Inventables Community Forum

Interactive Tabs

Hello Everyone,

Today we’ve released a new feature set for Easel that we call “Interactive Tabs.” Some of this functionality has been discussed in another topic. We’re grateful to folks on the forum who have provided feedback and suggestions that have helped us in designing and building this!

The major changes are:

  1. The location of tabs can be controlled. When a shape with tabs is selected, its tabs will be shown as red yellow regions on the shape’s perimeter on the 2D side of Easel. To move a tab, click on it and drag it to a new location. TIP: It might help to zoom in on the shape first so that you can more easily grab the tab:

  2. Tabs will be previewed in real time on the 3D side. Previously, the location of tabs could only be inspected when showing tool paths.

  3. The length and height of tabs can be specified in the cut settings panel:

  4. When an outline with tabs is not selected, the tabs will be shown using the standard “cut depth grayscale” technique used for all shapes to indicate how deeply they’ll be cut. NOTE: The depth of a tab is equal to the material thickness minus the “tab height” specified (as shown above).

  5. If an object with tabs is copy/pasted, the tabs will be in the same position on the copied object. If you plan to cut several identical objects with tabs, we recommend placing the tabs on a prototype shape first, then copy/pasting the object as required.

Future Enhancements

  1. We’ll be adding control over the number of tabs on each each element. In the mean time, you can effectively decrease the number of tabs by placing tabs on top of each other. [Update 2/17/16: Tab quantity can now be specified]

  2. With this new feature, the spindle will raise to the safety height when passing over tabs. We’ll work on reducing those lifts to the tab height in a future release. In our testing, these lifts don’t seem to add too much to the job time.

We’re looking forward to your feedback as you use this feature. We have put it through its paces and tested it both with automated software tests and actual job runs. But everyone’s project is different, so if you encounter an issue, or if you have any suggestions, please let us know!



As per usual… Great Job! This will come in handy.


Excellent news. :smile:

Yes, safety height isn’t ideal for job run times, but being able to set tab location is going to save a lot of time on tab removal/clean up so overall should still be faster.




Looks great @JeffTalbot! Thanks for all the hard work!


Excellent! I like the tip about overlapping tabs if you want to reduce the number, may end up doing that this weekend. Keep up the great work!

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I could kiss you @JeffTalbot … Ehm… In a manly way! :smiley:


I just tested it out now - and now the tabs function is broken when carving multiple items of the same type.

It only creates tabs on the first item, and then “forgets” the tabs on the next item, creating no tabs at all… very bad! :frowning:

Any chance of a quickfix or rolling back the old settings? … I cannot use my machine right now because of that.

You can see what I mean here:

EDIT : The error somehow happens when you rotate your design in Easel.

Looking at this now, @JohnSorensen. Does this mean no (manly) kiss?


Hi @JohnSorensen, I found the problem. This actually happens with rotated shapes in general–it’s not related to duplicating shapes.

A fix will be forthcoming.

I fixed it by “not” rotating all my current designs - so for now, you are still good :wink:

@JohnSorensen: A fix for the rotation problem has been released. We also added an automated test case for this scenario, so it won’t happen again.

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If a manly kiss is also forthcoming then post pics… :smile:


It was a pleasure to see this addition! This has eliminated sanding in difficult areas. Much appreciated.


A time saver and a real plus!


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Loving this feature. I have wanted this for SOOO long. :kissing_heart: <–“Manly” Kiss

Definitely wanting the ability to remove tabs. Sometimes I get them on holes, and because the hole is a single path I can’t move the tab anywhere to get rid of it. Means I need to drill and ream out holes when simply deleting the tab would be easier.

I would also vote for being able to add tabs, as sometimes I would like a few more on long objects.


Hooray!! Thank you for this!

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Used this in anger yesterday cutting some MDF parts. Wow, what a time saver. Post carve cleanup with tabs on the straight runs takes minutes now. Excellent.

Now all I need is for the tab placement algorithm to read my mind as to exactly where I want them :wink:

Great work, take a bow Jeff.




@JeffTalbot, I’ve noticed that whenever the bit gets to the tab it lifts all the way out of the wood to the safety height. Not a problem since it only does them one per round (0.040" tabs), but if the tabs were 2-3 times thicker than the cut depth, that would add quite a bit of time to the cut. Any way of fixing this?

The feature itself is still awesome, and if this can’t be fixed it’s still a million times better than having the tabs show up in the most inconvenient places.

I think this had been mentioned as a bug/glitch that would be getting fixed in the near future. It was known before the release, but there was such a high demand for the feature it was release prior to the fix.

Ok, good to know. I’d rather spend a little time watching it pull out all the way instead of try to sand out the tab that inevitably shows up in the worst area possible. :smile: