Easel Usability Improvements + Suggestions

As I’ve been using Easel more and more to create and layout projects, I’m becoming frustrated with navigating inside the program. I have a few ideas which I know would make my life a lot easier and less frustrating and I’m sure the same for others!

  1. Middle Click, Option + Click or Hold Space + Drag to move X/Y in 2D Easel view (left panel). having to use arrow keys up/down/left/right is cumbersome and slow, My muscle memory really wants to be able to do this as it’s a common feature in other software like Illustrator, Sketchup, etc.

  2. Orientation/Axis widget in 3D view, to quickly switch between top, left, right, etc. views. It’s finicky trying to align directly to top view sometimes, especially with a trackpad.

  3. Higher resolution render in 3D view. Currently my only use for the 3d view is to see toolpaths, because the webGL render and texture resolution is so poor. I’d love to see proper phong (or whatever shader you’re using) angles set so the edges are crisp and represent the cut that will be made. Also, we should have high res textures for the materials, no reason not to IMO.

  4. When inside the Carve window, one of my biggest frustrations is when changing the step distance, the only way to lock in the number is to click somewhere outside the box as you can’t hit TAB or Enter to confirm, which gets old.

  5. When inputting the depth of cut on a given shape, it doesn’t work to type a fraction (ie. 1/8, 1/4, etc) even though you can do this when selecting a bit size in the machine window. If you can do it one place, you should be able to do it everywhere.

  6. More materials. Plywood, Oak, Pine, Cherry, etc. These would be great additions as they are all different hardnesses and need specific base speeds.

  7. Custom materials. I’d love to be able to make custom materials with specific IPM and DOC numbers. This way I could just click a material I made and have pre specified numbers instead of having to keep track of those for all different materials and bit sizes. For example, walnut w/ 1/4" bit gets faster numbers than same material with a smaller bit.

  8. Active/Inactive states or LAYERS panel for shapes/objects in a project. I have several pieces that I sell on my Etsy that include multiple carved shapes on one piece. It’s important for efficiency and organization to have everything for one item in the same Easel project, but it’s a PITA having to change depth of cut for different shapes to essentially turn them on and off. A Photoshop/Illustrator style layer window with ‘Hiding’ option would be amazing.

  9. [I’m pretty sure you guys are working on this] Custom tab count! Sometimes I need 1, sometimes I need 10. User should be able to specify how many tabs they want and also be able to delete them if desired.

  10. In Shape tab, position reference points (corners or center) should stay put. Currently if I set it to middle, click off the shape and then come back, it will have moved back to the lower left corner. Annoying when you’re making lots of adjustments and keep having to put it back where you had it.

That’s it for now. All these ideas and issues came forward within the one week that I’ve been using Easel. Otherwise I’m really enjoying myself and I’m managing to get some awesome stuff made with the X-Carve.

Thanks for all your hard work Dev Team!

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Realized #4 was just because of Safari, I can tab out of the field when using Chrome.

The 3D software of Easel Pro auto tabs doesn’t have any options. One neat option would be height of tabs so you could flip the work piece over and carve the other side.

Would like to see custom bits be allowed in non-pro easel.