X-Carve 1000m + VCarve Desktop + Picsender

Hey All,

So I have attempted to find the answers (without asking) to some issues I am having without any luck. So I wanted to see if anyone here could point me in the right direction?

I do 3D creation and 3D printing and have been attempting to carve some of these items out of wood on my X-Carve. I have had success using Easel with multiple test carves but I have yet to get anything 3D carved correctly (RobertA_Rieke’s Calibration file inside of Easel printed well.)

I currently have a X-Carve 1000m with a Dewalt 661. I purchased the Desktop version of VCarve (I know of the 24" limitation) to create the rough and finishing passes. I first ran into an issue with the Universal Gcode Sender not being able to send large gcode files correctly to the X-Carve. Luckily I found a program online called ‘Picsender’ http://www.picengrave.com/PicSender.htm and this ‘appears’ to have resolved this issue (this may be part of my problem?)

So the first question I have is related to Feed Speed. I have purchased quite a few 1/4" Amana bits and have been attempting to enter them correctly into VCarve. I watched a few videos online where the users were inputting in 150 IPM at 18000 RPM for something similar to my Amana no. 46294 (2 flute tapered ball nose.)

After doing some more research I found the ‘Amana Tool Feed’ Doc and it appears that I am feeding this bit really low? The feed doc appears to say that for this bit at 18000 RPM I should be feeding it at an IPM of 250" - 320"? Am I reading this correctly?

Would a slow feed rate effect the quality of the carve over distance? As in if it’s too slow or to fast would it lose steps and get out of alignment?

Currently my 3D carves are starting correctly but as they progress areas are getting stretched in the Y axis. I ordered a fish scale and will be rechecking my belt tension (based on RobertA_Rieke’s suggested values.) I will also be rechecking my pots especially for the Y axis.

Is there anything obvious I may be missing? Thanks in advance for any insight!



I’m wondering what kind of issues you were having with UGS. I know some of the older versions had occasional issues with gcode file length. I use UGS for everything and have had no problems with v2.0 handling my projects.

Keep in mind that the feed rates, etc., you see on charts like that are probably for professional, commercial machines, not a hobby machine like XCarve. Yes, XCarve is a good CNC but it’s not a commercial machine.

I have done many 3d carvings with similar bits. I use 40 ipm at .1" doc and it seems to work fine. It helps to rough your 3d carvings with a flat end mill. So I will make a roughing pass with 1/4" flat endmill, and do the 3d finishing pass with the ball nose. You should see those to options on your v-carve screen: 3D roughing and 3d Finishing. If your detail is too fine for the 1/4" ball nose, you have to go to 1/8" or 1/16".

If it is not working for you, you have other problems with your machine. 3D carving involves LOTS of ups and downs on the Z axis and requires much more accuracy on your x and y. Any lost steps will be magnified. Many problems present themselves if your pots are too low, v wheels are not tight, your pulleys are not tight, no flats on your steppers, not rigidity mods, or your belts are not banjo string tight. Recheck everything, lock it down and try again.

Thank you all for the replies!

@BillArnoald: I have only been using the stable builds for UGS; I will try the 2.0 build! The charts being made for professional/commercial machines makes a lot of sense too. Never thought about it that way (as RobertCanning mentioned 250in/min seemed really fast.)

@Earwigger: Thanks for the info! My current plan has been to rough in with the 1/4" ballnose then finish with a 1/16" tapered ball nose (at this point i’m willing to try it all thou.). I will try 40ipm and see if I get any better results. Out of the list I am missing only the rigidity mods currently. I fear that I may also have my belts too tight (fish scale will be here tomorrow.)

Here’s to rechecking everything and giving the 2.0 build of the UGS a go; I will let you all know how it works out!


For the most recent stable build of UGS v2.0, use this link: http://bit.ly/1hftIhy

I recommend you stay with using PicSender for reliability reasons. From what I have read, Bill only runs small files less then 300K lines with UGS.

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I agree with @picengravertoo about UGS not being able to handle large gcode files, even with the nightly builds. I still use UGS a lot for small files (under 100K lines), but I purchased PicSender and haven’t had any issues (other than user error) with large files.


