CNC4Newbie New Carve Review – It’s Not Just For Newbs
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This is our review of the CNC4Newbie New Carve, an impressive hobbyist CNC router that offers an impressive amount of customizability.
Whether it’s your first time buying a router or you’re an experienced hobbyist, it’s always important to do as much research as possible before forking out hundreds, or thousands on a machine.
That’s why I’m putting my many years of experience with CNC machines to good use, by reviewing different routers and mills so you can better decide the right one for you.
CNC4Newbie New Carve Review Summary
Having conducted my CNC4Newbie New Carve review, I believe it’s certainly worth considering for the more experienced hobbyist.
This is largely due to its customizability – you can choose from five different frame sizes, four different spindle mounts, an optional control board, and more.
So, if you’re looking for a really solid base you can experiment with, then the New Carve offers plenty of opportunities, though it may be a bit complex for complete beginners.
The price is also largely determined by what extras you choose – the base kit costs $1,596, though for that you basically just get a frame.
If you add every premium option to the largest kit you’re looking at over $3,000. The fully assembled router justifies that price, though likely only for more serious hobbyists and small business owners.
If you’d like to learn more about the CNC4Newbie New Carve, continue reading. We’ll take a close look at all the things this machine does well along with the limitations you need to be aware of when making a purchase.
Size & Working Area
One interesting aspect of the New Carve is that, unlike most other CNC routers, CNC4Newbie gives you the choice of five different sizes.
This router is available in five different sizes – 500 (which is the base kit), 750, 1000, 1045, and 4545.
Here’s a look at how each model differs in terms of total size, working area, and price.
|Model||Total size||Working area||Price|
|500||28”x26”x22”||15.75”x14.5”x7”||$0 extra cost|
As you can see, this gives you plenty of choices when it comes to picking the right size machine for your workshop and projects.
If you want to work on small home projects with a compact benchtop router you can go for the 500 or 750, while the 4545 provides serious hobbyists and business owners a much larger working space to work on bigger projects like advertising boards and furniture.
The CNC4Newbie website also states that the company can provide the machine in other sizes upon demand.
Build & Stability
There’s no doubt that the extremely sturdy frame is one of the highlights of the New Carve.
It has a 2040 extruded aluminum base frame, which helps provide a fantastic level of stability while machining.
The machine is also made up of various precision machined, 1/2” thick 6061T6 aluminum plates.
These include a 6” wide front plate that’s attached to the Z axis slider and is capable of handling an industrial 2.2kw spindle, so it can perform high strength, demanding work with impressive durability.
You don’t just need to take my word for it, though – plenty of other reviewers have complimented the fantastic rigidness of the New Carve.
One thing to bear in mind is that there isn’t an MDF wasteboard included in the New Carve kit. The set up instructions do explain how to build your own wasteboard, and New Carve users have stated they’re accurate and easy to follow.
You have a choice of four different spindle mounts when you purchase the CNC4Newbie New Carve, although they all cost extra. These are:
- 65mm – $80
- 69mm – $80
- 80mm – $100
- 89mm – $115
These are both really popular spindles that offer enough power for most hobbyist projects. If you want to use a VFD spindle with the New Carve kit, CNC4Newbie suggests purchasing one from BNR Custom Woodworking.
The site offers both water-cooled and air-cooled spindles that come preprogrammed to work with the New Carve controller, which makes it easier to get started.
My CNC4Newbie New Carve review found that you can cut a variety of different materials with this router, although it’s best suited to working on soft materials like wood, plastic, acrylics, PVC, foam, and composites.
One of the most common questions I see asked about hobbyist CNC routers is whether they can cut aluminum and other metals.
The answer is usually yes, but only if they’re set up in the right way, and this is the case for the New Carve.
To cut aluminum, you’ll need to pair the New Carve with a spindle of at least 2HP and select the right RPM – for example, a 2HP spindle with a 1/4” endmill running at 18,000RPM can effectively cut aluminum to a depth of 0.25” at up to 100ipm, as shown in this video on CNC4Newbie Facebook page.
Bear in mind that even with these settings, it may still be difficult to achieve fast, high-quality aluminum cutting, and if this is your main priority you may be better off with a CNC router for aluminum.
Each of the three axes on the New Carve are driven by a lead screw drive mechanism with anti-backlash nuts. The X and Y axes use 12mm lead screw drives and the Z axis uses an 8mm screw drive.
These are direct drive lead screws, so there’s no need for a slip belt like there is in the majority of cheap hobbyist routers.
This helps boost rigidity and therefore achieve higher performance, as well as eliminating the risk of the belt drive breaking. As other people have pointed out, this makes the New Carve preferable over belt-driven machines that can cost up to $2,000.
There are also square linear bearings supporting each axis – 15mm on the X and Y axes and a 9mm bearing on the Z axis.
These have an advantage over the V wheel bearings used on many other hobbyist routers in that they are more rigid and therefore have less vibration, but you’ll need to lubricate and maintain them properly in order to achieve the best results.
Control & Electronics
CNC4Newbie gives you the chance to add the Demon CNC Controller to your package for an additional $350.
