X-Carve - The good, the bad, the ugly :-)

I’m seriously thinking about purchasing an x-carve 1000 mm with all the bells and whistles. BUT, I can’t find on the forum of anyone saying good or bad things about it? I DO see a lot of troubleshooting. Thanks everyone who responds, Jene

I am taking my time in building my 1000mm x-carve and am nearly done and I have found the fit and finish of the components to be A-1.

As a newly released product, it’s not without it’s quirks and hiccups but with the open source nature of the design,fantastic customer service, and with the wonder of the internet, the maker community sharing it’s experience and ideas, difficulties are overcome. When there is a component failure or other issue, Zach and the crew step up to the plate without hesitatiion and do thier damndest to make it right.

I have no regrets in buying an X-carve, None.

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That is all well and good. BUT, you haven’t used it yet… Please keep in touch so you can tell me how it performs. Thanks

I’ve had mine for a few weeks now, and, everything seems fine. I’m still “finding my way”, and, not yet comfortable trying “real” projects (using good material, not just scraps). I think I have the correct tool, feed, and, speed for acrylic, which is my main material.

Adjusting motor-currents to spec is next. I think I’m really close. but, want to be sure.

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Also, I was wondering if there is any warranties on the components and how expensive they are to replace?

Once you take the proper steps to adjust and tune the machine, it’s as reliable as any other CNC machine I’ve used. After squaring my machine, adjusting the belt tension, and slightly increasing the voltage to the Y axis, I can now run project after project with no issue.

I wrote up one of my projects from the machine here: https://www.inventables.com/projects/x-carve-mdf-mold-for-pewter-keychain

And yesterday I ran off another version of my bass drum mic stand, which I’ll get written up soon. For a project like this, it’s important that you have everything dialed in correctly, otherwise the piece that are supposed to slide together won’t fit. Once I cut and sanded off the tabs, everything slid together perfectly. Very happy with the machine :smile:

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I’ve been using mine for a week or two. here’s my quick GBU.

The Good - Great company, great support, good price and straight fwd build, and Easel is really a great tool for beginners just starting with cnc, pretty hard to find anything like it on the market.

The Bad - The eccentric nuts comes loose constantly (use locktite), the belt design slips (use zip ties).

The Ugly - The two uglies I’ve found is

A) The homing system (never seems to work correctly, from what I’ve been reading it seems to be noise and needs shielded wiring) I haven’t had time to dive into that yet.

B) The Wire - With everything they have done really well, they really skimped on the length of the wire. You wind up with a Power supply right next to the machine. I would rather of paid an extra $50 up front than have to now have the expense or buying all new wire and rewire the whole system.

But for the most part I wouldn’t let any of these bad or uglys stop you from purchasing. You have the advantage of reading our pro’s and cons and dealing with them at the start. Just remember it’s a hobby cnc, making things take time, but it’s open source, you have a great community growing and helping make things better and a company that has always been top notch. If I knew then what I no now, I still would have made the purchase.

Hope this helps!!!

Brian

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I believe that you might be confusing homing vs traditional limit switches. I think homing is working for most folks. However, the switches that are used for homing aren’t enabled as traditional limit switches while the machine is operating, meaning that if you tell your machine to move 12 feet to the left, it’s going to smack into the side, rather than hitting a limit switch and stopping. That’s where the improved wiring is needed.

The switches/wiring in the kit work fine while the spindle is off, so homing shouldn’t be a problem, but while the spindle is running, it’s generating a lot of electrical noise, and you’ll get false readings on the switches unless they’re using shielded cable.

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As of today I am extremely happy with my X-Carve, it has performed beyond my expectations and the support Inventables provides is way beyond what other companies may provide.

I now have over 30 hours of on time with my machine and my only complaint is really my own fault! I decided to save quite a bit of money by not ordering a wasteboard and made my own. Unfortunately I decided to use Minwax wood hardener on it but did not coat the edges. It sat in my humid garage drying for a day and the edges were almost 1/32" thicker, nut fortunately now that it’s in my basement it is starting to level itself out slowly.

I need to stress the fact that careful assembly will result in a smooth running machine first time out. Besides following the instructions I read this forum top to bottom daily to see what others were experiencing and made some adjustments to my build.

I ordered an additional ten feet of stepper motor wire since I knew where I would be mounting my power suppy well in advance (Can be seen in pic below). A search for shielded 22/2 wire brought up an inexpensive supply at McMaster/Carr and that helped prevent any possible electrical noise from the spindle.

My proper setup and careful wiring install has resulted in only needing to adjust the belts once so far after about twenty hours of on time.

My most extensive cut to date was an R/C Sailplane launch dolly


Over three hours to cut all the pieces and not a single hiccup (Thats 1/2" ply)

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Had my 500mm X-Carve running for a couple of weeks now with no issues caused by the kit. Mine is mainly used to cut and engrave sheet copper for jewellery making (my wife’s job). But apart from some material levelling issues it’s going well.

I’ve also carved wood for testing and once installed properly in the workshop will be also cutting lots of ply, MDF and acrylic for my projects, mainly RC models and rockets.

Kit was very easy to put together and I’ve not had any slipping belts or any other issues others have been having. All help I’ve had from Inventables staff or from forum members has been beyond my expectations.

I would agree with the cabling though, it could be longer but it is an easy fix that I plan to do this month once I know where I’ll mount the power supply once in the workshop.

I’m currently looking into doing some modifications, already made a pen holder. Some pictures below of my projects so far but overall I’m very impressed with the hardware, the Easel software and the whole experience.

Cheers

Ian

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How long did it take to draw all the pieces. Were you able to draw it all on Easel? I wish to
buy an X Carve and am short on tech knowledge and ability. I was told they are adding more
to Easel and it should be upgrades just any day now. The project I have in mind will include
several gears, brackets, platforms etc. all in 3D.

@BruceRobertson Easel is continually updated. It’s delivered over the web and we improve it each week. This will happen indefinitely.

I just gave you early access to the new App Store platform. Click the smiley face button in Easel and you can try the gears and image vectorizer apps.

A post was split to a new topic: My last project