Technical cutting with Easel? Or other software?

So i have my x-carve setup and cutting, but running into a glitch on my first project.

Easel is super easy to use for shapes and text but i’m having a hard time cutting measured lines/shapes. Maybe i haven’t figured it out yet… but here’s what i’m trying to do.

  1. I want to cut a straight line that’s X mm long. Specifically 250mm.

The only way i can figure to do this is to make a box, and make it crazy thin. The problem is that there will always be a square toolpath, so if i’m cut something longer than 250mm (requires two cuts) the lines won’t line up. Yeah i realize i’m using my $1000 xcarve as a table saw, but i’m trying to cut a larger G10 board down so i can carve out the edges.

Anyway, it’s ugly but worked. If there’s a better way to do this please tell me. Is there better software for what i’m trying to accomplish?

  1. Cut a notch out of a 6x11" square of G10. For me to get accurate lengths (like 35mm edge here, 22mm depth…) I have to first sketch in Fusion 360, export to DXF, import into inkskape, export into SVG, import into easel and hope that everything’s still there.

Attached is the image of what i’m trying to cut and what results I had. I engraved a large text afterwards to make sure my belts and 'duino was running fine.

Is this the best way to do this? I wished easel just had a “line” option and a spline would be money, one that had a measurement setting.

I too use my X-Carve as a glorified table saw. I keep one project titled “horizontal line” and another titled “vertical line”. Each one just has an imported svg of a single line from Illustrator (you could use Inkscape).
Then all I do is put in the length of the line in the “shape” tab when I am ready to cut and place it a 0,0 on the art board. Set 0 to be where I want to start the line, and carve away.

for the notch, I would skip Fusion 360 and just make the lines in Inkscape or Illustrator… these apps allow you to enter specific numbers for lengths of lines. Also, I would leave off the top and bottom lines you have on your notch unless you want them carved… something like this:

  • I created a rectangle in Illustrator at exactly 1.125" wide and 3" tall.
  • I deleted the left side line on the rectangle
  • Save as SVG
  • Import to Easel
  • Set the bottom right corner to X=1" and Y=1.75"
  • Set outline to inside (if it is the notch that you want to be 1x3")
  • Start carve with 0 at the corner of the material

If Easel didn’t have the rectangle bug (and it eventually won’t) then you can skip the svg all together and just do this same thing with one edge of the rectangle running off to the side… you can set specific numbers for shapes on the art board using the “Shape” tab.

One way would be to draw it in Inkscape and import it.

We talked about adding the line tool yesterday. Anybody else interested in that?


Definitely pro-line here. You can make anything from line segments. Easier if you also have an Arc tool. Then give us the choice to cut ON the line, left of the line, or right of the line, and throw in an offset variable so we can draw one line then perhaps use it several times with various offsets to put a compound (composed of several bit profiles) profile along an edge.


@DavidBrown can you please explain more about what you mean?

One example… a complex molding for trim that might be cut to make a window or photo frame. Or a fancy profile around a sign or plaque. With a small collection of ball end, roundover, v-bits, etc., the line>offset option uses a single line or polyline of connected segments and carves a complicated cross section extruding along the line. Several passes, each with a bit change, but much more potential than what we get with only profiles ON the line and pockets inside shapes.

snap to grid functions would be sweet. snap to edges. snap to endpoints! if that was implemented then you could simply adjust the size using easel’s already existing tools.

Absolutely, the ability to do more than just a line, like spline (or arc), can’t be too hard if there’s freehand. That would make our lives alot easier :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: And if we could set the length, even better.

Also, something that would be just money, is to have the ability to overlay or set the background/wasteboard as an image. This way, the user could set the background picture of a grid (inches, mm) or the item they want to “trace” with the tools. I know we can do it in inkscape, but i’d love to skip a few steps :stuck_out_tongue:

I can pay in beer… :grin:

@sketch42 Thanks, that makes way more sense. The separate cuts will work.

I really like the idea of being able to have a background image that is not part of the current project. That way I could bring a project I just cut into a new project set it as the background, then create a new toolpath over it that rounds the edges or does the profile cut to separate it from the waste work.

Many times I need to go back into a project and set everything to a zero depth (which makes it really hard to see in Easel) and then draw a square around it to do the final profile cut, since I don’t want to do the final profile until everything else is completed.

So a new File Menu item like “Copy project to background” that create a new project with the current project set a static image that I can trace over would be really nice.

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Ah, like an “onion skin”.

One of the projects on my todo list (not very high on it, unfortunately) is a camera + image stitching software for a display of what’s on the machine. You should be able to set material on the board and get a live background, not just a static image. Including measurements.

A lot of the things posted here are trivial to do in gcode, and it’s not very complicated. If all you want is a line in X, it’s:

g91 g21 g1 x250 f1000


g91 - relative motion (ie, start where the bit is right now)
g21 - metric
g1 - cut
x250 - 250 units (mm) to the right, if you’ve got grbl defaults
f1000 - 1000mm/minute

I strongly suggest taking the bit out of your spindle and just playing around with gcode. It’s worth it for quick-and-simple stuff like this. You’ll get very quick at typing these.

Oh yep, I do this from time to time, but sometimes it is just easier to have a saved project that I can pull up and click go and it cuts a horizontal line.

Edit: because of this, I use the X-Carve as a table saw, a planer/jointer/thicknesser, drill press, etc…