Two basic principles. Do I understand correctly?

(Chad Howell) #9

It also has the z +6mm button if that helps with which ones I am talking about. So I forgot that, after you zero z then hit the z+6mm button to get it off the piece and then the x/y 0. Hope that helps

(Les Hall) #10

I can really recommend Universal CNC Sender. It’s free so give it a whirl.

Vis a vis having to use Win, I don’t mind for something like this, I have a single PC on my network dedicated to the CNC.

Although the ‘look’ of OS-X might be the attraction, for me it’s all down to Human Interface Guidelines. These were written down in a book when the Mac came out. And basically they were guidelines for developers to follow so that ‘most’ apps had a familiar feel. On most Mac design/photo apps there a bunch of CMD-keys that they all have in common. CMD-v, c, x, ;,± etc. So if you move from one to another you know straight away how to zoom in, out, center, show guides etc.

That’s why many Win apps, and sadly now some Mac apps, are painful for me to use and very frustrating. As far as I can tell there are no keyboard commands on Cut2d - none that I have found anyway. So if I want to zoom out, instead of CMD-(minus key) I have to click a damned icon. What a waste of time.

Keyboard commands and macros are powerful tools.

Oh well. Les

Forget about using Parallels or Boot Camp or anything, you’re using the same kludgy app, just happens to be on a Mac. And as for drivers! Oy vey!


(Chad Howell) #11

Les I use parallels on my mac and it works decently enough although I am having an issue right this minute where I am reinstalling parallels which is irritating. The other issue I have for CM is that the windows version for some reason wont work so I create in vcarve pro in windows and then open in CM using the mac version lol. Its wonky but hey its getting the job done for now that is. I will probably be having to get a windows laptop soon (I really hate the idea of this) to run CorelDraw for my epilog helix laser that comes in tomorrow though

(Les Hall) #12

Do you know what laptop u will get? Some of the Win 10 surface gizmos are pretty cheap and small. I like small.

I played with a bunch of apps and Cut2d was the first one that made sense so I ponied up the $150. Apart from the key commands issue it is fairly intuitive to use and doesn’t seem to allow you to make mistakes. Don’t know if that’s a common feature but it’s very handy for a newbie like me.

And I really like Universal CNC controller. It’s java based so works on Mac, PC, Linux etc. has clear jogging commands, allows you to enter code. Has visualization, although not as good as Cut2d which has an animated preview of the tool cutting your material.

In short, I started the week with no idea what I was doing, but feel confident now to execute some simple projects. Of course I’m a newb so I could be talking out of my hat. I do that a lot, but with great conviction!


(Les Hall) #13

Awesome laser cutter thang BTW. Would love one AND a waterjet cutter! God knows how much I have given WJ cutter shops over the years.


(Kurt Bieberbach) #15

Les, you can do your own keyboard shortcuts with a program like AutoHotKey or AutoIt3. It’s a little like programming but pretty simple.

(Carl Hilinski) #16

I would suggest a small, simple hotkey program called g-hotkey from What makes it a touch better (in my mind) than Autohotkey is it works with directX/directinput if you have an app that only understands the directx/directinput stuff. This would be mostly games, but it’s very simple to use and there’s no script writing.

(Les Hall) #17

Thanks y’all for suggestions vis a vis keyboard macro creator thangs. I will check them out.

I have another question. On my Mac I use an app called Alfred. I press Command-Space bar and a text entry field opens, I start to type the name of a file or folder or app I want to open and it shows a list of matching names. I use up and down keys too select and then hit enter to open. Use it ALL day long. Is there a Windows equivalent?


(Kurt Bieberbach) #18

Any of the newer Windows (>=7) has that built in to the OS. Just hit the Windows key and start typing.

(Les Hall) #19

Thanks Kurt. Maybe Windows isn’t that bad eh? :wink:


(William Adams) #20

Lessee, ways I loathe working in Windows:

  • no drag-drop into file dialog boxes (instead, this allows file manipulation as if in Explorer — what happens if one cancels, are these changes undone? (the answer is no and that’s why it’s a stupid interface)
  • selection not maintained when changing sort order in File Explorer
  • no Miller column filebrowser
  • no Services
  • Powershell lacks the tight application coupling of AppleScript
  • Windows key commands late addition to UI, so no preserving of Control key for alternate things, or usage of Command key for frequent ones (in particular, no emacs text editing keys in standard text fields)
  • no pervasive support for rich fonts, PDF, &c,
  • no easy way to get a screengrab of only a particular window (In Mac OS, Command Shift 4 (or Command $), then tap space bar, then click on desired window) EDIT: with transparent corners and drop shadow — thanks @DanoInTx

(Carl Hilinski) #21

Well, the obvious solution is to get the Carbide3d stuff running in Unix and then everyone will be happy.

