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Thread: Lusting after a CX Machine

  1. Default Lusting after a CX Machine

    Hello,
    I have been lurking around the forum for a time and I am really considering getting one of these machines. But the money is daunting being a struggling college student. I have been looking at other cnc router machines like the shapeoko and a few others that are all about the same price range. I really like the idea of doing bigger as well as being able to do smaller stuff. The other cnc's I have been looking at are very limited in their build size. But the Carvewright can do full boards, but the proprietary card system and it not being industry standard G-code and is chained to its own software has me a bit worried. There are also a lot of negativity out there on the web but it all seems to be the 1st or 2nd generation of the carvewright. Then I read the build blog and see such amazing capabilities I am simply drawn back in.

    So I am pretty sold on the machine but I am worried about a few things. After all the computer work to make a pattern then the time to carve. How much time is spent afterwards with sanding? Does the carvewright not carve with a good resolution and extensive sanding is needed?
    I am a broke college student with very limited budget and no tools or much space. I am kind of looking at this machine as a all purpose machine. I mean there is a sanding mop and cutting bits, I should be able to finish sand and cut to shape with the machine right? Provided the board is not too thick right and support tabs excluded?

    The vast majority of the projects I see on the forum are signs. I understand that sign making is easy and fast with the machine but it can be consistently more than that right? My vision is to do movie props, and props from video games and sell at comic conventions. This would work on a regular basis right? I could load in a 2x4 and carve out a Sword from Lord of the Rings with relative ease and repeatedly right? Then I can also scale down and do jewelry and small trinkets too right? Then another dream is to do the golden idol from Indiana Jones.

    Is this a realistic goal? My other question is to the craft show people and farmers markets. How fast can the machine pay for itself?

    Please be honest and straight, I fear I may have been daydreaming too big and before I am foolish and spend a bunch of money I might need a dose of reality.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coeur D'Alene Idaho
    Posts
    630

    Default

    I'm far from an expert but I have had my machine for about six years and it has paid for it's self several years ago. Like you mentioned I make mostly signs and sell them at a gift shop that takes 35% of the selling price. Even after that I still make a profit but not as much as if I were to sell them myself. I just do not want the hassle of selling at craft shows ect. I have sold a few cribbage boards but for some reason they are not a big seller around here. I made a few lithophanes and gave to friends thinking that would generate some sales but even though they got lots of compliments I did not get one request.

    As for sanding, I use Best or Optimal for all my carvings and there is usually very little sanding after using the sanding mop which I have in a drill press.

    Will you get rich off of the machine NO! Can you make some money YES, it just depends on how much time and effort you want to put in.

  3. Default

    For the price this is a great starting machine and it will do what you are talking about although a 2x4 will not be an easy board to use, it would require jigs or carrier boards. There have been great movie props built with the CW including Halo helmets, Star wars posters, Star wars ships, Star Trek and Pokeman balls. But.

    You will require designer pro or other software and stl importer, The learning curve to build the items you want is steep. The better the wood ( not construction lumber) the better the outcome. Sanding is a necessary evil with any woodworking and there is no getting around it. The quality of the CW vs any other CNC is comparable. You will find limitations that you can work around with the CW. A good CNC from other companys (flatbed) will cost you more and the software is expensive but the pro's are that they are not proprietary and you can do a lot more and have more options (bits etc.) The issue is that if you can barely afford the CW you may not be able to afford others.

    As for making money, If you work hard and market yourself you can make money, I paid for my machine in about 6 months but mine was purchased used for $800 by my son in law and we both use it, although lately its just me. Craft shows and such are not big money makers but you can make money. You may do better at comic cons and such. You will have to charge more because the types of items you want to make are more time consuming. A CNC is not a machine that you put in a board and a finished product pops out the other end. There is prep before carving, and plenty of sanding, prep, painting, staining. etc. afterward. There are plenty of people, myself included that make money with the machine but there are probably more who thought they would and did not. I look at it as a hobby and the money I make pays for my hobby, I could never live off it.
    Last edited by normrichards; 03-30-2017 at 12:20 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    2,401

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes003 View Post
    Hello,
    I have been lurking around the forum for a time and I am really considering getting one of these machines. But the money is daunting being a struggling college student. I have been looking at other cnc router machines like the shapeoko and a few others that are all about the same price range. I really like the idea of doing bigger as well as being able to do smaller stuff. The other cnc's I have been looking at are very limited in their build size. But the Carvewright can do full boards, but the proprietary card system and it not being industry standard G-code and is chained to its own software has me a bit worried. There are also a lot of negativity out there on the web but it all seems to be the 1st or 2nd generation of the carvewright. Then I read the build blog and see such amazing capabilities I am simply drawn back in.

