Some of the questions commonly asked by our customers…
This is what we think separates us from the rest
- Certified Australian Made and Owned and supported here in Laverton North, VIC (15min west of Melbourne)
- Assembled and tested before pick up or partially disassembled for dispatch
- These are not Chinese kits that you have to put together yourself and deal with little to no support
- If you decide to pick up your CNC, we will give you a full overview and answer any questions you may have
- A phone call, message or email support. If you have a question, issue or just want to show off your latest carve, I am there to help
- A well established and supportive BlueCarve community
- Great range of options to suit your needs
- Best after sales service in the industry
Do I need an electrician?
There are no exposed high voltage 240V power to wire up and therefore you do not need to pay hundreds for an electrician. The Bluey and Turbo have been designed with safety in mind using Australian approved power sources. On the odd occasion for transportation purposes we will be required to separate the VFD for Blueys. You would be required to engage an electrician to complete the final connection of mains power.
How many pieces does it come in and is assembly difficult?
If you pick up your CNC at our factory in Laverton North 3026 VIC, your Bluey and Turbo comes fully assembled. All I ask is that you bring your laptop and/or router along when you do. Together we will install the computer driver needed to run the CNC and ensure your CNC is operating correctly. I will give you a full overview and ensure all is working well. I’ll help you load your CNC into your vehicle and most new owners are cutting by that afternoon. Bluey or Turbos picked up will not be boxed or crated so it is advisable to bring either a trailer, van or vehicle with a large boot.
If you are interstate you will receive your Bluey in either 1 or 2 boxes in 4 main parts. Assembly is straight forward, with instructions provided and of course you can ask for assistance over the phone or via instant messaging. You will probably need between 30min and 1 hour to assemble a Bluey to start carving. There are 12 wires to screw back into their respective terminals, 8 main screws to assembly the gantry, 6 screws to tighten to assemble the base, 2 screws to reattach the bracket arm and 6 wires to reattach to their respective limit switches. This is one advantage the Bluey has over other similar DIY CNCs where they may take 10hrs or more to assemble.
If you purchase a Turbo and require it to be shipped, we will pack your CNC into a palleted crate. The Z axis is either dropped down or removed all together to reduce the overall size and therefore the shipping charge is reduced. You will be required to reattach the Z axis with the instructions provided.
What can I cut?
There is little difference in what you can cut on a BlueCarve CNC vs. any other CNC on the market. The most common materials include:
- Wood, ply, MDF, hardwood, softwood
- Composite panel (ACM)
- Aluminium and soft metals
The main consideration between the BlueCarve vs a $5000+ CNC machine is rigidity. This has an impact on quality of cut and speed of cutting. If you plan on cutting thick aluminium with minimal passes and achieve a flawless finish, most likely no 1mx1m rail CNC under $5000 will meet your requirements. What you are looking for there is a CNC mill, not a CNC router.
What are the main differences between the Bluey and the Turbo?
Both the BlueCarve Bluey and Turbo have been tailored to your specific need and budget. Both models will perform the same functions like 2.5D and 3D although where they differ are rigidity and price.
The Bluey is an excellent entry level, prototyping hobby machine. If you are wanting to test a new business idea or always wanted a CNC, the Bluey will not disappoint as there is no parallel out there when comparing both price and capability. Based on the X-Carve and XYZCarve wheel and belt build, the Bluey has been boosted with improvements that provide noticeable differences. These include:
- 3GT belts vs 2GT belts
- 6mm 5083 aluminium plates vs 2.7mm steel plates
- 340ozin vs 167 ozin stepper motors
- Linear rail Z axis option vs wheel z axis
The Turbo on the other hand was designed and made for next level performance at an affordable price. The Turbo sports a 16mm ball screw drive and 15mm linear rail motion. Coupled with heavier extrusion and superior Trinamic stepper drivers, there is no CNC in it’s class that can achieve both accuracy (0.1mm) and speed (8000mm/min rapids) even with our largest size. Customers are able to drive their Turbos at about 3x the feed rate of a Bluey when carving, while achieving greater accuracy at only twice the price of a Bluey.
What are the limitations?
It is important to note that the BlueCarve range of CNCs are not aimed for industrial or production runs. We have had customers get really good at using their Blueys and Turbos to be able to cut for hours on a daily basis. This can be achievable by adhering to regular maintenance schedules and knowing their machines well. These customers usually end up increasing the number of BlueCarve CNCs or upgrade to a Turbo. The record is three 1.5×1.5 Turbos!
