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Carvey update - We've been testing how Carvey carves

This week we’re going to talk about speeds & feeds. If we do our jobs right, you won’t need to worry about them with Carvey. Allow us to explain the exciting things we’ve been working on:

 
At the end of the day we want you to have the best looking parts possible straight out of the machine. Sometimes, you might need to do a little sanding, but we are aiming to give you the best possible finish without much extra work.
In the Carvey Kickstarter campaign we talked about all the different materials you can use with Carvey. When we designed our Easel software we thought it would be good to have default carve settings built in for each one.
Traditionally, software and machines are optimized for flexibility rather than ease of use. Our goal with Carvey was to make 3D carving easy and intuitive.
Traditional machinists use the catchall term “speeds & feeds” to describe a set of interrelated variables, including how deep the bit will dig into the material, how quickly it moves at that depth, how fast the spindle is rotating, how many flutes the cutting bit has, and more. These are all taken into account to determine what the best settings are to produce a quality cut using a particular bit on a particular machine.
Carvey is for the modern maker. We want you focused on what you can make rather than on the technical details of operating the machine. Over the last few months, we’ve done a lot of testing with different bits, different materials, different speeds and different feed rates on Carvey. We learned that these settings matter a lot.
Machinists will often calculate these settings using a lookup table provided by the bit manufacturer, like this:

Machinist handbook 
Machinist handbook
It’s our goal to make sure you never have to look at a chart like that ever again. That’s why we built all of these technical calculations into the back-end of Easel. We have a new user interface designed (below) that will help step you through telling Easel what kind of material you are trying to, what type of bit, and then set the default technical settings like speeds and feeds. If you are an expert and want to experiment you can override the defaults.

New Easel user interface 
New Easel user interface
To arrive at the right settings for Carvey with all these materials, we didn’t just look up the numbers on a table and call it a day – we put it to hundreds (maybe thousands) of real-world tests. We’ve been testing every material type with every size bit we sell to make sure the settings in Easel will give you a great finish every time. Our software engineering team even wrote a small program to aid in the testing. This is an ongoing process that will improve over time as we do more testing, add more materials, and add more bits. It’s very important for us to get this right. Below is one of the many pieces we tested:

The end result is that we’ve got stacks and stacks of pieces of material with progressively deeper triangles cut into them, and spreadsheets of data that our software developers are building into Easel. This data helps us select the best settings for each material and bit type. Our software team even made a special testing app to make the process go faster.
Thanks,
Zach and the Inventables Team

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