Last year, Inventables held a contest to give a CNC carving machine to a public makerspace in every state in The United States of America. At National Maker Faire, Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan announced that they will be at it again. This year, instead of awarding the machines to makerspaces, Inventables will be giving them to schools in every state.
Inventables has greatly increased their offerings over the past year — moving from the Shapeoko 2 to two sizes of their new X-Carve platform and the introduction of the Carvey. Winners will have their choice of one of these machines to bring home to their school.
The X-Carve, a replacement to the Shapeoko platform that Inventables had been collaborating on for years, has since gone in its own direction. These open-ended machines make it easy to cut large sheets of material that can be fed into the machine. The X-Carve family of machines are built using MakerSlide extrusion. This allows for an extremely modular system that is easy for users to modify if a custom-sized machine is needed for their application.
The Carvey is a machine designed with the goal of bringing milling to the desktop. With its enclosure, the Carvey kills two birds with one stone: increasing safety and decreasing mess. Non-enclosed machines like the X-Carve can be dangerous if someone places their hands into the work area during operation. They can also create a large mess as small chips of cutaway material are cast from the work area. Neither of these problems lend themselves to a desktop environment, where the Carvey hopes to claim residence.
To make both of these machines easier to use than many other tools on the market, Inventables has also created Easel. Easel is CAM and control software to make your milling machine run. The complicated job of figuring out the tool paths and the speed at which the machine should operate are just a few clicks away with Easel. Once the tool paths have been generated, Easel will connect to your X-Carve or Carvey and guide it through the cutting process.
As American schools look for new ways to improve STEM education and convert their often unfortunately defunct shop programs into the tools of today, the X-Carve and Carvey have obvious roles. If you are an administrator at a public school in the US, don’t miss your opportunity to win one of these great products, enter now!