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Holiday ornament projects to make at home



In giddy anticipation of the impending holiday season, our own designer Alex Berger created a handful of fun projects to share. These simple ornaments can be cut on a Shapeoko or a laser cutter, which means you're free to use all kids of materials- natural woods for a more traditional, rustic look, or even glitter acrylics to add a twinkle to your home.

Take a look through our materials section for inspiration:



All of these projects have an "Open in Easel" link for you to resize and customize to your heart's content. Have fun! And send us your re-makes!










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Weekend project inspiration

The weekend is finally here so it is time to get making! Here are a few awesome projects from the last couple weeks that you can open and mill directly from Easel. Have something awesome to show off? Post it as a project and we'll feature it! 


Learn how to make bevelled edges using a V bit.
DIY a colorful clamp set

Get started with milling circuit boards
Community Project: Servo controlled robot eyes

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Bonus Rewards for the Carvey Kickstarter

The speed we reached our goal was incredible and your energy was electric. We can’t thank you enough.
Thanks to your ongoing support and for helping us make this happen, we want to give each Carvey backer a bit extra. You've been so incredibly supportive so far in the campaign. We want everyone that gets a Carvey from our Kickstarter to have an amazing experience.

Getting started Kit! 

Today we are adding a few new things to the Early Bird Carvey and Carvey levels. There are a lot of backers that are new to 3D Carving and this will be their first time carving. We want to make sure that your first experience is magical.
To that end, we will be adding a piece of Expanded PVC foam material into the box, so you’ll be able to make something as soon as you open the machine. The incredible thing about Carvey is its versatility. The milling bits it uses are like lenses in a professional camera: new bits expand your creative abilities. We started you with a ⅛” 2 flute spiral end mill (grey) ideal for carving plastic or materials like the expanded PVC. Today we’ve added a second ⅛” 2 flute straight (black) end mill for cutting wood and a 1/16” fish tail bit (blue) for doing detail work!  Our bit system is color coded and integrated with the Easel software making selection easier.


50% More Material 

Thanks to everyone that backed at a level that received the Ultimate Maker pack. We have some good news for you too.
First off, we’re going to give you all the bonuses mentioned above.
In addition to the 3 starter projects and 20 materials included today, we are adding 10 more materials. With these materials in hand you’ll be able to carve all sorts of cool things like jewelry, signs, coasters, and christmas ornaments - we can’t wait to see what you create. Below is a full list of everything you’ll get in the pack. The 10 new materials are highlighted in green.


As always thank you for your support, and we hope this goes some way in showing how grateful we are that you’ve made Carvey a reality.
Remember you can also keep in touch on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Carvey carves aluminum!

We are really excited that there has been a ton of interest in carving soft metals with Carvey. We're going to do a series of videos demonstrating how Carvey performs with a number of different soft metals. For the demo today we grabbed a 6" x 6" x .025" piece of black anodized aluminum from the Inventables warehouse. The project took about 35 minutes. Easel told Carvey to step down 0.001" per pass and to move at 15 in/min. Stay tuned next week for demonstrations on thicker metals and circuit boards!



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Pumpkin Carving with Easel and Shapeoko


Shapeoko 2 owner Winston Moy made an awesome video of how to use your Shapeoko to carve a pumpkin using Easel, our web-based CAD + CAM + machine control software. 


The key is to remove the wasteboard and prop the Shapeoko up on stilts, giving you enough clearance to carve into the pumpkin. I think the most clever part is using a big coffee can to hold the spherical-ish pumpkin. Standard clamps don't work so well on pumpkins, as you might expect. And major props for giving a great introduction to using Easel!

Check out Winston's YouTube channel for a bunch of other awesome CNC projects. Also check out our projects section for more Shapeoko project ideas that you can open directly in Easel.

Keep it spooky.

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Carvey: The 3D carving machine for the maker in all of us

On Tuesday October 21st at 8am CST Inventables launched a Kickstarter campaign for Carvey a new, remarkably easy to use, tabletop 3D carving machine for making ideas into real objects. I'm proud to say we hit our goal in 1 hour and 26 minutes!

The response for the community has been beyond belief.  Thank you so much for all of the support for the Carvey project.  We are so grateful.  There have been some technical questions in the comments section about how precise Carvey is.  We want to be as responsive as possible to the questions.  In this video Chief Engineer Bart Dring uses a dial indicator that has 0.0005" accuracy. The dial indicator was bolted to the waste board on Carvey. He measures the X, Y, and Z axis to determine the precision and repeatability of the machine.  
In the technical specifications we promised:
  • Run out .0006"
  • Resolution .001"
Our measurements on the actual machine are:
  • Run out .0004"
  • Repeatability on X: 0.0005"
  • Repeatability on Y: 0.0005"
  • Repeatability on Z: 0.0005"
*In the original post we stated repeatability on X and Y were 0.  The use of significant digits was wrong.  If you measure something with a wooden ruler and it is an inch wide you say 1 inch.  If you measure with a caliper you might say 1.000 inch. Saying "0' implies it could be rounded by as much as 0.500" 
 
While the eye can see the pointer only moved about a 1/5th of a tick on the scale, that does not mean the tool is that accurate.

The accuracy number I always give is 0.001 to 0.003.  We do not guarantee all units will leave the factory at 0.001 on all axes.  



There are also some questions about how well Carvey cuts soft metals like Aluminum.  In our next update, we're going to film a series of videos to show this process so stay tuned!  Thanks again for all your support and keep your questions coming!

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    It's getting spoooky in the workshop- this ABS filament might be haunted!

    Everyone likes to make stuff, but Halloween brings about a particular type of DIY craftsmanship that we love in the Inventables office. So we decided to make a compendium of everything in our store that has Halloween written all over it, and we dug through the project archives to bring you some gems from our customers and staff that might give you the heebie-jeebies (in a good way).

    Firstly, click this link to see the cornucopia of "halloweenable" materials in our store. Things that glow in the dark, light up, things to easily mold, and all sorts of materials in autumn colors, it's a lot. Here's a brief sampling:



    And to get your gears turning, here's a few of our favorite customer projects:


    Jeff is one of the software engineers behind Easel, and he is easily frightened by poorly aligned text. He was very brave to have finished this project. 



    Gold Bones by Justine Mendoza

    A good number of our customers run Etsy shops and the like, making and selling their original designs using materials from Inventables. Justine Mendoza is one such entrepreneur, and her designs lend themselves well to the season.


    Kelly Eident is another of our Etsy seller customers and she does amazing things with acrylic. This inlay technique is well done.


    Wonder Woman ring by Herbert Hoover

    Herbert had a "ring a day" project going for a little while that used a lot of different Inventables materials. This one is a perfect piece of costume jewelry for cosplaying everyone's favorite radical feminist.

    Grinning Skull 3D Ring by Sasha Neri

    Sasha is one of the facilitators at the Chicago Public Library's awesome maker lab. Download this design and make it on your own 3D printer, or head over to the library and make it there!


    Marc's design here suggests a lot of possibilities, but is constructed in a simple way by layering a colored transparent acrylic beneath a cut painted wood. If you want to make something similar, try a box generator like MakerCase to get started and then use a Shapeoko or laser to cut it out.

    Are you working on a Halloween project? Take photos and send them to us to be featured in the next round-up!

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    Zach Kaplan's talk at MakerCon NYC

    Our founder and CEO Zach Kaplan gave a talk recently at NYC MakerCon wherein he outlines the evolution of desktop fabrication and gives some idea of where this whole thing is going. The talk was recorded by the fine folks at Make Magazine, it's short and to the point and definitely worth checking out.

    Followers of Inventables Blog