Stop easel reversing direction with tabs

We are making steady progress. The changes are tied in with a larger change we are doing, we can’t just pull out the reversing. I will announce here as soon as we have any information on timing. I would cautiously say it will happen before the end of the month.

I’m not 100% sure, though, that the reversing is the only thing that could be causing your bit to break while cutting aluminum. We might want to create a new topic, but @EricDobroveanu is our resident aluminum expert and I believe he thinks there could be several other factors involved and that reversing direction alone would not normally be enough to break a bit if everything else was set up correctly. Is that right @EricDobroveanu?

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What are the exact specs of the bit; diameter, flutes, coating, helix angle, etc?

Generally speaking, all these things play into how a bit will cut aluminum. I’ve found that if you have a high helix angle (like 45 degrees) you can snap a bit really quickly if you don’t have an airblast. Lower helix angles (ie, “general purpose” bits with a 30-something degree helix) can usually take higher stress cuts.

As for reversing direction, I haven’t experienced any bits breaking. Some of the parts I make have a 0.125" wide, .5" long, 0.16" deep slot (essentially the same thing as reversing direction between tabs) and I’ve never broken a bit on that operation. (using a 1/8" 2flute upcut uncoated ~37° helix)

It could also come down to speeds/feeds. My feeds for the above op are .015" DOC, 60IPM, slotting, 20k RPM.

Are you using Easel defaults or entering your own values in?

Thanks for the update Jeff,

No it is solely related to reversing direction. I have a long way to go before I would say I am as good as some of the folks in here but for my parts I have the speed plunge and depth pretty well dialed in and am getting very familiar with the bits and what they are able to handle. I can cut the same part a dozen times in one direction just fine but if I use the tab feature it is almost guaranteed to crash as soon as it reverses direction and will push the bit outside the path and into the wall.

I would tend to agree with Phil here “the X carve’s z axis has too much play in it to switch from conventional milling to climb milling.”

I really have all I can to stay on top of keeping the belts tight, and I have done the stiffening mod, checked the voltage on the steppers, but either the machine just too loose in the way it is designed with plastic wheels and lock nuts that are subject to loosening, or the software is buggy, or the belt system just is not very precise. I rarely can ever get a true circle it is always is somewhat squared or elliptical.

So based on what I am seeing the bit will not follow the path in precisely the same pattern in reverse and that is why it crashes the bit into the side walls of the part.

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Eric, I am really only breaking 1/16 bits, the 1/8 are robust enough to take the hit and not break.(however they still trash the part) I am using HTC 130-3062 1/16 bits. and lakeshore carbide 360018sx 1/8 bits.

My cut setting on 1/16 are

20 ipm
9 ipm plunge
dps .002

But again I have no trouble with cutting aluminum in one direction it is only when tabs reverses direction.

Well looking forward to this patch, but in the meantime I literally have over 100 parts that are waiting on this so I believe I will need to get down to learning Fusion and make this work. I have enjoyed using Easel for simple art and it will have it’s place for any future projects that fit that category but I probably need to learn fusion anyway for more complicated 3d prototyping.

Please do let us know when the new feature is implemented.

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I see 0.2.7 update was released. Did it address this issue?


Thanks Phil @JeffTalbot I did reply to Jeff a while ago but did not hear back.

I agree this is a huge problem that needs to get fixed for people needing tabs.He did say by the end of August so still hoping

@JeffTalbot do you have any update on removing the reverse pass? I have a fairly large gantry with a fair bit of flex and the reverse pass is causing havoc after flawless previous passes. Alternatively can you recommend an SVG to grbl gcode programme that works on mac to use in the meantime?

Many thanks,

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@PhilJohnson The engineering team just emailed me that they are aware of this issue. They said they are discussing the issue in their meeting today.

Stay tuned.

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They got back to me and said they have a pretty good theory now as to what is happening. They are doing some more testing and we may be able to make a change.

More to come.


Hi @PhilJohnson I think this may be happening on other machines besides X-Carve.

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Has anyone tried this on a Tormach or a bigger machine with Easel?

Developer update on this:

We have removed the specific optimization that allowed open paths to be reversed in order to save time going back and forth. This was the cause of quick back and forth reversals during tabs. Now the tabs “hop” from one to the other instead of reversing.

However, there are still situations where a section of path can end up being traversed the wrong direction, but it will no longer go back and forth rapidly. This is the hard part, code-wise. The improvements that @JeffTalbot mentioned earlier, to fully solve reversing and safety height retraction are still in progress.

We are really sorry for the issues this has caused. Thank you for the help diagnosing this problem. If you are still having problems (after refreshing Easel), please post or DM a link to your easel project so that we can have more test cases to help us find problems.


3 Cheers! thank you for your support. When will we have access to this?


The changes were deployed right before Paul posted yesterday. As he said, if you are still experiencing issues after refreshing Easel, please post or DM a link to your easel project so that we can have more test cases to help us find problems.

Many thanks for fixing this @JeffTalbot @paulkaplan. I have an svg with inside pockets in it, the fix has stopped the reverse pass on the outside of the shape however the inside pockets still do a reversing pass. Find my file here:

Many thanks for your help.


@Zach_Kaplan @JeffTalbot I cetianly hope this is a temporary quirk and not the final solution but my cuts are not reversing at all now! i.e. If I were cutting a line every pass it will start at the top, carve the line, then lift and go to the top of the line to begin again, EVERY SINGLE pass, even if it is not a thru cut. This is adding tons of additional z travel and thus cut time.

We wanted it to stop reversing at the tab height on closed objects. At least that was my thought. This lifting every single pass on open objects is too much.

Anyone else seeing this?

Hi @JosephCompton this is a temporary fix. We have a major infrastructure update coming that will handle this whole thing much differently.

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Thanks for the quick reply @Zach_Kaplan. I hesitated saying anything when the first project did this as I knew you guys were working hard on this issue, but after the second project repeated the same undesirable tool path I was getting worried. This extra travel is hard to take as time is a huge problem for me right now. I run the XC for nearly 8 hrs a day (actual running time) and I’m still so far behind on orders that anything that increases carving time kinda works me up.

Thanks for the update, I know you guys are working hard on this, and I understand how complicated it must be to make everyone happy.

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