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X-Carve Business Bundle Contest: Winners Announced!


The moment has finally arrived! After watching all the entries and holding a companywide vote, we are excited to announce the winners of our X-Carve Business Bundle Contest. 

As a quick review, the contest was split into two categories: business owners who do not own an X-Carve and business owners who currently own an X-Carve. Entrants were required to share their business or business idea in a 2-minute video. The video should convey the impact that adding an X-Carve would have on helping their business grow.

The winner of each category receives a fully-loaded X-Carve and an annual membership to our business-focused Easel Pro software.

Choosing one winner in each category was not easy: nearly 70 businesses submitted entries! The Inventables Team evaluated the videos and determined the following winners:



Non-Machine Business Owner: Chris of Herb’s Furniture 

From Chris' website: "I started this concept in 2013 when I created my first piece of furniture that I needed to ship out of state. The quote was extremely high, so I decided to go back and rework the design. A few minor adjustments and the piece was packed flat, which reduced the shipping costs by 500%. I immediately saw how this price difference was affecting prices of handmade goods and the barriers local craftsmen created for themselves vs the large retailers. I decided to make it my mission to create handmade flat packed furniture that competes with large retailers both price and design quality.

I have an engineering mind with a Finance degree; which means I focus on the fine details of the design and bring that to you for the lowest possible cost. Located in the former Crown Cork and Seal Factory in Baltimore, MD, I have a small batch manufacturing facility where I produce all of the furniture."




Current X-Carve Owner: Courtney and Jessica of Creative Wood-N-Things

From Courtney and Jessica's Etsy page"Courtney and Jessica are two sisters who love woodworking. We have teamed up in this new business adventure together to offer more diverse products to all of our amazing clients. Courtney lives in Wyoming and is a mom to 2 amazing girls. She started building things with wood in 2015 and moved into making signs. Jessica lives in Idaho and is a mom of 2 kids and has had a photography business for the past 8 years. She also loves crafting and making signs and decor pieces for her home and is now ready to share what she makes with others.

Everything we make is unique, designed, and handmade by us in our garages. Every sign made is a little different than the next so no two things are alike. We are open to custom orders so if you have any ideas just send us a message."


We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to everyone who entered the contest. As a company, we are honored by the number of people who took the time and effort to share their story with us. Many of the entries opened our eyes to ways X-Carve and Easel could be used that we never before considered.

P.S. - If you haven't already, make sure to check out the video entries from non-machine business owners and current X-Carve business owners to see what kinds of awesome business ideas people have for X-Carve!

A new guitar made on an X-Carve by Slickhead Guitars

We are seeing an increasing number of people that are making guitars on X-Carve.  I recently learned there is a whole profession and these folks are called luthiers.  A luthier is someone who builds or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box.

I'd like to thank @PatrickRogers of [Slickhead guitars](https://www.facebook.com/slickheadguitars/) for making a guitar for the Inventables office.  One of the strings broke in transit and one of our resident guitar players is getting a pack ordered and repaired.  I am really excited to share photos because Kyle our office manager got it hung up.

The detail on the body is pretty awesome.

He extended it to the neck of the guitar as well.



12 Days of Christmas Sale Starts Now! Save 40% on Select Inventables Items

We're excited to announce our 12 Days of Christmas Sale!




Santa needed some help cleaning out his workshop, so we're helping him out. From December 8 until December 19, a new category of items will be released for sale. Make sure to tune in every day to see what new items are going up for sale next!

For day 1, select hardware components are on sale at 40% off.




Additionally, we'll add some unique, never-before-sold items to the sale category from now until December 19. Can you guess what they might be? 🤔

All items are in limited quantities. Once they sell out, they're gone for good!

Take advantage of our special $100 gift card offer when you stock up on sale items. You'll receive a $100 Inventables gift card when you spend $100 or more on our site during the month of December.



Check out the sale to see what's available now...and don't forget to check in tomorrow for more!

Earn a $100 Inventables Gift Card This Holiday Season

Here at Inventables, we want to help makers on their journey—from beginner to hobbyist to full-time business owner. Our current promotion is designed to help you get started now and then save money when you need something later.

From now until the end of December 2017, we'll give you a $100 gift card when you spend $100 or more in our store!


All gift cards will be issued in January 2018 for orders over $100 placed during the month of December. Only one gift card will be issued per customer (even if multiple orders are placed during the month of December). 

This promotion allows you to be flexible with your purchases, no matter where you are in your maker journey. 

Current X-Carve and Carvey owners can stock up on bits and materials now for the busy gift-making season, then use their $100 gift card to replenish stock in 2018. 

