The X-Carve: 2-ish Months Later

NOTE: This article was meant to go live mid March, but medical issues delayed that until now.

It has been 2 months since we built the X-Carve. It has been a very eventful couple of months, We have both done a lot and learned a lot since then.

What we learned along the way:

  • It is always best to go stock before adding anything to it, even if what you are doing has tons of evidence behind it.
    • The “30 Minute Stiffening Mod”, despite the 75+ posts about it, lead to our rails being improperly spaced and caused our V-Wheels to jump while carving, which lead to issues with machine drift. Removing the mod fixed the jumping, for the most part. Now we just need to really clean the V-Wheels and Rails. We are also going to adjust how tight the wheels are to the rails to see if that affects anything.
  • The G-Shield seating is very delicate.
    • We have run into several issues where just bumping a cable or the power supply/enclosure will unmount the board. While this is easy to fix,  we did end up removing the strip of wood on the front of the shelf because we found that lifting the supply to put it back in after reseating the board can unseat it.
  • Your X-Carve will not cut perfectly flat to the stock wasteboard.
    • Because this is still a DIY kit, there has to be some room for error. We have never cut anything, especially something that is milling close to the bottom of the material, without having a secondary wasteboard under it. One solution for a “perfectly even cut” is to resurface the Inventables wasteboard or to create your own resurfaced secondary wasteboard.
  • Adjusting the potentiometers is inevitable.
    • Within the first 3 weeks, we found the need to adjust the potentiometers. We were not having a huge amount of issues, but they were still one thing we had not done and it helped somewhat.
  • Threadlock is important, especially on the pulley set screws.
    • The set screws on the X-Carriage pulley did not hold and got stripped. This lead to the stepper motor shaft slipping and causing machine drift. We ended up having to buy these longer set screws and Threadlock.
  • The Inventables Community is Indispensable!
    • The Inventables Community is a great resource for when you need help or inspiration. They have almost always been able to help me fix any issues that I have encountered with the machine. They are very helpful and knowledgeable

Some of what I have created:

  • Carpe Diem Wood Text Sign to hang over our doorway. This was made using Poplar and a dark stain.
  • LED Signs for to put on a desk or a shelf.

What I am currently making (as of March 12th, 2016):

  • I am testing ArtResin inlays for coasters I am making for my brother. I am using scrap test pieces that are in various stages of production.

What is Next (as of March 12th, 2016):

  • Adjust and clean the V-Wheels/Rails.
  • Finishing all of my brother’s coasters.
  • Trying my hand at prop making by replicating the Oblivion Iron Dagger.
  • Working on some picture engravings.
  • Finding more projects to do.

If you are interested in a wood sign or an LED sign, here is the Etsy store. Once I finish my brother’s coasters, I will add custom coasters as an product to the Etsy store. I am also going to work on picture engravings.

EDIT 6/3/16: The coasters are completed, here is the store page.

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