Check out the BlueCarve range of CNCs at www.bluecarve.com.au
Thank you for taking an interest in the BlueCarve CNC Router - Bluey! I am proud to provide a product that excites many when they receive theirs and even more so excites me when I see what people do! I am genuinely interested as I am a hobbyist myself, busily tinkering away in the shed, making cool things. I bet you have many questions so I hope you find this information helpful. My goal with BlueCarve CNC is to continue providing Australia’s most affordable, Australian Made and assembled CNC together with prompt support as well as experience in choosing the right tool for the job.
Thanks a million for looking! Adam
BlueCarve “Bluey” Specifications
This is just an overview of which I will explain into more detail further on
- Cutting area 1000x1000mm rail size, 750 x 750mm cutting area, 65-85mm height clearance
- Motion controller Arduino Uno CNC Controller, GRBL 1.1 with optimal settings loaded
- Software The choice is yours! o Start with (free CAD/CAM/Sender) Inventables’ Easel – I support questions with Easel only
- You may also want to use Fusion360 (free CAD/CAM) + CNCJS or UGS (free Sender) o Aspire/ Vectric (paid CAD) + CNCJS or UGS (free Sender)
- Stepper motors 340ozin Nema23 8mm shaft (X & Y axis) & 167ozin Nema23 for (Z axis)
- Wiring & structure 4 core shielded cables throughout, 6mm aluminium structural 5083 plates, powder coated in BlueCarve blue, aluminium double trimmer mount, chunky 15x30 drag chain
- Power supply Australian approved 24v power pack
- Homing Micro switch for X, Y & Z back to 0, 0, 0.
- Motion Gt3 reinforced belts & 20 tooth pulleys
- Bits $50 worth of bits
How does the Bluey compare to an X-Carve / XYZ-Carve
790x790 cutting area
750x750 cutting area
Size reduction available
Upgradable to 1500mm Y axis
Motors X & Y
Nema23 167ozin – 6.35mm shaft
Nema23 330ozin- 8mm shaft
Nema23 167ozin – 6.35mm shaft
Nema23 167ozin – 8mm shaft
Belts & Pulleys
2GT – radius 2mm belts with 6.35mm pulley
3GT – radius 3mm with 8mm pulley
2.7mm steel plates
6mm aluminum plates
GRBL Arduino controller
GRBL Arduino controller
Z axis upgradable
Yes - Linear rail Z axis $150
Shipping to AU
$40 - $80 AUD
Assembled for local pickup
Semi assembled Interstate shipping
USA via email
AU support via phone, Messenger, whatsapp SMS
$65 worth and 20% off www.endmill.com.au
Before you go on, how much does the standard BlueCarve cost?
The standard BlueCarve Bluey 1000x1000mm costs $1490 and includes all the items mentioned above. Unlike competitors, there are no surprises or tricks to get you in the door. A Makita trimmer, MDF board from Bunnings as well as a laptop/computer is all you need to start cutting. That’s it. I also think that the standard 1000x1000mm is a great CNC in its own right but do offer upgrades like extended cutting area, upgraded Z axis and accessories.
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. Bluey has been designed with safety in mind using Australian approved power sources.
How many pieces does it come in and is assembly difficult?
If you pick up your CNC in Ravenhall Victoria 3023, your Bluey comes 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 log onto your free Easel account. I will give you a full overview, complete your first carve 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. If you are interstate you will receive your Bluey in 2 boxes in 4 main parts. Assembly is straight forward, with instructions provided and of course assistance, over the phone or via instant messaging, if required, from myself. You will probably need between 30min and 1hour 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 up to 10hrs to assemble.
What can I cut?
There is little difference in what you can cut on a Bluey vs. any other CNC on the market. The most common materials include:
- Wood, ply, MDF, hardwood, softwood
The main consideration between the BlueCarve vs a $5000+ CNC machine is the rigidity which in turn has an impact on quality of cut and speed of cutting. If you plan to cut thick aluminium with minimal passes and achieve a flawless finish, most likely no 1mx1m rail CNC under for under $5000 will meet your requirements without serious upgrades. What you are looking for there is a CNC mill, not a CNC router.
What can I make?
This is where your imagination is your limitation! Of recent Bluey 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. Please have a look at the BlueCarve Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Bluecarve for videos, projects and information.
Can I 3D carve?
Yes! You will need to acquire the appropriate software as the standard Easel is for basic 2D/2.5D projects.
Some 3D programs include:
- Vectric Desktop / Pro / Cut3D / Aspire (paid)
- Fusion360 (free)
- MeshCAM (paid)
CNC cook book has a great article on choosing software https://www.cnccookbook.com/best-cad-cam-software-forcnc-beginners-diy-hobbyists/
You will still be required to run your G-Code through a sender like Easel, CNCJS or UGS.
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. This translates to about 6-8 router bits which is enough to get you going plus a bit more. 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 router bits on my site for life of your Bluey.
How do I order?
Visit the official BlueCarve CNC page to request a quote and view the full suit of CNCs.
How much is freight within Australia?
