Carvey (via kickstarter)
The Carvey is a CNC router that carves your design into any piece of wood, soft metal, and plastic. What's more, is it's so simple a 5th grader could probably use it... or at least that's what their video suggests. Their campaign blew up Kickstarter as they reached their goal of $50,000 in 1.5 hours! The Carvey campaign is now huge, as they have currently raised over $650,000 in about ten days (I know – I wish I was them right now). The early bird Carveys are all gone at a price of $1999, however, you can score a Carvey of your own for $2399 and up now.
This CNC (carver) router looks pretty polished, so I guess there is some truth to taking advantage of not being the first to enter a market. I imagine they have been able to learn from the mistakes and folly of others. While 3D carving into plates of material is not a new concept, since engraving is an art that has existed for ages, it is new to do it in your own home. The Carvey carves into objects rather than creating the object using an extrusion process like a 3D printer does. But, the important thing is it works and seems to be able to make some pretty cool things. I remember using a laser cutter to make inlay designs into a wood pane... the issue is the laser entirely charred the wood inlay unevenly which made it look like it accidentally caught fire at one point. - Not the look I was going for.
With this 3D carver, you don't have that problem. It seems simple enough to use and creates clean and sleek designs. However, it must be noted that the Carvey is not actually 3D as of yet. The Kickstarter campaign notes that, although the Carvey hardware could carve in 3D, the software only supports 2.5D at this moment. The compatible software they have paired their Carvey with is called Easel and is free to download. So, at least you won't have to spend extra on that. Easel combines CAD, CAM, and Controller for a software that is intuitive and make it easy to just hit print. The Carvey will also calibrate itself so you don't have to worry about the exact positioning of the board.
Although I don't necessarily have a use for it, I kind of want one. If you are an arts and crafts maker, or carpenter, I imagine this will come in handy and actually pay for itself after a while. Otherwise, you can make the best gifts in town, if you don't have a practical use for it.
Carvey's build area is 12”x8”x2.75” and the milling bit inside the carver can be changed to a variety of sizes. The controller and firmware are open source so that you can program the Carvey yourself and use your own software, if you wish. Overall, it seems pretty cool and an easy plug-and-play solution for ultimate usability.
See more news at: