Jumping in to X-Carve, where to start?

So I’ve been contemplating a jump in to an x-carve for over a year now. I’m pretty set on making my order but have questions on pertinent skills to hone for a beginner. Are there any particular skills that I should look at sharpening or learning to venture in to the x-carve?

I know may way around graphic design (self taught) and I’ve spent a lot of time designing graphics for t-shirts. I’d like to start a small business at some point but other than loading up an svg into easel (or other software) I’ll be pretty lost. I’ve looked at the x-carve noob essentials thread and site and even that seems over my head lol. I’m willing to put the time and effort in, just really need an idea of where I might focus.

Any suggestions on starting points?

You are already ahead of me before I started a year ago. Dive in. It is a fun and exciting adventure

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Hi Timothy

I consider myself a newbie, so I understand where you’re coming from.

I’ve had my X-Carve for only a few months now, but I also went in without any experience or skills with CNC. It’s amazing how much you learn while assembling the machine, and this forum is a god send. I log in just about every day!

I started with basic 2D engraving, and have already sold some personalised serving boards and cake toppers.

I’m saving for VCarve, by Vectric, so that I can start on 3D carving. I have Fusion 360 but don’t like it very much. V-Carve is much easier to use, in my opinion.

One piece of advice I can give you is spend time to make sure your machine is square and calibrated. Do lots of test carves to see what the X-Carve is capable of and enjoy the ride!

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I just got vcarve. The learning curve is not bad and the tutorials are excellent

it depends on what you plan to use it for. I had no CNC skills but a good amount of wood working. I have no intentions to use this for 3d anytime soon. I make a majority of my money from small basic designs.

Well, I’m pretty creative and have a few 2d designs ready to go from when I was doing t-shirt graphics. Mainly signs initially. I would like to do some 3D stuff as soon as I can grasp the software. I think my biggest concerns are understanding the bits, speeds and depths for particular designs. Does the software recommend these things or are you expected to know what bits to use, what speeds and depths to program?

Read the forums for bit use info. That is the best advice I can give you. People here generally won’t help if you don’t search first.

To answer your question yes easel gives recommendations on speeds. Most of us push those well beyond those numbers as they are too conservative and slow.

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I have CNC experience working on CNC Welding Machines and CNC Machine tools. I never designed a CNC project before now.

Along with my machine I purchased EASEL Pro and I am glad I did. My machine has been running for a week and EASEL has saved me from breaking my machine on several occasions. After a total of 8 different projects I started getting frustrated with the ZERO process, it has 6 steps and some are redundant. Yesterday I almost messed up and left the ZERO probe attached. Following the directions saved me.

Work with EASEL, follow the tutorials. If you are not familiar with CNC routers then you will be gently trained on how they work. I am happy to say my machine started up an ran on the first try and made the initial carve with no problems.