Introduction: Setting Up Vectric Aspire / V-Carve / Cut2D to Export G-Code for Easel and the X-Carve & Carvey
Hello and welcome back to another Instructable by The Makers Workbench. Today I am going to show you how to set up Vectric's popular CAD programs to export G-code that will work with the Inventables X-Carve and the Easel software that drives it. Before I get started, I wanted to thank Vectric Software for providing a copy of their Aspire software for me to use in my tutorials. If you would like to try the software for yourself, you can download a free trial at Vectric.com.
Step 1: Getting Started
To get started you will need to download the Vectric CAM Processor file from Easel. To do this you will need to navigate to the Easel section on the Inventables website, and once logged in, you will need to click on the “Import” tab and select the “G-code” option.
Step 2: In Easel Open the Import Tab and Click on Upload G-Code
Now you should see a window that gives you the option to upload a G-Code file. Below that you will see the option to download the CAM processor for several different programs. Click on the “Vectric V-Carve, Aspire, Cut2D” option.
Step 3: Download the Easel CAM Post Processor File
With the Vectric option now expanded, click on the link in the first line to download the CAM processor file to your computer.
Step 4: Locate the Downloaded Easel Post Processor File
Once downloaded, locate the file on your computer, and then copy it to your clipboard.
Step 5: Navigate to the Program Data Directory
Next, you need to navigate to your ProgramData folder on your PC, which is located in the root of your C: drive on a Windows-based PC.
Step 6: Click on the Vectric Directory
Now locate the Vectric directory and open it, then click on the Aspire, V-Carve, or Cut2d directory.
Step 7: Decide Which Post Processor Folder to Use
Next you will need to open the version directory, and you will be presented with a directory that contains several sub-directories, two of which are the focus of this tutorial. If you plan on using some of the stock post processors the Vectric Software comes with along with the Easel post processor then you will need to paste the Easel post processor in the “PostP” directory. If you only plan on using the Vectric Software to export G-Code for Easel, then you will need to place the Easel post processor in the “My_PostP” folder.
Step 8: Add the Easel Post Processor File to the My_PostP Directory
Since I am only using Vectric Aspire with my X-Carve and Easel, I placed the Easel post processor in the “My_PostP” directory. Since I placed the file in the My_PostP directory, Aspire will only show this post-processor when generating the G-Code for the tool-paths I create.
Step 9: Verify It Worked
To verify that you did everything correctly, open the Vectric software you installed the Easel post processor to, and draw a circle. Then generate a toolpath for that circle. I generated a simple tool path to pocket out the circle we drew. When your tool path has been generated click the save toolpath icon.
Step 10: Export the Tool-Path to G-Code Using the Easel Post Processor
If you installed the Easel post-processor into the My_PostP directory, the Easel post processor should be the only one you see. If you placed the Easel postprocessor into the PostP directory, you will have to scroll down the list until you find the Easel option.
Step 11: Save the G-Code
Select the toolpath you want to export, then navigate to where ever you want to save the file. Then give it a unique name that will make it easy to identify and click save.
Step 12: Test the Generated Tool-Path in Easel
Now navigate back to Easel, click the Import tab, and select the G-code option. Then click the “Choose File” button and select the file you just saved.
Step 13: Simulate the Tool-Path
Easel will import the G-code and will then allow you to simulate the carve, or move straight into carving the project. It’s important to simulate the toolpath at this point to make sure that everything saved and imported correctly. It’s also a good time to make sure that no elements from the original design in Aspire is missing, and that the X-Carve’s rapid movements are not going to crash into any clamps or workholding fixtures.