Universal G-Code Sender

Easel worked pretty well with our new X-Carve, but it only runs on OS X or Windows, not on Linux. We didn’t want to keep our nice Mac laptop in the workshop, and I don’t have anything running Windows, so I looked around for a Linux solution.

I found the Universal G-Code Sender. This is a simple (ish) Open Source program written in Java that supports, amongst other things, Linux, and will send G-Code commands to the X-Carve.

Easel has the option to export G-Code to a file instead of sending directly to the X-Carve.

So our workflow is now:

  • Design using Easel on the desktop Mac in the office
  • Export G-Code
  • Load G-Code into UGS running on a cheap Linux box in the workshop
  • Use UGS to send the code to the X-Carve.

There were a few minor problems to overcome. The G-Code that Easel generates does not include a “Set Home” command, nor does it start the spindle. It also generates absolute rather than relative paths. These problems were easy to solve by manually sending the relevant G-Code commands with UGS before loading and sending the G-Code file to the X-Carve.

The commands are:

G10 L20 P0 X0 Y0 Z0        to set the home position

M3 S12915                              to start the spindle