What software does my BlueCarve CNC come with?
The BlueCarve suite of CNCs operates on the open source GRBL platform. This has the benefit of being flexibility, allowing you to choose what software suits you best. The three components that is required to complete a project include Computer Aided Design (CAM), Computer Aided Machining (CAM) and Sender. There is one program available that is fully compatible that does all three components and that is Easel. An internet connection will be required to use this program. Easel is intuitive, easy to use but limited to 2D/2.5D projects. There is a subscription option called Pro within Easel that provides extra functionality but is mostly not necessary. It is a requirement to first use Easel with your BlueCarve CNC before venturing into other programs such as gSender or UGS.
If you would like to explore other CAD, CAM and/or Sender options they include:
- Vectric Aspire (CAD/CAM/Sender – $$$$)
- Vectric Vcarve (CAD/CAM/Sender – $$$)
- Carveco (CAD/CAM – $$/Subscription)
- Fusion360 (CAD/CAM – $$$/Subscription)
- OpenBuilds CAM (CAD/CAM/Sender – FREE)
- Estlcam (CAM/Sender – FREE/$)
What can I make?
This is where your imagination is your limitation! Of recent BlueCarve CNC customers have used their CNC to make guitar bodies, chopping board inlays, beetle catcher kits for bee hives, ply ribs for wooden surf boards, car parts, art displays, resin pours and the list goes on. You will see some great work in the Gallery, the BlueCarve Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Bluecarve and on Instagram with hashtag #Bluecarve for projects and videos.
What about bits?
You are in luck here! I operate Adam’s Bits which is renowned to having the best valued and great quality router bits in Australia. You get $50 worth of router bits and accessories from www.endmill.com.au based on what you are planning to cut. If you think you it cannot get any better, I will provide you with a discount code to receive 20% of the entire range of CNC router bits on my site for life of your BlueCarve CNC.
With your purchase of a BlueCarve CNC you will receive 8 end mills and a 6.35 to 3.175mm collet adaptor to fit your Makita Trimmer.
The starter bits can sometime vary due to supply but in essence they include:
1x 1 flute up cut for plastics
5x 2 flute straight for timbers
2x 2 flute down cut for timbers
You still have a chance up until shipping to purchase the surfacing bit and 6mm collet for $30. This will allow you to also utilise 6mm CNC router bits. Also you may want to consider the 3.175mm and/or 4mm collet for the Makita trimmer in lieu of the collet adaptor.
How do I order?
There are three ways to order.
- Request a quote via the shop https://www.bluecarve.com.au/shop/ We do not have a shipping charge solution as we use 4 seperate transport brokers to provide you the cheapest and best cost. Upon receiving your request for quotation, I will apply a shipping charge. We do not believe in “free shipping” as it inflates the price unnecessarily so we will quote the price to us, plus a $50 pallet charge.
- You are welcome to come by and see a demo for yourself at the showroom at Laverton North, 3026 VIC. Subject to availability, I may not have a Bluey/Turbo for you to purchase on the day however you can order on the day and pick up once made.
- The third (slowest) method is to ask for a quote. When you do, please provide details on:
- Name, delivery address, phone number, email
- Model and size
- Upgrades and accessories
To secure you build, you can either pay a $300 deposit, or the full amount.
How much is freight within Australia?
We use 4 booking agents to give the best shipping option. I do not make a profit on freight and it takes me about 2hrs to disassemble and pack your Bluey and Turbo so freight is only available for interstate or regional Victoria buyers. Delivery takes up to a week but is quick in most circumstances. Sometimes items maybe damaged in transit of which I ask that you completely assemble your machine and send me a message with what needs replacing. I will ASAP send replacement parts in the mail to not delay you.
The most expensive shipping option is delivery to door, to depot for pick up, tailgate commercial delivery and cheapest, forklift commercial delivery. You may want to consider a depot delivery option for pick up. This option is usually half the price of delivery to door and allows pick up at your convenience.
How long before I get it?
Your BlueCarve CNC is made to order with each unit taking about a week to build and test. Please check the front page regarding updated estimated delivery times.
May I order a smaller custom size?
Yes, any size smaller is possible. Some customers prefer this to accommodate a space constraint they might have. Unfortunately there is actually more work in adapting to a smaller size so there is no cost saving so I usually chuck in a few extra bits.
