My first impression about the Carvey/Easel by one who knew nothing of CNC a month ago

Hello Everyone,

I would like to just express myself about the Carvey and Easel, the free software that comes with it.

First, i would like to mention that i have no background in using any CAD software nor using CNC machines.
So, being completely unknowledgeable in this domain makes me a NEWBIE (in gamer terms)

When i first saw the Carvey on youtube, i was very excited by the possiblities and the power that this machine gives
to it’s owner. Imagination is “almost” the limit!

As a complete neophyte, i receive my machine much quicker then expected and started using it immediatly.
It worked flawlessly right out of the box, no issues, very user friendly. Perfect for the old guy (myself) and my 9 year old son.

It’s been 2 weeks now and i’ve been playing with it, testing different things and i did watched Samantha video seminars
(Very nice by the way!). I’ve started to feel some limitiations creeping in as i’m moving toward more complex design and builds.

About the machine itself, the only thing that bothers me is the “smart” clamp that is apparent in the EASEL software
as a big red L shape, that prevents you from working in there… So, reducing the ACTUAL usable size to 9"x7" instead
of the 12"x 8" that is advertised. There is maybe a way to circumvent this somehow but i am unaware of it.

I personnaly think that the smart clamp should have been positionned outside of the work area, leaving a full 12"x8"
of work space. I’ve seen this done on other CNCs so, my guess it’s just a design mistake or they tried to implement 2 things in one, Clamp and depth checking device. Anyhow, i’m not fond of it and it think it should be revised in futur iterations of the machine.

The second thing is, it would be nice to have a integrated wifi camera inside the Carvey so you can check on it everywhere you want. For the asking price (I’m Canadian, so 2500$US+shipping, customs & taxes, it quickly almost double the price). I had to resort to using an old Android phone, using a wifi web cam app that i installed inside the Carvey to solve the issue. For the same price,the glowforge lasercutter as 2 cameras in it…

EASEL, is a very, very basic graphic tool, and i hope there will be considerable upgrades to it in the futur.
The main issue i have is that there is no possibilities to save or add Materials/settings… That is a big thing that should have been in the software from the start.

The second issue is when selecting a bit that is not from the “default” options in EASEL.
You can only select the size of the bit but nothing about the shape of it. As there is lots of different shapes of bit
i think it would be nice to have some options that reflects that in the software. Perhaps the software is not designed to operate with different bit shapes, i do not know.

Third issue: I wish there was an option to overide the software and carve the design even if the bit size is too big.
Options people … Options.

I may not be a CNC machine guy, but i was computer programmer in a past life… so i know what i’m talking about there.

I know i still have a lot to learn and that i can move on to using other CAD software (which have a greater learning curve then EASEL). So options are good to have.

Don’t get me wrong… I Love this machine!! It works great, the sound level is tolerable in my office, the look and design of it is very professional looking. And the more i learn how to use it the nicer stuff it makes.

All and all, i would definitly recommend this wonderful machine to anyone looking to buy a starter CNC machine.

A beef i have with the shipping… When i ordered the Carvey, i also ordered a set of bit, which for some unknow reason
were shipped separatly, incurring another shipping fee of 30$ (i can buy bits from other supplier with free shipping)
So you might want to think about those shipping method and fees.

Thank you for reading and i wish you all happy holidays!

1 Like

Hi Daniel,

I just got my carvey recently too. It’s such a nice looking machine. The downside to it ofcourse is the limitation of the Easel software. You should really take a look at Fusion 360 by Autodesk. It’s a very good CAM program that allows you to set the tool type and dimensions. You can 3D model in it too. It’s not the easiest thing to master but the good thing about it is that it is completely free. The other software that I would recommend would be Vectric V carve. It does have a more user-friendly interface but it lacks the advanced functionality of fusion 360. Furthermore, I personally find the preview function in fusion 360 to be better and more accurate. Now both of the software packages are CAM packages with CAD functionality added to them. I use Rhino 3D as a separate CAD/3D modelling application to create highly customised forms. That being said, I make architectural scale models professionally so you certainly wouldn’t need the standalone CAD program. Definitely do take a look at fusion 360 and learn the workflow of exporting gcode from fusion and importing it via easel to send to the machine in order to get some really sophistocated 3D carves. Hope you have fun with your carvey projects!