Noob here - How should I move my x-carve manually?

This kinda feels like a daft question, but I’ll ask it anyways.

I’m just getting started and after the few test pieces I have carved, I’ve sometimes needed to move the spindle out of the way to mode the material in or out. As far as I can see, I should go back into Easel, hit Carve, and then use the jog buttons to move the machine. Is this the easiest way? Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

The easiest way is turn off power to the motors and simply push the spindle slowly with your hands. There is a slight possibility that you can fry your controller board from the current the motors generate when you push them. But if you move the spindle slowly the risk is minimal. I moved mine by hand all the time with no problems.

Of course the best practice is to always use the jog controls to move the spindle under motor power the way it is designed to be moved. There are several advantages to this method. The biggest is that the controller does not lose track of the X/Y location of the spindle. It is also a good habit to learn to always use the jog controls so that when/if you move up to a larger machine you will be accustomed to moving it correctly.

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Hi Bob, thanks for this.

Could I use a tool such as open at the same time as Easel, and use the sender as a way of moving the spindle around, and then just use Easel to design and Carve. I don’t think I’m ready to design and carve from within the UGS just yet…

No, you can’t have UGS and easel both connected at the same time. When one is connected the other will be unable.

My preference is UGS for everything, but in easel the best method is the one you’ve mentioned, click carve and jog from there…

Thanks Darryl.

I’ll stick to Easel while I learn more about the machine. Appreciate your guidance!


That’s probably a bad example. You have to manually move the printer head on mine to level the bed, and you do it often.

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I’m with Phil here on this one. If you manually jog the machine the steppers will generate electricity and feed it back onto both your X-Controller but also in many cased back into your PC. This is not good long term for either. In addition if you apply voltage feedback to your PC it will disconnect that USB port and you will not be able to access it again until you reboot your PC.

Always better to use software to move the machine around. I pop open Easel and just hit carve then move the machine with the arrow keys, might be crude but it works safely!

It’s a Wanhao Duplicator I3 (sold as a Monoprice Maker Select). Yep, that’s the actual way to level the bed.

The attractions of that particular 3d printer are 1) price, 2) price, and 3) price. For $260 on Black Friday, I couldn’t resist, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how decent it is given the $. But there are several “they did what???” moments.

I don’t want to say you should be doing this on your XCarve though. I do (if I need to fix a skew in the x-y axis), but my XCarve is purely hobby, so if I break something it’s more of a “drat” than an “ARRRGH!!!”

Hi, I may be wrong here, but I think if you can go to the top of Easel and go to the machine button and hit home and the machine should go to the home position. I am not sure if it will mess up your project when you have paused it or not. I hope this helps!

No that uses the homing switches to set the machines home position. Sounds like it would… best bet is to set a G28, or G30 so set a “home” position

Further daft question… what does the lock motor/unlock motor option on the carve page do? Is that an option here?