Basic Easel questions


I’m in the midst of doing my “Intro to Easel” carve, and am super stoked!

I’m getting the impression that I’ve got to leave my computer plugged in, but I’ve got variations of the same “what if” question:

  • How hands off should I be with my computer that is running the carve?
  • What happens if my computer (I’m on a MacBook Air) goes to sleep in the middle of a carve? Or shouldn’t it do so automatically because it is “doing something”?
  • What happens if my browser crashes in the middle of a carve? (not dissimilar to the above two)

I know I could physically test this all myself… But… I’d prefer not to in case it’s got some dire consequences for the x-controller or something.

Thank you!

Welcome to the family, Jonathan! Read through the forums with your brain on sponge…
There is a ton of information here that you can learn from.

Absolutely…during any carve at least. I’ve had mine unplugged during power up and homing, but most definitely plug it in before starting any carve operation.

It’s not necessary to treat your computer with kid gloves during a carve, but try to avoid any memory intensive operations.
If you want to surf the web during a carve, open a new browser window, not just a tab. This separates easel into its own instance.

Not quite sure about a Mac, but I know that windows machines run their sleep timers on keyboard, mouse, touchscreen input, not on the processes that are running. I assume that a Mac would do the same.
It is highly recommended to turn off your power saving modes during a carve operation.
On windows machines, you can set up alternate profiles for the computer based on whether or not its plugged in or on battery.
I assume that Macs can do that as well. I have my windows 10 laptop set to maximum performance mode, with all power savings disabled during its plugged in state, so it’s all automatic for me. I recommend this if you can do it on your Mac.
It is also recommended to turn off the power savings on all USB ports and hubs (for ACPI) when connected to your x-carve. As these settings are automatically controlled in windows 10, they will have to be reset any time you plug or unplug the usb cable from your x carve on those machines. I would again assume that Macs are similar.

Well, honestly, that depends… While Easel is a web based application, on windows machines, once a carve starts, the process is actually a locally run windows process part of the time. Unless you are doing a large or complicated carve, it SHOULD complete itself unless the browser process corrupts itself in the crash. If the browser closes, you will loose connection with the x carve, and the operation will quit when the buffer runs dry.
There are ways around this, such as using the homing function to set up your work zero in order to provide the machine with a known point of reference it can always get to in case of a crash or power loss. When this is done, you can almost always re home, re zero, and restart the carve in order to save your workpiece. It doesn’t always work, but mostly it does.
The greatest thing about the x carve in my opinion is the home built aspect. This forces you to dive into the deep end and learn by doing. Continue doing that by absorbing the information provided here, and have fun with your new CNC. You will definitely be better for it, and gain confidence as you progress.
Enjoy yourself, and don’t let fear stop you from trying something. You aren’t going to do any serious damage by trying new things, and even if that does happen, keep in mind that you built it once. It can be fixed fairly easily. You already possess the skills and the knowledge to do that.



You can also look into using Universal Gcode Sender, and exporting your Gcode out of Easel. That way you don’t have to “rely on” Easel/your browser staying up for the duration of a carve (although that doesn’t seem to be a problem for most).

All useful information, Al!

Thank you very much!
I’m gonna need to make a side table for my laptop now I think…

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