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Alternatives to Universal G-Code Sender?

edited June 2015 in PicEngrave
I am a CNC newbie and have found that the Universal G-Code Sender is easy to get up and running. I have had problems, especially on long running jobs. Once, the laser head stopped moving and kept burning until it made a scorched spot on my work piece. This evening I had a situation about 1 hour into the job, where the laser head shifted 2 inches in the -Y direction for no good reason and continued cutting in the shifted condition (spoiling the job).

Is there a more reliable G-Code sender that works better? What does everyone think?


  • Hi Eric,

    Darkly Labs sells our Windows PicSender streamer program on there web site.

    Download the Demo and test with it without enabling the laser on your EmBlaser. It has been extensively tested on our EmBlaser and is very reliable.

  • edited May 2015
    The real trick I found to stabilize long running jobs was to make sure I had my laptop plugged in and didn't have any power-saving stuff kick in while the job was running. Something seems to mess up when I ran long jobs on my MacBook no matter what sender I used unless I have it plugged into the wall. I tried PicSender w/ Parallels,, and UGS and had similar issues till I realized the power management was to blame.
  • Thanks Jeff and Gabe.

    Jeff: does this software work with Cut2D? I haven't tried PicEngrave yet. I am operating on Windows 7. Do you see any issues?

    Gabe: My laptop is set not to sleep or power down. I was browsing the web in another window when it happened. The file was 24,514 lines (13 passes thru 0.128" plywood)...I suspect browsing the web and not staying fixed to the G-Code screen might have caused it, but it seems silly to have this kind of a problem.
  • Hi Eric,

    Yes it does run Gcode from Cut2D. Kathryn stated it in this thread that PicSender fixed the issues she was having.

    Here is the cool things she is making with her EmBlaser, Cut2D and PicSender.
  • edited May 2015
    Eric: On my MacBook I had the exact same problem you are seeing when running long jobs unless I actually plugged in the laptop... when I plug-in the Emblaser it is stable. I tried disabling all the power management stuff I could find, but something was still going wrong unless I connected the laptop to the wall plug.

    Anyhoo, I bought PicSender and it didn't help with the head stopping, but is probably a good idea when sending huge photos.
  • Gabe,
    Did you disable USB auto power down? I'm not sure just how to do that on your laptop.

  • edited May 2015

    I'll try testing that. You can enable/disable it via command line on Mac OSX... probably somebody made a GUI for it
  • Jefferey,

    I downloaded the software and tried it out. It helped up to a point, but still froze. The latest was during a run with 23K lines. I think there's a limit on how many lines can be reliably cut, but I need to figure out what the limit is. Thanks for the offer though.
  • Hi Eric,

    PicSender has been tested here to 10,000,000 lines of raster code. Not sure why it froze with you, unless It's because your running the Demo.
  • edited May 2015
    Yes it was the demo version you suggested. I wanted to try it before buying. On one test it froze. On another, 25% into the job it ran away and started a cut in the +Y direction on it's own.
  • edited June 2015
    Hi Eric,

    It may be because PicSender in Demo mode skips lines of gcode. It could have skipped a command that was needed to continue the file and stopped. I'm only guessing though because I am not familiar with the Cut2D vector gcode files, only image rastering files.

    PicSender will not cause moves that are not in a gcode file.
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