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Thread: Overview of CarveWright System

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    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The Great Texas Gulf Coast

    Default Overview of CarveWright System


    (More information is available by clicking the CARVEWRIGHT logo in top left to go to our website. Please see PRODUCTS menu or call 713-473-6572 to speak to a sales representative.)

    The basic CarveWright Woodworking System/CompuCarve includes a small tabletop size carving machine, with the user friendly Project Designer software, a carving & cutting bit, memory card, and memory card programmer. Additional accessories and advanced software, such as the scanning probe, full bit set STL & DXF Importers and Centerline Text, are available. Online web support from includes tutorials, projects, user's forum, FAQ's, downloads and access to purchase or sell additional designs through the Pattern Depot.

    From simple signs to the creation of electric guitars, the possibilities with a CarveWright Woodworking System are abundant. There are tons of applications for this machine. See a few of them under the Ideas link. Most uses include woods, both soft and hard. Polycarbonate (Lexan), Corian and cast acrylics are other fun mediums. When acrylics are backlit, images such as photos, come to life in front of your eyes. Certain foams can also be carved, but do not attempt any type of Plexiglass, nylon, ABS, metal, ceramic tile, stone, concrete or glass, as these may damage the machine and/or cause personal injury.

    CarveWright Machine – Version C
    The award-winning CarveWright System was first developed by NASA Robotics Engineers on a mission to create the first consumer level carving system. To do this they had three goals in mind:

    • Be compact to fit in anyone’s garage, while providing a maximum output capacity
    • Include software that is full-featured, yet easy enough for beginners to learn to use
    • Make it available at a price that makes professional CNC fabricating affordable

    The CarveWright answered all of these, becoming a market sensation when it launched in 2006. Completing that mission, the engineers continued to explore new ways to improve and after 4 years of heavy use and re-engineering, upgrades and new developments, the CarveWright System has been re-invented and is now more robust than ever.

    The New CarveWright Version C still remains the most affordable compact system available and allows anyone to easily create complex carvings, while meeting this next phase of objectives:

    • Run quieter and more smoothly
    • Build a tougher system that offers enhanced stability
    • Add powerful new software functions
    • Minimize maintenance and simplify repairs

    Critical design changes responsible for meeting these goals include these new and improved features:

    • CarveTight Spindle System
    • Base Reinforcements
    • Vertical Guide Rod Stabilizer Feet
    • Reinforced Strapping on Power Supply
    • Modified Board Tracking Sensor
    • Simplified X Gear Drive
    • Software and Firmware Improvements

    The CarveWright Woodworking System is unlike most CNC's in several ways. For one, the footprint of the machine is much smaller at only 15" x 18" x 26", but packs a lot of power for its compact size. The servo motor is also a lot faster on the CW. Unlike most CNC's that move the carving bit around a stationary board and require a larger bed, CW uses a combination of belts and a moving head that pulls the medium through the machine allowing for a longer carved piece and smaller machine. With proper support, the CW can facilitate wood or other medium that has an unlimited length. The software allows for a design length up to 12'. The maximum width is 14.5", but carved pieces can be adjoined for wider projects. It can accept a material that is 5" or less in height and its carving depth is about 8/10" depending upon which bit is used.
    The program panel located on the side of the CW allows the user not only access to their projects, but also many other built-in functions. A menu style interface includes an LCD display and keypad. Some work pieces may need to be "dressed" before carving. These functions are accessed through shortcuts included on the keypad.

    Project Designer Software
    This intuitive and easy to use Software Package is the foundation of the entire CarveWright system. It is second-to-none in bringing advanced carving capabilities to even the most novice users. The software has a familiar look and feel that most computer users will immediately recognize and comfortably navigate, while being pleasantly surprised at the potential projects the full featured software inspires you to create.

    An extensive 3D pattern library gets you started and allows for expansion through the import of other 2D images, scanned elements and purchased 3D patterns. These patterns can then be placed on the 3D project work piece in a “drag and drop” fashion, combined and manipulated with additional elements such as text and 2D drawing tools, then fine tuned with any of the many options available.

    Memory Card & Programmer
    Transfer of your project design from the design software to the CW machine can easily and safely be accomplished via the memory card. The memory card programmer attaches to a USB port and the project design is saved to the memory card. This arrangement allows the design work to be accomplished from your office or computer room away from any sawdust or other possible hazards in your workshop. The computer is never connected to the CW machine.

