I'm sorry, but I'm done. OR: Great customer service, poor product

I’m sorry, but I’m done with the Carvey CNC in it’s current state.

A quick synopsis of my frustration:

  • Got my Carvey CNC, worked great for over 300 hours of hard work.
  • Started getting skips in the Y axis, with no respect for build speed or materiel type.
  • Upon observation, Y-skips happen even during travel moves, when there is no load on the spindle.
  • WTF.png
  • Contacted Inventables support, great experience. The guys tried their best to get my issues figured out.
  • Sent back my old machine (couldn’t get it fixed), got a new machine to replace my faulty machine. Seriously, this is a commitment to customer service. 10/10
  • Got my new machine, runs perfectly for 10 hours.
  • First failure. Not pushing it hard, just the recommended speed/feeds.
  • Scaled back the stress on the machine. Still runs, but takes a while.
  • BREAKING POINT: Cutting some brackets out of corian. Tried cutting them with the 1 flute bit and recommended settings, complete fail. Went awry about halfway through, ruined the bit, chewed up the smart clamp.
  • Tried the same speed settings, but half the depth of cut and a 4 flute bit. STILL failed, although much later into the job.
  • imdone.jpg

I have to give the Inventables customer support team props, the best I have ever interacted with. However, the product that they are supporting has debilitating issues that should not be present on a machine of this price. Between the continuous failures of the Z-axis limit switch in the Smart Clamp (Including the brand new switch that was in my replacement machine) and the aforementioned inability to cope with the loads the recommended feeds and speeds place on the machine, I am done. I extend my sincerest thanks to the Inventables Customer Support guys for all of their help.

At the same time, I urge the engineers to take advantage of improvements in low-cost hobby-grade servos over the past few years. Why utilize 3D printer-level motors when new tech, such as the Mechaduino servo, offer much greater precision and all of the benefits of a closed-loop system, with little extra cost? This would allow recovery from errors, without a redesign of the current chassis.

I will be removing the stock electronics, and replacing the motors with the Mechaduino servos, and an aftermarket grbl board. Hopefully, this will finally solve the issues that have plagued my machine.

To wrap up this rambling love/hate letter, I won’t be buying from Inventables again, until the engineering of their hardware reaches the same level as their customer service. Thanks for all the fish, but I will be building my own fishing gear from now on.

This sounds like the Lulzbot we had, was perfect for many hours then stopped working, got many, many replacements (7 replacements) and then nothing worked, apparently it was a bad batch of Lulzbot printers shipped to the UK.