an automated system)

  • can’t do non 7-bit-ASCII characters
  • link structures are awkward for complex links, and underline markup adds some artifacting


In particular, I’m curious as to how the interactive diagrams such as:


seem to work.

I watched your video. There are a couple of things you may want to change on you next job.
1 The stick out you have on your end mill needs to be reduced to having just the flutes sticking out of the collet. Reduce it to 1" or less. Excess tool stick out can cause chatter.
2 Your feed rate looks to be very slow for the material you are machining. If you run a feed rate that is slow the tool is rubbing and will dull much faster than normal.

A good program for figuring feeds and speeds is Gwizard. After you have it setup for your machine it lets you plug in your material, tooling, DOC and WOC and give you feeds and speeds that will not give excess tool deflection.

Hope this helps

Ariel, WA

@CharlesVanNoland I actually read over the instructions and watched the videos in the week before it arrived.

@WillAdams When I get a chance, I will read it and get back to you.

@DavidSohlstrom Thanks I will keep those in mind.

Are those SVG’s new? I dont remember seeing those when building my S2.
However, compared to the GrabCad models provide by Inventables, the SVG is “so last year” :smile: .
Example: https://workbench.grabcad.com/workbench/projects/gcl5zpCuwqCXWLvYktLQBc-2IHvossNo37ycTOkzg6gREW#/space/gcvs_XeRNVzNkfG_tFTAMd0C2lBbCsLcagOxXb1Jlki0kT/link/125928
Being able to explode and move and highlights parts is wicked useful in assembly!

They were worked up a couple of months after the launch.

The interesting thing is someone edited the instructions deleting mention of the interactivity shortly after they were worked up, so for a while, people had to discover the interactivity on their own. A poll asking after this showed that few people discovered the interactivity. Because of this, there was never much feedback, and we never further improved them

The GrabCAD model is interesting, but it’s not working in my browser, and the window requires me to scroll. Is the underlying technology opensource?

I used Chrome on Mac and Windows to view the models. I don’t think any plugin is required. Just ?webgl?