An Approachable CNC Router

The Carvey is a CNC router with an enclosed work area for keeping the machine and the surrounding area tidy during cutting. This machine uses a rotary cutting bit, like a hand router, but is controlled by a software platform to follow along with your digital designs. The main way to make 2.5D cuts is to use the browser-based software Easel, whereas more complex tool paths will require other programs.

Example Projects

A sample box project for making nice looking wooded boxes.

The Carvey allows for inlay work, where one piece of wood is inserted into another.

Sheet materials can be combined to make structural components too!

You can also make stamps!

2.5D Carving Cheat Sheet

2.5D Carving Workflow

Install a Cutting Bit

To begin using the Carvey, take out the supplies box and use the provided wrenches to install a cutting bit.

Secure the Material

Next up, secure your material using the clamping pieces that come with the machine. First, carefully place the material against the corner stops in the bottom left corner of the machine and tighten it down. Next, fixture the workpiece to the wasteboard table. This process includes placing the plastic arm pieces on the tiny staircases which only properly sit flat one way. Use the screws with handles (which come in different sizes, delineated by color) to secure the arms.

Setup in Easel

Now it's time to hop on to the Easel software, which is free browser-based software that you'll need an Inventables log in to use. Inside Easel, you can set up your material parameters and choose the material you are using if it is available in the materials selection database. You can also choose your bit type, which will in combination with the material choice allow the software to provide feed and speed setting recommendations.

Import your .svg artwork, set whether to cut an outline or a pocket, and set the depth of cut. When you hit the Carve button, Easel will step through and help you double check your setup. If you need more help using the Easel software, you can get more help here.

Carve it up!

If everything checks out, the machine will start carving! Easel will give you an update on the progress of the job, as well as allow you to pause and resume. When the Carvey is finished, vacuum up the work area and grab your newly fabricated part!