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