This is a GRBL-based CNC control board that’s neatly contained within a black box.
All the components are prewired so you can easily attach your motor cables and limit switches via screw terminals, and it comes with a USB cable for connecting to your PC.
The Demon Controller comes with four TB6600 stepper motor drivers, and unlike most other integrated CNC controllers, you can replace the drivers without having to replace the entire control board.
If you don’t want to use the Demon, you can buy the New Carve without it and use a different controller of your choosing.
The New Carve doesn’t offer an offline control module.
In terms of the other electronics, movement is generated by four NEMA 23 269 oz-in stepper motors – if you choose to add them to your kit for $170.
There’s one motor on both the X and Y axis, and the Z axis is driven by two motors.
There are limit switches on each axis to prevent the computer from overworking the machine, and the base kit comes with drag chains for the X and Y axis that guide and protect the wiring.
You can order the kit without a wiring package or add one for $96 for the three smaller models and $101 for the largest two.
Users have pointed out that the Demon Controller helps to simplify the wiring process.
Unlike some other hobbyist CNC routers, such as the MakerMade M2, the New Carve doesn’t come with any software package.
So, it’s completely up to you which programs you choose to use.
For the control software, you’ll need to use GRBL-based software. The most popular free options are GRBL Controller and GRBL Candle, but there are also various high-quality paid control programs, like bCNC.
You’ll also need a suitable CAD/CAM software for creating your designs and converting them into g code – you can check out our top recommendations for both free and paid programs in our CNC software guide.
Most hobbyist CNC routers come as a standard kit, and many manufacturers then offer additional accessories you can buy separately to upgrade your machine.
The New Carve is a bit different as you can already get a really powerful kit due to the various purchase options available.
One of the most popular CNC router upgrades is to add a laser module, and while CNC4Newbie doesn’t offer its own laser module, you can still add one to the New Carve. If you want to do this, I recommend the Opt Lasers kit.
This is designed specifically for the New Carve and lets you upgrade the machine to a high-powered laser engraver for $885.
The New Carve is reasonably easy to assemble, even if it’s not as simple as smaller machines like 3018 CNC routers. The three axes come preassembled while the screws and bearings and preinstalled, which makes things easier.
You’ll get a very useful manual with your New Carve kit that explains each step in detail along with pictures, and there are also various YouTube videos and a detailed online guide you can follow if you need more help.
How long it takes to put together depends a lot on your experience doing this kind of thing – if you’re familiar with assembling CNC routers you can get it done in less than a day, but if you’re a beginner it may take a bit longer.
I’ve tried many different CNC machines, and one thing that can sometimes slip under the radar when purchasing one is the level of customer support you get.
My review found that CNC4Newbie doesn’t quite offer the same level of service as the likes of BobsCNC or MakerMade, which may be due to it being a newer, smaller company.
Some people have stated that the company’s support is not always responsive.
There are a series of helpful resources on the New Carve available on the company’s site, as well as the option to pay for a personal two-hour training session for $125.
- Size: from 28”x26”x22” to 64”x64”x22”
- Engraving area: from 15.75”x14x5”x7” to 51”x52”x7”
- Frame material: aluminum
- Spindle: Bought separately (supports 65mm, 69mm, 80mm, and 89mm clamps)
- Motors: stepper
- Drive system: lead screw
- Control: Online
- Software: GRBL
- Connectivity: USB
There are certainly several benefits that come with going with the CNC4Newbie New Carve as your CNC router of choice.
For starters, the aluminum frame is really sturdy, rigid, and durable, so it provides a very solid base from which to build your machine.
What really makes it stand out is the various options you can choose from when building your package – far more than most other similarly priced machines.
This means you have a lot of freedom when it comes to determining the size of the machine, the spindle you want to use, the controller, motors, and software.
On the downside, it can end up being a pretty costly machine to build and maintain, and the customer support and user community aren’t up to the same levels as you get if you buy a machine from better-known manufacturers.
However, these are ultimately relatively minor drawbacks to what overall is a solid kit.
Want to buy the CNC4Newbie New Carve for yourself? You can easily purchase it today through the company’s website, with the base kit starting from $1,596.
If you’d like to check out some other CNC routers, these are some of the top machines for hobbyists and small business owners.
This is due to the manufacturer’s aim to make large-scale CNC work more easily available to the average hobbyist.
With this machine, you get a wall-mounted router that doesn’t take up a huge amount of space, a really active user community, and the ability to work on super-size projects. Check out our MakerMade M2 review to learn more.
Read our full review here: MakerMade M2 review
BobsCNC Evolution 4
- Price: $1,230 — Available at Amazon here
The BobsCNC Evolution 4 is one of the most popular options among people looking for a really solid router for an affordable price.
It provides a really decent 2ft by 2ft working area, and the price is kept low thanks to the distinctive wooden frame, rather than aluminum.
You can keep the repeatability super-low provided the router is set up quickly, and it’s even capable of working on aluminum under the right conditions. If you want to find out more about this router, you can read our BobsCNC Evo 4 review.
Read our full review here: BobsCNC Evo 4 review
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