Stupid newbie question: Carving off-line

I know it’s just me, and I’m missing something, but I do not know how to run the X-Carve locally. Everything appears to be fine and it runs files using Carvy, on the website, but what are the steps to just run it locally? I have X-Carve Desktop and I thought you could run the router right from the desktop software. I thought there was some equivalent of the ‘Carve’ button in the desktop program. Do you HAVE to use Carvy for actually doing the machine setup and cutting?

It is possible to use a 3rd party software package to design and create your gcode (the code that instructs the X-Carve how to move). Then you save that gcode file using a post processor that works with the X-Carve. Finally you will run a gcode sender program on your local PC to send that saved gcode file to the X-Carve.

So you need three things:

  1. The software to design and create the toolpath (like V-Varve Pro or Vcarve Desktop)
  2. The X-Carve Post Processor for the software (we can help you find and install the correct post processor).
  3. A copy of a Gcode sender (I use Universal Gcode Sender “UGS”) You can download a copy of UGS at

The UGS program is a Java application, so you will need to be sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. UGS will download as a compressed ZIP file, so just unzip it after you have downloaded it. Then double click on the UniversalGcodeSender.JAR file to start it running.

Once it is running you will just need to be sure it is set to the correct baud rate (115200) and the correct com port for the X-Carve. (There is lots of information on this forum about using UGS if you have any problem)

Once UGS is connected to the X-Carve you can use UGS to Jog the carriage around Zero the work position and then load and run your gcode file.


You can just use Easel to import the gcode file you created and then Easel will send the gcode to the X-Carve.
But you will still need to use the correct post process for Easel.

1 Like

I see I’m going to need to talk to someone. I don’t fully understand. You’re saying Vcarve doesn’t export gcode and I need another program to convert the files to gcode?

The ‘UGS’ connects to the Vcarve but gives me this error:
“An error was detected while sending ‘null’: error: Alarm lock. Streaming has been paused.error: Alarm lock.”

Good job getting UGS loaded and connected to the X-Carve. That was the most difficult part.

Vcarve does export your gcode. On the right side menu (toolpaths) there is a little disk icon

After you have completed creating your tool paths just click that icon and the save toolpath menu will open. This is where Vcarve saves your gcode

Just check the checkboxes for the tool paths you want to save (they must all use the same tool) and be sure the right post Processor is selected.

For the X-Carve you will need the X-Carve (inch) post processor (or the mm)

Then you can use your newly installed UGS to open the gcode file that was saved from X-Carve (it will end with the extension ,gocde)

As for the alarm condition, you can click the $X command to release the alarm lock. If you have homing turned on for the X-Carve it will always start up (from power off) in alarm mode since it wants you to home it first so it knows where it is. After the alarm mode is cleared ($X) you can jog the spindle around set your home position, open the gocde file and send it to the X-Carve.

I hope that helps, please ask more questions if you have any problems.

1 Like

If you load Easel while online you can use it while offline but you can’t close the browser. It only uses the Internet to save files and open files stored online. Everything else is done locally including G-code import.

1 Like

Perfect! That answered both questions! It works!


That’s a great tip. Thanks!

1 Like

I’m back to frustration mode with this system. How to you 1) calibrate the g-code sender to the X-Carve? (telling the machine to jog the unit 1 inch results in it only moving 7/8th’s of an inch) and 2) the biggest issue is it gets the scale of the gcode file wrong. it ‘cuts’ a 20 inch shape out in something more like 20mm - super tiny! The preview function says it’s 20 inches. I see there’s a post processor file to get Easel to read the VCarve gcode, but I don’t see how to use it.

It’s been a pain. Nothing I send through the Gcode sender works in the right scale. I’ve tried code made by other people and it does the same thing. There must be something in the setup process that has to be done but I’ve yet to find it.

I’ve just found that I need to send a G20 using the CLI. So that gets the machine talking inches. So I’m making progress. Thanks!

1 Like