Really kinda regret getting this

I’m curious how other Carvey users feel about their machines? Frankly, I’m a little disappointed, and wish I hadn’t bought it.

I use a Glowforge laser for a lot of stuff, but hate that I’m limited to a maximum material height of .4 inches (assuming I leave the crumb tray in). The crumb tray isn’t adjustable, so if you want to cut anything bigger than '4 inches, you have to remove the crumb tray, but have something that brings the top of the material within that '4 in range of the laser. Needless to say, it can be quite a PITA at times.

I saw the Carvey, liked what I saw initially and got myself one. The initial cuts all worked great, and things were fine as long as I was satisfied with the limits of Easel. But I wanted more, I wanted to look into doing some actual carving.

First came purchasing bits. Oh my lord, there’s a lot of bits out there. Every conceivable size and shape, it can be quite overwhelming for a novice. And expensive if you really don’t know what you’re doing, which I don’t.

I got myself a copy of Aspire. Another purchase I severely regret. I bought it because of the 3D modeling, except it doesn’t really work well as a 3d modeling application. It’s great for putting 3D models together to create something overall, but the actual modeling tools are severely limited (in comparison to a 3D application). Can’t even select a rectangle, and extrude it up? wtf…

And VCarving? Holy crap, I’ve yet to get a single VCarve to actually come out correctly. Perhaps because of the super small size of the Carvey work area, my text itself is too small to actually get to look good. And I have to use a v-bit and actually vcarve because that seems to be the only way to do text. Pocket doesn’t work because I guess the text is too small, profile doesn’t work because it outlines the text… How in the holy heck do I just carve the small text… seems like it should be simple…

Everytime I just want to create a beveled groove such as a rectangle, I try the v-bit there as well, with specifying the depth so I get the grooved line I want, but then when importing it into Easel, and any profile path with a vbit I have in my project, each and every time screws up. I only get a rectangle either half the height I want, or half the width. It’s frustrating because there doesn’t seem to be a reason for it. It look good in the preview screen, and in easel the path looks right, but every time I cut it, it’s screwed up.

Getting projects into Easel is a whole lot of fun as well. The cutting size of the Carvey is aprox 11.6 x 8, except you cannot use a project that size in Aspire because you have to account for the 2.5x2.5 area for the smart clamp in the lower left corner.

I know, this just reads like a whole lot of bitching and complaining, and I apologize for that. I’ve had this thing for a a little over a month, and the only things I’ve been able to successfully make are those simple things you can do in Easel only. Perhaps that’s what I should limit myself too, but seems like a huge waste of money to do simple blocks only.

I’m frustrated, a little angry, as well as a little depressed. I just kinda wanted to vent some of my frustrations… Sorry to have bothered you all…

I have always thought that extruding solid shapes in Aspire iwas easy to do. Granted it is done a bit differently than Autocad but it is still easy to do. Plus you have the ability to customize the extrusion very quickly and easily.

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I get your frustration. I’m on my 5th cnc router over 12 years or so. I started from scratch myself, but I built a cnc router from some plans that were available. The 2nd one was on a larger scale with more rigidity. The 3rd, a commercial unit that wasn’t really any better than the 2nd, and my 4th unit was pretty nice, but on the small side. The shapeoko2/Xcarve was number 5 and really only purchased it to do larger stuff that didn’t need complete accuracy.

You have to start someplace though, and you find out your needs are met or not with your purchase. Really, I’ve found that you get what you pay for with these devices. If you want a large industrial strength machine, it’s going to cost some major bucks.

I would recommend to anyone to learn how to do CAD and 3D cad, and learn some different Cam programs to create the Gcode. This will open up your world of cncing. I haven’t really used EASEL for anything, relying on my CAD experience and Universal GCode Sender for the X carve.

I do all my drawing in Rhino, as that’s what I purchased. I use Cambam for DXF to Gcode, and Meshcam for 3DSTL to Gcode. They both get the job done.

I’m sure the Carvey is good for what it is designed to do, but right off the bat it would be too small for me based on what I read about it.

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I don’t think I could ever be happy with a machine that small. Working on small precise projects have been something I still struggle with (only 5 mths in) so only being able to do those would prob drive me crazy. I have only used the 1/16 bit a few times and its slow and easy to break, like I said… crazy.

I like Easel due to my limited knowledge of ALL other programs mentioned here and I know it has limitations but I think its a great program for learning the general “idea” behind the machine and what it can do. I plan to upgrade to Vcarve and have opened Fusion360 a few times but I would not have started with them. Just me of course.

I have the 1000X1000 and love it so far. Hope things get better and don’t give up.

I like ours. You have to take things slower (feeds) than you would on an X-carve, but it does what I tell it to. The “smart” clamp isn’t my favorite, though.
What are you trying to do that isn’t working? I’m happy to help.

