I have a laser engraver (Glowforge) which I absolutely love, but there are just some things that would be better suited to a CNC machine. (or at least, in my limited knowledge, I think it’d be) So I recently (yesterday) ordered the MatterHackers Inventables Carvey. I was bragging about it in the Glowforge forums, and somebody told me that I would need additional software beyond just Easel to do 3D reliefs, or 3D carving? Is this true? They advised I get Vectrics VCarve, but I had thought the Carvey could already do 3D reliefs with what comes in the box. Could someone please clarify for me?
The Carvey can do 3d, but Easel cannot create 3d models and Easel cannot generate code to carve in 3D. Easel can send coffee generated elsewhere.
Got an example of what you want to carve?
The Carvey is capable of cutting 3D G-code files that have been produced with a CAM program that is 3D capable.
Easel is not. Good news is that there is other software that can create 3D G-code files that can be run on the Carvey. Some of it free to hobbyist and others that are rather expensive.
If you use any program other than Easel to send G-code to the Carvey then that will void your warranty. Lots of people do it. The warranty period is not extensive so at some point you won’t have a warranty anyway.
A 3D program that has a free component for hobbyists and very small businesses is Fusion 360. A paid program would be Vectric Aspire (Desktop and PRO do not design 3D carvings). There are others available also.
If you really want to do Bas Reliefs then (2.5D carves) then Vectric Vcarve (or another 3D tool path generator) is absolutely required.
You can use Fusion 360 for free as a hobbyist, but it has a really steep learning curve. With Vcarve you can purchase STL files on eBay for a buck, edit them to fit your work piece and be ready to carve them the first day.
You can also use software like Meshcam, it is simple to use and will also create usable Gcode for the Carvey from STL files.
If you want to design your own 3D art to carve then you will need to spend a lot more money and purchase something like Aspire from Vectric.
Thanks all for your feedback.
@NeilFerreri1 I really don’t have anything specific in mind, but I have found some 3D reliefs (grayscale depth maps) online I was hoping to at least try.
Maybe I’ll take a look at the Vetrics offerings. I tried using Fusion360 before, but found it clumsy and cumbersome.
I might be in the minority, and I’m sure previous experience plays into it, but I find Fusion to be slick and full featured while I find v-carve limited and unintuitive. Anyway, if you’re planning on going from shaded relief, V-carve is the way to go.
Well I just ordered the Aspire software after watching their getting started video. I really likedwhat I saw…
You will never regret it, no limit to what you can design with it.