Machine settings - "Work area" and "Rail size"


After pressing the “set up your machine” tab you get to choose the rail size - which has only 500X500 or 1000X1000.

Our machine is built with 500 x 1000 rails (x=500 , y = 1000) due to space constrains - what do I put there ? Can I put there 1000 x 1000 or this requires the developers to add a 500 X 1000 option?

On the “Machine” Tab on the top - there is a place to put the work area - dos this mean the ACTUAL work area ? (say rails are 500 x 500 - so the work area should be 300 x 300 ? )

Is there any connection between Rail Size and Work area ? - I.E - If I set for example the rail size to 1000 x 1000 - can I set the work area to 300 x 300 ? Which of the two will take effect ?

Does the Work Area setting act as a “soft limit” ?

Many thanks


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I don’t use Easel, so I don’t know how the settings affect Easel.

As far as grbl (firmware on the Arduino) is concerned you can set the soft limits to the proper settings for your machine useing the grbl parameters. The ones pertinent to your question are $130, $131, and $132.

In Easel go to the Machine Inspector to see the grbl settings.

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You can change the work area to 500x1000. I believe the work area setting does act as a “soft limit”, but you will have to turn soft limits on by going into machine inspector and setting $20 to 1. You will also have to set your machine’s zero in the lower left corner (most accurately by homing) if you plan to use soft limits, or else you run the risk of the machine thinking it has too far to travel.

The hard limits are also initially set to 0, and they would be activated by limit switches.

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Thanks Larry,

I am still building my machine so have not decided yet on which way I am going to use it. I work with Cut2D 8.0 and I hope that with the new option to import the g-code to Easel - I can stay with Easel.

I rather stay with one SW if possible, but I am open to better ideas.

Many thanks


Hi Robert,

Thanks for your reply.

I still don’t understand if “work area” is the area between the rails, or the net area the machine can carve.

I will try to explain - on the 500 x 500 X-carve machine - it is stated that the work area is 300 x 300 and on the 1000 x 1000 machine it is 800 x 800. ( we “loose” 100 mm each side)

Following this logic - my 500 x 1000 machine should have 300 x 800.

So what should I set my machine to ? 300 x 800 or 500 x 1000 ?

What worries me that if I set the machine as you suggested to 500 x 1000 - and the machine will look at it as a soft limit - it can hit the rails and cause damage when it will pass 300 and 800 respectively. (Unless the machine “knows” that and will stop 100 mm before ???

Perhaps “rail size” is for the “between the rails distance” and “work area” is the net distance - but I have no idea. . . :smile:



For the purpose of soft limits the 500mm x 500mm soft limits default to X = 290, Y = 290, Z = 100.

The 1000mm x 1000mm unit defaults to X= 790, Y = 790, Z = 100.

So, for the purposes of soft limts you should use X = 290, Y = 790, Z = 100.

Assuming the X axis is the 500mm and the Y axis is the 1000mm.

These numbers are referenced to grbl. You may have to play around in Easel to get the correct values at the grbl level. Try your 300 by 800 work area and check the grbl parameters in Machine Inspector to see if you get the correct numbers there.

Hi Larry,

Now this makes sense to me.

Thank for your support.