The use of vcarve on x carve help

hi so ive got my carve running ive used easel to move the machine already. i bought vcarve pro ages ago and have a number of projects lined up what i need to know is how to get my v carve programs to work on my 1000mm xcarve, i have grbl controller and have moved the machine up and down etc with it. im guessing there are some sort of parameters like easel has setup for x carve, so i dont crash the thing rails. if i could import my drawings into easel i would use it. im just very unsure of how to connect the two together and how to go about it. my experience in cnc, i work as joiner/cabinetmaker with use of commercial machines mainly as an operator an some programming. so its not all new to me. thanks matt


As a beginner my info is what i believe to be correct at this time. Yes there are settings you can see your settings by typing $$ as to the setting you need for x-carve i not sure the shapeoko 2 settings are on a wiki, but the X-Carve uses gbrl 9i and so not exactly the same. from what i’m learning
setting might differ depending on the Z threaded rod, stepper motors, size and proberley other stuff i have no knowledge about.

I have Aspire which is the same company that makes v-carve so I believe what I am doing will work for you as well. Once you have created what you want to cut in v-carve create your toolpaths and save them, when you save them you need to select which post processor you want to use. Select the Shapeoko, if you don’t have the Shapeoko then you will need to install it.
Once you have created the toolpaths open up Universal G Code Sender (UGCS) and open the port your Arduino is on. From there I zero my spindle using the manual controls on the UGCS and the select the file tab on UGCS and select your toolpath. Then hit the button and off it goes.


I used VCarve for a project this weekend on my X-Carve. I just saved my toolpaths as generic gcode, and then used the grbl version of Chilipeppr to load and run the gcode. I hadn’t thought to look for a Shapeoko profile in VCarve, I wonder what kind of a difference that would make?

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i have done what you suggested @KeithGrunow did a test run in the air (no bit in the collet) seemed to work fine. i am concerned how ever about my depth as i did go for the acme lead screw option on my xcarve i do wonder if there are some sort of settings or something. i have run the easel setup page test which i used a felt pen attached to the spindle. in easel setup u choose your threaded type so this is where my concern comes from. i also see inventables have a xcarve post processor in their software page.

@MatthewHubbard Once you run the Easel setup page or manually set it up, the X-Carve will remember all your settings. They are the same regardless of what CAM software you want to use. I suggest using our post processor on the vcarve product page.


I am having issues as well. I make my part in VCarve pro. I have tried both generic GCode and the XCare post processor and it nothing works. For example I wanted to carve my daughters name on a board 24" long (Y Axis) x 3.5" wide (X Axis) and .75" thick (Z axis) Home my machine in universal G Code sender. I had set it up in Easel and Easel works.

Move my bit to the home position and it starts carving about at about 1 inch from the end of the Y axis when it should be carving about 20 inches up from there.

Could it be an inch/mm issue? I’ll be using V-Carve too. I just loaded both of the X-Carve post processors into it and noticed there is an inch and a mm. I don’t really know how they work so I don’t know if creating something in inches and loading it into the metric processor would give you those crazy results.

Me too, its likely reading inches as milimeters and carving a tiny piece in the corner. I got it working right for one time, but I am not sure what I did yet, but I will post when I figure it out. It’s definately a setting.

Im using the inches post processor and the piece is in inches.

Hi Guys, with regard to VCarve Pro I hope the following couple of things might be helpful:

  • It doesn’t matter what units you used during your design, the units you select for you post-processor will make all the necessary conversions when producing your toolpath file.
  • It does matter that your machine controller state (in this case, grbl) is set-up to match the units you have selected in your post. If you intend to use mm, then ensure that you have set grbl to mm mode before sending the toolpath using the GCode_mm post - for example. You can do this after homing your machine with something like G-Code sender by sending ‘G21’ (or ‘G20’ if you want to set inches mode and work with an imperial post). Please be aware that other software may muck with this setting so you should do it as a matter of routine).
  • VCarve version 8 includes specific grbl_inch and grbl_mm posts, which you should use in preference to the generic GCode ones. The newer posts will correctly set the units for you so you don’t need to worry about the step above.

I hope this helps to clarify some of the issues you may be seeing.


(I am part of the VCarve development team at Vectric)


Are those two post processors the ones that are floating around this site somewhere, or are they different? I bought the desktop version of VCarve last week (the 23rd) and they weren’t on the list so I downloaded the two I found here and installed them.

The VCarve/Aspire post-process files you want are here (

I think you can place one or both of them into the “My_PostP” folder and they will be the only options that will show up in the post-process list.


Hi Joe, I’ve just checked VCarve Desktop and the grbl posts that I mentioned in my earlier message are installed by default and appear in the post processor drop-down list as:

  • Grbl 0.8c (mm/inches) (*.gcode)

If other XCarve users feel that more specific post provided by Inventables is preferable though, I would go with their advice - but I hope this clarifies my earlier post in any case.


OK, thanks. I found the Grbl ones on the list of available processors.

Inventables has a zip-file with two processors in it over on their Aspire page. Peter linked to it.
Their processors are labeled X-Carve_inch and X-Carve_mm.

Same files, different names?

I know when ever I use UGS and I reset my zero, a lot of the time I have to reset it back to inches (as my gcode was generated in inches). For some reason UGS switches over to mm after zero so this is the process I use for UGS only.
First I start up UGS and connect.
Position the spindle where I was work zero to be and hit reset zero.
I then close UGS and restart it to get machine zero to zero
Then I move my Z axis up 1"and back down, if it barely moves I type G20 in the command bar which is the code to convert back to inches, then I try to move up 1" again and back down
At this point everything “should” be set to go
Import Gcode and start up.

The reason I like to reset zero on both Machine and work is because when you hit the go back to zero key, it goes back to the Machine zero, not the work zero!

okay guys my post processor is working pretty awesome however I want to use two bits now how do I do this ? it says in aspire when I go to save this I can because of my post processor doesn’t support this ? im thinking there’s a way to manually manipulate this and or run two different cuts on it your thoughts ?

Hi mike in v carve if I’m going to use to different bits on a job the way round would be to save the two different tool paths run them one after another.


Yep, that’s what I do too. The project I’m about to run uses three tools; when I go to save off the gcode files, I just group all the toolpaths for the same tool together, and then I just run the files one after another.


awesome that was my thoughts on a work around but wanted to see what others thought up