The Makery

First Timer’s Guide: Inventables Carvey

What is it?

The Carvey is a 3D carving machine. 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?

  1. A Design
    • Your design must be in Easel to use the Carvey.
      • Easel is free to use and runs through your web browser. You must create an account with Inventables to save your projects to Easel. You do not need to come into the library to use Easel. Any project you make in Easel can be accessed by signing into your account on Easel’s website:
    • .svg files work best. You will have to import original .svg files into Easel before you can manipulate them for Carvey. Easel also takes G-Code and can convert most image files into carving formats.
  2. Material to Carve (See Next Section Below)
  3. Anywhere from 20 minutes for a small design to a couple hours for a larger/deeper design.
    • 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.
The Makery will provide the bits for the Carvey. Bits we typically have in stock include:

  • 1/16″ Upcut Fish Tail Spiral Bits
  • 1/8″ Upcut Fish Tail Spiral Bits
  • 1/8″ Straight End Mill

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)

Please cut any materials down before coming in to use Carvey.

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.