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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum size material that can be carved?


An assembled 500mm x 500mm machine has a maximum cutting area of 250mm x 250mm x 65mm (from the bottom of the x-carriage to the top of the waste board).

An assembled 750mm x 750mm machine has a maximum cutting area of 500mm x 500mm x 65mm (from the bottom of the x-carriage to the top of the waste board).

An assembled 1000mm x 1000mm machine has a maximum cutting area of 750mm x 750mm x 65mm (from the bottom of the x-carriage to the top of the waste board). The open frame configuration allows for some longer size materials to fit into the machines.




What is the maximum material thickness I can use with the X-Carve?


Many people are curious about the tallest material they can use with the standard X-Carve. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a complicated question because it depends on the length of the bit you are using, the type of spindle you have, and the thickness of the material.



Here are the basic machine stats: The maximum clearance from the top of the waste board to the bottom of the DeWalt 611 spindle collet is about 67mm. However, this measurement does not account for the length of your bit. This is not the same as saying that you can fit a piece of 67mm thick material into the machine.
The travel of the z-axis along the drive rod is about 90mm. The maximum bit length you can install is 38mm. Keep in mind that using longer bits will result in more bit deflection and potential errors. You can counteract deflection by using a bit with a wider cutting diameter (say, 1/4" instead of 1/8"), but using longer bits is difficult to do effectively. One way to approach the question of maximum material thickness is to use this approximate equation: (Material thickness) + (length of bit) ≤ 67mm
It's important to make sure that the length of your bit (which will be the same or greater than your depth of cut) and the height of your material are less than or equal to 67mm. In other words, the maximum material thickness you can use correlates with how deeply you want to carve into the material. Here are two ways to conceptualize this: Engraving your material: If you are engraving your material, you may be able to get away with a piece of material that is ~57mm thick if your cutting depth and length of your bit is no greater than 10mm. Cutting through your material (cut-outs): The maximum height for a cut-out is approximately half the total 67mm work area, or ~33mm tall. The cut depth needs to be the same as the material thickness in order to cut all the way through it. To be safe, your material should be 31mm (1.25") thick or less for thru-cuts. Keep in mind that this will also take a considerable amount of time to cut through a piece of material this thick.
The X-Carve is it is an open source machine and we've published all the engineering files online. If you are interested in making modifications to your z-axis, we suggest bouncing ideas off our awesome forum community. Many forum users have undertaken this challengealready, and they will likely save you some time and roadblocks!

We sell MakerSlide and you'll need to figure out some other things like the clearance of the tool holder and the gantry. Some people have looked at solutions where you take out the waste board. If you have ideas, please post them to the forum: we'd love to see them!




Where can I find the assembly instructions for X-Carve?


You can access the full set of X-Carve instructions for your build here:
http://x-carve-instructions.inventables.com/

If you are looking for video instructions, we recommend this series from Peter at New Brit Workshop.

The X-Carve is a fully open source machine. We have made the machine model, bill of materials, and assembly instructions available to the public so you can modify and adjust your machine. As such, you can view a model of the entire machine and each sub-assembly on GrabCAD.




What bits are included in the X-Carve Carving Bit sets?


Each X-Carve bit set is listed below with the included bits (click on name to see product page): X-Carve Carving Bit Super Pack 10 different bits for carving and engraving Qty TypeCutting Diameter Cutting Length Overall Length Ring Color 13F Spiral Upcut1/8"0.30"1.57"Purple 12F Straight1/8"0.87"1.77"Black 11F Spiral Upcut1/8"0.87"1.77"Gray 12F Ball Nose1/8"0.87"1.77"Red 12F Fish Tail Downcut1/8"0.30"1.5"Neon Yellow 12F Fish Tail Upcut1/8"0.39"1.5"Teal 12F Fish Tail Upcut1/16"0.31"1.5"Blue 12F Fish Tail Downcut 1/16"0.30"1.5"Neon Green 12F Fish Tail Upcut1/32"0.12"1.5"White 12F Fish Tail Downcut1/32"0.31"1.5"Neon Pink


X-Carve End Mill Starter Set 8 general purpose starter bits Qty TypeCutting Diameter Cutting Length Overall Length 21F Spiral Upcut1/8"0.866"1.772" 22F Straight1/8"0.866"1.772" 22F Fish Tail Upcut 1/8"0.394"1.5" 22F Fish Tail Upcut1/16"0.315"1.5"

X-Carve Bit Set for Wood and Plastic 6 bits great for cutting various woods and plastics Qty TypeCutting Diameter Cutting Length Overall Length 21F Spiral Upcut1/8"0.866"1.772" 22F Straight1/8"0.866"1.772" 22F Fish Tail Upcut 1/8"0.394"1.5"
X-Carve Bit Set for Soft Metals 6 bits great for cutting soft metals like aluminum Qty Type Cutting Length Overall Length 31F Spiral Upcut0.866"1.772" 32F Fish Tail Upcut 0.394"1.5"

X-Carve Bit Set for Fine Detail Engraving 6 bit variety pack for engraving Qty TypeCutting Diameter Cutting Length Overall Length 230˚ Solid Carbide Engraving Bit .01"0.669" 2 Fish Tail End Mill 0.0625"0.31"1.5" 2 Fish Tail End Mill.03125"0.31"1.5"




Can I make my own 1000mm Waste Board?


