Showing posts from 2020

Grow faster with the new X-Carve Pro

Over the years, we’ve watched so many inspiring businesses begin using X-Carve. Most of these started as part-time projects, a side-hustle to make a little money. But then they grew into something more serious. We’ve spent thousands of hours talking with these owners to understand what they need as they expand, hire employees, and grow. They want to build products faster, carve with more precision and take on larger projects. Today, we’re excited to announce a solution for businesses that are ready to grow, the X-Carve Pro.

The X-Carve Pro includes major upgrades to our hardware, software and support. Our software, Easel Pro, now includes a Tiling feature so you can carve full 4’ x 8’ sheets seamlessly. This opens up possibilities for batch manufacturing, furniture, cabinetry, built-ins, molds and massive signs. The X-Carve Pro comes in two models—4x2 and 4x4—so both handle full sheets in a much smaller footprint.

We also added a new library with over 3 million pieces of artwork. Sign …

Woodworking Projects For Holloween

It's October, which means that goblins, ghosts, and witches are on everyone's mind. And while it may not be certain what kind of celebrations will be able to take place this All Hallow's Eve, with the CNC machine you can create decorations and more that everyone can safely enjoy. Here's a roundup of a few of our favorite CNC carving projects for getting into the Halloween spirit. Yard Decorations
The front of the home is the perfect place to declare your love for all things spooky. Halloween Tombstones can transform an everyday lawn into a classic horror movie setting. This free pattern is cheap to execute, and comes in various versions, including one for "Paul Tergeist" and another for "Dr. Acula." You can make them out of foam hardboard insulation or use plywood. With a 1/8" bit the project takes about 20 minutes per headstone for ones made from insulation. Another option for garden decorations is the Ghost Yard Sign. Just menacing enough, the…

From My Experience, Things to Know When Starting a Woodworking Business

Many people find woodworking to be a fulfilling hobby and consider opening a woodworking business; they realize they have a talent and skill others are willing to pay for. For such a person, with the right aptitude and ambition, there is no greater career path than doing something they love on a daily basis.But, as a wise person once said, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Three important aspects of starting a woodworking business are 1) understanding how to run a business, 2) having the knowledge and aptitude to be capable to start that type of business, and 3) understanding the level of dedication it takes to find success. The fact is, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, 40% fail in the first five years, and 65% don't last more than ten years. Those figures aren't meant to discourage anyone from opening a new business but provide realistic expectations as to the dedication required for success.Differences betwee…

Projects to Organize Your Woodshop

Between lumber, clamps, bits, and other tools and materials for a CNC machine, woodshops have a habit of getting disorganized—and fast. Wouldn’t it be nice to put those tools to work on some projects that will keep all of your most-used items neatly organized and ready to go? Try out some of the ideas below, or use them as inspiration to create your own CNC designs!
A Bit Tray
This one is essential in any woodshop featuring a CNC machine. You need a place to keep bits organized—and this project features an extra nice touch, which is a slot for the wrench you’ll use to change bits. Feel free to personalize it with text, or if you want extra storage, you can also make larger compartments to hold loose bits and other odds and ends.
Storage for Your Clamp Set
Tired of digging through disorganized clamps to find the right size for your next project? Make a custom clamp holder to keep all the pieces in place, organized by size. This is another project that is easily customized, too. If you have…

7 Tips for Staining Your Wood Projects

Alright, so you have a really cool project to work on with yourCNC machine. You’ve already set up the software and machine to get the cutting done—easy and precise. You are ready to assemble your project and starting to consider the final color. Wood is easy to paint, but a beautiful piece of wood is stunning when stained. Here are seven staining tips for creating an even glow foryour wooden project.Get the Right EquipmentStain can be messy and it’s permanent, so treat it like paint. Wear safety goggles to ensure nothing splatters in your eyes (especially with oil-based stain), gloves to keep it off of your hands and old clothing you don’t care about. You might need a drop cloth to ensure nothing gets on the floor or tracked around on your shoes.Test on ScrapAlways have an extra board that you can test colors on. You might find the end color just doesn’t look how you thought it would. You may find that you need to create a thicker or thinner layer to get the color you want. Testing wi…

Projects for Home Organization

Stuff just has a habit of piling up around the home. If you're around the house more, it's the perfect time to get organizing. But sometimes finding the right place for everything you need to keep on hand requires building that right place. A CNC machine is perfect for building organizational tools that will keep your house tidy.Wall Organizers
TheEntryway Wall Organizer is perfect for those who like to be able to drop it all when they walk in the door. Based on a pegboard, this modular system allows you to change the configuration of hooks and shelves based on updating storage needs. It provides a space for hanging jackets, hats, bags, as well as glasses, keys and even electronics. Designed by Kati Farrer to be made with birch plywood, the project is 28 by 36 by 0.73 in. and uses an 1/8 in. bit. 
For those who want a smaller catchall that's perfect for both the entryway or the kitchen, theSunglasses/keys/mail organizeris a great choice. This free design by Nick Brewer offer…

Preparing Reclaimed Lumber for Your Next CNC Project

Reclaimed lumber can be one of the most interesting materials to work with when you’re into CNC carving. For one thing, it holds a lot of beauty—and that’s true whether you’re using reclaimed lumber for the weathered look, the character, or because you’re in search of beautiful wood grain beneath the aged patina. Many also enjoy it because it’s an environmentally friendly material since you’re recycling previously used lumber rather than cutting new to create your projects.No matter what type of CNC project you want to work on, from signs to wall art, d├ęcor, and more, reclaimed lumber will add character to it. Read below to learn how to prepare reclaimed lumber as a carving material.Clean and Inspect the Lumber FirstReclaimed lumber can come from any number of sources—old barns, warehouses, bowling alley flooring, you name it. Depending on where it came from, there may be a layer of grime obscuring the patina.So that’s the first step. Give the wood a thorough wash to remove dirt, and …

Selecting Your Next (or first?) CNC Project

One of the best things about CNC Carving is that you can create almost anything. But, this can also make it hard to decide what to make. One way to narrow your options is to create a theme and look for projects that align with it. One of our favorite themes is food.

