Desktop CNC: Carvey Unboxing

Last year during the National Week of Making, Inventables CEO, Zach Kaplan committed to donating a CNC machine to a school in every state. One of the schools I support, the Loudoun Academy of Science, won the Inventable’s 50 State Carver Contest for Virginia. The contest involved several stages that included submitting a lesson plan and a video. Check out the winner for your state.

Today the Carvey finally arrived and the grand unboxing began. The Carvey is a heavy duty machine and really needs two people to move safely.


Handy straps on the outside and inside help for moving and lifting.


Lots of extras in the accessories box including plenty of hold down clamps for different thickness materials, digital calipers, extra 2 color HDPE and the appropriate cables. Only comes with 1 1/16″ fishtail bit but Inventables is sending a starter bit set in a separate shipment.


The Carvey fits nicely on the lab bench top in the new Digital Fabrication and Testing area. It joins a Printrbot Metal Plus and Play along with a Mark-10 Force Gauge


Door opens and shuts nicely on the lab bench without hitting anything. We will probably move it to the end of the bench so that there will be room for a Shop-Vac.


Getting started test piece cuts smoothly and quietly on the factory mounted test piece using Inventable’s web based Easel software.

Second cut file christened the waste board. The smart corner clamp with auto z-zero really needs to be sandwiching the material. Don’t use the shipping test sample as a guide for inserting the next piece. Really need to take off the smart corner clamp, position the material and then attach the smart corner clamp again.


Test cut is the Easel logo. Ran a second job without removing the material to cut the school logo inside the easel design.

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Grabbed random scrap of wood to cut the Director’s name. We then asked him for more support for the digital fabrication lab.

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Looking forward to the student ideas for research project that will be able to utilize the Carvey. There is a possibly of a local TV station interview next week.

Shopping list includes a shop-vac, bits & lots of machinable materials. Looking for sponsors that might want to donate supplies or send samples.

If you would like to sponsor the digital fabrication program or have tips to share about CNCing or the Carvey, leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @DesignMakeTeach.