You will need the following to complete your set up
A flat table to put your CNC on
This table does not have to be rock solid but the sturdier the better. Some customers have built torsion boxes but it really depends what you will be doing. If you are planning to 3D carve, you will appreciate a sturdy table reduce any inconsistencies. Whatever you do, try not to build a fully welded steel table to sit your CNC directly. The electronic noise created from inductance plays up with the USB connection and you might incur some issues. If you do wish to build a table from steel, install a timber top to separate the CNC from the steel structure.
Any laptop, old or new is fine as long as it has a USB port. Older versions of Windows take an extra step to work although Windows as far as Win7 work fine. Even a slow laptop will still drive the BlueCarve comfortably but you would want a laptop with some speed to enhance your overall experience.
Your BlueCarve CNC includes a 65mm inner diameter mount which accommodates a Makita RT0700CX trimmer. These may be found in Bunnings or any good tool store for $259. I only support shaft sizes of 65mm which excludes DeWalt with a 68.5mm shaft. Makita is the preferred tool for the job being the most reliable based on my research.
Is there a warranty period?
At BlueCarve we pride ourselves on having one of the best customer service experiences in the industry. Issues sometimes happen but we are here to help! You may be required to assist in diagnosing and replacing parts if necessary. Alternatively, you may want to bring your CNC in to have it looked at free of charge. If you do not feel comfortable in assisting or have no means to visit us at Laverton North VIC 3026 I will be honest and say that the BlueCarve series of CNCs might not fit your needs. Also, it is also good to get to know your BlueCarve CNC well and to be confident before accepting customer orders. We will endeavour to assist you in a timely manner, but patience is appreciated.
We provide a 12 month warranty on all mechanical and controller parts. Lasers, water and air cooled spindle have a 6 months warranty. Support includes technical as well as general questions which could range from problems with your CNC as well as undesired cutting results. I am happy to provide you replacement parts within that warranty period. Back to factory postage is not covered but postage to customer is covered within warranty period. The best way to get in contact is via BlueCarve CNC Facebook messenger so that I can send and receive photos for reference.
How loud is it when cutting?
If you are cutting timber, the maximum setting you should set your trimmer to is 2 ½ which is about 15k RPM. Then depending on the bit you use you will experience anything from a little noise above the noise of the trimmer to considerable sound. It is advisable to use a relatively small bit 2mm or a 3.175mm bit with the shortest length to reduce the noise produced.
What tolerances can I achieve?
Your Turbo is “factory set” with nominal settings with tolerances of 0.1m.
With a Bluey, being a belt driven CNC, If you would like to get within 0.1mm you will need to perform regular calibration which is relatively simple. I recommend using http://www.millrightcnc.info/#tune and by using a ruler and updating a few numbers, you can achieve such accuracies.
Albeit the remaining inaccuracy is due to the runout of the Makita collet as these are mass made and usually not checked. If you are really wanting the last point of a millimetre, you may want to look into using a spindle where higher accuracies can possibly be achieved.
What maintenance tasks do I need to do?
Both CNCs require regular cleaning of rails and drive screws, lubrication of drive screws and linear rails and periodical check of nuts and bolts.
The Bluey being a belt and wheel driven CNC requires regular maintenance enable peak performance. Wheels Using a 10mm spanner, check each wheel by turning with one finger. If you can freely spin the wheel, tighten the eccentric spacer. Belts Check the tension of the belt but homing your Bluey (or moving each axis to a corner by hand). If you can barely fit 2 or 3 fingers under the belt in the middle of the axis, tighten the end belt clip.
The Turbo has linear rails and ball screws that require to be clean an lubricated with white lithium grease spray.
What safety measures do I need to keep mind of?
Operating a CNC is relatively safe but you need to adhere to the following precautions:
- Wear safety glasses when CNC is in operation
- Wear ear muffs when trimmer is operating above levels that can cause hearing loss
- Keep body parts a clear distance from the CNC while in operation
- Do not touch the trimmer when turned on
- Do not leave your CNC unattended while in operation
- CNC Controller is not to be kept in an enclosed area, allowing free flowing air at all times Router bits are sharp, take care when handling
During operation of your BlueCarve CNC laser you must:
- Wear suitable laser goggles when power is connected to the laser module
- Only allow other people also wearing laser safety goggles in the room when the laser is powered
- Restrict access to the room where your laser is operating
- Only connect power to the laser module once module is attached to the Z axis with the lens facing down to the waste board