Who does not like vbits

Thanks for the info. I will have to give that a try.

Thought I would chime in here - I use V-Carve Pro and it is amazing! It now has 3d capabilities as well. It is also expensive. BUT I thought you guys might like to experiment with their free trial download. It includes a few free designs. I don’t use the Arduino/grbl system but I think you can import the resulting g-code and give it a try. Here is a link:

And here is a 3d x-carve using v-carve:

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V-Carve and Chilipeppr make a great combo, that’s what I’m using and I’m really happy with them.

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Been seeing chilipepper on here for some time now but havent looked too deep into it.

Would that be used in place of the UGS?

Yep, you use it to send already generated gcode to the machine: http://chilipeppr.com/grbl

My X carve is back up and running thanks to the great customer service at Inventables!

Turns out my Z motor had indeed failed, I installed the new motor that Inventables sent me and all is good again.

Now that the machine is functional again I started looking seriously at purchasing VCarve Desktop. I downloaded the trial and spent some time watching the excellent video tutorials they offer and I am very impressed with the power and ease of use of the software. I wanted to be sure I had a a valid method of actually cutting what I could design in the tool, so I downloaded the Paradise Box free project that will fully function in the trial version.


I had to resize it to fit on a scrap piece of 5x9 cherry. That was fast and easy to do. The way they have designed the user interface is really good. The software has enormous power but it is still very easy to find the tool you need to make it do what you need.

After playing with Fusion360 and Bobcad-CAM software, the Vcarve software was a welcome relief from the massive complexity of those packages. I am sure Fusion360 is much better if you are wanting to machine mechanical parts, but for the type of wood carving I want to do the Vcarve seems to offer all the functionality I could ask for.

After the design is done createing the tool path was just a few key clicks to choose a vcarve operation, which vbit I was using (90 degree), the feed rate and DOC is built into the tool library (I set the DOC to .08 and the feed to 30 in/min). Then just generate the toolpath, save it with the X carve Post Processor (the mm version seems to work best) and it is ready for the Universal Gcode Sender. Almost.

I had a few bad starts where it would try to crash the spindle into the left rail. Thank goodness for the E stop!

I finally figured out that the workspace zero needed to be zeroed and the UGS did not zero it automatically . So I did a little research on the forum and learned that I needed to reset the zero with a
G92 X0 Y0 Z0
command before I started the carve.

So the process to start the job is:

  1. Open UGS
  2. Connect UGS to the X-Carve
  3. Load the gcode file (must end with ,NC extension) I also found that saving the gcode file to my dropbox account from the desktop machine I was running Vcarve on made it easy to load on the X-Carve’s laptop in the shop.
  4. Zero the tool at the bottom left corner on top of material
  5. use the command tab of UGS to enter G92 X0 Y0 Z0
  6. Check to be sure the work and machine positions are all zero
  7. send the gcode file to X-Carve

I started the job and it took about 35 minutes and looks better than anything I have done so far on the machine.

Here is the finished piece, it needs some sanding and clean up but I think it turned out really nicely
I now understand the discussion in another thread about how difficult it can be to clean up a carved piece like this. Lots and lots of tiny grooves that need sanding.

Here is the 3D view of the piece in Vcarve

Here is a short video of it being cut. I am so impressed with how quickly this is done with a Vbit.

I did not know the 3D modeling capabilities were in Desktop. The only feature in PRO that I use is the nesting feature and that is maybe once a year. I love V-Carve. I wish it included Photo V-Carve though. Your project looks great!

As far as I have able to tell so far the desktop version of Vcarve is almost exactly the same as the pro version except the desktop version limits the workspace to 24 inches by 24 inches.

The other Pro Features are:

Unlimited physical job or toolpath size (no 25” x 25” limit)
True Shape Nesting to optimize toolpath times & minimize material waste
Toolpath Templates to automate & re-use your toolpath strategies
Job Setup Sheets to automatically detail the required machine setup for each job
Merge Toolpaths to optimize cutting paths & minimise air moves
Scripting support to add your own custom functionality or to automate repetitive processes
Access to the Gadget library of downloadable plugins
Plate Layout to insert external data lists into your job designs
Rotary Axis – Wrapping support

Nice job, can you tell me about the bit , which type you use

After using a couple of different V Bits, I bought one of these http://www.toolstoday.com/p-6015-in-tech-series-insert-v-groove-router-bit.aspx and I’m most assuredly never going to use anything else for V Carving.

With the DeWalt router, this bit produces crisp clean cuts which thus far, I’ve never had to sand or clean up in any way at all. Using this bit has made a massive change to the work I’m producing. I’ve used it in hardwoods (Australian Jarrah), softwoods, Ply, MDF and polycarbonate, all with really good results.

If you’ve got a few $$ spare, I can thoroughly recommend this. I bought half a dozen spare inserts and the way it’s working at the moment, I’ll still have several of them left in 20 years. After several weeks of a fair amount of work (hobby work, not commercial work), I’m still using the same edge. Given that when the tip becomes blunt, I can simply rotate it and use the next corner, I’ve clearly bought too many spares.

Your mileage may vary, but this bit really did make a huge difference.


I wish they had a 60 degree. A lot of my v-carving is smaller. Still this is intriguing.

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Try this bit. All you need. You can attach any size you need. And it is great tool.



Vbit usage is very important to me. As a paying “hobby”, I make end grain cutting boards and the inlays would definitely seat better using a Vbit. I primarily use the 30 degree in the inlay and helps to solidify a firm seating of the inlay and pocket.


Would you mind explaining how the inlays sit better? I thought v bits left a V shaped space in the bottom of the board. Do you just glue the inlay in place and assume there’s a space underneath?

A v bit will leave a pointed channel only if it is making a single pass in the material. As the walls of the channel are widened on additional passes the bottom of the cut becomes flattened.

Vectric has a good tutorial on inlays using thier software but the principals should be able to be applied to other programs as well.


All you need to do is unplug your usb to the Xcarve then plug it back in and Easel will reconnect. I have done this several times.
You do it just after you click on close button in USG
It resets the port and you do not have to reboot.
I am running windows 8 (or if you prefer windows hate)

Hi Allen,

great job, and great that I have found your messages! I went true the same steps like you I think :slight_smile:
I use the code G10 L20 P1 X0 Y0 Z0 to zero the point of the tip, I will try your method to.
I have some problems with the plunging; for example a straight cut from a depth of 3 mm to a depth of zero.
From a wide line that runs out into a point.
What speeds are you using, do you have different speeds for the plunging and traveling speed of the bit.
I will try to upload a video later.
Warm greetings from Belgium, keep up the carving!

I am glad you having success with your machine!

I look forward to seeing your videos.

this is ON PATH outline carve?

what v-bit did you use here?
this is a FILL IN carve?
how’d you do the black painting?