I work at an academic makerspace where we where planning on getting chromebooks until we found they they wouldn’t work with our Carvey (or at least aren’t supported - there seems to be 3rd party G-Code sending apps, however since “Use of any non-Easel software or any software provided by a third party to directly control the machine” voids the warranty, we haven’t.
There seems to already be a user who developed code to use Easel from a chromebook ( How much interest for Linux and ChromeOS support? - #40 by NathanielCaza ) , however that seems like it would also qualify as “software provided by a third party to directly control the machine” which makes us unfortunatly unable to use it.
I would love to see an official ChromeBook driver for Easel as well!
Add my name to the list of people looking for Easel on chromebooks!
I need Easel on my Chromebook!
I’m wondering if this has gone anywhere? I was able to obtain a classroom set of Chromebooks for my middle school STEM Shop. It would be so helpful if the kids could run the X-Carves directly from Easel on their Chromebooks rather than fussing with the ancient, and unreliable desktop PCs that my district will no longer maintain.
Similarly, I am currently building an X-Carve for the maker space at my local university. It is not convenient to run this from a dedicated PC. It would be so much better if the students and community members of the maker space were able to use the X-Carve from the machines they have, including Chromebooks. We are trying to do the same thing with our laser cutters and our 3d printers.
Hi Zach, I’d be really interested to know if there is any progress on developing a solution to run X-Carve on EASEL from a Chrome Book? My school, and from what I hear, most schools, are rapidly running in the direction of 1 to 1 chrome books for students and it sure would be nice to have the kids just take their own Chrome book to the X-carve when they are ready to carve. But I know that there are driver issues with chromebooks that may be insurmountable.
I wonder if you would consider another direction. Perhaps there would be a way to connect X-Carve directly to a wired or wireless network by incorporating a Raspberry Pi in the X-Controller. The necessary drivers could all live on the Pi and Easel would “simply” (yeah, I know, it’s non trivial) have an option to “connect to my X-carve via the internet”. Then you could simply sell a preconfigured SD card, loaded with an X-Carve fork of Debian, customized with a unique password/access code to connect to X-Carve via the net. I’m no programmer, but maybe someone smarter than me could grab this idea and run with it.
You can use a network connected raspberry pi to control the X-Carve. No need to wait for Inventables to integrate it.
Hi @ChristopherDahle we currently do have a driver for Mac, Windows, and Linux so you could get an inexpensive laptop and install linux on it.
In terms of the Chrome Book, it currently doesn’t allow anything to be installed so we would need to figure out another way to do the Easel driver.
@AryehJacobsohn do you know if this is something that is possible?
Thanks Neil, Thanks Zach, but I’m not clearly articulating the problem and I am trying to avoid writing War and Peace here, so please excuse the length of the reply, I have tried to cut it down and I hope I did not leave out too much.
I do know that I can, and I have built Raspberry Pi’s to control the machines, but it’s not the right solution for schools, or at least not my school. Here’s why. The kids have to log on to their school accounts to use a computer connected to the school network. They have to log off at the end of the class period for the usual computer security reasons. If their carve takes longer than a class period, they are out of luck because they may need to use school computers to access digital textbooks in later classes and cannot be logged on to more than one computer at a time. Ergo, they can’t start carving any X-Carve project that cannot be finished during the remaining class time.
So I think the Raspberry Pi/Chromebook solution looks like this:
I have found that once a carve is started I never NEED to look at, or touch the computer except to log off at the end of the carve, and a Raspberry Pi could be programmed to do that automatically.
So, use a Raspberry Pi to drive the Arduino-G-Shield, or X-Controller. Have it run all the necessary drivers and manage every other aspect of the carve. Students would connect their Chromebooks to the Pi via the network and it would ONLY act as a KVM terminal to talk to the Raspberry Pi. They would use the CB to launch Easel on the Pi, set up their carve and tell the machine to start carving. Then they would shut down their chromebook, return it to the computer cart and go on to their next class, leaving the X-carve to merrily carve away under the control of the Raspberry Pi.
Met with the tech people at the university maker space I help run. We think we have a good solution.
We’ll set up the X-Carves to run from Raspberry Pi’s and then we are going to use VNC on the chromebooks to run Easel on the Pi’s remotely. For the middle school students, we will build a little application they can run on the chromebook when they are ready to carve that will launch Easel on the Pi and should be able to control this so only students connected to the WAP in my shop can actually access the machine controls. The pi’s will be set up so they can only access Easel. We will program some sort of time out routine that closes the browser process on the Pi when a carve is done and resets it for the next user.
At the university makerspace we will password protect the Pi so that only people who have completed our X-Carve orientation class and are inside our firewall can use that X-Carve.
Beyond our unique needs, we think this might also be a good solution for people who want to keep their X-Carve in a garage and don’t want to leave it connected to their regular computer.
Are you meaning via VNC? (Which I had never heard of 3 days ago). I think that’s how we are going to skin this cat!
But I hope you’ll holler if I am barking up the wrong tree.
I also use chrome book personally and did not know this when I purchased my x carve I have not got to use it yet due to I’m afraid it may crash or something