Posts

Showing posts from 2016

2016 Inventables Holiday Challenge

Image
The holidays are a great time to get your kids designing and carving with you. From gifts with a personal touch to decorations for the home or classroom, the possibilities are endless.

As an extra reason to get those creative juices flowing, we're having a design challenge for the month of November! We're looking for the best holiday projects based on 1) creative design, 2) original use of a Carvey for X-Carve, and 3) best use of Inventables features or materials (think your favorite underrated material or app in Easel).

We are also debuting our first holiday materials bundle featuring festive materials for anything from Christmas trees to snowmen to menorahs, and the bits to cut them. Check it out here.
How to enter
Post a photo of your process and the finished product on Instagram with #InventablesChallenge. Projects will be judged every week by the Inventables team, and weekly winners will get a $50 gift card to the Inventables store and an entry for the final prize - a $250…

Toolpath Improvements for Better, Faster Carves

Image
Recently, our hard-working Developers implemented some big changes to the way Easel generates toolpaths for your projects. These improvements are the result of working with some early testers and forum users, and we are very appreciative of their help!
Most of these changes took place behind the scenes, so you probably haven’t noticed anything different while using Easel. Still, these toolpath modifications make carving faster and more efficient, and we want you to know about them.
There are two big enhancements to toolpaths:
Better Safety Height Movement Safety height is the height your spindle must raise so that it does not damage your material when moving between sections of your project. Previously, the default safety height was above your z-axis home location (aka, the top of your material). If you were carving through a thick piece of material, the spindle would raise itself completely above the surface of your material when cutting out tabs or moving to a different part of the j…

5 Questions with Blaine Bryson on Creating a Makerspace in Your Class

Image
"The concept of a Makerspace is amazing and wonderful, but planning and implementing can be daunting. There are implications that can make the entire process overwhelming and exhausting, but as an educator it is important to remember what your desired outcome is. For me the desired outcome was to give students a unique and worthwhile learning experience."
--Blaine Bryson is a maker teacher at Avon Middle School in Avon Ohio

Q: What's your own process like for planning your Makerspace/Lab for the upcoming school year?

The idea of a Makerspace for our school is new and has developed out of a district wide goal to expand electives for our students. When I first began to plan the class, I pitched it to my administration as a technology course that involved creating a variety of optional learning experiences. From the initial idea of a technology course based on student choice, the course began to take shape based on a few questions that needed answered.
The first question that c…

5 Questions on Back-To-School with Jeremy Parker

Image
Jeremy Parker is an Agricultural & Vocational teacher at Oak Hill High School in Alexandria, LA. He focuses on making sure kids have skills they can use for a lifetime of starting businesses and hobbying after they finish high school. As he's putting his lab together for another busy year of teaching and hosting the Oak Hill High FFA club, we asked him what his priorities are when organizing his space, and what programs he's most excited about for the coming year.
Q: What's your process like for planning your makerspace/lab for the upcoming school year?
I teach vocational and technical classes and I had the lab running all summer, so I don’t have to set up the classroom as much as cleanup and prepare for the fall. For us, the biggest considerations as we add more machines is dust collection, noise abatement, and increasing our internet access ports. Right now, we only have one hardwired access point in our lab, so we’ll need to install wifi or tether the computers tog…

Educator Spotlight: Jennifer Esty

Image
After being named a winning school of Inventables’ 50 States 3D Carver Contest, Massachusetts teacher Jennifer Esty was thrilled to welcome Carvey as the newest member of her Sparhawk classroom. But the excitement spread far beyond Jennifer, with one student exclaiming, “You are joking me! We WON THIS? It is amazing!”.



Their coolest project?  So far it’s been the above pictured printing stamps. “This project had them draw, then carve, then print. It required so much pre-thinking, conceptualizing how the final product would look. Amazing!”

Beyond working through the design process and celebrating the finished project, Jennifer and her students were quick to discover just how captivating the Carvey is while in action, making her classroom the place to be. “Students just come in to watch it carve, even if it’s not their project. They are designing things on their own to carve just because!”



Having introduced Carvey to her 8th through 12th graders, Jennifer and her students are working on p…

Our School Crowdfunding Campaign Launch

Image
We’re excited to announce that late last week we launched the first of our school crowdfunding campaigns. Building upon last year’s donation of a 3D carving machine to a school in each state, this year’s program gives schools and their supporters the tools to customize and promote their Inventables wish list. It’s focused on increasing the role of Carvey within STEM/STEAM curricula, rallying schools to start or grow their maker space to include 3D carving. Campaigns will last for 30 days, with each school receiving their own dedicated page on the Inventables website.



Kicking things off is St. Mark’s School in El Paso, Texas.  They’ve raised almost $700 in only four days, having graciously partnered with us to pilot the program and work out any remaining kinks ahead of its expansion later this year. Please check out their page and consider supporting the cause!
And if you’re interested in starting a campaign for your favorite school, just fill out this form, and we’ll be in touch as the…

New Easel Feature: Carving Time Estimation

Image
Our amazing development team has created a new time estimation feature in Easel. Because in this busy world, we know your time is precious. And faster carves means more carves!
While designing in Easel, you can now get an estimate of your total carving time. The “Show Toolpaths” button previously found in the top right corner of the 3D design pane has been replaced by a “Simulate” button. When “Simulate” is clicked, Easel calculates and displays the estimated time and toolpath visualization.
Taking the time to adjust small settings can add up to a big impact. In the below project example, simply switching your bit from 1/8" to 1/4" saves over 30 minutes of carve time. Adjusting other settings like material thickness and cut depth also make a difference.



