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Carvey is a new, remarkably easy to use, tabletop 3D carving machine for making ideas into real objects. Make your mark.
Carvey is a new, remarkably easy to use, tabletop 3D carving machine for making ideas into real objects. Make your mark.
645 backers pledged $626,599 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Carvey: The 3D carving machine for the maker in all of us project video thumbnail
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$626,599

645

What is Carvey? 

Carvey is a 3D carving machine that allows you to make quality objects out of a variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic. Using Carvey and our free design software, you can make your idea a reality in three easy steps. First, design your product using our software, next choose your material, then click carve. Carvey will cut your design, giving you the power of creation right from your tabletop. Carvey is the next step in 3D manufacturing.

Step 1: Create your design

Carvey comes with Easel, our free design software that lets you design in 2D and view in 3D, instantly. What you see on the screen is what you get from the machine. 

Easel runs in a web browser and controls Carvey. With it you can carve your own design, a design you’ve imported, or a file from our library of projects that other Easel users have created and shared. 

Easel isn't the only software that works with Carvey.  You can also use your favorite CAD, CAM, and machine control software to have Carvey carve out complex 3D shapes.

Easel, by Inventables. A design tool we built for Carvey.
Easel, by Inventables. A design tool we built for Carvey.

Step 2: Choose your material

Easel's built-in material library handles all the machine control settings, so you get it right the first time. Preview your project in the 3D viewer in dozens of materials, in real time. Pick the right material and carve exactly what you imagined without having to worry about technical details like bit size and feed rate.

Carvey works with dozens of materials, including:

  • Hardwoods like walnut, maple, and mahogany
  • Softwoods like pine and balsa
  • Cork
  • Plywoods and MDF
  • Soft metals including aluminum, copper, brass, silver and gold
  • Circuit boards
  • Plastics like acrylic, HDPE, Delrin, Corian and PVC
  • Waxes and foams
  • Linoleum and other stamping materials

Step 3: Click Carve and make real products and prototypes

Connect Carvey to your computer via USB, click “Carve”, and Carvey does the rest.  Sit back and watch as Carvey cuts or engraves your design. Carvey enables you to create real objects, with the same level of quality as what you see on store shelves such as:

Silver jewelry by Rock and Beam
Silver jewelry by Rock and Beam
Acetate and wood sunglasses by DRIFT Eyewear
Acetate and wood sunglasses by DRIFT Eyewear
Aluminum and walnut headphone amplifier by ECP Audio
Aluminum and walnut headphone amplifier by ECP Audio
Speakers made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
Speakers made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
Address sign made from walnut and silver metallic acrylic sheet
Address sign made from walnut and silver metallic acrylic sheet
Circuit board and electronic enclosure made from pearlescent acrylic and baltic birch
Circuit board and electronic enclosure made from pearlescent acrylic and baltic birch


UPDATE:

We're getting some questions about 2.5D vs. 3D.  Carvey is capable of creating 3D objects like this topographical map of Golden Colorado but at this time Easel only supports 2.5D.  To create a full 3D object you'll need your favorite CAD/CAM and machine control software.

Carvey can produce full 3D but Easel currently only supports 2.5D
Carvey can produce full 3D but Easel currently only supports 2.5D

In this video we demonstrate how easy the process is and carve a jig saw puzzle.

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How we got here

We’re dedicated to empowering people to turn their ideas into real objects. In 2010, it was difficult for hobbyists and independent designers to buy high-quality materials in small quantities, so we opened an online store with the stuff that makers need. Then we realized that the existing software for making was complicated and finicky, so we created Easel to make the process easy and fun. Today we believe that the one missing piece is a reliable, safe and easy-to-use machine for making beautiful things with real materials.

A beautiful machine to make your mark.

We designed Carvey for makers and designers of all levels, from artists and teachers to architects and engineers. We want Carvey to blend seamlessly into an office, a workshop or a crafting desk, and be so simple to use that anyone can incorporate it into their practice.

