I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t like Easel, especially if you’re a first time user of this type of technology. Easel, in my opinion, is about as good as one could hope for in a free software especially when it comes to having both cad and cam capabilities. Yes it’s web based, but the auto save feature alone makes this program worth learning and using at least every once in a while. Also, the more time you spend with it, the better it gets, as you will pick up on tricks here and there which honestly comes with any piece of software when you first learn to use it. Don’t be so quick to hate on it, the good people at Inventables spent the time and other resources to create this FREE platform for everyone to use and it also allows people an easy way to share what they’ve made with other like minded people. I personally like to do all of my work in Vcarve pro, but there’s still a lot that can be done in Easel that in a lot of cases can make it easier or more convenient to use than opening up a stand alone program, setting your parameters and going from there. I’ve made some pretty intricate designs in Vcarve and gotten distracted from it with my 2 year old and lost those files, whereas with Easel, that’s something to doesn’t happen unless you have a shoddy internet connection because it saves your work automatically after every change that’s made. Also, for anyone to say that they refuse to use Easel because you think “someone else has control over your files” is utter nonsense. Anything you make in Easel can be extracted and save to a local file on your HDD. No one is taking over anything you’re doing on Easel at any point and all they do is help whenever there’s an issue. In the end you still have to learn any system you plan on using, which will always take time. The more systems you learn to use, the better off you’ll be, as is the case with anything in life really. I love Easel for its ease of use and it’s loaded with tons of free stuff to use and generates tool paths for you on the fly. You could always write your own program and go that route, though I highly doubt that would be a better option either. Either deal with what’s offered for free and make due or get your billfold out and be prepared to pay a hefty amount of money for a much more advanced piece of software that’s going to take much, much longer to learn how to use, the choice is yours and there are many options out there to choose from, each with their own pros and cons.
In case some readers want to give it a go, or were unaware of the addition, VCarve v9+ now does actually come with a simple offline G-code sender, called VTransfer. It can be selected as an option on install, or you can find the separate installer in your product directory (usually C:\Program Files\VCarve Pro 9.5\VTransfer_Setup.exe or similar) and install it at anytime subsequently.
Once installed, use the ‘mm’ X-Carve post and you will find that the option ‘Output direct to machine’ is available via VTransfer.
VTransfer will start-up when you click ‘Output Toolpath(s)’. It allows simple jogging, setting of the X,Y,Z origin and streaming of the toolpath without the need for any other software.
I hope it might be useful for some at least.
Edward (from Vectric)
That’s interesting to know, is this capability also available in inches instead of mm? If so, I may give this a shot soon and test it out. Thanks for the info! I love Vcarve pro, I have both versions 8.0 and 9.5 and absolutely love using them for my intricate designs. Cheers!
Currently we are only supporting mm g-code units (which really is how most of grbl operates natively) so you do need to ensure that grbl on your x-carve is reporting in mm ($13=0) for everything to work as expected.
It is very important to note, however, that this is entirely independent of the units you choose to work in within VCarve - you are entirely free to design and toolpath using imperial measurements and tooling in every other area of the software. The conversions will only occur during the post-processing and will be entirely automagic. You should not really need to use any metric values yourself.
So just to clarify, let’s say I design a box that’s 6”x6” as an example, it’ll still come cut to those measurements when cut, but it’ll report the measured product in mm? Just want to be clear on this before I try it
You design and work in inches throughout and no physical dimensions change at any point. The units of the GCode moves, and the reported position of the machine, will simply be output in mm equivalents.
Interesting, I’ll have to give this a shot. Thanks Edward
you might try Bobcad ask for the disc and the tutorial disc’s it’s expensive and a huge learning curve but worth it for any kind of complicated carving and it is on your computer. i have had to wait for hour’s while easel simulated the tool path’s in the beginning of a carve. news flash x-carver seems to be proprietary. you use there soft ware or it is just a large paper weight
I haven’t had the same issues you have but I second your frustration that Easel is web based. It makes it virtually impossible to stabilize the system by locking the entire hardware/software stack ( Hardware, OS, Drivers & Easel version ). There are some awkward UI conventions because it is browser based. The various browser limitations on apps that run inside a web page have also showed their ugly head to me on occasion. History tells us these restraints will only become heavier because it makes better marketing for the browser maker to “employ tighter security restrictions on browser-based apps.”
I prefer to store files locally rather than on the cloud. I also prefer to keep computers offline unless they need to connect, especially for purpose-based machines. The internet is thick with security issues, the best way to protect a given computer is to tightly govern its access to the internet or to lock the stack and only update when I have time to address any update issues before re-locking the stack. This is really the only method I’m aware of that gives you a production-level reliable system.
What everyone has said is correct, there are other software options that allow this to be the case but Easel is the manufacturer’s software which makes support much more straightforward. Encapsulating a web-based app into a standalone app provides many opportunities for enhancement, security and efficient internet communications, memory protection, etc.
I would encourage the developers to explore Python as a software base ( I suspect much of it already is ). It would run on any platform and provide ways to protect any intellectual property that Inventables wishes to protect. It would also allow the inclusion of a great deal of open source projects since it’s very popular in that domain. Both could exist until one goes into disuse but I strongly believe, if given a choice, most users would choose the offline version.
This is just my two cents. I will continue to use Easel either way as I think it’s a great tool. However, I think moving to a standalone app that doesn’t require internet access ( except to update ) would take the software to the next level.
For all of you who say they refuse to use the cloud. I say. Welcome to the 90’s.
All you have to do is read the problems and frustrations that people have here on almost a daily basis, only because they are tied to the internet to do their design and or machining and or saving their files.
I was in complete control in the 90’s and I will remain in control.
Good luck being under control of some other entity.
Amen I would love to see it as a stand alone.