This assembly process is completely assanine!

I’ve been installing/assembling products for well over 30 years and have never had a product where I had to do absolutely EVERYTHING. There’s always components that are pre-assembled where specialized knowledge or tools might be necessary. This has been true for electronics, cars, firearms, everything.

After making it through most the assembly process, I come to the part where I need to solder pins onto the gshied board. Why this isn’t done at the factory is baffling to me. This is something where experience matters.

I’m no electronics expert and have never soldered anything in my life. I now have a gshied with 3 pins soldered together that I can’t get apart.

This whole process has been completely frustrating after having stripped screws come from the factory, having to tap holes that were not done properly at the factory and now this.

I haven’t even been able to plug this damn thing in and I’m ready to throw it off a bridge!

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I don’t feel that Inventables has ever marketed this product as a plug and play system or even partially assembled. There are a plethora of videos showing exactly what comes in the box and how to put it together, including the Inventables official instructions, which are available even prior to anyone purchasing.

I can understand that some of the assembly process is frustrating and I may have had less problems than most, but I never felt that I was mislead.

Good luck to you, and I hope you can get your X-Carve up and running!

P.S. If you have a solder bridge between two or more pins you should be able to just take yous soldering iron, heat up the solder again on the pins and kind of wipe the excess off (with the soldering iron). Lots of times just using the soldering iron and re-heating the solder should rectify the solder bridge.


What Rusty said and this:

You’ll be real proud of your labour when the machine purrs like a cat and does stuff you ordered it to! Don’t give up!


Don’t give up! You will be amazed by the things you will be able to do once it is up and running. There are so many people here on the forum willing to help as much as we can.

Hang in there.


Actually I found the assembly of this product to be quite enjoyable. To be fair to Inventables, the entire assembly instructions and videos are available before you purchase. Additionally, if you look at those instructions they make it clear soldering is required. I didn’t encounter anything I didn’t expect.

Perhaps I am more OCD than most people but I figure if you buy a product advertised as DIY then you should expect a bit of a challenge.


what in the description of the kit made you believe it came assembled?

Exactly! It’s marketed as a “kit”, plain and simple. Before I buy anything, I download installation and operation manuals, any drawings available and absorb as much as possible before placing an order. I got the Shapeoko 2 kit in February but had read about it for a couple of months beforehand. All the information was there.

As to soldering, I’ve done plenty of that in past years and have all the equipment necessary. So, that was a non-issue; in fact, in lieu of the terminal strips for part of the installation, I soldered the wires together and covered them with heat shrink tubing.

Inventables does a great job of outlining what you get from them.

I’m sure it has to do with keeping manufacturing costs low. Through-hole soldering as is done with the pins is a very different animal from the surface mount soldering on the rest of the board. While through-hole soldering can be automated, doing so is more complex and costly than surface mount. Many factories will have a completely robotic line for surface mount components, and then add any through hole components by hand. Of course this adds substantially to manufacturing costs.

If after 30 years of assembling equipment and you are having problems now. Just wait till you are trying to get the machine to run correctly.
If I were you I’d give up now and sell the machine. Then go out and buy a $10k router that will do what you want and you don’t have to do any assembly at all.


Thanks, I did this and managed to get them cleaned up. Hopefully the board isn’t damaged.

Wow. You sure picked a great forum to insult people who find joy in putting things together.

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They do! This is a kit to save customers money. If you wanted a fully assembled CNC, you should have bought one!!!

Now, let’s get on with life!

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You do understand that the arduino board and gshield are pretty much standard hobbyist boards that come that way from their own respective manufacturers…although Inventables did go as far as making sure the right firmware was loaded for you. Go to pretty much anyone who sells them (Adafruit, wherever) and you still have to solder the headers yourself.
You could buy the Xcontroller instead I guess, at considerable upcharge.

I can see a little of both sides of this. My 3D printer purchase was one of the first hobby machines to come pretty much pre-assembled and tested (solidoodle v2). I was intimidated with the kits and paid a little more. At this point however that machine has been so well and truly frankensteined by yours truly I wish I’d just started off with the kit…I had a deficit of understanding how it went together that slowed me down in upgrading it to work better.

Glad I got the XC as a kit vs. waiting for something like the Carvey.

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[quote=“KevinSmith, post:10, topic:15033”]
Sure, there are some dorks out there who cream in their shorts at the opportunity to blow the dust off their soldering irons. [/quote]



Hi @KevinSmith,

Sorry that you haven’t enjoyed putting together your machine as much as others on here have. I can definitely relate to the feeling that something will be a certain way and then it doesn’t turn out as expected. It can be frustrating.

That being said, I don’t think that it is necessary to resort to name calling, vulgarities, and generally offensive remarks as a form of vent. I flagged the post as inappropriate, so if you would like to rephrase what your main point was then by all means please try and take another crack at it.

Many on this forum have had issues with their build, but the cool thing is that there are many here to help each other out and sort through the issues. It’s one of the things that makes this community so great.

The X-Carve draws it’s strength from past iterations of Shapeokos and has improved upon that past. But, the thing is, this type of machine is geared toward problem solvers, and set up as an a-la-cart sort of kit. The gShield/Arduino isn’t the only way to go, and as you may find from searching this forum some chose to go different routes. The same goes for the spindle, and the motors, and the wasteboard, etc. almost every part down to the nuts and bolts is optional and upgradable and modable (yes modable is a made up word). So, you can hopefully see from this, the explanation as to why everything has to be assembled by the end user… the creation of the machine then becomes part of the ownership of the machine.

I wish to echo the sentiments of others that have tried to help and say, hang in there… you may find it worth it in the long run.


I personally would have been annoyed if those pins had been soldered on for me as the build instructions said I had to do it myself if I wanted that optional functionality. :smile:

Anyway after your vulgar outbursts sounds like you have it sorted. I would suggest that if you want any further help building, setting up and tuning you may consider trying to be part of the community rather than insulting it.



Wow, hate to hear if and when a bit breaks.

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I just broke a 2 flute 1/8" end mill last night, had a few choice words that only my garage heard. I know the frustration level is high with some folks, but be kind to the hands that feed you.

When I was a boy we had to build our microcomputers ourselves, from rocks and wood. There were no fancy “chips” or “Integrated circuits”. Just piles of rocks and wood that I had to walk 10 miles (uphill in the snow) to get.


don’t forget, without shoes also.

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