To that end, we teamed up with Scott Wilson and the team at MNML to design a machine you're proud to have on your desktop. We built in some nifty features:

  • Automatic calibration so you can click “Carve” to start

  • Case design makes the machine so quiet you can talk on the phone while it's running

  • Seamless integration with Easel software for easy workflow from design to finish

  • Color-coded bit system simplifies multi-cut jobs

  • LED lighting inside the case to keep you aware of progress

What does your Kickstarter reward look like?

Here’s our progress so far:

  • Spent the last year and a half designing and testing three generations of working prototypes

  • Engineered the machine to be mass-manufactured

  • Obtained quotes from the manufacturer 

  • Did extensive user-testing on the software and machine to make it reliable, easy and awesome

All we need is that final push to get a round of engineering verification prototypes in a pilot production run, followed by full-scale manufacturing of the finished machine to get every Carvey delivered as soon as possible. We take these last crucial steps seriously, and we’ll need your support to do the job right. We’re in talks with one of the largest contract manufacturing companies in the world to help us do it the right way the first time.  We’ve turned to Kickstarter to get the production lines up and running. With your help we can order materials and components at scale and bring Carvey into the world. We hope to get your thoughts, opinions, and ideas on how we can build our Carvey community.  

If you decide to pitch in, you’ll be part of history, being one of the first to have a Carvey on your desktop if you chose that reward. You’ll play a huge part in starting the digital manufacturing revolution by providing your feedback and creating amazing things. We hope you are as excited as we are.  Your feedback is invaluable. We can’t wait to hear what you think and what you want to design.

Production Timeline

Technical Specifications

  • Machine Footprint: 24" x 24" x 18” (61cm x 61cm x 46cm)

  • Work Area: 12” x 8” x 2.75” (30cm x 20cm x 7cm)

  • *Repeatability 0.001" to 0.003" 

  • Run out: .0006" (.01524mm)

  • Spindle RPM: 3000-12,000 (300W)

  • Weight Approx: 60 lbs. (27kg)

  • Materials it Can Cut: wood, soft metals, foam, plastics, circuit boards

  • Connectivity: USB Port 

  • Computer System Requirements: Chrome web browser, 64 bit Mac or Windows, USB Port.

*In the update on precision we showed a video and stated repeatability on X and Y were 0.  The use of significant digits was wrong.  If you measure something with a wooden ruler and it is an inch wide you say 1 inch.  If you measure with a caliper you might say 1.000 inch. Saying "0" implies it could be rounded by as much as 0.500" 

While the eye can see the pointer only moved about a 1/5th of a tick on the scale, that does not mean the tool is that accurate.

The accuracy number we can provide is 0.001" to 0.003".  We do not guarantee all units will leave the factory at 0.001" on all axes even though our prototype unit did.

We have now changed the resolution spec to a repeatability spec because resolution is a math formula resulting in steps/inch.  Repeatability is actually measured directly and takes into account stiffness and backlash of the machine.

The Carvey Team

Carvey is a collaboration between:

Zach Kaplan and the Inventables team, who are dedicated to removing the barriers to digital manufacturing and developing new tools for innovation.

Master maker Bart Dring was the chief engineer on the project. He designed the ORD Bot 3D printer, the open-source linear rail system MakerSlide, as well as open-source laser cutters, and other CNC router designs like the Bridgie and Delta Router. He also makes his own longboard skate decks for fun.

MNML, design firm behind many innovative products including the LunaTik+TikTok Kickstarter project and the Xbox 360.

Special thanks to Greater Good Studio, Logan Share, Catalyze Chicago, Paola's Vinum, The Post Family, Simple Honest Work, ECP Audio, Winston Moy, Lane Tech High School, Gemini Club, and Drift Eyewear.

Show the world the maker revolution is real.

This project is for the maker in all of us.  Let’s show the world we're ready to change product development, to level the playing field and bring our ideas to life.  Together we hope to bring about a change in not just WHAT can be made but WHO can make it.  Be a part of the movement. Join us and make your mark.