You can design your own projects, or you can look to inspiration and CNC designs from others. Under the category of food (& kitchen), we’ve picked a few designs from our free library that we think are fun and are great CNC projects.

Beer Tote 
A popular CNC project for beer lovers &  carvers is this six-pack beer caddy.

It is a great project for beginning wood CNC carvers. Bill Childress, who loaded the design to our library (you can import it to Easel with one click), used hard maple and a ¼” router bit. But you can select your wood of choice (we recommend staying with hardwoods).

As you can see from the image of the Easel plan, there are 5 pieces for your X-Carve to cut, then you sand, assemble/glue, and finish


A note on current events

Our nation is in pain. The senseless killings have caused outrage, anger, and horror. We must stand together for human rights, we must stand up for one another, and we must have empathy for the fear, hurt, and outrage many of us feel right now. 
At Inventables, we stand in solidarity against injustice, racism, discrimination, and violence of any kind. Our mission is to build accessible tools to help all makers generate income from their work.  This mission transcends race, gender, sexual orientation or anything else that differentiates us from one another.  We seek to help all people who aspire to make a better life for themselves and their families.  
While the world feels chaotic right now and there are many things we can’t control we can choose to focus on the things we can. At Inventables, we choose to focus on our daily work and sharpen our focus on helping customers make a better life for themselves by generating income.  Entrepreneurship will not solve racism and injustice but l…

CNC Machine Project: 2 Player Pinball Machine

Cris Felgueiras is an artist, maker, and content creator in Portugal. She is a multi-artist and love to make stuff that uses different media such as video, woodworking, sculpture, scenography, sound, music, and photography.   One of her creative outlets is the project GET HANDS DIRTY.   Using her X-Carve CNC Machine, Easel CAD/CAM software, and materials from Inventables store she designed the two player pinball machine below.  Each side is divided by color and material. To recreate her design you will need to cut almost all the shapes again using plywood or other wooden material of your choice and glue them in layers to make the full thickness of the pieces. She makes it at least 5 mm thicker than half the diameter of the ball.
If you are interested in learning more about this project you can check out the bill of materials and fine all the Easel files in the Inventables Project catalog. Below is a video where Chris explains how to do the project.

If you are in to pinball the Cactus Wo…

CNC Machine Project: Giant Wood Scrabble Game

Jen Woodhouse is a self-taught carpenter with a fearless DIY spirit and a penchant for problem-solving, she offers in-depth tutorials that inspire and encourage readers to build their way to a more beautiful home. Her site is called The House of Wood and she uses it as a creative outlet for all things DIY and design, a place where she documents her adventures in designing and building furniture and tackling home renovation projects. I visited Jen and her family and saw her shop which is set up in her garage.  It was quite impressive and organized!  She has just about every power tool and an X-Carve CNC.
Jen's projects are very inspiring. She focuses on things that you need around the house but everything she does is beautiful. This project is a giant wall-mounted Scrabble board. It's the perfect addition to your game room! All the files to carve it yourself are available on her Inventables Project page and the full tutorial is on Jen's site.

New Easel Feature: Stored Cut Settings in Easel Pro

This week Inventables updated the options to save cut settings in Easel Pro. Here's how it works: After your carve, Easel Pro users can save their custom cut settings, having them automatically populate for projects with the same material and bit combination. In time, your carve settings and post-carve feedback will help Easel calculate better settings for all users.Note: Easel Pro subscribers can take full advantage of stored cut settings by using the custom bits and materials in their Toolbox. Bits and materials in your Easel Pro Toolbox with stored custom cut settings will auto-populate for your projects. This streamlines the carve set-up process and improves your project workflow.Saving Cut Settings If you are an Easel Pro monthly or annual subscriber, your cut settings can now be saved and automatically applied to future projects. Whenever you select a material and bit combination, the cut settings used for the carve can be saved to your Easel Pro account.Your saved cut setti…

New Easel Features: Park Here and Text Shaping

This week Inventables added some options to save Easel Pro users time in between carves with a new feature called "Park Here". Here's how it works: After your carve, Easel will display controls to jog your machine. Turn off your spindle and click "Park Here" to get the gantry away from your material so you can see what you made.  If you are parking with a dust shoe attached, make sure it's installed high enough to clear your clamp feet.

We also made tools to change the shape of text so you can design signs with decorative elements that go beyond normal fonts.

Check it all out by logging in to Easel.

Crisis (C) Rating System for Personal Protective Gear

Inventables has an incredible community of makers and small businesses that have the capability to manufacture personal protective gear.  Our customers are all over the world and likely don't have access to contacts at the FDA, CDC, or FEMA to get any of their designs approved.  Working with a few doctors and an epidemiologist we created this rating system.  Our customers and the maker community at large are engaged in the production of C3 and C4 equipment.

Crisis (C) Rating System - Based off the CDC Guidelines
The purpose of this rating system is to provide clarity as well as a quick guide to healthcare workers and patients on how to evaluate and prioritize the use of protective equipment in time of crisis.

Conventional Equipment C1 & C2
C-1 FDA approved personal protective equipment. C1 measures consist of providing patient care without any change in daily contemporary practices. This set of measures, consisting of engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipm…

Desktop CNC Routers are making niche products viable

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

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

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 …