I was disappointed to realize that Easel uses SVG format, rather than DWG or DXF. I’m using the Autodesk suite to generate my files, does anybody know an easy way to convert to SVG? I don’t have Adobe Illustrator.
Have you tried this: http://www.dxfconverter.org
Do you have a copy of Visio? It will import DWG files and export SVG
Thanks for the tip IanWatkins. I just tried dxfconverter.org, and it appears to have converted the dxf to svg; however, when I then try to import the SVG file into Easel it looks like a black blob. Maybe I’m doing something wrong,.
AllenMassey I don’t have access to Visio.
I have had very poor success converting DXFs to SVGs. Tools like inkscape will technically do this, but you usually end up with the equivalent of one giant poly line, or worse, a seperate object for each segment, and curves and arcs are divided into hundreds of segments.
I think the best success I had with DXF -> SVG was using Corel Draw.
However, the best experience I have found for making 2.5D CAM from autocad drawings like DXF files is using CamBam.
If you are using auto desk, then download the hsm pro for inventor, it’s a cam extension to inventor pro and it works quite well, it has many tool path options, for 2.5d, 3d, 4, and 5d work… i use it to generate my tool paths and it has many options to adjust everything
Thank you for the tip. If I download the hsm pro for inventor, does that generate the G-Code? Once I have the G-Code, how do I run that G-Code on the X-Carve? I also have access to SheetCam and Mach3, which I use for my Plasma. I wondered if it’s possible to use those to run my jobs on the X-Carve?
Inkscape imports DXF.
Hello Chris, yes I have the same question about using Mach3 and found this on the forum -
I hope that this will help out, I don’t mind using Easel but I have WiFi internet connection to run Easel on x-carve and it is unreliable as I would lose connection right in the middle of a cutting.
It is frustrating and not enjoyable having to start from the beginning of a cutting job.
Hello I am an Inventor user and downloaded hsm pro and waiting for my Xcarve to arrive Is there any tutorial for a beginner to see how to use hsm with Xcarve? As a newbie to xcarve and hsm I am hoping to find an a to z solution to get me started. Any help would be appreciated.
there should be plenty of tutorials on youtube, i personally learned by just doing. started just playing around on what everything did until i finally realized what works best with what. there is a reasonably learning curve on this though.
HSM is only a gcode generator, it works with just about any machine you can think of, so its not exactly about how to make it work with the xcarve. but as a general idea on how to make it work. after you design you file, you make all the operations (g-code) and save it to an “*.nc” file from there you take that file that you just made and upload it to a gcode sender such as UGS or chilipeppr ( i use chilipeppr) and your pretty much done.
for a more in depth explanation on how everything works then you can PM me and ill try to help you as much as i can,
for the most part though if you hover your mouse over all the operations, it gives you a small window of what that operation is and what its used for
Hi thanks Sergio, I am very familiar with Inventor and designing in it. I will probably be fine up to your instructions here
“save it to an “*.nc” file from there you take that file that you just made and upload it to a gcode sender such as UGS or chilipeppr ( i use chilipeppr) and your pretty much done.”
Any tips and tricks on what happens after you upload to Chillipeppr, or is it so simple it is self explanatory? Just wondering since I have never used Xcarve how you would take what you have in cpep and load it into Xcarve…?
Yea, when using chilipeppr, the first thing that pops up when starting a carve is a tool change, which inventer sends assuming you have automatic tool changes, chilipeppr will just interpret it as a pause. All you have to do is unpause the carve and it will start your carve… I’ve had experience where somewhere in your carve the machine will just stop for no reason, again just unpause the carve and it will continue.
