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Area 49

COVID-19 Changes for Fall 2020

Procedures for accessing trainings, room reservations, and machine reservations have changed for Fall 2020 due to Covid-19. Please check our Area 49 Access Document for details or email us at atkinstechsupport@uncc.edu.

CNC Routers Info

Carvey CNC RouterCarvey CNC Router

Cut Bed:

  • X axis: 12 in
  • Y axis: 8 in
  • Z axis: 2.75 in

Lanyard Color: Black

Location: Makerspace

Use Options: Training only

Cost: Free to use. Select materials are available for purchase, or you may provide your own.

General

The Carvey CNC Router uses a bit to cut and engrave all kinds of materials. This page shows how to prepare a file for cutting and engraving and how to use the Carvey. Check out our Technology Instruction page for dates and times and to register.

Users may set their own jobs on the Carveys after completing a training and signing the CNC Router Safety Agreement, but must schedule them ahead of time at groupstudy.uncc.edu. Any unscheduled jobs may be stopped and removed from the machine if someone else has scheduled that time. If the user does not check in within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time, the scheduled job will be automatically removed from the calendar. 

Safety

  • I understand that this machine uses a sharp metal bit that can cut or maim anything in its way. I will not put my hand near the moving bit, and when interacting with the machine, I will safely move the bit out of the way.
  • I will fill out and post the Job Status Form on the Carvey while using it and I will remove my job in a timely manner once it is complete.
  • I agree to limit my jobs to those that are for non-commercial purposes only.
  • I will comply with all tutorial and operations instructions given by makerspace staff.
  • I understand that the only materials approved for the Carvey are below, and I will use no other materials in the machine.
    • ABS
    • Acrylic
    • HDPE
    • Hard and Soft woods of any natural wood species
    • Aluminum (within a 5in/min feed rate, 2.5in/min plunge rate, .003in/pass with minimum of .0625 in milling)
    • Corian
    • FR1 Machinable Circuit Board Blanks
    • Delrin
    • Expanded PVC
    • Machinable Foam
    • Machinable Wax

File Prep & Machine Operation

The information conveyed here is minimal, as the Easel program walks the user through the options in real time, and includes troubleshooting guidelines. Please refer to the instructions within the Easel program, as they will be the most current. For additional information, please visit the Carvey Manual, and easy-to-use explanation of the entire process.

Preparing the File

  1. In your web browser, go to Easel.Inventables.com. Create an account and log in.
  2. New! Select your machine first (Carvey).
  3. Select your material type and size, and begin designing in the left pane. The right pane will show what the design will look like. Keep an eye on this right pane. If you have selected a bit that is too large for the design, you will see very little of the design. Change the bit size until the design on the right appears as desired.

Operating the Machine

  1. Turn on the Carvey using the power button on the back. Plug the Carvey's USB into your computer. The "Carve" button at the top of the page should turn green. Click the button.
    1. Note: If the button will not turn green, it is likely that a driver needs to be installed. Visit the Easel Drivers page to download the most recent version.
  2. Follow the steps shown on the screen, and begin the carve.
  3. Once the carve is finished, open the lid, take out your materials, unplug the USB, and use the handheld vacuum (hanging on the pegboard) to clean the inside of the machine. Close the lid when you are finished.

Materials & Bits

A note on tabs...

Carvey uses tabs to hold your project in place as it is cut away from the main material. Check out Carvey's Walkthrough Tutorial: Adding and Removing Tabs for more information.

Check out Carvey's Carving Bits 101 - Bit Basics page to determine which bit is best for your project. The bits available for our Carveys are:

  • 1/32" Fishtail 2F (white ring)
  • 1/16" Fishtail 2F (blue ring)
  • 1/8" Straight 2F (black ring)
  • 1/8" Upcut 1F (gray ring)

For a visual guide to bits and their results, visit Carvey's Bit and Material Pairings Photos page.

Importing SVG and G-Code

To import svg files they first need to be properly vectorized and formatted.

1. In Inkscape, open the svg file and go to Path>Trace Bitmap and select all images in the file.Trace Bitmap converts the image into a vector.

Multiple bitmap scans can be used to vectorize with different colors.

2. Convert the image into a tool path which allows the Carvey to find a way to carve the image. Either select Path > Object to Path or select everything (Ctrl+A) and use Ctrl+Shift+C. If your svg contains text, first convert the text to a tool path by using Object to Path or Ctrl+Shift+C, or it may not be recognized properly.

3. Save the svg file as a Plain SVG file.

Importing the file

4. Return to Easel and Import the file to Easel by using File > Import SVG 

Importing G-Code

For g-code, only specific commands can be used. This is done using post-processors. There are post-processors that can be used for specific programs that can be found under the “import g-code” option in Easel. Currently supported softwares include Autodesk Fusion 360, MeshCAM, Vetric V-Carve, Aspire, and Cut2D.

An official specifications list can be found here.

Troubleshooting

Error message that says "Spindle is overloaded" and the CNC Router stops running your carve

  1. Click Cut Settings, click Manual screenshot of location of manual option under cut settings
  2. Enter a lower Feed Rate, Plunge Rate, and Depth Per Pass to slow down the rate at which the machine moves through the carve. (See Calculating Your Cut Settings: Basic Feeds and Speeds Information for explanation of setting.)
  3. If you are having this issue while carving aluminum, be sure your cut setting at not higher than: 5in/min feed rate, 2.5in/min plunge rate, .003in/pass with minimum of .0625 in milling.
  4. Try to run your carve again.
  5. If you still encounter issue, you may need to let the machine cool down. If the other CNC Router is not in use, you can reserve and switch to that machine while your original machine cools down.