- 1 X-Carve CNC Router
- 1.1 What is it?
- 1.2 What can it do?
- 1.3 How do I get started?
- 1.4 FAQ
X-Carve CNC Router
What is it?
It's a computer-controlled router that can be used to cut or carve designs on wood and other similar materials, based on a design drawn on the computer. It's controlled by a computer next to it, usually running Easel, a cloud-based, browser-based program that lets you draw your design and send it to the X-Carve. It was donated by Dan Dugmore, Lowell Makes 3D printer captain. It's located in the machine shop.
This is an easy way to learn CNC. Easy, because it's hard to do any expensive damage i.e., crashing the tool against its stops will not damage anything. About the worst that can happen is a broken bit or marring the spoil board.
What can it do?
See some example projects here: https://www.inventables.com/projects It can V-Carve crisp letters for signage. It can do full 3D profiles but this would require 3D CAD tools in addition to Easel. It can route PCBs.
How do I get started?
Create a free account at http://easel.inventables.com/users/sign_in
Watch tutorials here: https://inventables.desk.com/customer/en/portal/topics/1022638-easel-tutorials/articles
Contact Jim Fred to get checked-out. It'll take about 30 to 45 minutes. Have a simple Easel project (e.g., your name) ready to carve into a piece of scrap wood.
Contact Ben Towle, the Machine Shop captain, to get FOB access to the shop.
What approval is required for me to use it?
Ask Jim Fred or Dan Dugmore for a check-out.
Where do I get bits?
So far, users have been using their own bits, frequently purchased from https://www.toolstoday.com/cnc-router-bits-and-insert-bits.html. Sometimes, there are bits laying around the machine. Jim has a box of these bits https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CMjTUdnuliNYiwdyVal-XB-fDxm1-ZVBIgDBWF3dQf4/edit?usp=sharing that he keeps in his desk drawer.
What if I have more questions?
Ask people around the shop
Contact people on BaseCamp, either pinging them directly or using the campfire
Check the Easel forum https://discuss.inventables.com/c/easel
Who else uses it?
Jim Fred seems to use it the most. Others: E.B., Dan Dugmore, Jack Walsh.
What are the working dimensions?
maximum cutting area of 500mm x 500mm x 65mm (about 2 inches deep, which would require a long bit)
How do you secure work stock (wood) before cutting?
Use the clamp set in the kit kept near the router. If you are cutting through your wood, please put a thin piece of scrap between your wood and the cutting bed.
Use double sided tape.