3D Printing

Carvey: The desktop 3D carving machine

Carvey: The desktop 3D carving...
Carvey is a prototype 3D carving device that can sculpt wood, plastic, and metal into almost any object that you care to design.
Carvey is a prototype 3D carving device that can sculpt wood, plastic, and metal into almost any object that you care to design.
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A high-speed milling bit lies at the heart of the Carvey
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A high-speed milling bit lies at the heart of the Carvey
A bangle made with Carvey
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A bangle made with Carvey
Routing, milling, and carving produces all sorts of items with Carvey
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Routing, milling, and carving produces all sorts of items with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
Aluminum carved with Carvey
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Aluminum carved with Carvey
A bottle opener created with Carvey
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A bottle opener created with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
Carvey comes with "Easel" software for design and control
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Carvey comes with "Easel" software for design and control
An intricate design in wood produced with Carvey
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An intricate design in wood produced with Carvey
A Carvey etched lampshade
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A Carvey etched lampshade
A Carvey etched lampshade
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A Carvey etched lampshade
A Carvey etched lampshade
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A Carvey etched lampshade
A Carvey etched lampshade
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A Carvey etched lampshade
A Carvey etched lampshade
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A Carvey etched lampshade
A Carvey etched lampshade
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A Carvey etched lampshade
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
Aluminum and timber products whittled by Carvey
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Aluminum and timber products whittled by Carvey
Aluminum and timber products whittled by Carvey
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Aluminum and timber products whittled by Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
Circuit boards can be directly milled from Carvey
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Circuit boards can be directly milled from Carvey
Milling acrylic with Carvey
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Milling acrylic with Carvey
A necklace made with Carvey
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A necklace made with Carvey
Necklaces made with Carvey
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Necklaces made with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
Carvey comes with "Easel" software for design and control
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Carvey comes with "Easel" software for design and control
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
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A large range of materials can be used to make all sorts of objects with Carvey
Carvey comes with "Easel" software for design and control
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Carvey comes with "Easel" software for design and control
Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
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Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
Carvey is a prototype 3D carving device that can sculpt wood, plastic, and metal into almost any object that you care to design.
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Carvey is a prototype 3D carving device that can sculpt wood, plastic, and metal into almost any object that you care to design.
Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
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Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
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Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
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Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
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Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine

3D printers are the appliance of choice for a new generation of makers keen to rapidly prototype straight from their computer. But many materials with which 3D printers can produce items have limitations, and there are others that they can’t work with at all. Enter Carvey – a working prototype of a desktop mounted, rapid-modelling, 3D carving device that can sculpt wood, plastic, and metal into almost any object that you care to design.

Inventables – the company behind the Carvey – claims that the benefits of being able to mill store-bought-quality items in minutes from a range of materials is the next, and obvious, step beyond 3D printing.

"In the past few years we’ve seen an explosion in 3D printing, and we believe that 3D carving is the next step," said Zach Kaplan, Inventables CEO. "We are looking for the support of the Kickstarter community to make Carvey a reality. Carvey is for the maker in all of us, and we hope we can bring everyone the opportunity to create something exciting."

Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine

With specifically-designed software dubbed "Easel" loaded on your computer, the Carvey is designed to be plug-and-play via USB. With the added benefit of automatic calibration, the system's developers also assert that it is simply a matter of plugging in the Carvey, designing your object, choosing the material that you want to be whittled, dropping in that material, and pushing "carve."

According to Inventables, you can mill all manner of things like circuit boards, aluminum, copper, brass, plastic, carbon fiber, hardwoods, softwoods ... in fact, a vast range of natural and man-made substances are said to be easy-carving grist to the Carvey's mill.

Carvey is also billed as whisper-quiet, despite the fact that it incorporates a high-speed, exceptionally sharp milling bit to do the cutting work. This is due to its noise-dampened aluminum housing, which the company says makes it suitable for use in quiet areas like classrooms or offices – it is even supposed to be possible to talk on the telephone right next to the unit whilst it is carving.

Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine
Carvey is a desktop 3D carving machine

Now, CNC-style hobbyist milling machines are nothing new; there’s even one that can both mill and print in 3D. But the Carvey seems to embody a number of interesting and useful features that set it apart.

For a start, there’s the previously mentioned auto-calibration: many CNC machines require detailed and fiddly set up processes in this regard. Then there’s the idea that you can make a prototype, or even a limited production run, of items using durable and aesthetically-pleasing materials rather than just plastic.

"People want to create their own products out of different materials, but there is nothing available on the market as affordable and easy to use as Carvey," said Inventables Chief Engineer, Bart Dring. "We aim to make the process of making easier and more inspiring, in a way that considers the overall user experience - and we hope we’ve created this with Carvey."

To get the prototype to the engineering verification stage and to put prototypes into pilot production, the Carvey team have just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. With early-bird pledges US$1,999 or more, you can "pre-order" a Carvey complete with toolkit and starter bit. It's due to be shipped – providing all goes to plan – sometime in September 2015.

Have a look at the pitch video below.

Sources: Inventables, Kickstarter

10 comments
EddieG
Now this is more like it! Most technological advances of the past 15 years have centered on miniaturization. That's swell if your goal in life is to put a telephone in your pocket, but not good for much else. But! Now we can put a CNC machine in our home office. The 3D printer hasn't even BEGUN to revolutionize our consumer oriented society yet, and this "carving machine" transcends its limitations! Capitalism, we hardly knew ye!
Bob Flint
This something "Dremel" should have incorporated into their 3D printer. Addition is not always faster than subtraction, especially if your needs are planar by design.
P17
Nothing new here, apart from the desktop format. FIAT started this on an industrial scale when it used created a full scale wind tunnel ready model of its Tipo from a block of polystyrene. This brought Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) into more prominence. This desktop CAM milling machine does have a lot of potential and it would be a great asset if they put a user friendly CAD app to drive it. Even better still, would be an app that creates the code for 3D from 2D photos.
John Banister
Looks like they could have some interesting software, but for hardware like this, I think I'd prefer a Badog. What would be even more preferable is a couple more axes, like with the side to side movement on a trunnion and a turntable on the platform.
JøhP
Ok, so now we have plastic, metal and wood production for desktop. The next step i would like to see is a combined 3D printer and kiln unit, for producing ceramic based products. Technical ceramics can be used for an increasing number of applications, even knives.
charizzardd
so it is a consumer based and sized cnc machine. Decentralizing and allowing people to have a cnc mill and a 3D printer at home for a few thousands bucks is the huge revolution here not the manufacturing technique. I think this is a pretty nifty re-purposing of existing tech and ideas though!
wle
ok but it cannot carve inside curves not that i like 3 d printers either they are silly too the materials are too limited and or expensive wle
The Doubter
How's this a 3D carving machine? The demos show only 2D shapes being carved and the structure seems to be unsuitable for 3D carving.
danBran
Agreed - no Z axis. It's only 3D because of the thickness of the material it carves. to get 3D you would have to stack and glue a number of 2D slices together
PuraVida
it needs a 4th axis to be truly a 3D CNC router (how would you carve a 3D 360 degree head on this - it is impossible). the photo gallery shows mostly 2D cut-outs - the machine is capable of more relief and sculpture than the photos selected - put some lithophanes in to produce a "wow factor." That spindle in the photo doesn't appear to be very rugged to handle metals that they are claiming (what is the spindle's wattage rating & RPM?). Overall, the photos of Carvey look professional and the light at the spindle is a nice feature. I would add some kind of vacuum system or air blowing the work space so you can see the progress. Chinese CO2 laser CNCs are dirt cheap $450 on eBay that have incredible speed and precision to do wood/plastic (no metal) cut-outs similar to many gallery photos of Carvey. So the real question is price, speed, precision, application and material selection.