Inventables Community Forum

Problems sourcing materials for the 1000mm machine - (material greater than 24 inches) - lack of options

I have become increasingly annoyed that inventables does not seem to sell anything that allows the max area of the 1000x1000mm machine to shine, or, at least “fits” it’s larger format.

so time and time again I find myself sourcing materials from places like AliBaba and waiting months for shipping and dealing with all the horrible problems (like chemicals in wood) and “language barriers” that come with dealing with the Baba marketplace…

Main Problem:
Take a look at anything in the inventables store and try to get it in a 24x24 or 35x35 size. Lets use MDF as an example. so, I get the 1000mm Xcarve, thinking I also have a source for materials here at inventables to make some 24x24 sized custom signs and wall art. Nope. lol, denied. Sure, there is black MDF, but not in 24x24, and not in 35x35, and not in 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1" thicknesses…

Secondary Problem:
Take a look at anything in the inventables store and try to buy Matching sizes, for example, try to find 1/8th thick coated Acrylic in Gold/Black, Silver/Black, White/Black and Black/White. cant be done… then try to find it in 24x24, or something that takes advantage of the full 1000mm board. shut down again.

As for the MDF I did find this, eventually…


I feel like inventables should have that in stock…

And for Acrylic there is a place called Pittsburgh Plastics that will cut huge Acrylic sheets down to size, so I got lucky there… but, I must buy full giant sheets, pay for cuts, heat gun remove the paper coating, sand, paint, wait, sand, paint again, ect… All of that I am fine with, but annoyed…

Anyway, I am surprised that the task of finding acrylic, MDF, Aluminum and coated acrylic for the 1000mm machine is so much more difficult that it ought to be.

So, this post is 1 part rhetorical - ‘squeaky wheel’ - with the hopes inventables will address the issue and provide materials for 1000mm setups, and, provide consistency between materials (ie: offer everything in 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1" and at least the 12x12, 12x24, 24x24 and maybe even 35x35 )

And this is also 1 part question to the community: IE: where can I source Valchromat or colored MDF in large sizes like 24x24 and 35x35? without waiting a month for shipping? (note- even on Amazon the wait time is 20 days because its a 3rd party seller)

PS: I understand shipping and logistics is one of the problems here because of UPS, USPS and FedEx box sizes, alas, I feel that as a customer, that is not my problem to solve.

Here is the list of things I think (and honestly expected) to be available:

  • Aluminum in 24x24 and 35x35 - Annodized, Black in 1/32, 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4
  • Valchromat full color selection in 24x24 and 35x35 - 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1"
  • Surface Color Coated Acrylics (Gold, Silver, Black, White, ect) in 24x24 and 35x35 - 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4t and 1" (whats in stock in the smaller sizes ought to match, ie: buying “matched material sets”)
  • at the very least, match the size and thickness for similar products…

Keep in mind that Inventables is primarily concerned with distributing and supporting the X-Carve machine itself, not whatever materials you may choose to use it to work on.

As an analogy, consider that hammer manufacturers generally do not also sell nails, power drill manufacturers generally do not sell screws, and power saw manufacturers generally do not sell lumber. The materials that Inventables does offer are intended to “get you started”, but the X-Carve is a tool, and it’s ultimate usage is up to you.

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I’d say you are being unrealistic. There are plenty of places out there to get materials of all types. If you buy a table saw at Grizzly, would you expect them to have every timber available in all widths and sizes ?.. I doubt it. Most places that sell CNC routers don’t sell materials of any kind.

Inventables has stuff to get you started and then like any other company, you can buy whatever you want, wherever you like. Internet shopping has made this so much easier. Check out Onlinemetals, USplastics, Hearne Hardwoods, etc. If you are near a big city, you can find all kinds of places that sell stuff. Having an inventory of materials that may or may not sell adds to overhead which would have to be applied to the cost of the machine. Nobody wants that.

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I have never purchased materials directly from Inventables. I find local vendors that have a larger selection of things that I want and if there is something else unique that can’t be sourced locally I look online.

As a supplier of the materials they have solved it. You just don’t accept their solution as being fast enough. If you want it faster, it’s going to cost more. Before Amazon and the two day prime shipping, everything used to take a long time to arrive online.

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Most users cut their own materials to proper size from larger stock.
If you are not comfortable with this due to lack of experience or equipment, my suggestion would be to find a local woodworker, woodworking club, metals supplier, etc., to provide you with the materials you want. MUCH cheaper than online, and in most cases, much less wait time, and more convenient to boot.

Unless you live in a cave on top of a mountain, I’m fairly certain that you could find a local person to provide you with the materials you desire, in the sizes you want. The initial contact might take some time, but this may be your 2nd best option. 1st option being to acquire the tools and materials you need to cut your own stock to size.

Respectfully, Al

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@ChristianWZagarskas Question for you. Are you trying to source 35"x35" materials for the stock 1000mm X-Carve? In case you were not aware, 1000mm is the frame size. The work area is 750mmx750mm (29.5"x29.5")

I would look at local suppliers like Lowes, woodcraft, michaels, and others. Lowes many times will cut items for you.
Look at inventables materials and source them locally.