Pre-Order Your X-Controller Today!

The Inventables X-Controller is available for pre-order today!

The X-Controller is high-power motion controller for your CNC machine. It’s not only more powerful than entry-level controllers, but in our experience, it’s also more reliable. The X-Controller uses large removable terminal blocks and an aluminum enclosure to keep electronics protected and the wiring clean.

X-Controller pre-orders will begin shipping by January 31st. Hurry! Inventables only has 400 available in our first production run, so don’t miss out!  The second production run is expected to arrive in April 2016.

Here is a quick list of specifications for why you would consider getting this product.

  1. First is the power: (4) 4A stepper drivers. The gshield has three 1.5A drivers (Y axis has 2 ganged drivers for X-Carve type machines). This gives 1 more powerful driver to each stepper motor compared to a gshield.
  2. Micro Stepping (Full through 1/16th) the gshield supports 1/8th.
  3. Easy current adjustment via large, well-marked potentiometers
  4. Automatic idle current reduction independent for each axis
  5. Internal 24V 400W power supply for stepper motors.  This cleans all the electronics up to one simple box.
  6. Large internal heatsink and integrated cooling fan keeps system cool at all power loads.  We haven't been able to overheat it yet.  With the gshield sometimes you get erratic behavior on really long carves or if you are pumping a lot of current through and the chips overheat.
  7. Spindle speed control (0-5VDC PWM or 0-10V)
  8. Noise-filtered inputs for 3 axis home/limit switches
  9. Noise-filtered input for Z probe/touch plate
  10. 2 digital outputs to control external items like vacuums and coolant systems
  11. All inputs and outputs have their own ground terminals for clean and easy wiring.
  12. Rugged latching E-Stop that kills all power
  13. Feedhold, Cycle Start and Reset (Motion Cancel) buttons on front side
  14. All electrical interfaces use large, detachable terminal blocks. On the gshield the wires are screwed in and can come loose with excessive vibration.
  15. Heavy aluminum chassis with mounting holes keeps debris away from electronics.
  16. You can upgrade your stepper motors to Inventables 262oz/in NEMA 23's or bigger ones that have even more torque to make use of the 4A.
In summary it is more powerful and designed to be more robust. The result of using it is you can remove more material faster, with smoother motion, and you are less likely to have a failure due to wiring connection issues, overheating, or the gshield unseating from the Arduino.
An over simplified analogy might be replacing a V4 engine with a V8.

Crain's Book of Lists 3D Project

Back in 2014, Crain’s Chicago Business chose Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan as one of their 40 under 40. This is Crain’s annual honor that highlights Chicago’s most influential entrepreneurs and executives. Pretty cool, right?

Each year, Crain’s publishes a Book of Lists full of company data and contacts. For 2016, they wanted to create a symbolic 3D object to represent the book. They came straight to Zach to make their carving dreams a reality.

Zach showed Crain’s graphic designer Karen Freese and freelance graphic designer Jenna Blazevich how to use Carvey to create their vision. Using white Corian and walnut as the base of the cube, they carved the sides to represent the Table of Contents and back page of Crain’s Book of Lists.

Read the full article and watch the awesome minute long timelapse video here.

More Holiday Cheer!

You can tell the holidays are just around the corner with all the holiday cheer that’s pouring in from our tip jar contest!

Check out these five projects that are sure to put you in the holiday spirit!

Christmas Spider

There is a German and Ukrainian legend that states, if you cannot find a real spider in your Christmas tree, then you must hang a spider ornament in its place. With this legend in mind, that is precisely what maker Shalee Sykes did. Using Easel and hard maple, Shalee was able to carve this delicate and beautiful ornament to hang on his tree. If you want to hear more about the Christmas spider, read the whole legend on Shalee’s page!

Santa Hat Candy Dish

This adorable Santa hat candy dish is the perfect addition to any holiday party! Just try not to eat all the candy before your guests arrive. Brian Saban used white Corian to carve the base of the hat, then lined it with fun red and white felt to make the hat come to life!  

Monogram Christmas Tree

These monogram Christmas trees would make a stunning centerpiece for any holiday gathering! Maker Patrick Brown used Easel and MDF wood to create both the trees and the stands. Once the trees have been assembled, you can spray paint them green, gold or any color in between!

Wooden Marble Game

Check out this beautifully carved three in one game set, with all pieces stored in one convenient box! Joshua Blom used Easel to create the intricate designs of the games, which he then carved into two pieces of hard maple with a thin piece of walnut in between. Just in case the Inventables team wanted to play some games, he even put the instructions to all three marble games at the end of his project page!

Acrylic Christmas Tree

Maker Joseph Smith has created a project that is sure to brighten your holidays! He used  PVC to cut the cylindrical base, then carved a relief around the inner-edge for the LED lights.  Joesph used clear acrylic to create the top and bottom interlocking pieces of the tree. Once assembled, plug in and enjoy your the holiday magic!

