Inventables Community Forum

Trays and bowls

Is any one using their x-carve and easel to make trays like these? Can you share your SVG files please?


Being a retired Graphic Artist/Designer of 25 yrs., this post hit a nerve.

Wood workers, as any artist, spend many, many hours developing concept and design, drawings, prototypes, etc. All before a single piece will be produced. This adds up to a lot of time to make that unique piece.

To simply ask for someone’s files of their work…that hit the nerve.
I’m sure someone will provide you with files. There are many great and helpful people on this forum, but this went beyond just asking for help or advise.

Sorry if I offend, but had to vent.


Graphic designer/printer here as well.

I’d be happy to help teach you to create whatever design you want, but no, I won’t just hand over .svg files of creative work.


I certainly intended no disrespect. I do understand the work that goes into these project.

In fact, I was hoping to use one of these to create my own trays. I have been slowly learning Inkscape but it almost seems too full-featured.

Honestly, I thought that is what the project section was for.

Again, sorry if I offended or caused any discord in this forum.

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Hey man, I didn’t take offense at all. You can find all kinds of SVG files online. In order to make something like a tray/bowl I would find a simple outline, and offset it inward or outward and then you’ll have two SVGs that you can import into easel.

Set the outer one as a profile outside, and the inner one to fill to a certain depth. Bam! You’ve got a tray of sorts!

I also put alot of work into my svg’s but if I felt that it wasn’t one I wanted to share I would just disregard the post asking for svgs and move on.

And I do think you’re correct, this would be the section asking for such a thing. Maybe if someone gave a little advice, or posted a how to video rather than get upset for asking for help would’ve been a better approach. Giving someone SVG files, does not give away someones hard work, rather a piece of a much larger puzzle someone would have to build themselves.

This forum should be more about helping each other than anything else, encouraging innovation and creativity rather than inhibiting it.

Sorry I just had to vent a little…


Has anyone been successful in using a tray & bowl router bit in the X-Carve with 611?

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I feel like we are encouraging innovation and creativity, by offering to help create or teach the software, but not simply handing over the files, we’re encouraging users to figure things out for themselves, which spawns new ideas and ways of creating things, rather than simply duplicating something that already exists.

When we all built our machines, we had a great resource in this forum. Many people shared their insights into how the X-Carve goes together, what pitfalls to avoid, things to make the machine run better. These are objective goals, as we’re all building the same machine essentially.

But when people who have gone through school and made a career of graphic arts hear people asking for free graphic files (and this is also an issue in hand-woodworking as well, which is why many people charge for woodworking plans), it rings in our ears like “Hey can you fix my car/plumbing/roof for free? I have all the tools but don’t know how to use them.” I’ll happily come over and help you do whatever you need done. I’ll supervise and guide and teach. But no, I won’t simply come solve your problem. You learn nothing and have no incentive to do anything other than call on me for help again next time. For free.


I thought I remembered seeing an offset app in easel now. If that is the case, designing a million trays like those pictured would be incredibly easy and take just a few seconds. Want a two toned one? Just glue a 1/4 inch piece of maple on top of your 3/4 inch walnut and carve away.

On this one, in fact, if you wanted to make several copies of something, cut out a quick template in some thin plywood on a bandsaw or jigsaw, and use a handheld router to rout out the tray. I bet you could do it quite a bit faster that way than even using the xcarve. For a one-off, the CNC is probably still better because of the need for a template or a very steady hand, which I don’t have, to do it manually.


I agree in the whole aspect of the common goal of our machines and where we want them to be, and how to avoid certain things, but its not like the guy got on here and said hey all of you retired graphic designers who work so hard to create stuff that you’d normally charge for, can you give me something for free?

No, he did not. He simply asked if someone had a simple file. Also, people on this very forum are more than happy to share some projects, or post links to projects in easel that are basically the finished product, he didn’t ask for that either.

Jeez, people need to lighten up. Seriously.

When I open the thread: Trays and bowls, all I see is someone chiming in, not giving any valuable information other than “why would you ask for something that some people charge for, that irritates me”… Rather than, hey check out these videos on how to create a simple svg, or check out this project thats posted on the forum…

The guy just wants to learn. If it takes him getting an svg (which can easily be found online somewhere for free and is royalty free) so that he can learn to make a bowl, why can’t we help the guy out? instead we draw a fine line in the sand and say you can ask for help, but an SVG is going too far. who cares, its just a graphic. Not necessarily the one that you spent 8 hours on in illustrator, that you charged $600 for, just a graphic.

I guess my thing is this: If you don’t want to help, fine, move along, but if you want to leave a post don’t make it “i won’t help you, this just hits a nerve”. It doesn’t contribute at all.