    So I am pretty sold on the machine but I am worried about a few things. After all the computer work to make a pattern then the time to carve. How much time is spent afterwards with sanding? Does the carvewright not carve with a good resolution and extensive sanding is needed?
    I am a broke college student with very limited budget and no tools or much space. I am kind of looking at this machine as a all purpose machine. I mean there is a sanding mop and cutting bits, I should be able to finish sand and cut to shape with the machine right? Provided the board is not too thick right and support tabs excluded?

    The vast majority of the projects I see on the forum are signs. I understand that sign making is easy and fast with the machine but it can be consistently more than that right? My vision is to do movie props, and props from video games and sell at comic conventions. This would work on a regular basis right? I could load in a 2x4 and carve out a Sword from Lord of the Rings with relative ease and repeatedly right? Then I can also scale down and do jewelry and small trinkets too right? Then another dream is to do the golden idol from Indiana Jones.

    Is this a realistic goal? My other question is to the craft show people and farmers markets. How fast can the machine pay for itself?

    Please be honest and straight, I fear I may have been daydreaming too big and before I am foolish and spend a bunch of money I might need a dose of reality.

    Thank you
    I would suggest that you download the trial version of the software and design a few fairly simple projects to get a good idea of what it can do. That won't answer all of your questions but it's a place to start. You can also upload your trial projects here on the forum for advise.
    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,187

    Default

    Stripes, for me this machine is part of my woodworking hobby and I think I have made maybe 20 dollars from my carvings. I also now sell patterns and make patterns and I am now getting close to 100.00 sold. lol. Having said that I have probably given away thousands of dollars worth of gifts that I carved on this little machine. So indirectly it probably has paid for itself.

    In addition to the machine you will also have to consider what software you want and need. To keep the price point down on an entry level cnc machine the software suite has been split into different tools. You don't need them if you are only making basic patterns or buying them but if you want to go beyond that you will need at least some of the advanced software tools. There are features in the machine that annoy me but then it produces a piece of art so I ignore my annoyance. The machine is an incredibly capable tool that takes my woodworking to the next level.

    It can easily create most props and with the right software tools create large and complex carvings. Whipped up this pattern in under an hour. But why, oh why the Indiana Jones Golden idol?!?!

    Good luck on whatever you get.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CW idol.png   idol.jpg  

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Kaukauna, Wisconsin
    Posts
    474

    Default

    The machines carve very nice and depending on wood type need very little sanding. The harder the better, soft woods fuzzy a bit but not to bad sanding fixes quick. Tight grain seems to carve the best, wider grains seem to be more pron to tear out in high detail work. As far as the sanding goes, no the mops do not mount in the machine. The machine does not sand the work. that must be done with other methods. On tight grain hardwoods I like to touch sand to break any sharp edges and prep for finishing. That be said, the mops do drill mount, and a cordless drill can make short use of this job. A cordless drill if purchase right can be handy to a small area shop. Make sure the battery fits other cordless tooling, such as a circular saw and jig saw, which will make life a bit easier as well.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oscarl48 View Post
    But why, oh why the Indiana Jones Golden idol?!?!
    Oh, it is just so iconic and if you creep around prop maker forums and Indy fan groups, the golden idol is a very coveted item. So many 3d print it or sculpt themselves and there are a few known propmakers that sell copies. All of these get torn apart and nitpicked to a level of detail that is simply ridiculous. There is a group of people that know every scratch and every line of the original prop and can tell when the prop was switched to a back up prop and etc.
    Although I don't need one at such an extreme level of accuracy I always thought it would be cool to have one.

    But that is just one project that is on my ever growing list. One other major one that is on my list is my GrandAunt went to some asian country and brought back a rosewood carved screen panel. It is very ornate, this was passed to my Gandmother and then passed to my folks and now to me. Over the years of the 4 panels a few sections have broken out and there are only 4 panels. I was thinking if I got the scanning probe I should be able to scan in and cut new panels and make them of 1 piece and thus a bit sturdier. The once I have my own set complete to my liking I figured I could sell screens, because whenever I see such things although I have never seen one as ornate as the one I have they are always super expensive.

  8. Default

    I have tried to download the software and it won't open on my Mac, I have contacted support to see if they know what is up. Hope they have a fix

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    The Great Texas Gulf Coast
    Posts
    5,345

    Default

    Page 7 of Installation Instructions.
    CarveWright CX Packaged System - starting at $2000
    CarversClub 1 Year Subscription - $150.00/year
    Adv. Support w/out CC membership - $25.00/issue
    CarveWright Community Forum - PRICELESS!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE PA USA
    Posts
    9,899

    Default

    Since you will be going to shows to sell, look into the copyright of the items you are planning to make and sell.

    Good Luck,

    AL
    Favorite Saying.... "It's ALL About the Brass Roller"..... And "Use MASKING TAPE" for board skipping in the X or breaking bits.

    Follow ME on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Accoun...50019051727074

    www.PoconoDigitalWoodshop.com

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