New customers can buy a machine for the holidays (0% financing is available for X-Carve!) and then buy materials and bits in 2018 when your machine is set-up. Or, buy your bits and materials now and use your $100 gift card as a discount in 2018 when you're ready to buy an X-Carve or Carvey

Make 2018 the year you start doing what you love. This promotion has a lot of options for how you can buy something now to get started, then get $100 on us in 2018. Many of our customers start small and grow into full-time businesses, allowing them to make things for a living and be their own boss. This short video tells the story of three of our customers and what success looks like to them: 


You can learn more about this promotion in our support center. For questions or concerns, feel free to contact our Customer Success team. 

Happy holidays, and happy carving!  

TechShop Bankruptcy: An Open Letter to the Maker Community


We’re saddened to hear that TechShop closed its doors on November 15th. TechShop was an incredible asset to its community, providing a place where makers, crafters, and creators could get access to the tools that would unlock their creativity. Their closure leaves thousands of people without access to the tools they need to create projects and share their innovations with the world.

As makers and entrepreneurs ourselves, it’s easy for us to imagine the pain and frustration of the TechShop members who have had their tools ripped away without warning. We got together to see if we could give TechShop members easier access to some of the tools they might need to continue their craft.

At Inventables, we’re offering a $100 discount on X-Carve, a $500 discount on Carvey, and free shipping. In addition, customers can pay monthly with 0% APR available. To redeem this offer, customers need to email proof of membership current as of 11/15/17 to techshop@inventables.com This offer is good through December 31st 2017.

Glowforge, is making their desktop lasers available at an exclusive lower price for TechShop alum. They will refund $500 for the Glowforge Basic and $1,000 for the Glowforge Pro. To redeem after purchase, email proof of membership (current as of 11/15/17) to support@glowforge.com and they’ll immediately credit the account. This offer is also good retroactively to any alum who purchased a Glowforge within the past 6 months. This offer is good through December 31st, 2017.

littleBits supports makers, creators, and inventors around the globe, and wants to empower Techshop alum to continue their journeys. From now until the end of the year, use the code TECHSHOP20 to take 20% off anything in the littleBits online store here: http://littlebits.cc/5

Formlabs is offering $750 in free materials with the purchase of a Form 2. To redeem customers should contact sales@formlabs.com with proof of membership (current as of 11/15/17). This offer is good through December 31st, 2017.

We love seeing people have access to the amazing range of maker tools. The loss of Techshop makes this harder for everyone. We hope that this small effort on our part here can help keep these tools in the hands of people who can get the same joy from them that we do. The maker community we know is resilient and resourceful, and brings people together in challenging times. We can’t wait to see what you’ll make next.

Signed,
Dan Shapiro, CEO, Glowforge
Zach Kaplan, CEO, Inventables
Ayah Bdeir, CEO, littleBits Electronics
Max Lobovsky, CEO, Formlabs

Pay monthly for your X-Carve

We are working on all sorts of ways to make 3D carving more accessible.  As you all know Easel is web based and free.  We have a map showing public spaces like libraries and we'll soon be adding community maker spaces.  We donated 100 machines, 50 to schools (1 per state) and 50 to maker spaces (1 per state).  The idea is we will indicate which public places you can go for free and which you need an affiliation with like a school or certain maker spaces.  Finally we launched free shipping for X-Carve in the lower 48 states.



We are seeing growth in the number of people that are earning some sort of income from their machine.  Some people are selling their own products as a side business, some people are taking custom orders, and others have started full time businesses and are earning their living with X-Carve, Easel, and Easel Pro.  It has been very inspiring to meet these people and learn more about their journeys.  I got the opportunity to meet Steve and Debbie Lee of 8th Line Creations.  We interviewed them and made this short video to help tell their story.



Debbie had been an accountant for 32 years.  She lost her job and had to decide if she would get another accounting job or try something new.  She decided she wanted to explore starting her own woodworking business. She looked at machines ranging from the 500mm X-Carve to more industrial type machines that were as much as $20,000 or more made by other manufacturers.  A big factor for Debbie was how long it would take her to pay of the machine.  Since the cost of the 500mm X-Carve was about $999 she calculated that with her income from making products it had the lowest risk and shortest pay back period.  When I talked to Debbie she said it took her about 4 months to pay it off.

Debbie's story is inspiring however not everyone has an accounting background.  I think it's important for everyone to have an opportunity to get an X-Carve.  We found a finanical partner who is helping us to make this happen called Affirm.  I've known the founder of Affirm for about 12 years.  Prior to starting Affirm he started PayPal.

Last week we announced a way to pay for X-Carve monthly through Affirm.  I like the approach Affirm takes with customers. Affirm is a financing alternative to credit cards and other credit-payment products. Affirm offers instant financing for online purchases to be paid in fixed monthly installments over 3, 6, or 12 months.