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Hello and welcome JoeSheble,

I too have a Glowforge and completely understand what you mean. Although I don’t have a Carvey, I do have the X-Carve and Aspire. I really enjoy both. Aspire has a lot of good tools and will likely do what you want. There is just a process of getting there that you need to learn. I would recommend watching the Vectric tutorials as well as visiting the forum there. Between Affinity and Vectric, they do everything I need.

Hang in there, you will get better. Surely there was a learning curve to the Glowforge and expect the same with the Carvey. The only difference is you will probably get more consistent results with the Carvey with some practice. Same rules apply: flat and secure :slight_smile:

Good luck, hope to see some of the amazing things you are going to make. And, lots of members here willing to help you get through this.

I don’t have a carvey but I think everyone here can relate to your story in some way.
CNC is a skill that can easily take years to master. I say stick with it.

try simple things, and give them to friends. Their reactions will make you realize what a great hobby this is.

Thanks everyone, yesterday was just a frustrating day. Everything I tried to do got janked up one way or another. What’s weird is I can do a 3D carve with little to no issue, but once I start trying to just do normal 2D stuff along with it, it where things normally go all wrong. I’ll get it, I’m stubborn and determined to get this thing going. :slight_smile:

It looks like the newer Vectric products can directly drive the X-Carve and Carvey using their VTransfer feature. I suggest that you give this a try rather than passing your Vectric generated G-code up to Easel and back down to the Carvey.

Other than that, many of your frustrations are the frustrations that each of us faced on our journeys to produce 3D items on a CNC. Perseverance and seeking help from someone who has gone before you will get you where you want to be.

I believe that the Carvey is capable of carving your projects.

I am currently using the Easel post-processor… I’ll take a look at VTransfer.

There is a downside to this. If you use any program other than Easel to send G-code to the Carvey, it will void the warranty.

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Larry beat me to it, and the Carvey uses a custom version of GRBL. It may not work with Vtransfer.

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I read your comment about Carvey and some issues that you’re facing. I want to say that I purchased the carve as a start and Vectric V carve which I moved it to V carve Pro. I am not certain this will help you but I was frustrated and basically felt the same. After a year of spending time with it and reading and watching a lot of videos I finally got it to do what I wanted or intended it to do. If your not getting the same as when your import to Easel is how are you importing? I seem to have much better results if I made them to a G code STL file then uploaded them to my Carvey. I made them into a 3D file and saved the file off my V- carve. Also Are you using a post Processor for Easel ? I would try to do that with your aspire software and save them as a G code STL file then load them up into the Easel program. I will also have to say that I had to fool my Carvey and tell the setup program I was using X carve. For some odd reason it wouldn’t load as long as I was using carve. Also try using the modeling in Aspire and when you set the size and depth run your tool path and make sure your getting the correct bit that your using. Even if that means custom one and save the bit for future use. I really hope this helps but after really doing some studying and practice and error I think you’ll be ok with it. However I did sell my Carvey and purchased the X Carve 1000 also using X- Carve Pro and pic engrave as my reader. Easel really is a very basic software. But as I mentioned it really is what you do in the Vectric Aspire is the way it will come out. Hope this works for you and your welcome to email me anytime for questions. Regards: Tim Monfort

@TimMonfort I think you meant your reply for @JoeSheble.
Our Carvey is carving.


No worries…I just wanted him to see your thoughtful response. That’s why I tagged him.

I feel you. I used a grant to get mine. I had SO MANY issues and the support team worked well with me even finally sending a replacement. I have had a LOT of issues but just keep trying. Since I have it, I give myself a week or two break to dissolve the frustration.

My biggest one is letting students create then send it to me. I wish there was a simpler software. Esp. since this is for younger kids. I used tinkercad and export as an SVG, but it doesn’t always do what they expect. Any helpful tips for SIMPLE software for middle school kids just getting started?

Carbide Create has pretty simple drawing tools and integrated CAM. It’s free, you’d just send the G-Code using Easel.

Alternately, from TinkerCAD, export to an STL and then process as a 3D CAM project using MeshCAM.

Seems like you want the whole world for a couple of thousand dollars!

From your desription, the problem your having is not the Carvey machine but the ability to create toolpaths within Easil. When i had a carvey i by passed Easil. I paid for a custom post processor that translates my CAM output to Easil importable G code. When the Carvey ran it did exactly what it was supposed to do. I recently sold the machine as i’ve purchased a considerably more capable high speed machining ctr (at considerably more cost) and have no need for it now. What i will say (as someone that programmes 3, 3+1 and full 5 axis machinery professionally) is that for the money Carvey can’t be beaten in my opinion. Specifically its ease of use, tool measuring and accuracy all for a couple of grand.

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I have the Xcarve still working with easel Its fun ,but confusing and the best part is building the machine also check OUT THE PRICES of the CNC Machines this is Quality machine the software you have learn I do TEE shirts screen printing ,and sublimation like coffee mugs,key chains ,dog tags ,also signs on aluimiun,plastic,all kinds of wood this machine is for small lettering pieces just have to learn it