Be creative with the Carvey! The library provides various opportunities for our community to experiment and learn. The Carvey machine was donated by the Indian Prairie Public Library Foundation.
A Carvey is a computer-controlled milling machine for turning ideas into real projects. It engraves, shapes, and carves designs into pieces of wood, plastic, and other materials. Watch how it is used.
Who can carve?
Indian Prairie Public Library cardholders can use the Carvey with assistance from library staff.
What can I make?
How do I get started?
- Look for inspiration and designs to download on websites like Shopbot or Inventables Projects
- Develop your own unique design using Easel, the free web-based software for creating projects specifically for the Carvey
- Save your project into Easel and cut it out at an Open Maker Lab or submit a Carvey Request Form
When can I use the Carvey?
- The Carvey is available for use during open lab hours:
- Wednesday, Sept. 13, 6-8 p.m. (Youth Room)
- Tuesday, Oct. 3, 6-8 p.m. (Meeting Room)
- Wednesday, Oct. 11, 6-8 p.m. (Youth Room)
- Sunday, Oct. 15, 2-4 p.m. (Meeting Room)
- Wednesday, Nov. 8, 6-8 p.m. (Youth Room)
- You can submit objects to be carved by library staff and pick them up at a later date. Use the Carvey Request Form. Objects submitted using the form will be processed as staff time allows.
What are the specifications?
- Size: maximum size is 12 in. x 8 in. x 1 in. high
- Materials: wood, plastic, acrylic, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and similar materials
- Materials must be in new condition
What materials are available at the library?
- The library has two types of material available for purchase:
- Birch plywood. Size: 8 in. x 12 in. x 1/2 in. thick. Cost: $3.00
- Two-Color HDPE plasic. Size: 6 in. x 6 in. x 1/4 in. thick. Cost: $2.50
- There is no charge if you bring your own materials and they comply with the specifications listed above. You can purchase your own materials at:
Using Easel Best Practices
Set your material and material dimensions before designing. We offer birch plywood: 12” X 8”, $3.00; and two-color HDPE: 6” X 6”, $2.50. If you want to carve on other material, you will need to provide it.
- Select your bit setting: We have 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 bits. You should use the biggest bit possible to create your design.
- Set your cut depth: the bigger the number, the deeper the cut. Simulate your design before submitting. Orange paths mean the carving bit is too big to carve out that section of the design. Resize the design, or change to a smaller bit.
- Fonts: We recommend using Track or OCR. They are clear and readable at large and small sizes. Other fonts can be too intricate for small sizes.