[Resolved] These have been my frustrations

Hi, I know this x carve is going to be awesome. But there have been some frustrations, so I wanted to jot them down in the spirit of being productive.

Of course something this cool and affordable is going to have its issues. So here they are. Maybe this will help inventables solve these issues.

First, the machine has been upgraded or altered but the instructions have not been. I have the 500x500. Turns out one of if the drag chains now go on similar to the 1000x1000.

The machine is black. Sleek looking? Yes. Hard to see what the fella is doing in the videos because black on black is hard to see? Also yes

Power supply: it just dangles. I keep ripping wires out as I move the thing around. Kind of a pain in the butt. I guess my first project will be building something to stabilize this. Also, the wires at 6,6,4,and 3 are too short. Not too short for them to reach, too short for the power supply. That thing is going to be full of saw dust.

Instructions say to check that the z axis is plum. Maybe this should be done before the waste board is put on. A big ol square won’t fit unless I take off the waste board which had me thinking, “well, why did I put this on if I just have to take it off”

Packing: a several of the screws and washers were packed in bags that became punctured during shipping. I wound up making a bunch of trips to hardware stores looking for these missing metric bolts. I know, I wish that everything was metric, but I’m in the USA and we do it like Burma and Liberia, so call your congressperson. 3mm set screws are hard to track down. Work on that packing!

Thanks for the tools. I’m glad you sent them because my other metric stuff (like my metric hex wrenches) don’t fit in the screws. I hope I don’t lose the tools that were sent to me because apparently the measurement is off. Maybe, I don’t know. Just calling it as I see it.

Speaking of those bolts, the rails’ holes are not lined up properly with holes in brackets. Every rail has a cross threaded screw because of this. I even called a few friends over because I couldn’t believe it. They concurred, holes don’t line up. Just drive the bolt in crooked and hope for the best. Looks like inventables changed from the self tappers to something that’s already been threaded. Heart was in the right place, functionally speaking, it didn’t work.

Belts don’t stay put. I’ve seen people using zip ties to hold them in place. Kind of Mickey Mouse. I put the belts through the brackets backwards, kicked the loose end off to the side and cranked that sucker down. Would have preferred for them to just work as intended per the instructions. Would have saved an hour or so.

I’m still working on the computer part. I’m at the “test your stuff” part of making this thing and I’m stuck. But this is very unclear. I’m waiting for an email from my good friend Jeff ma (who has been wonderful by the way) to figure that part out.

So the good stuff is potential and the frustrations are kinetic at the moment and its eating me up cause Paulie wants to make some stuff!

Also worth noting, I ordered this thing on a Monday and it was on my doorstep across the country on Thursday. That’s pretty amazing.
Unfortunately that means that by the time that I run into a problem, inventables is closed because the stupid earth is round and we have these dumb time zones. Which is why the online instructions should really be top notch.

Can’t wait to get making stuff. I hope inventables fixes these issues cause if this works as well as YouTube shows it working, I’m going to be sending inventables a lot of money (don’t tell my wife please)

All my best!


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Sounds like you might be a good candidate for a computer case electronics enclosure. I agree that it’d be great if the X Carve kit worked perfectly without modifications, but it’s the nature of the beast at this point. Try shrink tube for your belts, I’ve never had any slipping and I’m pushing it into hard plastic pretty good.

I just screwed my enclosure to the table, and built a temporary house for it out of foam board, so I could get cutting. As for the holes not lining up, you need to tighten them together, evenly, and they’ll go on straight.

On most of your other points, I agree. The drag chain bracket really ticked me off, lol.

I’m using mine ( my 500 mm X Carve ) for a production order, and at first was worried it wasn’t going to cut it, but I figured out a better way to fixture it up and so far I’m over 400 pcs.

If you don’t have an e stop button, do what I did; mount a power strip to your table to plug in your router and power supply, and in case of emergency, smack the switch. Not pretty, but it works.

Good luck. It’s totally worth it.

Totaly agree on the cables, there should be enough to move the electronics a bit away from the machine.
And for controller cabinet solution they should have something better. Or you can go for the X-Controller that has everything in one cabinet.
I had litle problems with the mechanical, but my extrusions was not pre threaded.
Also agree on the instructions, they need to be up to date with what is delivered and the pictures should be better.
I miss an exploded view of the assembly, this would clear up some of the assembly.

But in the end… it is a wery nice product, and you will have a lot of fun with it.

