Maslow Home Maslow Community Garden Newsletter

Video: How to use Easel to generate G-Code for Maslow

Hi everyone! I made a quick video to share what I’ve figured out about using Easel with Maslow. If you’re already an experienced CAD/CAM user, Easel will be way below your skill level. However, if you’re new to everything like me, Easel is a great way to get started. I find it runs a lot smoother and is easier to use than MakerCam, and you get the benefit of being able to save and share designs. Okay, here it is:

Resources in this video:

Easel by Inventables
All Parts SVG

19 Likes

I’m completely new to CNC so I’ve been trying a bunch of different programs to generate g-code. This is the first time I’ve heard of Easel and after watching your video and playing with it for 10 minutes I am quite impressed! Unless someone can point out something I’m missing or has had experience, this blows MakerCam out of the water. The GUI is way more friendly and intuitive, the live preview (and detailed preview) is essential for beginners as a fail safe before you cut. I was using an additional program to test my g-code but this has it right there in the split screen. There are also a bunch of shapes ready to go as well as some cool apps that you can use to make puzzles, gears, mazes and more right on the fly. Looks like layouts might save to your account also which is very handy. Overall, this is my new go to program. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE. :slight_smile:

Edit: I also noticed optimizing g-code is part of their paid plan but have used the program mentioned here and it seemed to clean things up quite a bit - again free. Social Science Projects - American Flag and Liberty Bell

@icedub This is an excellent video! It’s concise, clear, and covers all the things someone needs to know to get started. Is it OK if I link it in the newsletter this week? I think a lot of people will enjoy it!

Of course! I’d be honored :blush:

@Jayster I’m glad you like it! And now I can thank you for pointing me in the direction of the GCode Optimizer! I missed that thread and am glad to have found it.

1 Like

Thank you so much for this… so much easier to me than the onshape, Inkscape, makercad workflow… hated all the steps.

3 Likes

@icedub you made a fantastic video! Thank you for helping us noobies feel less overwhelmed. I really look forward to my new Maslow (coming in the February shipment) and you’ve made me feel like I can do well right out of the gate!

Cheers,
Randi

3 Likes

Can you increase the size easily in easel? To Maslow sizes?
Thx!

Yes, you just need to update the ‘Material Dimensions’ on the right hand side, as well as the ‘Work Area’ (found under the Machine Menu.

Hey guys, couple of Easel questions. Is there a way in there to tell it to cut certain parts out first, or in a specific order? Especially while experimenting I would like to have it cut the simple portions first before attempting the more daring parts… So I can shut it down and not lose the whole piece.

Is that what you mean when talking about G-Code Optimizer? I’ve definitely noticed in the simulation pane that it doesn’t always pick the most efficient route or depth adjustments. For example I’d rather have it stay in one relative location and finish that to full depths before moving across the sheet (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, hence my question if that can be controlled).

I dig Easel and want to get good at it, the video was very helpful, are there any more hints or tips or tricks that might seem obvious when going Easel to Maslow but aren’t?

EDIT: I’d also love to be able to save certain Maslow specific settings as defaults in there, like workspace and material dimensions, and the aforementioned stepovers, but haven’t been able to see that as possible.

Use the Edit/SendForward and Edit/SendBack to change the order that items get cut, and use the preview window to see the results.
I made a blank project saved that has my Maslow settings that I copy to start new projects with those settings.

2 Likes

Cool thanks!

I located the g-code optimizer program on github, but I don’t think I downloaded it right or does it not run on Windows (10 I think). I extracted the files and tried opening most of them but it just flashed a DOS looking window and then disappeared. I’m not sure if I’m missing something with that.

This isn’t free correct? I was messing with Easel to play with and test some design things… but when you go to export Gcode it wants you to pay for the software.

Edit: I see I had a “pro” bit selected… I was using a V carve bit. ugh… I wish there was a way around this.

Jkmang, could you just design as if using a “non-pro” bit and then use your v carve? Might take a test run to figure out placement and such but if you just gave yourself more space between lines and determined what you want for proper depths, you can use any bit you want. Do you have an example or what you’re trying to do because I’d be interested as well in a solution.

1 Like

Yes that what I’m playing with now. I’m finding it a pain with way to much math to figure out how to “trick” the program into doing the right placement and pass with a non pro bit.

Great video! I’m having cutting the initial sled with this software, however. I highlighted and moved the sled to a portion of my 4x8 foot plywood near the center I’d like it to cut, generate g-code but when I import into Maslow it’s showing that the sled is to be cut in the top right portion of the plywood. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? I changed the workpiece dimensions in Easel as you mentioned, just not sure what I messed up.

3 Likes

I’m having the same issue as mgood.

But first, Easel is really slick and I do like it if I can get this issue resolved.

Normally (with Makercam gcode) when I move the sled and use the “define home” button the pattern will appear with the home position at the very bottom left corner. With Easel the pattern appears half way across the workspace. For example, when I define home as the bottom center of the 4x8 sheet the cut pattern appears hanging off of the right corner of the workspace.

Here’s an example. I don’t have the computer hooked to the Maslow right now and “home” is at the default position but, when I was working with this file home was defined in the bottom center.

Try this:
After getting everything else done (outlines, pockets, etc), use the menu Edit/SelectAll, then change the coordinate for the center of the group to 0,0. Then export the code, and the whole thing should be centered in the work area.

1 Like

That did it! Thank you so much!

For any following, here is how it should be prior to generating the gcode.

4 Likes

Hi Icedub,

Thanks for posting this…it was very helpful. I thought I would run the questions below by you directly as I wasn’t getting much response in the forum directly.

I’ve been trying to import a Vermont State Outline .SVG file into Easel with no luck. Every one I’ve tried Easel says it’s the wrong format. Could anyone steer me to .SVG file that I can import into Easel.
I’d also like to know if there is a way to take segments of that outline and have it cut a different depth? In other words some of it would cut all the way through and select parts wouldn’t.
And while I’m at it….if someone can point me to a video on editing points that would be handy too…I’ve been experimenting, but don’t quite get it yet.
Appreciate any info. !
Thanks,
PJ