Attempting automagic 3-axis zero in Easel

@CharleyThomas sells those 3-axis zeroing blocks. I bought one; it works great using UGS. What I don’t like is creating something in Easel, then having to close it completely, open UGS, zero my machine, then re-open Easel and begin carving.

I have a keyboard macro mapped to the F6 key, when pressed (when I’m in Easel), it goes through the exact same script and moves the spindle all around exactly like UGS does.

I have another keyboard macro mapped to F12, when pressed it issues the G28 command. However, that only returns the spindle to the zero point established at the time when the machine(xcontroller) was turned on; it thinks that point is the working zero.

Is it because Easel doesn’t support the Gcodes necessary to set and save the desired coordinates? If so, then how does Easel do it? Doesn’t Easel use some sort of GRBL/Gcode to set the XY zero position as well as the Z height when you probe? How can we access those same parameters?

This is an inconvenience imposed by Inventables / Easel development team. I have communicated with Zach Kaplin about this in the past and he said that allowing the g-code could have a ripple affect that could lead to problems with other users. I have to assume that he knows what he is talking about, after all he is the Head Hancho! What confuses me is the fact that the GRBL commands to probe and set the work zero points are surely no different than what my zeroing g-code uses. The Easel routine to zero the Z axis uses more to insure that there is an active circuit than I can do with standard G-Code which is more of a measure to prevent any bit breakage than anything. I don’t think it is a competition issue with my product. After all it is all open source except for Easel. So until such time as they decide to open up the G-Code spec for Easel to allow importing of G38.2 and G92 commands we are all stuck using UGS to achieve a true and repeatable X Y Z zero.


Easy fix. Get VCarve Desktop or Pro. Much better software. You can then run Charlies 3-axis zero, then run your project Gcode with UGS or PicSender. Bit changes only take a minute, including zeroing, and you get much more sophisticated tool pathing. And, it runs the same every time without having to guess what’s been changes have been made to the editor, or if it’s online. I haven’t looked back since I made the move.

I’d like to, but then I’d have to buy a PC. I’m currently using a Mac.

Yep, I use that to zero my 3 axis. Only a few weeks into this new CNC world and I’ve already discovered Easel’s limitations. Time to move on…vCarve looks like where I should go.

Wait there is a way to macro g28 so I don’t have to keep going into machine inspector?

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No. I use UGS to do the 3-axis zero, then go into Easel to carve. I’ll do the same with vCarve, but escape the limitations of Easel.

Anything that can be typed can be automated through a macro, you just have to have the right app to do so since Windows/Mac don’t have those automation abilities built-in.

any recomendation on an app? (WIndows user)

I use a Mac. Search the web for windows keyboard macros. It pulled up tons of results, but look for one that will allow the insertion of typed text as well as key presses.

for example, my G28 macro for the Mac is like this:

I press F12 - kb app sends Cmd-Shift-D (which opens the machine inspector)

  • kb app then sends a ‘Tab’ key
  • kb app then sends ‘G28’ as typed text
  • kb app then sends ‘Esc’ key (to close inspector window.

It all happens so fast you barely see the machine inspector window open/close.

most of the ones ive googled look to be loaded with malware

Be careful out there.

Try this one:

Can’t you try to close the COM port used by Easel? For example I would start by suspending the process (the serial sender component that Chrome uses) in Windows, doing UGS stuff and then resuming it.Maybe you can include these actions in your macros

Why wouldn’t Apples Automator (in the applications folder) work?

You might be able to, but Apple has removed several automator features with the last few versions of MacOS. I don’t think you can have it input text any longer…I didn’t spend too much time on it, but I did take a look. The keyboard app I found is very simple and intuitive, so I went with that one.

Have you tried AppleScript?

No. Never learned that…and not sure I want to since I’m spending so much time trying to learn this new XCarve thing.