Totally NOT TRUE!!! If you’re going to trash another product to sell your own, your credibility will suffer! I’m not saying your product doesn’t work but everyone needs to understand it is in YOUR best interest for them to migrate to YOUR product to help fill YOUR wallet. One must consider another person’s motivation for pushing a product!!

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Joseph - do you have an 1/8th ballnose? It will take less time and create a smoother surface. The smaller the ballnose, the more individual scallops in your finish. IF you use an 1/8th, you can decrease your finishing pass step over for a smoother finish (fewer and smaller scallops). I know it seems counter intuitive and this is highly dependent on the complexity and intricacy of your design.

Here is a cool article if you have not already seen it: http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCCNCMillFeedsSpeedsStepover.htm

The following is direct from the lead developer of UGS:

“As of ~2 weeks ago, UGS can handle any sized gcode file. Gcode now get
preprocessed, saved back to the disk, then streamed from the disk.
Previously the whole file was stored in memory which is bad news for
giant laser files and computers with very little ram.”

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Hi Bill

I’m not trashing anyone’s products, besides UGS being an open source program it would not be considered a product anyway. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=product

My statement for a recommendation was only based on my own experience and after reading your comments in other threads. No other intention was involved as you assumed.

We do not profit from any sales of PicSender either. If you consider the amount of time that has been spent in development and the extensive testing involved by us to make sure it maintains it’s reliability for our customers for every release, we make very little on any sales.

It appears you have allot of anger in you and I’m really surprised you expressed your anger against me in this public forum. All I ask in the future before you think about making anymore assumption based false statements about me, get your facts straight first.



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I’m glad it has been fixed…it was quite infuriating to get 3-4 hours into a 6 hour+ carve and have UGS lock up. It was odd though because sometimes it would work, but most of the time it would lock up at almost the exact same spot.

When it says “saved back to the disk…”, I take that as UGS stores a temp file on the computer’s hard drive to stream from?

Yes thats correct. I’m not modifying the original file!

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I have no anger whatsoever. What I do have is a dislike of people who have to talk negative about another product to make theirs look better. Kinda reminds me of most politicians.

Frankly, the way you have conducted your presentation of your product on this forum would get you reprimanded or expelled from other forums of which I am a member.

As to your comment about me getting my facts straight, you should point that finger back at yourself.

Hey All,

So I got the fish scale in and used @RobertA_Rieke 's ~3.5lbs per inch method. My Y axis was at ~5lbs/in and my X axis was at 2.5lbs/in. I adjusted both of those to ~3.5lbs/inch.

I rechecked all my Pot’s, downloaded UGS 2.0 and ran my roughing and finishing pass with the 1/4" Amana 46294 bit.

I have finally had success! Per @Earwigger 's suggestion I will be picking up a 1/8 bit and using that for the finishing (I have a 1/32 and a 1/64 but the finishing times on these are long and this 1/4" test worked out pretty well.)

Thank you all for the suggestions, they are appreciated :slight_smile:



Hey All,

Two more quick questions that I haven’t been able to find in my searches yet (they are very basic so I apologize in advance for the annoyance.)

  1. On Amana bits there is an Arrow pointing to a line symbol. Is this the suggested depth line where the bit should be sitting inside the colette?

  2. The Amana bits show ‘Half Angle’ on their spec sheets. With a Half Angle of 5.4° what would the Full Angle be?

Thanks in advance,


@AngusMcleod: Nope not really… So yeah 5.4° x 2 would be 10.8°. However when this appears to be incorrect when entered into something like G-Wizard when it is looking for the ‘Taper Angle’ (which is asking for a value between 0° - 90°.) So taking even 90° - 10.8° is still not appearing to be correct value for the calculations which is my reason for asking…

So far posting on this forum has retained my faith in the internet; from a flame war starting over what application to use to send gcode to the X-Carve to (no offense but really?) worthless replies. Keep it classy :wink:



cranky old fart.


Were you once a teacher?