[request for feedback] Gcode sending through easel

If you need some help feel free to contact me anytime, I’ve tried most of the UGS versions to find the most compatible

Hmmmmm.

Excited to see the ball rolling with this :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

To start: The forums are a great place to look for this info. It seems like most people just use simple (and more precisely free) 2D g-code generators. Although i only looked through the x-carve and carvey forums, most of the people interested in an improved gcode sender see 3D capabilities as the biggest advantage of using UGS.

With this in mind, I would first concentrate on making/perfecting a post processor for the most popular 3D gcode generators. Autodesk has a huge user base since it’s designed for both modeling and CAM. It uses the same code generator as Inventor HSM, it’s cross platform (Mac and PC), and it’s free for all students (myself), start-ups (like inventables) as well as hobbyists (A good majority of X-carve and carvey users).

Features: As far as editing, goes it’s a big NO.

I completely agree with most of the people on the topic. Ease of use is the absolute best part of Easel. I would call it easel’s “Power Feature”. The sense of reliability for the user (ranging from the beginner to the expert) is most likely the reason why anyone is fed up with UGS and is looking/praying for an alternative. Giving the user a chance to ■■■■ something up in easel would undeniably diminish that sense of reliability.

Similar to the way easel works now, there should be a visualization of the motions being applied to the workpiece. UGS does it, but once again some times it works and other times it doesn’t. If I had a CLEAR visual indication that something is not going to go right, i would stop immediately and re-assess. This goes hand in hand with gcode verification.

If by “homing” you mean setting grbl’s coordinate systems properly, yes.
I would personally like it work in a similar way easel does atm. hit carve, set 0,0,0 , verify bit size, lift spindle an go.

If not, then i’m sure there are many people interested in monitoring their machine while it does a homing cycle, but i think homing is already pretty straight forward if you have limit switches.

@paulkaplan I suggest you try out using the x-carve or carvey with UGS. If you dont have the time, ask around inventables. i’m sure some one will tell you what they hate about the java app. Concentrate on all the bad things there, find solutions and apply them to easel. You hit the nail on the head with “homing” and gcode verification… not so sure about spindle control. the people who would use UGS, and have spindle control through gcode would know that they must include that M3 command. If easel notices there is no M3 (start) AND Z+ (lift) AND a M5 (stop), make a pop-up which allows you continue with manual spindle control, or cancel operations allowing user to fix the mistake.
It’s hard to give a straight up yes or no answer to having control over your machine.

I hope i gave some good suggestions. In the end, i am not tooooo picky, and i would be utterly content to know there is a simple alternative to UGS or chillipeppr.

Thanks in advance and apologies for any topic where i did not elaborate properly,
-ajb

p.s carbide motion’s sender for Shapeoko 3 looks pretty good. there would be something to learn there for sure.

edit: another thing that is great about easel and goes completely un-noticed is the materials library.
I pretty often refer to it when picking feeds and speeds on my cam programs. It is a good base conception for what the inventables machines can handle. Having never milled anything but steel in my professional career i was completely lost when i started working with woods and DIY built CNCs. Easel really helped to pinpoint the capabilities of my x-carve. I hope with an interest in advanced usage easel can also support a library for such information.

I completely agree. I mean i’m going as far as learning basic Java to modify UGS to be more compatible with the X carve. It just doesn’t have the features Easel does, it’s ONLY benefit is the fact that I can load up projects from whatever CAM software I choose, unlike easel. I love the way Easel works, but designing complicated parts in it is just something it’s not made to do. Unfortunately, that’s what I want to do :slight_smile:

Just to add some more thoughts here.

How about a built in processor/editor? You could then create a job in Easel, then edit/process/macro the GCode just before it gets sent.

This way you could do stuff like edit the GCode to search and replace the Z moves up and down with spindle on/off commands when using a laser. Or add codes that could trigger dust collection etc.

I’m currently creating jobs in Easel, exporting the GCode, editing in a text editor then having to use Chillipepr to send it. If I could do it all in Easel it would be a great help.

Cheers

Ian

Hi Jason,

What do you mean by “regen the spindle to this origin?” Does this mean moving the spindle to the specified origin? Or are you referring to regenerating the g-code based on a different origin point than it was generated with? Or do you mean something else?

Jeff

Hi Jamie,

Why does it cut a perfect circle? What doesn’t work as far as homing?

Why does home get reset? Wouldn’t you be able to issue a “G0 X0 YO ZO” or click “return to 0” button in UGS?

Jeff

Nevermind. I answered my own question. It looks like grbl does a soft reset when it receives an M30. Makes sense why you’d need to return home before that for a 2-stage job.

I would probably continue to use UGS even it Easel was able to send G-code.

