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Desktop CNC Routers are making niche products viable

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Desktop CNC routers are turning the traditional workshop into a mini factory for producing niche and custom products. Inventables customer Nick Homrich uses his X-Carve to precisely cut woods, plastics, and other materials, to manufacture unique lamps and products at his home workshop, happily leaving his sales job behind.



The X-Carve he purchased is a CNC router kit, kit comes in parts and he took about a half today to assemble it.  The Dewalt 611 router is mounted onto the X-Carve CNC platform enabling him to create high-quality products carving and cutting them in relatively little time. The X-Carve desktop CNC machines is compact enough for a home-based workshop, and it is sold at an affordable price. 


When Nick and his wife had their first child, Nick stayed home to raise his son. Being a stay-at-home dad didn't stop him from launching a business—in fact, it enabled Nick to start his own business. Nearly 10 years later, Nick is still designing unique lamps and products at his…

CNC machines are great for making a woodworking business more profitable

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Tim Kuncis played college baseball at South Suburban, TCU and Northern Illinois. He's a baseball guy through and through. When he graduated from College he worked for a broker at the Chicago Board of Trade. As a married father of three kids with a job in finance life was pretty good. Then one day, he lost his job.

After losing his job, Tim began working as a contractor and learned to make things out of wood by hand. As a lifelong baseball fan, Tim came up with his own, one-of-a-kind design: a rustic American flag home plate. The first plates he made were done by hand. He customized them by player and even made them as awards for players on college and professional teams. The plate to the left was done for Stephen Strasburg a pitcher for the Washington Nationals who went 5-0 in the postseason 2019.
His unique plate design took off and orders came in quickly. Tim needed a way to make his plate production faster, cheaper, and more customizable. He found out about Inventable's

Starting a CNC woodworking business

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Lots of Inventables customers buy an X-Carve and start making and selling products for supplemental income. They combine a hobby and a passion and turn that love into profits. Usually they first start making and giving products away for free. When they hit upon something interesting they start getting requests. One request turns into two and before they know it they are able to start charging for their work. This give away strategy works well because it gives the X-Carve owner a chance to learn the workflow on Easel and build up some confidence in their own abilities.
There are thousands of stories like this from customers all over the world. We are inspired by these stories because our vision at Inventables is to ignite a new product revolution by bringing manufacturing capability into the hands of millions of people.
Today, we'll share the story of Jay Kang. Jay traveled all the time for his corporate job. When he left his job to spend more time with his family, Jay decided …

Get cleaner carves with *NEW* Easel Pro raster toolpath feature!

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We're excited to announce a brand-new Easel Pro feature today: raster toolpaths!

Easel Pro users can get a cleaner finish and better-looking carve by using raster toolpaths to carve wood. The raster toolpath cut setting changes how the bit moves across your material when carving filled shapes in your project.



As a default, Easel uses the “offset” strategy: the bit typically starts in the center of a filled area and gradually work its way to the edges, following the contours of your design. By contrast, with the raster approach, the bit's toolpath moves back and forth in a linear direction.

The main advantage of raster toolpaths comes when carving wood. Because the bit moves linearly in parallel lines, using raster can help you follow the direction of the wood grain. By carving with the wood grain, you will see a much cleaner finish on the resulting carve.



Want to learn more about how to use this new Easel Pro feature? Check out this helpful step-by-step tutorial and use raster …

All the beginner woodworking tools you need for only $100

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Woodworking can be a bit daunting if you're new. There seems to be a neverending endless list of things to know: what wood to use, which tools to use, proper project setup, joinery options, finishing techniques...and how much glue do you actually need?

Plus, if you're just starting to build up your tools, it's hard to imagine spending a lot of money on acquiring the right tools for your shop. You'll want to know you're buying the right tools with your budget.

Luckily, Dylan and Molly from Woodbrew put together this short video on the essential woodworking tools that will help you get started—all for only $100!




Here's the full list of Dylan and Molly's recommendations:
(note: they make a small commission off purchases made from these links)

Circular Saw

Drill

Drill Bit Set

Tape Measure (or this one)

Chalk Line

Square

Orbital Sander


Building a hefty collection of tools takes time, but this short list will help you jump into woodworking with a reasonable budget. We c…

Easel Power Hour Challenge Winners

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We are excited to announce our Easel Power Hour Challenge winners!

We invited all X-Carve fans to enter an Easel design that could be carved in under 60 minutes.
Each of our maker judges chose one winner from their entries and then collectively voted on an overall winner. Our judges were so impressed with all your designs and amazed by your creative uses of Easel!

Grand Prize X-Carve Winner: João Leão's Desk Organizer



Maker Cristiana Felgueiras from Get Hands Dirty explains,

“The overall presentation of [João Leão’s] project was very good, the images are clear and captivating, the
explanation of the building process is clear and complete, the Easel project seems feasible, the
design is balanced, contemporary and minimal and the material choice seems appropriate and easy
to carve. It doesn't require more tools besides a forstner bit and a drill/drill press for a final touch and a
piece of steel dowel that is bent. This project has some complexity and requires double sided carving…

X-Carve Business Bundle Contest: Winners Announced!

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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 …