There are a couple of freight options for interstate/ regional deliveries. I use both e-go logistics and Couriers Please although are welcome to engage your own courier. Cost of freight ranges from $40 to $80 depending on your location. I do not make a profit on freight and it takes me about 2hrs to disassemble and pack your Bluey so freight is only available for interstate buyers or regional Victoria. 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.
How long before I get it?
Your Bluey is made to order with each unit taking about a week to build and test. If I have standard size orders and parts on hand, I can manage to get 2 out per week. If there are any delays with production or backlog, I will keep you informed. Just a tip, do not start taking orders for carvings before you receive your Bluey!
What is the standard size of the BlueCarve CNC?
The standard rail size of a BlueCarve Bluey is
- Rail size 1000 x 1000mm
- Overall area 1200mm (left to right) x 1000mm (front to back) footprint (table area needed for your BlueCarve)
- Cutting area 750 x 750mm
- Clearance height 65mm (up and down) capable of 85mm by removing 2nd waste board and adjusting standard z axis or purchasing the Z axis upgrade
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.
Any other cool upgrades?
A standard Bluey 1000x1000mm is more than sufficient for many users but there are a few cool inclusions you might want to consider.
- Increase to 1000x1500mm You can extend the Y axis (front to back) by an extra 500mm giving you a total cutting area of 750x1250mm without loss of rigidity. The additional cost is in the doubling of the X axis rails which involves new Y axis end plates.
- Additional $250 ($500 to retrofit existing)
- Z axis upgrade Once again for most users, the standard Z axis is sufficient, but you might want to consider a Z upgrade for two reasons.
- Extra rigidity which allows for cleaner and faster cuts.
- Full access to the full 85mm clearance height without adjustment oAdditional $150 ($170 to retrofit existing)
- 7.5w BluLaser A really cool addition is a 7.5w blue diode laser. This enables you to economically convert your Bluey to a fully functional laser CNC. Included in the cost is everything that you need to start engraving (additional software purchase needed ~$40usd). Blue diode lasers are fantastic engravers and can cut thin material.
- Additional $450 ($490 to retrofit existing)
- Z probe Reduce time and increase cutting depth accuracy, with a Z probe. Your Z probe will be installed and tested. You will need to set up the Z probe on your computer which is relatively easy.
- Additional $30
What else is there needed to get carving?
You will need the following:
- 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. 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.
- Laptop/Computer – 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. With Easel, by Inventables being an online software, many customers choose to create their design on a faster computer in the house then open the project on their shed/garage laptop. You will need to be connected to the internet to open and save files. You can after opening Easel connect to your Bluey to operate without a connection.
- Trimmer – Your Bluey includes a 65mm inner diameter mount which accommodates a Makita RT0700C trimmer / palm router. These may be found in Bunnings or any good tool store for $239. I only support shaft sizes of 65mm which excludes DeWalt with an 68.5mm shaft. Makita is the preferred tool for the job being the most reliable based on my research.
- Or Spindle You may also want to consider using a 1.5kw water cooled spindle with a shaft diameter of 65mm although I cannot assist with the set up due to the use of 240v. If you do go down this path look for a genuine inverter (easy way to know is if the inverter comes with a booklet or PDF copy), use a proper VFD cable and electrician. Even better, source a locally approved VFD with a rating of 240v (not 220v like grey imports)
- Base and Waste board - you will need both a base board and waste board for your Bluey. I recommend having both so that once you have destroyed your waste board, it is easier to replace. The base board is slipped in first and secured to your table, with the waste board screwed to that base board centered in the middle. Even though your total possible cut area is 750x750, you can get three sheets from the one full sheet from Bunnings.
- Base board thickness 18mm ($39 at Bunnings for a full sheet)
- 995x940mm (x1)
- 700x700mm (x2)
If you have opted for an upgraded size, use the following calculations for the base board:
- X axis (Left to right) rail size in mm minus 60mmoEg. 1000 – 60mm = 940
- Y axis (Front to Back) rail size in mm minus 5mmoEg. 1500 – 5mm = 1495
- Cut dimensions = 940 x 1495
- X axis (Left to right) rail size in mm minus 250mm
- Eg. 1000 – 250mm = 750
- Y axis (Front to Back) rail size in mm minus 250mm
- Eg. 1500 – 250mm = 1250
- Cut dimensions = 750 x 1250
Anything else should I consider buying?
I do suggest to purchase a Makita 6mm collet to accommodate both 6mm shank end mills and surfacing bits. Surfacing bits are used to level your waste board to ensure consistent cut and carves. You are welcome to add a 6mm collet and surfacing bit to your order for $30, normally $45. If you decide to purchase a collet and surfacing bit later, these can be purchased from Adam’s bits http://endmill.com.au/
Is there a warranty period?
I provide a 12 month warranty period. Support includes technical as well as general questions which could range from problems with your Bluey as well as undesired cutting results. I am happy to provide you replacement parts within that warranty period. The best way to get in contact is via Whatsapp, SMS or 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 Bluey is “factory set” with nominal settings. If you would like to get within 0.2mm, 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 millimeter, you may want to look into using a spindle where higher accuracies can possibly be achieved.
What maintenance tasks do I need to do?
Being a belt and wheel driven CNC there are a few regular maintenance tasks you need to perform.
- 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.
What safety measures do I need to keep mind of?
Operation of any 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