(William Adams) #22

We need to either switch to native toolkits for Carbide Create/Motion, or update the one being used to provide all standard UI behaviours. Things which annoy me to no end:

  • no nudge buttons for dimensions
  • tabbing between text fields doesn’t select text in new text field
  • comma not supported as decimal separator
  • shift-click for multiple selections in the drawing area
  • option for drag-select to only select things which are fully-encompassed by the drag area
  • &c.

(Kurt Bieberbach) #23

One nice thing about Windows is that if there is something you want there is almost always a free solution (or ten) to implement it.

I’m a graphic design guy (among other things) so you’d think I’d prefer a Mac but I’ve actually only used one once. It was many years ago at a college. I had put a floppy disk (remember those?) into the drive. When I was ready to leave, I went to eject the disk. There was no eject disk button on the drive! I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to get my disk back to no avail. I finally had to ask someone. The solution? You drag the disk icon into the garbage icon of course. But, but, wait, I don’t want to delete the disk, just eject it. Well, that’s how you do it on a Mac. That made absolutely no sense to me at all and so I figured that the Mac user interface was not going to do it for me. I haven’t touched an Apple product since.

(William Adams) #24

A long, long while ago, the interface mechanism was changed so that when one selected a disk and began dragging the trash icon changed into an eject button. And FWIW, back when I started on the Mac, it was Command shift 1 to eject the internal floppy, and 2 for the external, and I’m pretty sure there was a “Put Away” command in the File menu for when a disk was selected.

You will note that there aren’t any free solutions to all but one of the issues which I enumerated, (I’m sure there’s a screengrab program which will do the single window thing, but it’s not worth it to me to find it and then install it on every Windows box I have to use) and only two (Miller column filebrowser and screengrab of designated window) have paid solutions.

Moreover, my complaints aren’t of interface oddities, but of basic functionality and # of steps required to perform basic tasks — no drag-drop to set targets in file windows in particular, costs me a lot of time/effort every day. Compare between:

  • File | Save
  • drag in target folder
  • set name
  • OK


  • File | Save
  • switch to target folder
  • Shift right-click
  • select Copy as path
  • switch back to File | Save dialog box
  • paste
  • OK
  • set name
  • OK

Pretty much every job I do involves multiple files, and that drag on productivity happens pretty much for every file.

Scripting in Powershell feels like driving around a landscape filled with “Bridge out ahead” signs — manipulating apps w/o dictionary access as AppleScript affords is an agonizing burlesque of sequencing keyboard options and hoping nothing moves around — rarely worth the bother.

(Dan Nelson) #25

Ctrl + Alt + Print Scrn will screen grab the window with focus in Windows.

Windows also has the “Snipping Tool” on everything from Windows 7 and on I believe, just part of Windows, no add on software needed.


(William Adams) #26

Thanks! Doesn’t get the drop shadow, and the corners are oddly filled in (no transparency), but it’s a good option for when I just need the window w/ no concern about aesthetics.

(Roger Newmon) #27

Another free option with neat features is LightShot:

It makes snapshots super easy!

(Kurt Bieberbach) #28

Yeah, I figured the interface probably changed over the years. Plus who uses floppies any more. :smile: I am sure I would like using a Mac if I tried it again, I’d just rather not have to learn two operating systems. While I’d love to kick MS to the curb, I have to use a PC for work and gaming and now CNC. It’s the same reason I haven’t made the switch to Linux. Someday…

I have used Greenshot before for screen grabbing. I really like it. I can’t use it at work sadly so I can’t test the issues Will mentions. It can be installed to a thumb drive so you can take that from computer to computer instead on installing it on each machine.

I never knew about dragging directories into file browser windows. That could be a useful feature and is probably something I would miss if I was used to it. I always just browse to the folder I want. If it’s a folder I use a lot, I make it a favorite. Most software saves the last folder you used so that usually helps. Carbide doesn’t though. Windows also saves the last directories you used for anything which is also very helpful.

(William Adams) #29

The eject thing works for putting away flash drive, &c., and there’s a contextual menu for it as well.

I hate having to feel tethered to a machine 'cause my flash drive is plugged in.

Favorites only work in Windows in apps which support it — I use a broad variety of apps at work, pretty much each one has a different dialog box, and only a few of the newer ones support Favorites.

The Carbide Create and Carbide Motion don’t use standard UI interfaces / widgets has been something I’ve been complaining of since the CC early testing. It probably won’t change, but expressing my complaint makes me feel better.