X-carve in future or no?

Hello Inventables Community, My name is Joe. My son (15) and myself have been researching CNC systems like the xcarve. Were have researched a few different systems and decided to buy the xcarve 1000. We were just about ready to pull the trigger when I said to my son lets check one last thing out and we came here. There seems to be a lot of issues that need to be addressed with a stock xcarve. Is this a correct statement? Talk of replacing pullies, belts and lots of frustration to get this machine running correctly spooked us both.

We would love to hear opinions from current owners of this machine.

Thank you for your time


I think it largely depends on what you are wanting to make with your machine. The cool thing about the X-Carve is due to its open source nature, there are numerous modifications or upgrades that can be made to suit your fancy.

However, I have a stock X-Carve from 2015, even before the newer upgrades were available from Inventables (e.g. wide makerslide, X-Controller, etc) and my unit has run nearly without issue this entire time. I haven’t broken a single belt and have only had to make minor alignment adjustments since my initial assembling of my machine and my run times would be in the hundreds of hours by now.

I have a handful of upgrades I have been considering, but it’s running well enough for my needs that I’ve been hesitant to fix what isn’t broken.

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What are your expectations for a CNC machine?
What do you expect to cut with it?
How precise of a cut are you wanting?
Do you need a system that you can make spare parts for and modify?
And finally the most important part what are you willing to spend?

If you need a machine that can cut hardened steel fast then you need a more ridged machine.
If you need precision down to the thousands of an inch then you need a more ridged machine.
this of course will cost you a lot more than what this machine will.

If you are cutting wood, plastic, foam. acrylic, aluminum, brass etc. or can take your time to cut mild steel slowly then this is a great machine.

this machine also comes with the open source files so that if you need to make a part that broke or just the plans so that you can improve on a part they are there for your use. I say this as many higher cost machines are made then after the service life you are stuck with a machine that has no parts available and no source files to duplicate the parts from.

for the average user this machine is more than capable for what it is and you have the option to make it better. just accept that it is what it is. you are not buying a $10,000.00 production machine that runs on three phase that cuts hardened steel like butter.

Hey Joe…

I agree with Adam and Ken… It really depends on your wants and needs. Some people buy a car and spend thousands souping it up before their first drive… and others will drive that car for 10 years without adding a thing other than oil and brakes.

Should the XCarve come with 9mm belts? Maybe. Should it come with titanium screws? Maybe. But for the cost, you’ll be darned impressed with what it can do out of the box.

PS if you do ever buy 9mm belts… Designs by Phil Laser cut steel 9mm wide 3GT3 belt BLACK end clips WITH HARDWARE and $20 worth of files FREE!


Thank you Adam.

Thank you we appreciate your input.

Thank you Ron I appreciate your input.

I would also agree, I was at the point you are when I purchased mine. Initially I was reluctant due to the self assembly aspect of the xc. I went on youtube and watched every video I could find on it. Theres ALOT. What ultimately sold me on the xc was in almost every video there was a person saying “the best customer service” or “outstanding forum with many many helpful people”. @Zach_Kaplan has assembled a great group of people to provide a ridiculous amount of help with virtually every problem. Take your time assembling and it will pay off big time in the end, and remember to search the forum and ask questions. Good luck…

My machine is 100% stock and I have had it for a year and a half. I have over 250 hours on it with no problems. Take your time to assemble and get it right the first time. If you have a question, ask the forum or call customer service. They really are great. You can see may projects on my YouTube channel and here on the forum under Paw paw’s Workshop thread you can see many of my projects. Here is the link to my YouTube channel

Good luck and keep us posted

I built mine stock and have been running it for about two months with no issues. I have no plans for any upgrades at the moment.

I don’t know that I’ve really pushed the boundaries with it, but it’s done the job so far. It’s nice to know that there are upgrades available I can do myself.

The newer upgrades they’ve made to the base kit seem to have really made a difference, as well.

It boils down to 2 questions, in my opinion:

Do you just want to cut/carve cool things and don’t really care about how long it takes? Stock will be great and have ZERO issues. People have done really cool things with a stock machine, they can just take longer to carve.

In true Ricky Bobby style, do you want to go as fast? If so, you’re looking at upgrades. Belts, Z slider, bigger steppers.

I used a stock machine for the first year. It worked just fine. As previously mentioned, could Inventables make the stock machine better? Sure, but it comes at a cost and is that increased cost, and potentially lost business, worth it? That’s for them to figure out.

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I’m going to chime in here Joe, and agree with some of the others: I’ve had mine (1000) for about three years now. I’ve never had a belt break (knock on wood). I AM on my third or fourth router. Get a variable speed and run it slow and it will last a lot longer! The only modification I’ve done is increase the height so I can get taller projects under the cutting head.
Lastly, I’ve never used any other software (for CNC) except Easel. Get familiar with Inkscape and you should be good.
Good luck.

here’s a look at some of the variety I’ve done with Inkscape, Easel, and the stock XC:

No, this statement is not correct, the correct statement is:

There seems to be a lot of issues that need to be addressed with some people who buy the X-carve.

The forum can help with that.

Do not buy a used X-carve (this advice is specific to you and your son, not a general statement). Buy a kit. The time you spend with your son and the experience you get by building the machine yourself will be invaluable.




Keep in mind that this is a hobby machine and not a commercial machine.
That said, I am in awe every time it runs and people are in awe of the items that I have produced.
I have had mine since 10/16 with no problems (other than self inflicted due to a lack of knowledge)
The Inventables team will bend over backwards to help you through your issue as well as the fine people on this forum.
Good luck and I how to see some of your projects on here.

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Stainless hardware is a nice upgrade esp. for machines which are kept in unconditioned spaces such as garages.

Mine worked great “straight out of the box”. I have bought the hardware to upgrade to 9mm belts, and I have added the J Tech 2.8W laser.

You get out of the machine what you put into it. Respect it and you will have great results

Thank you for your input Ken.

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Thank you!

I could not agree more. Thank you for your input.