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A dream from Inventables... a 3D carver in every school

By the end of the decade we want a 3D carver in every school in the USA. To kickstart the project we have committed to President Obama and the White House to donate a 3D carver to a school in every state.




Carvey pilot product run was a success!

We’d like to give you a quick update on the two issues we reported last time.

The new LED boards came in, and they work flawlessly. We’re really happy with the brightness and function.
New LED Board with Fixed Panels


We received the second set of Acrylic Door Panels to replace the ones that were initially broken in shipment. The vendor’s packaging improved but is still not 100% up to our satisfaction. 5 of the 30 panels arrived broken again, and there were issues with the size and finish. We are working with the supplier to find the root cause of these problems, and we will get a corrective action implemented as soon as possible.
Acrylic Door Panel Broken in Shipment



The Inventables engineering team has been back and forth to our contract manufacturer a lot this past week, helping them get up to speed with the first Carvey pilot production build.

The process worked like this:
  • Our engineer Bart worked alongside the manufacturing engineer to build a Carvey at the facility, discussing issues as they came up
  • The manufacturers then spent the next few days tearing it down again and documenting their process
  • The manufacturer built two Carveys according to their documented process
  • Bart got the call that they were finished and went out to inspect the final result

Here are a few photos from that visit:

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The Carvey manufacturing line.


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Bart inspecting one of the finished units.


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A third in-progress machine and the Carvey parts bins.


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One of the finished machines in raw aluminum. If we had waited for anodizing to be finished, this production run would have been delayed several weeks, so we decided to split the processes and work each one in parallel. We will be receiving a set of anodized parts shortly and will be making final decisions on the color and finish.

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The new connectorized controller board and wiring harness. Look at those clean wires!


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The front panel button, with wiring and connector attached.

We brought one of the finished machines back to the Inventables workshop, and Bart and Tait are already at work testing the electronics and inspecting the assembly. Early reports are that it works perfectly!

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Overall, we’re very impressed with the manufacturer’s work so far. These first units look great and they’ve already provided us valuable feedback to help make the manufacturing process easier and more efficient.

Expect to see some video over the next few weeks as we continue testing this new Carvey’s performance!

Next steps:

  • Run tests on the machine. Tait will be putting this new Carvey through its paces over the next several days, running 3D Carving jobs designed to test the limits of what the machine can do. We’ll be documenting those tests and sharing the results with you all.
  • We received a lot of great feedback from the manufacturer as to how the design of the machine can be improved, to cut costs and to make it easier to assemble. We are discussing how to integrate these suggestions into the next round of revisions.

Thank you again for being a part of this process, and stay tuned for upcoming Carvey test videos!

Sincerely,

Zach and the Inventables team

Inventables Shipping Update May 22nd - 1 day ahead of schedule!

When I got into work this morning at about 8am I saw this stack of 12 X-Carves.  I knew it was going to be a good day, because part of our team had started an hour earlier and had already done this before I got my coffee.


Inventables Maker Faire Party 2015

During Maker Faire 2015 Inventables hosted a party Saturday night at Windy City Pizza.  We come visit the Bay Area from Chicago so we couldn't think of a better place to host a party!  It was close to Maker Faire and had some delicious pizza. 
We invited everyone to come sit down, rest their legs, and have some great conversation with other folks in the community.  We were honored to have a number of special guests come out and join us for all the fun!  We'll get to that in a bit.
In addition to pizza, soda, and beer we also had a few demos on hand for people to get their hands on.  The first was our new X-Carve 3D Carving machine, next to it was the new X-Controller, and finally a bunch of cool samples that had been 3D carved.

The response to the party was amazing.  We packed the restaurant and overflowed into the patio of the place!

A Sneak Peek at the X-Controller

A while back we we did a blog post about a powerful TB6600 Stepper driver shield and asked you if we should “Carry it or Bury it”. We got a huge positive response, so we decided to move forward with the project.


We were concerned that the project relied heavily on a third party product.  We were not able to find a supplier with whom we were fully comfortable. Additionally, most of the driver boards were designed for use with a PC parallel port, had a lot of unneeded hardware, and had awkward form factors. Therefore, we decided to custom design our own.


Once we had complete control of the design, we created the ultimate Grbl based, high power 3d carving controller, the X-Controller. This is a complete, high power 3d carving motion control system in a strong, compact chassis.

Functional X-Controller in a 3d Printed and laser cut prototype housing.


New Product: Solder Sleeves!

A common issue we hear from our customers is that wiring is difficult- terminal blocks can wiggle loose, and soldering can be intimidating if you haven’t done it before. We struggled with how best to help our customers solve this problem, but then the golden solution appeared before our very eyes in a solder fume-induced vision:

Artist's depiction of solder fume-induced vision

May the 4th be with you!

In honor of Star Wars day, Youtube maker Warren Downes used his X-Carve to create chocolate molds of some classic icons. Amazing:



Check out more of Warren's awesome projects here.