CAM programs, due to all of the different possible machine setups, aren’t known for giving the most accurate machining time estimates. With this new feature, we’ve worked hard behind the scenes to have Easel deliver an estimate…

Carvey got TESTED

Image
Norm Chan reviewed Carvey on TESTED. Check out the video below!

Educator Spotlight: Greg Kent on Design Thinking

Image
I’m Greg Kent, Technology Coordinator and an Enrichment Teachers at Kailua Elementary School, on the Island of Oahu.




Teaching a tool or teaching a design process? I follow and teach the Design Thinking process. Design Thinking is so vital because it fosters communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, the vital skills you need to be successful in life. There was a great presentation done this year at Punahou school by their high school students for our First Lego League team. The students walked the whole team through Design Thinking by using the process to solve a problem with us. That was a moment of clarity for me. It is like the scientific method for makers! I felt like it gave me a simple, powerful, repeatable process that Kailua Elementary students and teachers could follow and be successful.

Design Thinking means getting to know someone (Empathize), and figuring out what their “pain point” or challenge is (Define). After determining these, we brainstorm like …

Maker Faire is Almost Here!

Image
Come join us for a night of pizza, drinks & 3D carving!
Inventables is hosting a Maker Faire get-together at Windy City Pizza and BBQ in San Mateo, CA on Saturday, May 21st. If you'll be in the area, stop by to learn more about Easel, X-Carve and Carvey. You’ll meet some great people, eat delicious pizza and, enjoy drinks compliments of Inventables.

RSVP Here!


Inventables CEO, Zach Kaplan, will share how you can get a free 3D carver for your school at Maker Faire Bay Area
Come see our founder and CEO, Zach, at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016.  He will be giving a talk on the Maker Pro stage. He will be sharing our mission to put a 3D carver in every U.S. school by the end of the decade. You’ll learn how your school or a school you support can get a free 3D carving machine. Don't miss out on this awesome event! Click below to get your tickets before they're all gone.

Buy your tickets today!


Carvey in the classroom
We recently launched a new materials bundle that is perfect for any…

X-Carve Helps to Rebuild a Beloved Local Restaurant

Image
In nearly every town, there’s that one restaurant that’s a true staple. One that helps enhance its beauty and uniqueness, no matter how big or small. In Dorset, Minnesota that restaurant is the beloved Companeros.
For 30 straight summers, owners Rick and Laura Kempnich opened their family-owned restaurant in the small tourist town of only 27 year-round residents. And every year when the doors were thrown open to let in the warm summer air, the Kempnichs’ loyal (and hungry) customers were there waiting. Companeros even made national news in 2012, when Bobby Tufts was elected as the nation’s youngest mayor at the age of 3 years old, right on the old wooden deck.


But tragedy struck the tiny town in September 2014, when a lightning strike sparked a fire that left the restaurant in ruins. The Kempnichs decided to sell the land in hopes that new owners would rebuild the local Mexican eatery. To keep the tradition alive, former employees Levi and Beth Durgin purchased the land and the family…

Zach Kaplan's Big Announcement at Technori!

Image
Did you hear the big announcement from Inventables CEO, Zach Kaplan? If you missed out on the action, keep reading. You’re going to want to hear this news!



On Tuesday March 29th, Zach Kaplan was the keynote speaker at the maker-themed Technori event in Chicago. Technori is the third largest monthly startup event in the United States, showcasing over 250 companies at 50 events. Technori has raised over $201 million in funding and employs more than 1,000 people. Technori is working to help build the startups of tomorrow by giving them a stage to present their ideas in front of hundreds. By doing so, Technori has been able to assist startups in gaining momentum, and even, helping to obtain their first customer, partnership or investment.
Technori gave Kaplan the chance to explain to the startup community, how students are bored at school and have resorted to snapchatting their face rather than learning. This contagious boredom throughout students is causing The U.S. academic rating to plu…

The 3D Carvers are Arriving!

Image
They’re getting close….a little closer….they’re here!
After three months of anticipation, the wait is coming to an end! Carveys and X-Carves are beginning to appear at the front doors of the 50 winning schools of the Inventables 3D carver contest.
Back in January, Inventables announced the winners of the contest to kickoff our mission of putting a 3D carving machine in every school in the U.S. by the end of the decade.


In Hawaii at Kailua Elementary, Greg Kent and his students built a cozy transparent home for their X-Carve. They have also been busy carving a sign to proudly welcome their guests to the Kailua Elemakery!




Kent recently told Inventables that he feels, “like the X-Carve has taken our makerspace to the next level! We have hit the ground running and are in the middle of ‘Design Thinking in the Garden’ with 2nd and 5th graders. It is a tool that promotes critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. The 5th graders are working with the 2nd graders to help …

Chicago Tonight interview with Inventables CEO, Zach Kaplan

Image
Within the next few decades, an explosion of new technologies is going to once again make the United States the top dog of manufacturing.




Inventables Founder and CEO, Zach Kaplan is just one of the individuals leading the digital manufacturing revolution.



3D carving is used to carve objects out of many different materials like wood, plastic and even metal. You start with a flat piece of material that is clamped down tightly to secure it during the carving process. The project design is created on the computer and then sent to the 3D carving machine.  A part of the machine called the spindle, rotates the bit to remove material from the surface. The spinning bit has sharp edges so it is moved perpendicular to its axis of rotation, which creates cutting on the circumference of the bit rather than the tip.


Kaplan spoke with Chicago Tonight’s reporter, Eddie Arruza about the beginning of the digital manufacturing revolution here in the United States. Kaplan explains that while we are still…