Tag Archives: X-Carve

Rewind: 15 mind-blowing machines from 2015

… that are NOT your typical 3D printer.

Although 3D printers have received most of the buzz in recent months, these next-gen machines are doing much more than just spitting out ABS and PLA objects. In fact, you can expect to find one of the following 15 gadgets on your workbench, desktop, kitchen counter or inside your man cave in the not too distant future.


A big hit at this year’s World Maker Faire, the Glowforge is a revolutionary 3D laser printer that uses subtractive technology rather than additive methods. With one press of a button, the device cuts and engraves a variety of materials — including wood, fabric, leather, paper, cardboard, food and acrylic — instead of constructing items layer by layer. During its crowdfunding campaign, the team impressively garnered a record-setting $27M in 30 days.


With X-Carve, Inventables offers several new elements to the 3D carving kit concept which they’ve been associated with over the past few years. This customizable piece of equipment is ideal for the workshop, and can create precision parts from plastic, wood and metal. It comes in two sizes, 500mm and 1000mm rails, which provide a 12″ x 12″ and a 31″ x 31″ work area, respectively.


Zippy Robotics’ Prometheus is a milling machine that rapidly produces prototype PCBs from your desk in minutes, so you no longer have to wait weeks for a delivery truck. It works by carving through the copper layer of a standard copper-clad board (FR-4 or FR-1), as well as drilling holes and routing the shape of the board itself if it needs to fit a specific enclosure. Prometheus boasts an extremely low runout error that cuts traces down to .007 inches in diameter, meaning you can design with pretty much any surface mount component.

Voltera V-One

Born out of their own frustrations with traditional fabrication processes, Voltera has come up with a unique way to reduce development time from months to days. Winner of both TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield and the 2015 James Dyson Award, the V-One can print out circuit boards, dispense solder paste and reflow.


Voxel8, in partnership with Autodesk, introduced the world’s first 3D printer for electronics ranging from fully-functional drones to hearing aids. Designers and engineers will now be able to actualize three-dimensional parts with embedded circuitry for the first time.

The PancakeBot

A perfect example of an idea that has gone from the ‘MakerSpace to MarketPlace,’ the PanakeBot is exactly what it sounds like: an automated appliance that can whip up pancakes in virtually any shape you can imagine.


A team of MIT researchers has opened up a new frontier in 3D printing: the ability to build optically transparent glass objects. The G3DP consists of two heated chambers. The upper chamber is a crucible kiln that operates at a temperature of around 1900°F, and funnels the molten material through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle, while the bottom chamber works to anneal the structures.


There are 3D printers. There are engravers. There are CNC mills. However, BoXZY is different — it’s all three. Hoping to usher in a new age of ‘modular manufacturing,’ this triple-threat mini FabLab empowers Makers to alternate between the tools with quick-change heads. Oh, and did we mention that Justin and Joel Johnson raised more than $1.1M on Kickstarter?


Instead of having to run out to your local package store or brewery, Pico allows you to craft fresh, personalized beer right from home. One notable feature of the coffeemaker-sized appliance is its new PicoPak system, which includes conveniently pre-packaged ingredient combinations.


A finalist in this year’s Hackaday Prize, FarmBot is an open source CNC farming machine capable of weeding, seeding, feeding and watering crops. What’s more, its web-based application lets growers graphically design their farm or garden to meet desired specifications. This makes the process as simple as playing a game of FarmVille.

Ripple Maker

The Ripple Maker leverages 3D printing and inkjet technologies to adorn the top of your morning latte with complex artwork that could take the form of someone’s name, their face, or even a personalized message to the customer behind you. The unit itself is rather small, measuring just 8.5″ by 10.5″, and connects via Wi-Fi to a library of designs. Users have the option to choose from a menu of themes and text to stamp onto the milky foam canvas with natural coffee extract.


Bistrobot wants you to bid farewell to long lines and wrong orders, and say hello to an automated assembly line that can make peanut butter sandwiches on white bread with your choice of honey, blackberry jam, sweet chili, chocolate sauce and Nutella.


What if you could design ready-to-wear garments straight from your desktop? Thanks to Electroloom, you can. The team’s electrospinning process makes it possible for anyone with a small bit of CAD ability to create seamless fabric items on demand.

Circular Knitic

The artist duo of Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet has devised an open source, automated circular knitter dubbed Circular Knitic. In true Maker fashion, the idea was brought to life with 3D printing, laser cutting, MakerBeam and Arduino.


Like a Keurig for cocktails, the Bartesian is a capsule-based gadget that enables anyone to expertly fix their favorite alcoholic beverages in a matter of seconds.

Shapeoko 3

The Shapeoko 3 is an affordable, heavy duty, three-axis CNC machine designed to “do real work, out of real materials.”


Geared towards everyone from the DIY community to the industrial-savvy crowd, Evo-One is a sleek desktop CNC mill that can engrave, carve and cut complex shapes with incredible accuracy.

X-Carve is an open-source, next-gen CNC carving machine

This CNC machine will let Makers carve the way they want.

For a couple of years, Inventables has been the CNC device of choice for Makers with their open-source, easily-modded Shapeoko 2. And while multi-axis, computerized milling machines are nothing new, the Chicago-based company continues to cater to the burgeoning DIY community with the launch of a new device. Dubbed X-Carve, the machine not only packs several upgrades from its older siblings but is entirely scalable as well.


You may recall the Shapeoko family from way back in 2011 when the concept CNC machine kit first made its Kickstarter debut. There, it well exceeded its initial goal having garnered over $11,000. This design would go on to inspire the market-ready Shapeoko 2 in 2012.

With X-Carve, Inventables brings a number of innovative elements to the CNC kit concept. Essentially, it features all the upgrades you wished the Shapeoko had, including stronger corner-mounting for increased rigidity, NEMA 23 motors and self-tapping screws. Beyond that, the latest machine uses 50% fewer parts and requires just half the build time.

“With a relentless focus on reducing the part count and improving rigidity, we designed single-piece extrusions for X‑Carve’s gantry and spindle mount. New Y-axis plates bring the spindle closer to the center, decreasing flex,” the team writes.


The kit comes in two size options — standard and large with 500mm and 1000mm rails, respectively. The workable space is about 12” x 12″x 2.7″ for the standard and 31″ x 31” x 2.7″ for the large. Inventables says the latter is even big enough to work on a full-sized longboard. What’s more, X-Carve can even be configured to any size, as long as it falls within the standard and large spectrum.

The X-Carve is also capable of creating precision parts from a wide range of materials including plastic, wood, metal, foam, cardboard and wax. Created for a workshop (and the occasional Makerspace) setting, the unit is both customizable and expandable. In other words, if a Maker already has one of Inventables previous machines, they can upgrade and scale their existing device by simply adding a few X-Carve components.


On the electronics side, the X-Carve boasts a 24VDC spindle with a single source power supply for its motor and spindle. This gives users spindle control through Gcode. The gadget is designed to be controlled using an Arduino (ATmega328) and gShield (an Arduino shield with three stepper motor drivers), but more advanced users can also leave off the controller and try their own. The open-source machine will run the Easel software along with other CAM options as well.

Interested? Good news, X-Carve will begin shipping April 30, 2015 and will begin at $799 with fully-souped up models upwards of $2,000.  Like its predecessor, it comes in kit form. An upgrade kit for the Shapeoko 2 will also be available for just $200. Until then, you can head over to its official page to learn more.