@TysonSwan check out this Easel file I made. I did use the offsetter that @StevenPaxman recommended and it is available. Super simple, now you just have to design the SVG you want and import it and do the same.

Hope this works out for you


@KalvinDaniels, you need to share that easel project publicly for everyone else to see. In easel, go to file ->share. Just letting you know.

@StevenPaxman thanks. should be working.

Yeah, and you’re going off at the wrong person. I’ve said twice now, (let’s make it three), that I’m more than happy to teach, offer to help troubleshoot, give assistance or coaching, answer questions, etc. to help people get their feet under them.

He did, actually say “Can you share your SVG files please?” which is the same as “give me something for free”

Someone who wants to learn asks questions like “Hey I see all these bowls and trays on the internet and I want to make something similar, anyone have some pointers for inkscape/Easel?” or “I want to make stuff like this with my X-Carve but I don’t really know where to start, can someone give me a hand or talk me through setting up a project like this?”

But what we saw here was “Give me your files”

Look, I’m not trying to jump down the guy’s throat or dress anyone down or make anyone feel bad.
I’m trying to start a dialog and illustrate a wider point about the difference between using the work that people freely share, and asking for things that people haven’t shared.

If you went onto Flickr or Instagram and asked someone for the full-res raw version of their photo because you want to print it out (for reasons unknown) do you think they’d be into that? Nope. But, if you contacted the photographer and asked them questions about why they made the choices they did, and how they achieved a certain look so that you could go take pictures of your own, then you’re having a conversation, you’re learning, and you’re getting better and smarter.

The thing about creative people that I’ve found to be constant and consistent no matter what field you’re in:
Most of them give away their knowledge for free, and they’ll spend way more time than it’s worth to them to give that knowledge to you. They’ll show you a hundred different ways to get a similar result and you’ll learn tons of tricks along the way. But, by the same token, they hoard and guard and are very protective of their actual product. And that’s what the OP is asking for, the product, not the knowledge.

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actually I wasn’t going off on you. I was referring to the first reply. I don’t think I’m really “going off” at all. It just kills me to see a thread with one response that contributes nothing to the cause. It still wouldn’t be that hard to not say anything at all, if you (whoever it may be) feels like you wouldn’t want to share your stuff. Someone else may. Let those people share.

I don’t like to see people discouraged, especially when I know how hard it was to learn things like SVGs and what not. Just starting, it is a lot to learn. I just want to see people keep it positive. If your (whoever it may be) input won’t contribute, don’t add…

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I am a graphic designer too, and all I wanted to say is if you consider the pictured bowl examples as creative designs that took many hours to conceive, then you guys must really, really suck at your job.

I know that any creative industry is a dog eat dog world, so I understand where your reaction comes from, but come on, this is way out of proportion and honestly very much the wrong place. The great thing about this community actually is people being helpful to one another.

If you give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. If you learn a man how to fish, he can eat for a lifetime. So I agree simply giving 2 outlines is not THE most helpful one can be,but what you are doing is saying “Nah I perfected my skill for years, I’m not teaching you anything.” which is not helping either.

I have just finished my electronics enclosure, which took me probably over a hundred hours to design and fabricate. I am currently spending even more hours getting all schematics and files ready to share. But that’s me .Now I would completely understand your reaction if you did a similar project, and someone impolitely asked you to give him the files. But this is not that, is it?

@ OP: Sadly, I don’t use Inkscape, so I cannot learn you how to fish, but look for the path offset function and you should be set.


Cool! Thanks!

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More fuel for the fire, I mean food for thought.

Why has no one offered to sell their plans or designs?

Time is money to everyone. I may not have to time to design something, so I may decide to purchase a design instead.


That’s funny. I was thinking about this in the car this morning. A bunch of woodworking supply places sell templates for these trays. Why doesn’t anyone offer digital “templates”? The possibilities are endless. Someone (more talented than me) could create some really neat layouts.

First, as someone who is also new to cnc, PLAY NICE children. I have learned over the many years I have been on this planet, that the greatest thing that an “expert” can do is teach someone else his skills. Not to take away from his expertise so much as to pass it on to the next generation. My brother is a graphic artist with many, many years behind him. While I would never ask him for anything he would consider proprietary, I would ask him for advice and perhaps for something basic that I can learn from.

I have also learned over many years, that someone asking for help may not ask in a way that is acceptable to everyone.

That being said, to the person that asked for help at the beginning of all this, if you do a simple google search for cnc project files, there are many places that offer free files. In addition there are other sites that sell cnc plans that you can download for a fee. A good place to start is They offer some free project files that you can use.


If you look at the holiday contest I did a Santa hat bowl and there are a bunch more available in the project section.