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Easel Update - Now featuring a troubleshooting guide!

Hey everyone, my name is Eric and I'm a web developer here at Inventables. The dev team and myself have been working on a killer feature for Easel the past few weeks, and we think its so awesome we feel the need to share it here on the blog!

Easel is continually improving- we release updates almost daily improving performance, adding features, and fixing annoying bugs. This latest update includes our troubleshooting guide. The goal is to guide users through fixing any technical problems they may have.

We've all been there (yes, even us)- trying to cut a beautiful sign but something went wrong and it didn't turn out the way you wanted. There are lots of reasons why something can go wrong and often times a single cause can manifest itself in different ways. This can be very frustrating when all you want to do is carve your project. While this doesn't provide as comprehensive guidance as a phone call with our CS team, it is meant to provide a first step and fix common issues fast.

Our goal with Easel is to have the user go from idea to finished product as fast, easily, and consistently as possible. Nobody wants to deal with technical issues, but working through them is necessary. The troubleshooting guide aims to expedite that process and get you carving ASAP.

So what is it, and how does it work? Let's say your design is made and you're ready to get carving. You've clamped your workpiece, selected your bit and zeroed the machine. All thats left is to push "Start Carving!" You push the button, and the machine comes to life. It starts its first pass. Everything is going well; a few layers of cutting goes by and you start to notice something. The layers are getting offset. Compared to where the machine started, its now cutting a few centimeters or maybe an inch further down on the Y-Axis. You think, "Crap! Better stop cutting!" and you hit the X in Easel.



As usual, you will be prompted asking "How it went?". Before the troubleshooting update, when you clicked "No something went wrong" it would preset a text box for you to submit a bug report. That's great and all, but it doesn't solve the problem. Chances are if you start the job again, on a fresh piece of material the same thing will happen, and you will have wasted time and material. Definitely not want we want you to experience.


Now, with the troubleshooting update, instead of just a text box, we will ask what happened. In our little example, you would select "Carving is offset".  You are then presented with a list of potential causes. Each one of these potential causes has its own troubleshooting steps, which will guide you through fixing the underlying problem.


In this case we would have you start by jogging the machine long distances up and down the rail making sure it runs smooth, with no binding or odd noises. If it doesn't run smoothly, we provide the steps to solving the problem. Or if it did run smooth, there are other causes for this problem. Hopefully you don't have an issue that isn't listed, but if you do, clicking "My problem isn't on the list" allows you to submit the usual error report (we do read those by the way!).

Oh, and the list of problems and their solutions aren't static either. We can add or update the list as other issues arise. The community has been a tremendous help in identifying the issues and letting us know via phone calls and the forum. As the machine evolves and as the community helps us identify these issues we can update this feature. The more contributions from the community the better this feature will get. We try to test our machines in our lab but the real world has this habit of throwing a wrench in the works (please don't do that to your machine).

Good luck and happy carving!

1 comment:

Rudy J said...

Keep up the great work guys. I am looking forward to buying one of your x-carve machines very soon.