My first X-Carve complex 3D carving!


I wanted to try out some complex 3D carving with the X-Carve. I looked around thingiverse for a file that had a nice form and a flat bottom, and came across this bowtie hair clip project. I imported the .stl into Aspire, and was able to create a cutting file rather quickly. The I exported the code and sent the 500mm X-Carve with Universal Gcode Sender. I decided to use Precision Board Plus because I wanted to use a material that would mill easily.

I used a 1/8" ball end mill with a roughing and a finishing pass. I also use tabs. Here are the results I got, these are the parts as soon as they finished cutting, no sanding yet.

I think I could dial in the settings a little more to get a smoother finish, but overall I am happy with the results of my first stab at 3D forms.

And here are some videos:

IMG_4241.MOV (2.4 MB)

IMG_4242.MOV (2.0 MB)

I know Aspire is a very expensive program, but there is not reason someone wouldn’t be able to get the same results with another complex CAM program.

Does anyone want to try carving the file in a different software to compare results?!

Have a good one!
Sam :sunglasses:


Hey, that came out pretty darn cool! Spindle is quieter than I was expecting, too.

If you upload to youtube you can just post the link and it will automatically embed the video!

Your cut looks great.
Which post processor did you select to save your toolpath as? Did you have to do anything else with the toolpath files? I have tried the obvious ones without much luck.
Thank you,

Update: I found the Shapoko Post Processor and all fine now.

I know I am a NOOB at this but, What is a post processor? Is it something I need before my X-Carve arrives. Thanks for your time.

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It is used to export the g-code from Aspire and put into the Universal G Code Sender to run the X-Carve. If you plan on using Easel then you won’t need to worry about it.

Thanks Kieth. I appreciate you getting back to me. This stuff can get confusing with all the programs and importing and exporting. I just want to be able to carve. I can use Easel and commend Inventables for making it easy for new people. Thanks again.

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I used the Shapeoko post processor available from the Aspire product page

If you are using a software that there is no post processor for, I would recommend using one that give the most standard gcode. I have heard the PP for Mach 3 usually works. Sometimes you need to open the code in a ext editor and delete the first few lines of code that have information for a specific machine.

How did you do it? I cannot even get Universal G-Code sender to do anything for me. I want to be able to cut 3d on my xcarve. Any help is well appreciated. Do you have any instructional videos? Email me at or on facebook. TIA.

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For those that are questioning if the X-carve will actually carve 3D, here is proof. Cutout from V-carve desktop which was a good buy for everything that it can do. Upgraded my spindle to the dewalt 611 which was another good investment. It took me about 45 min to engrave from start to finish endmill and ball nose which were both in the starter kit. For those that are having trouble with your machines, keep working through. I keep tinkering with mine everyday to make it better.


Great looking chief’s anchor.