G code sender

I read or watched somewhere that we shouldn’t use Easel to generate and send g code. Instead use a propriety g code sender. Why is this?

I should explain we have just purchased a 2nd hand x carve 1000x1000 and are totally new to all of this.

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Easel is a good place to start and learn. As you become proficient Easel will become limiting and redundant. At that point you will seek alternatives.
So go ahead and start with Easel and enjoy. You will find a lot of help here on the forum.


Hey John, I’m a proponent of using a dedicated sender, under certain conditions though…

If you’re just starting out, then Easel makes it VERY simple to do it all, BUT as you begin to want to use other features or IF the rules within Easel’s sender are holding you back, that’s when a dedicated sender comes in key.

I use OpenBuilds Control as my preferred sender.
Some Functions I use in it that Easel Lacks:
XYZ Touch Probe (that isn’t the one specific brand with their own Easel integrating software)
The Ability to Set X, Y and Z independent of each other (Easel requires X,Y be set at the same time, and all 3 if a probe isn’t being used)
The use of a Game Controller to control the CNC, Home, Set Zeros, and Start the carve.
The use of a Cell Phone or iPad to jog the CNC into position.
Macros to set JIG positions on the CNC bed.
Simple Re-Carving with ONE Click (Key for my 500+ piece repeat carves that take less than 1 minute per carve, and clicking 5 buttons in Easel is too many when I could click just 1)
Macros to change between laser and spindle modes.
Macros to park the CNC at the back corner. (Easel’s “Park” can be locked under certain conditions, the macro works every time)
The Ability to select a line of Gcode and select “start from here” in the event of a power outtage and need to resume part way through the carve.
Overall Better User Interface

Hi Seth, all great points. With regards to x,y,z probe. The chap that sold me the machine stated that Easel no longer required a probe is that correct?

Also could you address something that’s been perplexing me. Looking at photo carves. I dont understand how these get definition. Those I have watched on YouTube simply carve using Svg or Stl files they downloaded. When these are carved they appear to achieve contrast without having added paint or stain etc. How is this possible in solid materials like MDF etc. Secondly, I have watched some then being spray painted after the carve. Again why do the high and low points have different contrasts. This is melting my head as it doesn’t make sense to me?

King Regards

John Gibson

Correct, the user can set z zero with the manual paper method in Easel.

As to the carves, can you post links or photos?
I carved this from a STL and the right lighting is what makes the depths pop…

Then this one recieved some stain wiped on which is harder to wipe out of the cracks, so the cracks get more stain and darken more.


All good info, just one question. When I draw/create in Easel, then how do I get that drawing/creation into Openbuilds to send to my controller? Is it as simple as exporting from Easel and opening in Openbuilds and clicking “Go”?


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Just about, yeah.
In easel go to project>download gcode.
Open the gcode file in openbuilds control. Make sure to set x,y zeros and either manaual z zero or select probe at the top, select the puck style z probe and enter the probe thickness. Probe for z zero.
Then start the carve.

Hey, thanks for the quick response. I have been thinking of setting my old Xcarve back up and wanted something I could do repeatable carves with. Sounds like this may be ann option. Thanks again.

Oh they did release a repeat carve option within easel…
I still like openbuilds better seeing that its one button.

But repeat carving in easel reduces the number of clicks from. Like 7 to about 3…

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