The idea is you can buy and receive your X-Carve, and pay for it over several months. This payment option allows you to split the price of your purchase into fixed payment amounts that fit your monthly budget.  If Affirm approves your loan, you'll see your loan terms before you make your purchase. See exactly how much you owe each month, the number of payments you must make, and the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the course of the loan. There are no hidden fees.

This was one of the things that attracted us to Affirm.  The corresponding finance charge is the only fee associated with an Affirm loan - they don’t charge late fees, service fees, prepayment fees, or any other hidden fees. They strive always to be more transparent and fair than any other form of financing.  At Inventables we value transparency so we really liked that they are taking this approach.

The application process is secure and real-time. Affirm asks you for a few pieces of information. After you provide this information, Affirm notifies you of the loan amount that you’re approved for, the interest rate, and the number of months that you have to pay off your loan -- all within seconds.

Over the years we've had a lot of people explain that they can't order from Inventables because they don't have a credit card.  Until now we didn't have a good option for you.  With Affirm you don’t need a credit card to make a purchase.

You may be eligible for Affirm financing even if you don’t have an extensive credit history. Affirm bases its loan decision not only on your credit score, but also on several other data points about you.
Affirm reminds you by email and SMS before your upcoming payment is due. Enable Autopay to schedule automatic monthly payments on your loan.

Here's an example from the size machine that Debbie purchased.  The retail price of the machine is $998.98 however you can see below the price it says "Starting at $88/month with Affirm Learn more"

Clicking "Learn more" takes you to the financial disclosures:


If you register with Affirm they will ask you a few questions and calculate the amount you would need to pay for your X-Carve each month.  We hope people who are buying the machine for business purposes are able to make more money each month than the payment they owe Affirm for the machine.  Remember paying a monthly fee is not a guarantee of success.  However, we hope this approach to paying for X-Carve in smaller payments rather than up front enables more people to start their own businesses.

Currently, Affirm is available only to shoppers residing in the United States. Affirm hopes to expand its services to customers outside the U.S. in the future.  We'll make an announcement if and when that happens.  We put together a more detailed FAQ with information about this form of payment.

I understand this way to pay is not for everyone. We don't want people to get into a situation where they can't pay for their machine.  We also understand that financing is a complicated topic and could create stress for some folks.  If you feel uncomfortable with monthly payment plans or financing I don't want you to use this method of payment.

For those of you who do feel comfortable with a monthly payment plan I'd encourage you to check to see what your monthly payment would be to see if you can afford to pay for the X-Carve on a monthly basis rather than all up front.

Introducing Easel Pro

We’re so excited to introduce the newest member of the Inventables family: Easel Pro!


Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of customers starting, running, and growing businesses with our tools. We designed Easel Pro to help aspiring part-time and full-time business owners make more products and earn more money.


Easel Pro is a membership-based cloud software designed to power your business’ carving production and increase profit. With Easel Pro, you can accelerate production and decrease the amount of time required to carve detailed products. There are also more creative tools so you can expand product offerings and customize projects with ease.


In time, Easel Pro will include a large catalog of apps, features, and content not found in Easel. While many features are in the works, two features available now: full v-carving capabilities and access to over 200+ new fonts.


V-Carving
V-carving has been far and away our most requested feature. Thanks to all your forum posts, phone calls, and emails, our development team has been working on this complex feature for over a year.




Most v-carving software tends to have a pretty steep learning curve. We wanted to change that to make v-carving intuitive and dynamic. With Easel Pro, you can design v-carve projects in the app and send the file directly to your machine, just like you do in Easel.




We’ve developed some useful video tutorials and articles in our Support Center about how to optimize v-carving projects in Easel Pro.


Custom Font Library
Our new font library includes over 200 new fonts. Choose your favorites and install them into your own curated font collection.




This expansive font library allows businesses to extend customization options to clients without using 3rd party design software. You can learn more about how to use the new font feature in our Support Center.


Easel is still free!
Our regular Easel software will always be free. And we will continue to improve and update it regularly, just as we always have.


Try Easel Pro Today
Anyone can design, preview, and simulate projects in Easel Pro for free. X-Carve and Carvey owners can carve Easel Pro projects for 4 days every month without a subscription.


A paid monthly or annual memberships grants you with unlimited access to Easel Pro’s features. You’ll also gain access to a private Easel Pro forum group to share feedback, questions, project inspiration, and meet other Easel Pro makers.


Monthly memberships are $19.99 per month. Annual memberships are $12.99 per month, billed as one payment of $155.88. (Both memberships are recurring.) Full membership will eventually give you access to a private group on our forum where you can discuss and learn about the software.

If you’re not ready to commit to an Easel Pro membership after using your four access days, you'll soon be able to purchase an Easel Pro Day Pass for $2.99 per day (24 consecutive hours).