    The card is inserted into the memory card slot on the side of your CW machine. The capacity of the memory card is large enough to hold a significant number of projects and scans. How many it will hold depends on the size of the individual projects. Typically, 30 to 40 average size projects can be stored on a single memory card. If the card fills up, simply delete some of the files using the Flash Manager in the software. As long as you save the project file to your computer hard drive before compiling it to your memory card, it can be compiled and put onto the memory card over and over. Compiled projects files cannot be transferred from the card back to the software. The only thing that goes from the card to the software is an image that has been scanned using the Scanning Probe.

    Carving, Cutting & Decorative Bits
    The CarveWright carving and cutting bits are unique in that they are "all carbide" designed for longer-life and more precise cutting performance. They are also "plungeable" and specifically calibrated with the CW Designer Software. The CW is intuitive enough to let you know when to change a bit from its LCD display.
    The Full Bit Set includes a variety of bits for different decorative purposes. The magnetic container that house the bits allow for convenient storage on the side of the machine or it can be placed on your workshop pegboard or propped up on its own built in stand. The bits, available in different sizes and with your choice of adapter, can create a variety of cuts and carves including routing, beveling, joining, mitering, squaring, rip-cutting and cross-cutting.

    Scanning Probe
    A Scanning Probe can also be purchased as an accessory to the CarveWright. This probe attaches like a bit on the CW machine and allows the reproduction of 3-dimensional objects by scanning with an accuracy of up to .005 of an inch in detail. The image can then be accessed and manipulated from the Pattern Editor Software, which comes free with the purchase of a Scanning Probe.

    CarveTight Spindle
    The CarveTight is the tough-as-nails spindle system upgrade for older CarveWright systems. It's made from one solid piece of hardened ground steel to significantly reduce vibration, improve run out, run quieter, and enhance the overall quality of the CarveWright machine. This item is standard on the CarveWright Version C machine.

    Heavy Duty Traction Belts
    These belts are an upgrade option to the existing Sandpaper Traction Belts that ship standard of every system. These are made from a heavy rubber that is almost impossible to puncture and guaranteed not to role. These are a must for any heavy duty shop.

    Centerline Text
    Centerline Text is an add-on module to the CW Designer Software. This software feature allows you to carve text with pin-point accuracy using a V-groove bit. Centerline Text carves point to point in a vector mode following the center of the letter and offers a much faster carve time.

    Conforming Vectors
    Conforming Vectors is an advanced feature available for use with your Project Designer Software. Apply Centerline Text and all other vector cutting to a carved region or virtually any surface, whether domed or textured; even patterns. It can be any vector cut such as those done with our drawing tools, the Outline and Centerline Text and vectors brought in through DXF Importer.

    Pattern Editor Software
    The Pattern Editor Software has now been made available for purchase independent of the probe. The Pattern Editor Software allows the manipulation of a scanned or imported image on a pixel by pixel level basis. This powerful program features Visual 3D image display efficient real time editing, the ability to edit images at the pixel level, tools for painting, erasing, blurring, filling and sampling, filters that raise/lower, smooth and blur the surface.

    STL Importer
    The STL Importer software is an advanced feature that is available which gives the user the ability to import 3D models from any 3rd party design software as STL format. They can then slice them up at various depths and angles for carving and reassembly into a physical 3D model.

    DXF Importer
    The DXF Importer software is another advanced feature which allows the user to import 2D vector files as DXF’s. Tools allow scaling, rearranging, flipping, rotating, auto-connecting of lines, splitting (tiling designs), create boards to layout shapes, and importing boards into Designer to be carved or cut out.

    Pattern Depot
    The Pattern Depot found on the CarveWright website ( contains about 4,000 patterns that can be purchased and used in your projects. The purchased patterns can be manipulated by rotating, resizing, flipping, mirroring and added to other elements. The Try button allows you to download a pattern and play with it in your project design. You will not be able to upload it to a memory card until it has been purchased and the license code activated. Our newer version of CW Designer Software allows for a higher 16 Bit resolution pattern. Those higher resolution patterns have the 16 Bit designation beside them. You cannot activate the 16 Bit unless you have the later version of software. The 16 Bit designation does not refer to with which carving or cutting bit used.

    There are also complete projects and pattern collections located in the Pattern Depot. Some of the patterns have been placed in Collections and are generally offered by the pattern vendors at a lower price. Each complete project contains a list of all materials and tools that will be required for the project, all of the artwork for that project and step-by-step instructions on how to produce the project on the CW and how to assemble the project. Projects are categorized as Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced skill levels depending upon the tools that are required for the project. Beginner Projects require little or no additional tools while Advanced Projects require the most.
    Last edited by lynnfrwd; 08-25-2011 at 04:24 PM.
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