Risks and challenges

We've been working on Carvey for over a year and a half. We waited to bring it to you on Kickstarter until we could ensure the prototype worked.

Members of our team have experience designing and manufacturing pinball machines, power tools, CNC milling machines, 3D printers, laser cutters, and other products. We have produced two kit-based 3D carving machines. We believe the entire team is well-positioned to tackle the challenges this project will present.

Below are a couple of the main challenges we will tackle.

Manufacturing: As with any physical item there are a number of challenges to getting it right. We are talking to one of the largest contract manufacturers in the world to work with us on production. The benefit of working with a company like this is their ability to scale as demand grows. The tradeoff is they have more process and procedure than smaller manufacturers. There is a risk due to the size of their company and nature of our product that we could experience production delays.

Test Units: We are building test units to check our designs and work out the manufacturing process. Since we have never done a large scale production run for this product there may be issues that come up that were not present in our prototypes.

We are very transparent about our processes and we plan to share with you what is happening every step of the way. Please go back to the top of the page and pledge now to support Carvey!

Thanks!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    SPECIAL THANKS:
    Join the movement! Help us take making to the next level. You'll receive a sincere thank you from the Inventables team and we'll keep you up to date on all of our progress developing Carvey and Easel.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    EASEL DESIGNER & DEVELOPER: Backers will get early access to contribute designs to the Easel Projects Library, as well as early access to the developers kit to start making apps that work on the Easel platform.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CARVEY BOTTLE OPENER KIT:
    Support the Carvey project and receive a 3D carved bottle opener kit. You can take the project to a friend's Carvey and engrave your own design on it. You'll get access to the design files in Easel to make your customizations.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,999 or more About $1,999

    EARLY BIRD CARVEY:
    A Carvey that's ready to go, complete with a tool kit and starter bit for Early Birds. Your machine will go out in our first round of shipments. You'll help kickstart this movement.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,399 or more About $2,399

    CARVEY:
    Same as the Early Bird, except your machine will go out in our second round of shipments. You'll get Carvey that's ready to go complete with a tool kit and starter bit. You'll help kickstart this movement.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,750 or more About $2,750

    EARLY BIRD CARVEY + ULTIMATE MAKER PACK:

    You'll get a Carvey that's ready to go, plus three starter project packs for making jewelry, signs, and circuit boards. You'll also get 20 different types of materials to carve. We imagined everything you would ever want with a Carvey and put it in this pack.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,999 or more About $2,999

    CARVEY + ULTIMATE MAKER PACK:

    Same as the Early Bird + Ultimate Maker Park and we'll ship to you in the second production run. You'll get a Carvey that's ready to go, complete with a tool kit and starter bit, plus three starter project packs for making jewelry, signs, and circuit boards. You'll also get 20 different types of materials to carve. We imagined everything you would ever want with a Carvey and put it in this pack. Your machine will go out in our second round of shipments.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE MAKER MOVEMENT:

    In addition to a Carvey and the Ultimate Maker Pack, become an honorary member of the Inventables team for Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. Be our special guest at MakerCon and Maker Faire in May 2015. You get free tickets to both events, an Inventables T-shirt, and will join our team for dinner afterwards. You'll also get exclusive access to play with Carvey before the crowds. Your Carvey will ship in Sept 2015. We look forward to meeting you! (Hotel and travel not included)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    MAKER DREAM EXPERIENCE:
    In addition to a Carvey and the Ultimate Maker Pack, you are invited to visit us in Chicago at a date that suits you between February 2015 and November 2015 (we recommend the summer to avoid the polar vortex!). You'll meet the Inventables team, get an Inventables T-shirt, and we'll spend the day making a Carvey project with you in our R&D lab. After a fun day of making, we'll take you out to a special team dinner. Your Carvey will ship in Sept 2015. (Hotel & travel not included)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    SUPPORT THE NEXT GENERATION OF MAKERS: We'll give a Carvey and an Ultimate Maker Pack to a school of your choice. In addition, we will travel to the school and spend a day training the teachers on how to use Carvey in the classroom.

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Funding period

- (30 days)