The Makery

First Timer’s Guide: Inventables Carvey

What is it?

The Carvey is a 3D carving machine, which can carve and cut. It uses end mills to carve away material. This is a version of subtractive manufacturing meaning you end up with a 3D object by carving and cutting away from a solid original piece of material.

Carvey uses a very basic, easy to use, free program called Easel for the design and preparation of projects. You can create a profile with Instructables and create your designs at home, save them on your account, and use a computer in the makerspace hooked up to Carvey to cut out your design!

What can I do?

What do I need?

  • A Design
    1. .svg files work best. You will have to import original .svg files into Easel before you can manipulate them for Carvey.
    2. Easel also takes G-Code
  • Some Material to Carve (See Below)
  • Anywhere from 10 minutes for a small design to several hours for a larger/deeper design.
    1. The deeper a design is, the longer it takes Carvey to carve away the material. Easel will give an estimate of your projects time to carve in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
  • The library does not sell materials to use with the Carvey.
  • There is no cost to use the machine.

What materials can I use?

Material must fit within the size of the work area:

  • Width (X-axis): 11.6 inches (29 cm)
  • Depth (Y-axis): 8 inches (20 cm)
  • Height (Z-axis): 1.75 inches (4.5 cm)

Instructables suggests that only soft metal should be used with Carvey. The mill ends for such a small scale hobby machine aren’t strong enough to carve through most metals. Therefore, we will not be able to carve anything more than a soft aluminum or copper.

Other common materials include:

  • ABS
  • Bamboo
  • Plywood
  • Cast Acrylic
  • Corian
  • Expanded PVC
  • Linoleum
  • MDF
  • PCB
  • Most wood
  • HDPE

Where can I buy materials?

  • Inventables online store is a great place to buy online. Their materials come pre-sized to fit onto Carvey’s build plate.
  • Most hobby, craft, or home improvement stores carry materials that will work in Carvey.

Elmhurst Public Library does not endorse nor profit from these links. These are suggestions of where you can purchase items to use in the Makery but are by no means an exhaustive list.