Easel as a Gcode sender

Hey Everyone,

After playing around with my newly assembled xcarve using easel, i was looking forward to using UGS to start machining more complicated (3D) models. After “fiddling” around with settings and reading appx. 50 internet pages i finally managed to JUST connect my xcarve. It was actually a quite complicated process.

MY SUGGESTION: Easel should have an option to upload a text file with gcode in it and then give a graphical display of the tool paths.

Why?: There are many “Advanced” users who still enjoy the simplicity, speed and the satisfying pop ups ( which acknowledge a successful cut for example :slight_smile: ) of easel but don’t want to be limited to the accuracy of using .svg pictures for cuts. Yes. There are other web based gcode senders which exist. Google Chrome has one, chillipeppr’s is pretty good, but requires far too much intial set up and is actually pretty lunky (slow and the features it has are quite un-organized).

I think that UGS lacks liveliness; much like most Java based programs the GUI lacks consistency and the only confirmation of proper operation is from the console output.

If Easel had a g-code sender which can be used behind the scenes of the inviting and easy-to-use CAM software, I know as a fact that I would use it over any other GRBL compliant sender.

How it should work (my vision): under the file tab in easel there should be an option to “upload project”, click, file browser (and advanced user disclaimer) appears, select file, upload progress bar. Once upload is completed, the project should be in the user library under the same name as the gcode text file. From there on the left side viewer should show the toolpaths while the rightside should be unclickable as there is no need for an editing function (or have machine jog controls). Carve, Confirm material is clamped, set home, lift bit, confirm spindle is on, start. no need to confirm material thickness and bit size.

Hopefully others will agree with me and we will soon have a nice custom gcode sender made specifically for inventables machines.

Thanks for reading :slight_smile:


interesting. i like the idea of everything in one place. and i understand that many of us are using different tools to make our projects, Fustion 360, Solidworks, Autodesk, Blender, just to name afew. having the ability to dump them all into one basket may be beneficial. (common ground for troubleshooting, cloud storage of files, etc) and having a web driven Gcode interpreter GUI would be just as handy(think mach3 or UGS but on the web, cut visualizer and all)

in short, i like the idea. :thumbsup:

+1 I’m in for this…

+1 this would be a great addition

I’ll add a +1 to this, just because I think the Inventables team could put something together like this and it would be pretty nice to have as an “advanced” feature in Easel… making Easel more of a one stop shop… but, I would understand why Inventables would be hesitant to do this if they are hesitant at all, and that is simplicity. Easel is super simple and removes a lot of barriers that a novice would have between said novice and the CNC world at large. For this reason, keeping it as easy to use as possible is probably Inventables #1 goal. So if someone could pull it off, I would hope that Inventables could.

As an aside - I think its pretty sweet that Inventables is so open to us just popping up any time we want and asking for new features to a “free” CAD/CAM program. Cheers you guys!

I would even make a donation to get this created.


correct me if i am wrong, but inventables is aiming to make easel an extremely simple CAM workspace which already has a gcode sender working behind the scenes (which is why we had to install “easel local”; it allows the web app to use your coms)

it shouldnt be too complicated to implement… easel already generates, displays and sends gcode. its really just a matter of using already created programs to their full potential.

furthermore, by having a function similar to what ive described, i think easel’s user base would be much bigger. instead of just catering to ametuers, inventables could have a strong and knowledgable community backing a pretty good web app.

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Oh, don’t get me wrong… I am right there with you… and you aren’t wrong, this feature is definitely something that I’d like to see added. Also, seeing the capabilities of the team at Inventables, I have no doubt that it would not be very complicated for them to add something like what we are talking about (who knows, maybe they already have something like this in the works). Having an expanded user base and more “advanced users” accessing Easel would also be a plus.

The complexity I was talking about is from the perspective of the newbie. I wasn’t really wanting to create some sort of debate, I was just hoping to set expectations. For the “advanced user” there is a whole world of options out there and Easel is a great addition, but for the new guy or gal out there wanting to get into CNC, Easel looks like it will be the go to app for getting started. That being said, for every added feature that is added, a bit of complexity is perceived by the new user, and for each bit of complexity that is perceived there is just that much more barrier to the entry level. From what I’ve seen, Inventables tries to take the side of the beginner’s mindset and so I can totally see them saying no to a certain feature at some point if it couldn’t be done in a way that had low complexity perceived by the beginner.

Hopefully that helps explain my thoughts on complexity… :slight_smile:

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I love this thread. Thank you guys so much for talking through your needs and really contributing to making Easel better.

@Ajbadner you are right, there is a lot of machinery already built in easel for visualizing gcode, sending it, etc. However, it is all designed to work with the gcode that Easel itself creates. There are many non-standard types of gcode: it would be difficult to import and visualize all the different kinds of gcode it is possible to create. We would probably want to create a standard “easel-flavored gcode” post processor that different CAM programs could use to generate gcode in a standard way the we could determine. This would mean identifying the CAM programs we want to support and writing post-processors for each one.

Now I really like that idea!

It already has a G-code sender built in, obviously, to make the entire thing work… just add the ability to import your own file to it to send! Kind of a one-stop shop for running the Xcarve, I like it!

EDIT: I’d be good with a separate post just for the purpose, I have to post in something anyway, may as well make it something specific. Bonus for solving all those “what post do I use, then change what?” difficulties. :smile:

what about releasing an API for easel? as a stop gap. let the community build their own web interfaces. i know thats kinda counter intuitive as its your product and you would like people to come here to use it. maybe plugins? just throwing ideas out there. but i’m really interested in a mach3 style interface web driven that would be sweet.


i personally use fusion 360…
the GRBL post processor works pretty well (only if your “set-up” is in imperial; i live in canada and most of my drawings are in metric). from what ive read so far, it seems most people are using f360, aspire and makercam.

but you guys should run a poll or survey to figure that out. sounds like its customer validation time again


If Easel would just allow me to load a file containing gCode and then send it to the X-Carve I would be very happy. There are many other standalone apps that can visualize gcode. I just need to be able to send the gcode generated by another program (such as F-Engrave) to the machine. And with all the problems I had when UGS took control of the port forever I am reluctant to try UGS again.

i’m a f360 user as well. @Ajbadner i’ll take any pointers you are willing to pass along :wink:
i use metric for all my drawings btw

LAYERS just thought of that. being able to assign objects or lines to layers could make switching bits SUPER easy. @paulkaplan

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Love that layers idea…!! A very simple way to implement multi-stage jobs that require different bits…!!


We are gathering more feedback on this issue, I created a new topic with dev specific questions: [request for feedback] Gcode sending through easel