I did my own cables, because i had a roll of shielded cable.
I also got hold on a used industrial cabinet for the electronics. These are availible in many different sizes.
I found a pretty big one, but I have another controller solution and I also wanted to house the PC in the cabinet.
It also had some nice buttons and indicators in the door, and ampere meter that goes to 100A :slight_smile:

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Is that what the cabinet looked like when you got it? Or is that what your control system looks like? O_o

Time was, the instructions were done on-line, using Github, so anyone could update them:


which mostly worked — 'cept for the time someone edited out the note that the diagrams are interactive, and if clicked on, will open up in a new window, scaling to the size of that window and allowing one to click on the parts list and selectively highlight sets of parts. Interesting impromptu UI experiment — over half the users failed to discover it, and a significant number more were surprised by it.

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The X-carve instructions are on GitHub and anyone can edit them.


LIke this?

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Pretty much, 'cept there doesn’t seem to be editable source for certain parts, such as the videos, and there was a concerted effort when issues w/ the instructions were reported on the forums to work them out and keep them updated.

Best bet is to spend some time here, on the forums, before during and after assembly.

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That’s my control system. power supply, main power relay, VFD spindle drive, rs232 interface for rpm control, relays for my limit switches and my Gecko G540 stepper controller.

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When I decided to pull the trigger on ordering my machine, there was almost a 2 month wait to get them. During this time I dug into the forums and read all about the problems other people were having assembling their machines, and watched all the videos from people who got freebies.

By the time the X-Carve arrived I felt pretty comfortable about assembly and was aware of some of the issues and shortcomings as well as what I perceived to be design flaws in the machine. This meant I was able to tackle them during assembly and I wasn’t too caught out by anything. I also had an open mind about there being some slight packing issues and mis-picked parts bags. Since I was following the process of the team learning how to get these shipped as an assembly line, perhaps I was more forgiving of the slight errors since I knew there were hard working humans doing the job.

Now on to your machine

Go to Home Depot and buy 50 feet of 18/4 security wire and 22/2 security wire. They have to cut it off of a spool for you. The 18/4 is the exact same wire that comes with X-Carve, and the 22/2 is for the limit switches if you have them. Use it to rewire the machine and you’ll have enough to locate the power supply out of the way of any sawdust. There are lots of solutions to this, I mounted mine on my wall.

Don’t try to square and true the machine without the wasteboard in place. Since you’ll be carving everything on the wasteboard, it’s important to take all your measurements from it rather than from the work surface underneath your X-Carve. Get a small speed square like an 8" one while you’re at Home Depot and it’ll be plenty fine to get your axes lined up.

Drill out the holes in the endplates to accommodate the screws. There needs to be some slop there anyway to allow for adjustment when you true the machine, and Inventables really didn’t build much in.

For any of the screws, nuts, bolts that were supposed to be included but weren’t, contact Inventables and they’ll make it right for you. They’ve been awesome to everyone that’s ever had a problem in these forums anyway.

As far as the belts, use heat shrink tubing. It looks way slicker than zip ties and works a treat. I haven’t had to adjust my belts in 6 months. You can also pick a neat complimentary color for the heat shrink and it adds a nice accent to the machine.

Check out some of the mods that the people here in the forums are doing, read up on them and as you get used to your machine, consider making some of them. Remember this is a hobby kit, and it’s designed to a price. We’ve had a year to run our machines in and work many of the kinks out, so lots of us have different tricks and ideas on how to make them run sweetly. The whole point of these forums is sharing info, make good use of them.


I also hesitated a little before ordering, because I had been burned before, but with the forum here, it was a no brainer.
There is literally nothing that could go wrong with your machine during or after assembly, that someone else hasn’t already gone through and posted a solution for. Just have to take a second and look.
That being said, there is a learning curve. Period.

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Yo yo yo,

So here’s the real shining star of this x-carve. Every person that I’ve spoken or emailed with at this company (two people, excluding this forum). I mean, the phone rings twice and there is a knowledgable person guiding you through the set up. You write an email at 9pm and there’s a response at 9am. It’s really freaking amazing.

As for the “go to Home Depot bit”, if the instructions stated “hey Paulie boy, this wire is going to work but it’s going to be super tight and create future problems” then clearly, yes, go to Home Depot. On the same token, if the instructions stated that the holes don’t line up, just make them a little bigger, then cool, out comes my drill. But that’s just not the case. We live in a world of voided warranties and corporate vultures, so of course if there are manufacturer’s instructions then it’s improper to rewrite them as you risk nothing but your own money and time.

I hope that inventables works out those quirks of instructions. I mean, I hope my input was helpful and it didn’t sound like I was just some dork criticizing for the sake of criticism (Internet tends to be that way). The machine is together and while I’ve only made a quick sign (one that reads, “I needed help putting this together cause me dumb, dumb, dumb”), it’s as amazing as I thought it would be.

Alright, thanks everybody. Quick nap then I’m going to destroy some wood, er make cool stuff.