While I was working on fixing my Makerbot (Again) I suddenly heard the UPS bleep sound of a package being scanned. Before the delivery guy even had a chance of ringing the bell I had already opened the door, since well I knew what was inside of the box!
It was the X-cave kit from Inventables!
So I could not resist to open the package and start to assemble it!
The next step was a bit was the assembly. And I have to say the assembly instructions were really well documented. But when it comes to units of measurement be prepared to hear a lot about inches and feet. It would have been nice if they had mentioned the actual size in mm (Millimetres). While this is not an issue it would have made it a bit nicer.
5 hours later
Most of the assembly is done. Now the only thing that remains to do is to run the belting. And I thought that this would be the hardest part. But I was wrong. It was actually really simple to do. Also a quick tip! Use a cable binder at every end of your belt to keep them at the desired tension. Also the Z-axis assembly is easy to put together but when finished feels really lose. Then it was time to install the waste board and the actual spindle.
As you can see for the spindle I went with the Dewalt 611 option. What is better then 900Watts of pure milling power! And then it was time for the drag chains. to one for the X-axis went fine to install. But the one for the Y-axis was well, a bit of another story. As it turns out The newer 500mm kits have the same belting as the 1000mm ones. so there instructions were different and I didn't see it. After 2 hours of being annoyed I had found out about it and well after a quadruple facepalm and 5 minutes of work it was fixed.
And does it work?
Well the short answer is YES!
As you can see in the Video everything works fine!
What about the software?
The X-carve comes with it's own browser based software called Easel.
As you can see on this video. Easel is very easy to use and its just a godsend to use it. Easel makes CNC milling look like a piece of cake!
Time for the rap up
I think this is one of the better DIY CNC mill kits out there. Especially if you look at the price and what you get for it. And also the assembly is very easy and simple. I bet if I gave my dog a screwdriver that even he could do it!
Here are some pro and cons:
|The assembly is easy||Only Imperial sizes on there site|
|The software is easy to use||The eccentric nuts can come lose during the milling of a part|
|The assembly instruction video's are great|
|Priced around 1000€ this makes the machine really affordable (compared to other machines)|
|It's open source, And can easily be modified|
Just a tiny disclaimer.
Inventables did NOT send me a free kit. I had bought it trough Robosavvy.com (to avoid paying high Belgian import duties) And I'm not in any way affiliated with Inventables in any way, form or shape. This is an honest review of someone that has never used a cnc mill before.