Universal GCode Sender (UGS) and Large Files (64mb+, 10,000,000+ lines)

TL;DR: I’ve got giant files to send to the X-Carve, can’t find any info on what anyone else is using to send these sizes of file/if anyone is using files this large on Mac. Easel crashes, UGS works better, but also freezes, no PicSender because Mac. Here’s what I’m trying and the stats on it for the reference of others. I’ll report back after trying one of the UGS nightly builds that handles memory differently.


I’ve embarked on a rather large project with my 1000mm x 1000mm X-Carve. It’s a (9’ wide) topographical map in HDU foam with lots of detail; the STL file I’m working from has ~9,300,000 faces. I’ve split it into roughly 2’ x 2’ sections, I’m using Fusion 360 for all the CAM and I’m having issues finding a reliable program to send the GCode to the X-Carve.

Each piece has 3 passes: pocket clearing, parallel pass to smooth, 2D contour to cut it out. I’m using a combination of computers for the project (Macbook Pro Early 2011, Macbook Pro Late 2013, Mac Pro [hex-core, 16GB RAM, 6GB VRAM]).

My GCode sending computer is the 2011 MBP, my files for the pocket clearing and parallel passes range from 3MB-64MB. Easel has been able to handle a some of them, but once we get into the heavier files, it crashes. From reading the forums I moved on to UGS, I’ve been using 1.09 and had a bit more success, but especially on the parallel passes I get the herky-jerky from data starving in the beginning, then it smooths out for a bit until UGS eventually freezes leading to an adventure trying to get the machine back to zero for another pass. My machine doesn’t have electronic homing, and you bet I’m going to have that going for the next project.

I scoured the forums for any info on people using files this large on a Mac and came up empty. From what I read PicSender is the best and I can’t use on Mac. I also saw a bit that the nightly builds of UGS handle memory differently and may work better with larger files. That is the next thing I’m going to try.

Try bCNC maybe?

Would it be practical to break the job into separate runs?

And while I’m thinking of it… http://chilipeppr.com/

Try bCNC maybe?

I had a go of it and couldn’t get pyserial to work. I’m assuming it has to do with the path difference when installing python with Homebrew and I didn’t understand the directions to point in to the right place from the Terminal.

Would it be practical to break the job into separate runs?

Tried it and had issues w/ the machine not zeroing to the exact same height every time, but definitely a solid work around.

And while I’m thinking of it… http://chilipeppr.com/

Yes, also looked into that, from what I’ve read here it’s also not heavy enough to to work with large files (though I’ve not tried it myself).


Was running the carve w/ the latest stable UGS 2.0 tonight and the brushes went out on my Dewalt. Currently dry running the code again overnight to see if anything goes wrong until I can get brushes or a new router to run it for real tomorrow.

Picsender can handle it.

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I wish I could use PicSender, but I’ve only got Macs and no Parallels.


In other news, the dry run w/ UGS 2.0 stable (classic GUI) got well past the point where it froze on 1.09, new brushes are installed in the Dewalt and we’re off to the races again.

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I use Picsender for everything. It has never failed me, except when I screw it up myself.

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Them too.

The fine gentleman at PicEngrave have used a cheap sub $100 windows tablet without any issues.


With the cost of Windows PCs and tablets at an all time low, I would suggest in investing in one and get on with
enjoying your X-Carve!

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I have been researching using a raspberry 3 with bcnc and read it can handle very large files.

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The 2.0 version of UGS should work with any sized gcode file. Rather than processing the file and storing it in memory like 1.0.9 did, it is stored on disk then streamed to the controller.

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I really love the platform. With probe and speed overrides.

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the best thing about UGS is that it is not platform dependent. I can use the same program on Windows at work and Linux at home. I always try to use programs that are not OS dependent as it solves a lot of headaches when I use them and they seem to just work better.

There are a couple of programs listed at: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Communication_/_Control which are intended for large files. Esp. see the CLI programs: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Communication_/_Control#CLI

https://github.com/McNugget6750/SimpleG — Windows CLI sending tool

https://www.npmjs.com/package/clinc — A minimalist, scriptable command-line interface for GRBL v0.9.[23]

c.f., the Processing script GCtrl

Just finished up a 24 hour carve ~3,000,000 lines, absolutely no issues w/ UGS 2.0. Appreciate everything you’ve done on it Will. Once the X-Carve isn’t on the clock anymore, I’m going to try some even larger files. Ya’ll got a Patreon or something so I can toss a donation your way once I get paid out for this job?


For others who find this thread looking for info the version of UGS I’m using go here (https://winder.github.io/ugs_website/download/), there are two links at the bottom of the page below where it says “Stable build from: July 28, 2017”, I’m using Classic GUI.

*Edit: Added some photos of the carves.

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