Can VCarve Pro use "Output Direct to Machine"

Bit the bullet and purchased VCarve Pro. I expected it to be able to communicate directly with the X-Carve based upon this email I received from Inventables:

Response from Inventables Customer Success:
I would suggest that you look into the stand alone CAM packages that we sell, they will work with the current electronics you have:

V-Carve does not require any additional wiring.

I added the X-Carve (Inch) and (mm) options to my VCarve software; but when I select them the “Output Direct to Machine” box is grayed out. Are you supposed to be able to output direct to an X-Carve (GRBL 0.9 electronics)? Please don’t tell me I have to use UGS, because eliminating the need for UGS was one of my main reasons for purchasing VCarve Pro.

I am using a MacBook pro, but I’m running VCare Pro in a Virtual Windows 8.1 using Parallels. The software appears to be running fine this way, but I suppose it’s possible it’s not recognizing the USB connection to the GRBL electronics properly.

The post processor for X-carve will create comparable gcode. But you must use a gcode sender (like universal gcode sender) to get that gcode to the Grbl controller

Thanks AllenMassey.

This X-Carve has been one frustration after another, I bought the wrong machine.

I don’t know if there is any Design Software sends directly to CNC router. :worried:

I search one more time, couldn’t find one. All two different categories. CAD and CAM. There is serial connected CAD/CAM programs to to that, most of them is Linux based. One thing sure you made bad decision buying V Carve pro, not the machine. Machine has nothing to do with any off this. Software package you have to choose. Any CAD/CAM packages works with X Carve. If software requirement is Serial, you have to use breakout board. One way or other, patients is the key. I like to keep CAD and CAM separated for more professional inspection, better graphics. Even most famous applications like Fusion360 can only generates G code for you. That’s maybe the reason most of the G code senders are free to public.
Answer for your question is you didn’t buy Wrong Equipment, You over paid for V Carve Pro.

AlanDavis, This forum has been invaluable for information, but it still takes a lot of work to figure anything out. I do lack patience, but I thought I was buying a product that was more turn key. Easel is a cute tool, but I want to use a real CAD program to create my files, not an art program. I never anticipated that working with actual DWG or DXF files would be such a pain.

UGS is a free utility and I applaud the gentleman who is generous enough to devote his time and energy to creating and supporting UGS. I’ve used it and I’ve used Mach3 (for a CNC Plasma) and I just find Mach 3 much easier to use. I was debating between changing electronics to work with Mach3 or buying VCarve Pro. Based upon this comment from Inventables, I thought VCarve Pro would work “Directly” with the X-Carve:

If their intent is to indicate that it could generate GCode that could be recognized by the X-Carve, then I think most CAM software will accomplish this objective. Maybe I misunderstood, or maybe the person who wrote this response misunderstood, but either way now I’m back where I started…but a few hundred dollars poorer.

You may be correct, but why then is there an option in VCarve Pro to “Output Directly to Machine”?

Perhaps you are right on the software, but Inventables did honor the $174 discount since I had purchased an X-Carve from them.

Maybe I will eventually love this X-Carve, but right now I feel like I made a mistake. I don’t have tons of time to work through all of these issues, and so it is frustrating.

With all due respect Chris, the X-carve arrived at your house as lots of little parts that you had to assemble. How did you ever get the idea this was a “turn key” solution?


Here is the Turn Key solution if you like. Also this is bottom line of this categories, after X-Carve. Depends how much you’ll spend.

This machine directly ships to your shop assembled for $149.00. Table excluded.

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Axiom has a very nice dust shoe also!

I like the threaded socket in the Acrylic collar that can tighten around the spindle.

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Obviously I knew it was a kit, but the software/electronics side of this machine is not as clean as I expected.

For the price point, I think the electronics work amazingly well. And if you want a cleaner solution Inventables is now selling the new X-Controller that simplifies the electronics even more.

Chris, did it work when you tried the trial version of the software? I.e. Is this a new problem?

I always thought VCarve was just a design program which is why I’ve pretty much ignored it.

If you haven’t already tried it, suggest you use VCarve Pro under Windows to do your design, get the GCode into OS X and send to the X-Carve using ChiliPeppr. That would work if UGS isn’t working for you.



I got on here to catch up on forum activity and saw this thread. My first thought was, “Huh?”

When I was researching CNC kits early this year, I found the information on Inventables to be very thorough. I bought my Shapeoko 2 (almost identical to XCarve) based on what I learned via Inventables and the Shapeoko sites. There was never any question about how the “system” is designed to operate. I opted to use free software to do some drawings and create the gcode until I got familiar with all operations.

I’ve used UGS for nearly everything I’ve carved, only trying a couple other options for comparison. It works.

After gaining experience with the system, I worked with the trial version of VCarve Desktop for a while. After seeing its capabilities, I bought the Desktop version, knowing I could save a lot and can always upgrade later.

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I believe that is $149 shipping charges, the pro unit is $6,500, basic unit $2,000.

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Anyone who attempts CNC should expect a learning curve with hardware and software. I had no problems with assembly of my machine nor problems with software. I don’t see it as any big deal using a G-code sender. I researched a lot of machines and it was pretty clear what operating the X-carve involved. I asked Inventables several questions before purchasing and they were very responsive.

The only thing I would like to have that the X-carve doesn’t do is the ability for the controller to execute the G-code from a memory device. But I have a custom controller so I’m working on that.

Did I say something different, assembled equipment shipping charge is $149. (will be shipped to my shop October 23)

Did you purchase the AR8 Pro? What are you going to do with the X-Carve?

I’m purchasing for my son, I stick with Xcarve.

And the Father of the year award goes to … Mr Alan Davis!

I hope he really appreciates it.


You think so.