Shut Down Mid Carve - Solved

I saw an old posting on this topic which prompted the solution I used. I thought I would summarize for the benefit of others.
In my case, I make aluminum parts on my heavily modified X-Carve. I think I have one of the first X-Controllers because I was on a wait list at the time and the only number on the cabinet is “02.” I design parts using SolidWorks for Makers and use MeshCAM to generate the g-code. I import the g-code into easel and carve with my X-Carve.
The problem - the carve would stop after around 2 minutes and easel would show the completion screen.

  • It was not Easel, because Easel sends all of the g-code to the X-Controller before the carve starts.
  • It was not the USB chord because I changed it out.
  • It was not the computer, because when the USB chord was unplugged, the computer would indicate that the cable was disconnected.
  • It WAS the actual USB connector on the X-Controller. When I plugged a USB cable directly into the motherboard the system stabilized. Apparently the connection had an intermittent connection.

If you have this trouble of incomplete carves, consider making a direct connection between the motherboard of the X-Controller and the computer. It is not an easy fix because you need to take the X-Controller apart to connect directly to the motherboard. Besides it gives you an opportunity to clean up your X-Controller (which in my case was badly needed).

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FYI, this is not technically accurate. Easel sends a stream to the X-Controller and the X-Controller que’s a specific amount of lines of gcode. As lines are used, it will que additional lines. continuing in basically a constant flow of gcode data.

I actually had this same issue on a very used X-Carve that I picked up for $300 a few months ago… I removed the connector and soldered the USB Cable that’s internal to the Controller directly to the Main Controller Board, bypassing the connector that would vibrate and have intermittent connection at it’s solder joints. I think this is caused by the way the cable hangs off the front and vibrates when the CNC runs, especially if it’s mounted to the stock Side-Board.

Thanks Seth for the correction on how Easel sends g-code. The old post (2020) lead me to believe that I could completely rule out internet connection as the culprit. My X-controller gets very little vibration and no stress on the board connection but something was always brushing against the USB connector on the front panel. Bypassing that connector was the ticket. Soldering to the board would have eliminated future issues and that will be my plan C if future problems develop.

However, my internet connection to my CNC computer is wireless and vulnerable to wireless issues. Because my aluminum carves can take extremely long lengths of time I am now reconsidering an alternative to easel as a g-code sender. Thanks again.

Okay, so to clarify, Easel does not SEND the entire Gcode file to the CNC at the start of a carve, it only SENDS a handful of lines which are held in a que on the cnc prior to performing each of the lines…

Easel DOES compile the entire gcode file for a Carve at the Start and SAVES it to the PC, which is then used as a reference to send to refill the Que. So you are correct that Once the Carve begins, the Internet is no longer in use, thus internet connectivity issues would not be a factor. In fact, the process of compiling the gcode file doesn’t even use internet, only initially loading the Easel website uses internet (and a few tools within Easel require a live connection) . . .