I work as a cabinet maker and computer aided drafter and resently purchased the X-Carve, not just for myself, but to see what it can do for us at work.
So my question is, who here currently uses, or plans to use X-Carve in a business envirenment? Do you ise it for prototyping, production, etc? Are you using the stock unit, or have made or plan to make modifications to meet your needs? What other technology do you utilize in your business?
I am very curious to see what other people plan to do with their machines from a business standpoint. In our shop, we are always looking for the latest and greatest technology, and while CNC isnt anything new, its still gaining momentum every day. Staying ahead of the technology i believe is key to any shops success, and im sure that goes for most other businesses as well. Id like to here what you guys think.
Not a wood-worker, but I plan on using it for prototyping, mostly.
Acrylic boxes, panels, housings, etc. I currently have a supplier that laser-cuts all of my acrylic in volume, once a product goes to production. Prototypes are expensive, and take weeks.
I also hope to do some PC boards. I can get cheap boards in two weeks, or expensive ones within a few days. I’m looking for a happy medium here.
Of course, there will be the occasional, “government work” for the shop, and home things.
Not the same as a business, but I oversee CNC use in the Furniture Design shop of the University I teach at. We teach Interior Architect and Architecture students furniture design, and the 3 CNCs we have to date have proven invaluable for custom part (every project is different) production. The X-Carve I’ve ordered isn’t as “heavy duty” (or expensive) as the ones we have, but I plan to re-configure mine to cut UP while enclosed in a more conventional looking router table. Cutting joinery on the edge/ends of boards is my goal.
I believe you’ll want to control who can access whatever CNC you get or they’ll find ways to break it. I’m only one of three professors teaching classes in the shop where the CNCs are, and the other two don’t know how to run them. Our students generally come to me when CNC access is desired, but they can use them with no supervision as well. Those with experience from me usually do alright. Those who weren’t paying attention usually forget a critical step or two. The machines aren’t as easy to damage as the student project parts are, and they’ll find every way possible to screw up a part. Our machines have to be homed on start-up, and won’t let a file start if there are out-of-bounds moves in it.