I am seriously considering making a purchase of a X-Carve CNC Router, but I find myself seeing several threads that talk about stiffening the x-carriage. I’m sure inventables see the same threads and I have to ask myself what other short comings will this unit have. If the X-carve is bening sold with the larger routers then why hasn’t the obvious reinforcements been made to accommodate the larger routers. Would it be better to save up more money and buy a Platform or more substantial like unit? Any suggestions…
Materials that I am cutting: Aluminum and hardwoods.
Thanks in advance!
It’s a great little machine for the money. Yes, there are things you can do to make it a little more sturdy, like the gantry upgrade, to make it even better. But, you are not going to find anyone here that says it isn’t worth the money. There is some tinkering to get it started and to keep it maintained but that’s what we are, tinkerers. Are there better machines out there? Yes, but I like where I’m at.
I bought a Shapeoko2 (predecessor to XCarve) last February. It was a great machine for a hobbyist like me. When the XCarve was released, one thing attracted my attention: the gantry extrusion that stiffened the gantry and z-axis. After installing the gantry update, I’ve got an even better machine! You can’t go wrong with the XCarve if you want an economical entry into CNC machining.
The x axis stiffening mod is not at all hard to do. Just a bit nerve wracking. i used a piece of 3/16" aluminum and simple pan head machine screws with nuts and ground the exposed threaded bolt flush with the nut face with a dremel tool, then added a drop of loc-tite for good measure.
For the y rails a simple piece of angle metal from the rail to the surface of the waste board eliminated the side to side flex I was experiencing. In all less than 20.00 for the mods.
For inventables to make such a change on the manufacturing level would be much more difficult and costly possibly driving up the price of the machine and locking out those creative folks who have other ideas for the x axis maker slides as they are.
I’m a hobbyist that also has a product that I cut and sell 3 or 4 units a month. Not enough to call it a real business but enough that subcontracting the parts was expensive. So this unit paid for it’s self in the first 6 months. It’s a very cost effective machine. I purchased the router option and it worked fine with out messing with the X gantry but I too am a tinkerer so if I can make it more durable and accurate why not. I suppose if you need a machine with really low chatter and a real high accuracy then sure there are better machines out there but bang for the buck this thing is definitely worth it. Now that I own one and have messed with it I’m relatively certain I could build a better unit from the ground up but this meats my needs so why bother.