Life beyond the X-carve

So I bought an x-carve oh idk 8 months to a year ago and started to get some jobs. I got 1 job in particular which I needed to cut out over 300 brackets for a guy and decided right then and there I am going to take the plunge so I set the x-carve aside and bought a 4x8 machine with all linear bearings and will run up to 1200 inch/min

I look back at my X-carve and am just amazed at the differences

I will still use my X-carve though and might turn it into a dedicated laser engraver

So I thought I would start a thread for anyone wanting to show of there days post X-carve

Watch your head phones on some of these videos I am not sure how to cancel out the air in the mic sound lol

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What kind of machine is it?

Are you running Mach3? I traded up a few months ago to an industrial machine to do production work. The X-Carve was a great way to learn about CNC, but I must admit the raw power and strength of the new machine is amazing.

But I have really learned to like Mach3, the customization options and ability to write new code for it really makes it useful,

its a CNC Router Parts PRO4896 the latest version all linear

Yeah I am running Mach 3 and I went ahead and bought V-carve Pro and a Fusion 360 Commercial License also

and yeah like in the videos I am only running 300 inch/min at max and thats kinda babying it for this machine

Mach 3 is really cool I got my touch plate all set up today and it works really nice

I think it was a bad choice to go with the Bosch router though I should of just bought a spindle and vfd if I was smart even at 300 inch/min that bosch is bogging down I need more power

I am using the Bosch 1617 on mine and it has been doing great. I can run a .5 inch endmill at a .25 doc and 200 ipm with no trouble

Yeah I keep talking to my tool rep and he wants me to run my tools harder I have been running at 300 inch/min and .5 doc on speed setting 5 on the router

he wants me to ramp into a .75 depth of cut and run up to 800 inch/min I just dont think the 1617 will handle that lol

all with a .25" tool

I tried some ONSRUD 40-024 Downcut Spiral bits and they will cut through 3/4 ply like its foam and leave a perfect edge and bottom pocket while they do it.


Just a thought, but for that amount of $$, wouldn’t it be a better investment to buy a used machining center?
That’s my plan, at least.

It really depends on what you want to cut. If all you want to do is mill metals then sure, a vertical milling center is what you need, But get ready to spend some serious money. Even a good used machine will cost over $12k and will more likely be closer to $20 by the time you get it working the way you want.

But if you want to cut sheet size material then a CNC router is the tool you need.

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Good point. I usually make small, metal parts.

I think the x carve has opened the door for alot of folks to the cnc universe.

For some it will be the only machine the ever need, whether it be because they lost interest in the practice or it fills their needs.

For others, it’s a stepping stone into that universe and they outgrow it to a larger more capable machine.

Just look at how many ads are in the for sale and trade section that the seller has gone onto bigger equipment.

For now, mine fills my needs quite well, in the future? who knows.

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Very true man

I used the x carve as a intro to cnc found out I liked it and so I invested in starting a new company off with a bang

But actually I will hang onto the x carve as a laser or rapid prototyping machine

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This is what my post X-Carve life looks like. I learned so much from my journey from the S2 to the X-Carve and now I’ve gone even bigger with the GarageworX CNC 4x4.


What are your thoughts on the machine? Any issues (stiffness/power/etc) that we all address with the X-Carve still present with the upgrade? Money being no object would you have gone bigger?

I’m curious what you guys are making that offsets the greater expense to move beyond the X-Carve, and what the strongest motivator was i.e. power, speed, size?

Like @AllenMassey says what you use the machine for heavily determines your upgrade choice.

For now I guess I’m lucky, all I could ask more from my X-Carve is a bit better accuracy, but after recently stiffening the Y and getting a flatter work surface it’s pretty darn good. But I make high-end small hardwood products, that take far longer to finish than to cut, so my machine is always ahead of me and speed isn’t an issue (but this is all because of the all of the rigidity mods.)

When I have more people working for me finishing products maybe that’s when I’ll need a faster machine.

For me I guess its the fact that I quit my day job and want to build a company

Its a huge risk for sure currently I am making a little over 200.00 a month in revenue from cnc work and last month alone I shelled out 18,000 cash those numbers are not good!!! Lol

But its all about the driving factor and mindset if I didn’t believe in myself I wouldn’t of done it

But look at the capability I have now I called a cabinet shop just to ask about sourcing a certain material and he told me to come over and work for him!!!

So the work is out the you just have to go find it

Plus I am only 27 single if I loose all my money and the company never starts I guess I will just pick up my pride off the floor and rebuild


I stumbled into a vendor that needed lots of parts cut from 3/4 plywood. When I did the calculations I discovered the new machine would would allow me to cut parts about 5 times faster, which would pay for the full cost of the machine in about 8 months. So it was not a hard decision to make.

There is just a world of difference between a big beefy production machine and a hobby machine.

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Lol ain’t that the truth

What kinda dust shoe did you get for your machine?

Do you mind sharing what type of company needs those parts out of the plywood?

I dont need the name or anything just curious what the parts are for