Inventables Community Forum

Can Easel control a machine from a USB stick?

I wondered if anyone can help me. I am brand new to the subject of CNC machining and even newer to Easel. Would it be possible for the saved file to be downloaded on a USB stick and plug that into a control port of a CNC machine? My workshop is a long way from the house and has no internet. Thanks for any assistance.

If I am reading this correct, you are asking can you plug a USB stick directly into the USB port on the X-Controller and run code from that.

If that is your question then the answer is no.

you can generate your code inside with the internet and then install to a USB stick, take the USB stick to a seperate system connected to the X-Controller (without internet) and use a program that connects to the machine to control it and run the code from that (like UGS, Bcnc, GRBL-Web, cncjs etc).


I am sorry, I did not make myself clear. I had wanted to avoid the issue of taking the internet connection, via a hardwired solution, into the work area which is not connected to my home. I use a mesh network in the home to even up the signal throughout. Possibly I could consider installing another mesh node in the work area, which would give me an external internet connection.

When considering the machine to buy, I guess that I should include an offline controller too. Does the code generated by Easel support any machine or is it specific to X-carve machines? Thank you for your helpful answers this far.

The Universal G code sender is a program that runs off a computer not connected to the internet. You can design in Easel and then save the gcode to your memory stick.

Then go to your x carve wherever it is, open up UGS, open the program, and run the machine. I don’t have good internet in the house, let alone the shed away from the house, and this is what I do.

Gcode is Gcode. Grbl doesn’t support every one of them, but for what the X carve is capable of doing, it is sufficient for most folks. A shapeoko and other machines that use GRBL can run the same code. Some CAM programs will have machine specific post processors, but I just use a Generic one and edit the text by removing ones GRBL doesn’t care for in Notepad or Wordpad on my laptop.

As Kenneth mentioned above, you do not need internet to run the X-Carve with easel. What you need is a computer connected to controller, that has a browser on it. Easel only needs the internet for opening your files, editing and then creating the g-code. If you do that in the house where you have internet, you can then save the gcode to a USB stick. Take it to your shop and open easel in a browser, without internet, and import the gcode from the USB stick. You won’t be able to edit the file, just run it.
another option in the shop, rather than easel, is a program like Universal Gcode Sender (UGS). It will run your XCarve controller, and allow you to import your gcode that you have on the USB stick.
Another option is to use a free program called Carbide Create. I have never used it, but understand it will let you design, create and I believe send directly to the XCarve. (Don’t quote me though)

The final option is to buy Vectric VCarve. It is a far better creation program than easel, but it does have a bit of a learning curve. It comes with a program called VTransfer, which will send your work directly to the XCarve controller.

There are options for no internet. I hope this helps.

Carbide Create will create the G-Code without internet but it is for creating the design and the code. it will not send or controll the X-Carve you would still need a program for that like UGS or other non-internet based controller program.

Carbide Create uses a program called Carbide Motion to control their machines. which is also a stand alone program but it requires a specific controller board to work (at least it did last time I checked).

Thank you very much. I am obliged to you for the information. I think that I understand it now. I will see after my first CNC 3018 machine arrives. I checked in my garden and can get a signal from the WiFi network that is delivering about 20Mbits on the outside while it runs at a continuous 80Mbits inside the house. I will add another node to the mesh network setup (Linksys Deco M4) and I should be able to keep my computer with me in the work area.

Thank you Darrin. I have no doubts left. I can see that I have quite a few different options and whatever works with the minimum hassle for me will be the method I choose while I am still a newbie and trying to gain some skills in CNC machining. It will be a new interest for me since I have had to leave my last job because of COVID-19. I will get my machine delivered by the weekend and I will check the other software mentioned. UGS and Carbide Create are going to be the first software I look at after I have become familiar with what I want to achieve and then find methods for it. Vcarve may also be another software to examine.

What I really do like about Easel at the moment is that I am familiar with the way various design softwares are used (mainly photographic and publishing) so there is very little learning curve for me with Easel. I am struggling to learn Fusion 360 at the minute because much of what it wants is an abstract to me. Anyway, thank you for the help. It was very useful to have my ideas clarified.

Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow, Kenneth. My new CNC machine will be a generic 3018 and I believe that Easel will talk to it. I cannot get the hyperlink to work so the specs are listed.

The difference between our CNC 3018 pro and others’
●1. Our CNC 3018 pro kit conclude a extra 3.175mm milling engraver bits.So, you’ll save £14 if you buy our kit.
â—Ź2. Our control board has a strong shell and heat sink which makes it more durable.
â—Ź3. Above 90% metal frame, more stronger.

â—ŹThis engraving machine can be engraved plastic, wood, acrylic, pvc, pcb or the like material.Can not carve stones, stainless steel and other hard materials
â—ŹHere is the youtube link for the product assembly and use video:

â—ŹHere is the download link for the product manual and its related software:
â—ŹSome basic components have been assembled, simply assembled by hand within 20 minutes according to the installation instructions, you can use the machine.
â—ŹEngraving area: 30x18x4.5cm.
â—ŹProfile Dimensions: 33x40x24cm.
â—ŹRated Power: 60W (120W max).
â—ŹSoftwear: GRBL control systems (Candle_1.1.7).
â—ŹSpindle: 775 spindle motor (12-36V) 24V:10000r / min.
â—Źsupport system: 24V 5.6A adapter.
â—ŹStepper motor: Fuselage length 34mm, 12V, 1.33A, 0.25N/m.
â—ŹSupported System: Windows XP / Win 7 / Win 8 / Win 10 / Linux.
The package includes:
â—ŹComplete set for engraving machine 1 pc.
â—ŹOffline controller 1 pc.
â—ŹClip 4 pcs.
â—ŹCarving knifes 10 pcs.
â—Ź3.175mm mill engraving bits 10 pcs.
â—Ź1 extension rod with clamp ER11.

It’s really helpful having advice from people who have experience with these things.