Thanks to everyone who has made this holiday decoration contest a success! Happy holidays from the whole Inventables team!    

Holiday Contest Entries

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s another Inventables contest going on. But this time instead of Halloween decorations, it’s holiday decorations! Bet you couldn’t have guessed that one.

This contest is open to those who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and every holiday in between. We’ve already gotten five awesome entries and we’re excited for more to come!

Snowflake Decoration

This delicate and charming snowflake decoration is brought to you by our wonderful Canadian friend, Rusty (yes, the same Rusty who ran the Halloween contest). Rusty used a ⅛” endmill to precisely carve his snowflake out of MDF. Once the snowflake had been sanded, primed and painted...ta-da! Rusty had created the first contest entry.

Christmas Tree Tray

Looking for a table topper that will wow your family and friends this season? Maker Jeff Parish has got you covered. Jeff used pine to create the base of this holiday tray and MDF for the thin border, which he later painted green. Once the two pieces have been assembled, it’s time to decorate. By placing an LED light in the center of the tray and filling it with candy or flowers, you are able to instantly create the most perfect centerpiece for any holiday party!

Gift Card Holder

This gift card holder by Steven Paxman is that perfect extra something to make giving a gift card a little more special. Steve made this custom walnut gift card holder by milling it in two parts on his X-Carve. After the holder is carved, it needs to be sanded and glued. Then, it’s time for the best part - the gift giving!

Stitched Plywood Icosahedron Holiday Ornament

This may be one of the most unique, yet awesome, contest entries we have ever seen! Nick Homrich stitched together pieces of birch plywood to create this fashionable and modern 20 sided icosahedron holiday ornament. Each piece of plywood has 15 holes drilled into it, which means Nick drilled a total of 450 holes...wow! Nick also recommends using it as a base for a lamp once the holidays are over. Pretty cool, huh?

Snowman Decoration

These decorative snowmen are the perfect holiday project for anyone. Allen Massey designed the snowmen in Easel, and then carved them into red oak. Once the snowmen have been cut, it’s time to personalize! You can can paint them or carve dates and names into them. The possibilities are endless.

Winners will be announced on December 21st, which means there is still time to submit an entry! Visit our forum for all the official rules and details.

2015 Inventables Black Friday Deal

Deal #1
X-Carve has been our most popular 3D carving machine ever, thanks to you guys! Buy any X-Carve and receive $100 off!

Deal #2
Many of you folks already have an X-Carve.  We wanted to do something special for you too.  Spend $50 or more (not including shipping) on anything in our store (including X-Carve) and receive a $50 gift certificate to Inventables!  Gift cards will be emailed out next Tuesday, December 1st for all qualifying orders.  Gift certificate is no longer valid if the initial order is returned. Limit one per customer.

This offer is too good to miss!

Inventables' Black Friday Deal Starts Early!

At Inventables, we do a Black Friday deal for our customers as a small way of saying thanks for all your support. We've been getting calls, emails, and forum posts asking when the deal will start this year. We decided we should leave that up to all of you guys! So we put it to a vote on the Inventables community forum, and the people have spoken - our Black Friday deal will start at the stroke of midnight tonight!

Makers Spotlight: Pam Daniels & Brandon Williams

Pam and Brandon met at Northwestern University while both pursuing their master's degrees in design. They now own the design practice of Welcome Industries, where they work as designers, entrepreneurs and educators.

Pam and Brandon currently live at Northwestern University where they are designers in residence. Here they teach students using an active design practice at the Segal Design Institute on Northwestern’s campus.

Pam and Brandon are associated with Catalyze Chicago, as well as  Design House Chicago, a nonprofit where Pam is a co-founder.

Inventables asked Pam and Brandon to use our new easy to use 3D carving machine, Carvey, to create a project that would demonstrate its capabilities. They decided to develop a lighting concept that would, “focus on what a mill can do that an average laser cutter can’t”.

Pam and Brandon chose to shine a spotlight on how Carvey’s smaller bed size is not a limitation, but rather, a way to expand your imagination. For example, by cutting holes on each side of copper and brass sheets and then creating cylinders out of the flat metal, they were able to add an element of height to their lamp.  

To make the foundation of their lamp unique, while also showcasing the features of Carvey, Pam and Brandon designed a teardrop base with inlay pockets. The bases were carved using flame maple and walnut, in a series of sequenced steps with different files and end mills.

To enhance the beauty of the wood, Pam and Brandon extended a colorful cloth cord through a shallow channel in each lamp.

Pam and Brandon did an outstanding job in showing all that Carvey is capable of doing. Our hope is other makers will become inspired by their cylindrical desk lamp, and visit our project page to find more great ideas to make on Carvey.