A good tip if you doing long carves and or multiple tool changes, is to home your machine and zero it out, then move the machine to the workpiece zero but take note on the distances moved on each axis… as if you need to reset zero especially on the x/y axis this is very helpful
Thank you for the tip Sergio will give it a try
I have had zero successful attempts converting DWG/DXF to SVG. I have tried software such as Inkscape, AI, etc., as well as several online converters. I have hundreds of parts drawn in CAD that I would love to be able to cut on the X-Carve I have on order. Easel is fine for playing around, but unless I can find a reliable method to import accurately vectored drawings it will never be useful for much of what I need. So far, the files I export as SVG either don’t import to Easel, or they do but do not appear correct in Easel. I could use software from work–and ditch Easel altogether, but that would require a parallel connection. I really would like to get something figured out before my magic 3-4 weeks of waiting is over. Preferably, something that doesn’t cost a few hundred dollars more.
Two things that may be true: (1) I really don’t know what is truly involved in getting my CAD files prepped for CAM/gcode… I thought a simple export/import/import would suffice. (2) Easel is not a viable solution for translating a CAD drawing to a finished CNC milled product. Drawings from popular illustrating software, yes–drawings from CAD, no.
I can completely relate, I am in the same situation. I was shocked that using a DWG/DXF files with X-Carve would be so difficult. Which CAD software do you use? I’m using Autodesk Inventor, and Sergio turned me on to HMF which I believe works with Solidworks and Inventor. The full version is expensive, but with Inventor you can use HMF Express for free, which appears to have quite a bit of capabilities.
As far as converting DWG/DXF to SVG, the only thing I have found that works for me is Corel Draw. Some people recommended Visio, but I didn’t want to buy a copy. At the end of the day, I gave up on SVG files with Easel, it’s just not a clean solution for me.
Even though HMF Express appears to do most of what I want, I have finally decided to just bite the bullet and purchase VCarve Pro. VCarve Desktop was cheaper, but I didn’t want to be limited to 24"x24" (I believe you can tile larger jobs). I want to make using the X-Carve as easy and convenient as possible, and creating the GCode and then using UGS (Universal GCode Sender) to upload to the X-Carve was just less convenient than I wanted.
I am using AutoCAD and ViaCAD Pro for my drawings. I just downloaded Autodesk Inventor Pro (free educator version) last night to try the HMF Express option. I have CAM software that I like, but I would need to buy a parallel interface to use it with X-Carve. So far I have not had to spend any extra money on software. I can see where VCarve Pro may ultimately be the best solution without adding more hardware and having to deal with extra software steps to produce a finished part on the X-Carve.
I guess I just feel a little disappointed. I know the software and control aspect of CNC can be a major expense. I pulled the trigger on X-Carve because it seemed like a lower cost solution than other well-known CNC kits. If it requires hundreds more in software to make its capabilities equal the competition, then it is really no savings at all. I guess I place my angst on Easel’s limitations.
I don’t regret my purchase. I love Inventables products, support, and users. I am happy to belong here. I can’t wait until the funky truck delivers boxes from Inventables to my door.
Currently SVG is the only data format that can be used to import designs into Easel, but this will likely change in the future. The first thing Easel does after you import an SVG is convert it to an internal data model that represents all of the objects in your design in real world units. We’ve started giving developers early access to our Easel developer platform that we are in the process of building out. One of the things you can do with apps is ask the user to upload a file, and then perform some processing on that file and ultimately place a design on the Easel canvas. Right now these apps feed SVG to Easel behind the scenes to create the designs. However, we’ll be changing this very soon so that the apps will feed Easel data objects instead. This would open the door to any developer building a DXF file import app for Easel (or any other type of file format).
Well, for now it looks like Vcarve Pro will easily handle opening DWG and DXF files. It will even vectorize a CAD drawing and let you save a vectored copy in DXF format. I like Easel for picture based work, but for CAD it looks like Vcarve Pro is the answer for the X-Carve. The X-Carve will be able to earn back the extra software expense after a few jobs.
Now I’m just waiting for the X-Carve to arrive.
my problem is when i set a toolpats that required tow tools ( need to change from 6mm to 3mm ) and i like to save it as a svg it say easl can not handle tool change what do i do now ?? any other software i can use ???