Some of our customers opt to build their own waste boards as an alternative to having the waste board shipped. The waste board is the largest, heaviest, and most expensive item to ship. It can save you a significant amount of your estimated shipping costs but does require a little bit of extra work on your end.

If you're interested in omitting the waste board from your X-Carve order, there are a few things you'll need in order to assemble your own:

1. The engineering files for the 1000mm board (https://goo.gl/0lQjzT) and silk screen file (attached). Please note you'll need to purchase your own 3/4" thick MDF board, which can be cut to size at a local supplier you trust.

2. You'll also need the hardware that comes in the kit. You will want to add these to your cart with your X-Carve so they will ship with the rest of your kit:
a. 144 threaded inserts, 2 bags of part #30517-05 (http://bit.ly/1DDUIxA)
b. 14 pre-assembly insertion nuts, 2 bags of part #25281-08 (http://bit.ly/1J2ORGF)
c. 14 Button Head Screws M5 x 20, 2 bags of part #25286-15 (http://bit.ly/1qjpJQi)




What software do I need for the X-Carve? How much does it cost?


The only software you need for X-Carve is our free, web-based Easel software. Easel is our 3-in-1 software for 3D carving that allows you to design, generate toolpaths, and communicate with X-Carve all from the same interface.

Historically, you would need three software tools for working with the machine: a CAD drawing program, a CAM toolpath-generating program, and a controller software interface to send the code between your computer and your machine’s controller.

Easel simplifies this process and makes it easy to go from idea to finished product in a fraction of the time. Once you've designed your project, Easel automatically generates the machining toolpaths. The software comes with an easy-to-use controller interface that allows you to send the project code to your X-Carve, move your machine for zeroing, and home your machine (if you have homing switches installed).
Tutorial




What materials can I carve on X-Carve?


The X-Carve can carve a variety of materials, all of which can be purchased from our online store. View these categories for more specifics: Wood Hardwood
MDF
Plywood
Softwood
Plastics ABS
Acrylic
Delrin
Expanded PVC
HDPE
Polypropylene
Misc. Aluminum (alloy 601 only)
Circuit board blanks (PCB)
Corian
Linoleum stamps
Machinable Wax and Foam




What is the accuracy of the X-Carve machine?


A properly tuned and calibrated X-Carve should get to a resolution of ~0.075mm to 0.13mm.




What is the size and weight of the X-Carve package?


**Note: If you order a material bundle in the X-Carve configurator, the material bundle will ship in a separate package. We cannot provide the weight or dimensions of this additional box, as the packaging depends on what you purchase.** X-Carve Kits A fully-loaded 500mm X-Carve kit ships in three boxes:
Core Kit: 20" x 20" x 6" , ~34 lbs
X-Controller: 13" x 8" x 9", ~8 lbs
Dust Control System: 22" x 22" x 6" box, ~8 lbs

A fully-loaded 750mm X-Carve kit ships in five boxes:
Rail Kit: 6" x 6" x 36", ~12 lbs
Wasteboard: 30" x 4" x 32" , ~15 lbs
Core Kit: 10" x 8" x 43", ~28 lbs
X-Controller: 13" x 8" x 9", ~8 lbs
Dust Control System: 22" x 22" x 6" box, ~8 lbs

A fully-loaded 1000mm X-Carve kit ships in five boxes:
Rail Kit: 6" x 6" x 48", ~15 lbs
Wasteboard: 40" x 5" x 42" , ~38 lbs
Core Kit: 10" x 8" x 43", ~37 lbs
X-Controller: 13" x 8" x 9", ~8 lbs
Dust Control System: 22" x 22" x 6" box, ~9 lbs
X-Carve Upgrade Kits The 500mm X-Carve Upgrade kit ships in 2 boxes:
X-Controller: 13" x 8" x 9", ~8 lbs
Upgrade Components: 6" x 12" x 24", ~9 lbs

The 750mm X-Carve Upgrade kit ships in 2 boxes:
X-Controller: 13" x 8" x 9", ~8 lbs
Upgrade Components: 42" x 4" x 10", ~10 lbs

The 1000mm X-Carve Upgrade kit ships in 2 boxes:
X-Controller: 13" x 8" x 9", ~8 lbs
Upgrade Components: 42" x 4" x 10", ~15 lbs




Do X-Carve and Easel work with my computer?


All of our machines and our Easel software work with Windows, Mac OS, and Ubuntu Linux.

For optimal results, we recommend using a Google Chrome web browser and a 64-bit Mac, Windows or Ubuntu operating system. We recommend reviewing our full system requirements.

Your laptop or desktop must have a USB port so you can send your files from your computer to X-Carve. Chromebook laptops—and other laptops or tablets without a USB port—cannot be used to send files to your machine. These devices can still be used to create and design files in Easel, but you will need a computer with a USB port for communicating with X-Carve.




Can I add a laser head or drag knife attachment?


We do not have any plans down the line to support anything besides a router head for X-Carve. This is for both safety reasons and our inability to offer quality software for these applications. There are some people making these modifications to their machines but they are considered unsupported upgrades.





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