Potential new owner, V Carve question

Good evening all,
Reading through the forums, looking at the parts, reading the challenges people have had. One thing I have not found is a opinion on the V Carve software that is offered with purchase.

I am totally new to CNC, and wondering if I need V Carve? My end goal is going to be using this machine in my hobby to customize computers. One of the most common materials that I use is acrylic. I will have need for the ability to draw out custom paths, and both cutting acrylic, as well as routing channels into acrylic. Will I be able to create custom objects in Easel?

Thise that have purchased the X-Carve, and did not purchase the V Carve software, did you kick yourself? or have you found that it was largely unnecessary?

Please advise, and thank you in advance,
-=Craig Tate

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It largely depends on how complicated you’re looking at your cuts being. If you are just going to be 2-d cuts that can be cut straight down (no X-Z or Y-Z rounding), you can draw something up and import it into Easel. I may move up to V-Carve someday, but it sounds like a good drawing program (like Inkscape) and Easel may work for you.

If you can upload a picture that shows something similar to what you’re thinking of doing, we may be able to help you out more on this question.

I have actually spent WAY too much money on software to go with this tiny CNC. I have V-Carve, MeshCAM, G-Wizard and Fusion360. Of those, I use Fusion probably 80% of the time, and it’s a free-to-use piece of software for individuals. Totally worth the download, I think. It seems to be an ideal choice for your application.

I would not purchase V-Carve unless you’re intending to make signs. For signs and text engraving, there is nothing that can beat it. For everything else, it’s kinda ho-hum.

You CAN use easel simply enough as well, but I would think Fusion360 would be a far superior choice if you’re actually designing and laying things out, since you can use proper CAD sketch constraints in it, instead of just making graphic designs that are then difficult to modify.

Effectively it is a 3 piece construction, with the center piece being the water channel begin and end points. Kinda like a circuit board, but with water.
that circuit is then sandwiched by clear acrylic, and then tapped on the appropriate side for the tube fittings.

Hope this helps,

Thank you @DanBrown , I will go that route prior to investing in V-Carve. Since I have never done this, but have been interested for a very long time, I think, it is safe for me to take it slow and steady.

The uploads didn’t work, you need to wait until they’re fully uploaded and visible in the preview pane before posting. :smile:

I think I can imagine what you’re describing, it it sounds very interesting. The engineer in me is already starting to come up with ways to shift and stop flows with built-in valves and such. Mind candy!

If a square cross-section for the flow channels is okay, you can easily use Easel with an imported SVG.

There we go…


So much more beautiful than I could have imagined… :heart_eyes:

Easel’s a good way to go with that until you decide you want to get more complicated. Personally, I would draw up the pocket pattern in SketchUp (or some other CAD program) and import as an SVG, run it through www.Makercam.com to make it play nicely with Easel, then import it into Easel.

Holy moly indeed. Very nice.

VCarve can most certainly do this, but as mentioned above, there are probably cheaper option.

I use VCarve for everything, it’s perfect for sign making, but I also found it great when I recently made a wooden geared clock (Brian Law’s woodenclocks, clock 22).

I doubt buying it would be something you’d regret, but it isn’t cheap!

In the high end computer modding space, where I dabble and participate in, work and evolution of water cooling is constantly evolving. It is nearly impossible for manufacturers to mass produce these kinds of things, because the internal dimensions of each computer case differ. And where one person wants to put reservoirs, pumps, radiators, is likely not where someone else wants to put them.

So… I wanted a better way for me to build and create my custom pieces.

Initially I was thinking a Glowforge, but I need the ability to cut or mark certain types of metal.

So, X-Carve it is. :slight_smile:

This piece is not mine, it is simply an example of what I am wanting to do. And this tool will hopefully help me get there.

Here is another question, What do you have your X-Carve living on? Is it on a dedicated table? An extension to your work bench? From an accessibility standpoint, is it good enough to have 3 sides accessible (as in backed up to a wall)?

Thank you all for your guidance. I look forward to purchasing my X-Carve in the near future.

Right now, with Christmas rapidly approaching, “Cheaper is better”. This will be the most I have ever spent on a tool, for a hobby, that works out of my garage! :wink:

I dont want to over spend, only to finds that, for my needs, I can do the work in a simpler, less costly way.

If my talents evolve to the point that vCarve makes sense, I believe they have a “free download” on their site, I can take it for a test run to see if it fits my needs.