Scott

Old post. I upgraded to 1.08 UGS and finally have access to homing and zeroing the machine :slight_smile:

I’ve used a couple of G-code senders for 3D printers, but haven’t been able to get UGS to cooperate on my Mac yet. So these comments are based on my 3D printing experience…

  • no need to edit, but a visualization would be helpful, and a way to specify per-machine “header and footer” g-code that would be run every time for that specific machine would be great (many 3D peeps have a few machines, not necessarily all operative)
  • visualizing where the job is at would be helpful, plus current x y z positions
  • I like Easel’s step-you-through so a way to step through the setup would be nice. As a result, the setup might not need a g-code header as much as a bunch of questions to step through the homing.
  • jog dials and a way to “remember” the current position will help multi-file runs especially when you zero over something that gets removed :smile: - I may need to raise the bit a few inches to change it, or move things away to flip a piece of material over.
  • ditto an easy way to stop and start the spindle when pausing.
  • you’ll probably need a way to automatically identify the pre- and post-cut commands in a file and ask the user if they want to run them or skip them (or give them a machine setup to cover some of that)
  • some kind of history of runs, and notes that you can add, would be handy, plus a way to save each g-code file and add notes.

The best piece of software I’ve used for running g-code on a 3D printer was Octoprint, nice especially that you could run it on a Raspberry Pi and access it from your browser over the network. Put something like that in your new controller, and you’ll have an awesome product.

Has this gone any further.

Reading the thread here is what I see as a problem.

If I use a CAM program to generate operations that I want to have done to make a part on a CNC machine. That CAM program needs a post processor that knows what Gcode is supported by GRBL.
So say I use CamBam for my CAM program. When I go to post my Gcode I need to be able to select a post processor that is X-Carve specific. The generated Gcode can then be loaded into Easel and should not need any changes to run on GRBL
You do not want to be second guessing what I want done to my part.

Inventables needs to work with the CAM programers to get post processors that are for X-Carve.

Dave

Hi @DavidSohlstrom that is what we are working on. We have started discussions with a few of the CAM vendors. The conversations have been encouraging. They are starting to recognize the Inventables community as a real segment in the market.

It’s a little bit harder than we expected. Lots of little details.

We have a phased project to simplify it. I’m hopeful that we will have some announcements soon but we don’t have anything official to report at this time.

Zach

There being CAM software that is from free to several thousand dollars and no one does it the same way it can be a real pain getting a Post that works with XC in a standard configuration.
You know that I have been using CNC for lots of years and use control software that will not run on a standard machine.
Your machines and software are a very good starting point for the beginner to CNC.

Dave

Yea that is part of what we are working on. In the event that “something goes wrong” how does Easel help you out.

We are trying to make the experience better than the way a traditional “sender” would just pass things along.

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Zach

I’m not sure that is possible. Even LinuxCNC and Mach3 will not correct Gcode. As long as there are no unsupported codes in the file, the file will run. If the person made a mistake in his or her operations there is no way for the control software to correct that. Don’t ask how I know this :smile:
The other issue is as you well know Gcode can be several thousand lines long and finding and correcting a problem is next to impossible using an editor.

I think the best you can hope for is to have Easel check the code for unsupported code and flag it for the operator to go back and correct it in there CAM program. Getting post processors for the various CAM programs that only post correct code is the fun part.

Dave

G-code Generation
V-PhotoCarve, HyperMill AMD (Acad 2005)

G-code Editing
Simple text editor, usually some change in the first row

Homing
Yes

Spindle
Yes. I use a big Mill machine in my workplace with Mach3. The machine turns on and off the spindle so it is written in the nc file

I’ve been trying to get long gcode files to run, but continue to have problems through UGS and Chilipeppr. So I’d definitely welcome Easel running gcode files, as I’ve had no problem with that software.

G-code verification: Yes
G-code Generation: Vectric photoVcarve and Vectric Vcarve Desktop
G-code editing: No, I don’t think so
Homing: Nice but not crucial
Spindle: Nice but not crucial

Just finished building my X-Carve for classroom use and am impressed so far. What I would like is a simple control software that will allow students to hand write code using standard G&M code parameters and run it on the X-Carve. I obviously don’t have them do this much but as an into to CNC I have them make a name plate by writing the code by hand (usually 25-40 lines of code) so they can better understand what CAM software exports if they have to ever troubleshoot it in the future. My current workflow is to write it in Notepad and then open that document it to the control software for the Pro-Light mills I have, but I would really like to allow them to create larger projects on the X-Carve rather than the little work space that is allowed on a Pro-Light.

Thank you in advance and I am very excited to begin implementing the X-Carve in my CNC and CAD classes.

-Brandon

We’ve started testing this feature! Check out the announcement and details here: [NOW LIVE] [new feature] G-code sending through easel

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