3D carving with sharp pockets

I used 2.5d estlcam on some “flat” projects, but this time - I need to combine curved surface with sharp pockets in it.

I made an STL in sketchup, but ESTLCam always “chamfers” any sharp edge - like if ramping of Z axis movement is forced.

Is there way to avoid this and allow 3D carving with direct vertical cuts?

My backup strategy is to cut curved surfaces in one pass, than cut pockets by second pass in 2.5d mode, but I would be happier if I could cut just in one pass.


Personally I would go with your two pass option. 3D will use slower tool paths to get the job done in my opinion. I did this recently with a pinewood derby. I did the 3d carve then the 2.5D to cut out penny slots to add penny’s as weights.

But you could get away with the 3D carve. it will do the rough cuts using the same rough cut pattern and DOC as your selected tool then it will do VERY shallow finishing cuts with a DOC set to what you use as your “Resolution” meaning it will probably take a while. But it would work. And I think the results wouldn’t be much different.


The 3D routing isn’t as smart as you. It can’t tell from the shape what can be a slot/polygon feature and what isn’t. So you’d have to do that in a separate 2.5D operation. You might get some mileage out of orienting things differently, but that would make the 3D carving less than optimal.

You’ve got a lot of time to watch it make the 3D carve. Might as well work on the 2.5D while you wait.

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OK, guys, thanks for consultation - I will make 3D carve only on that rounded part of shape and cover the rest with regular 2.5d carved pockets inside.

I made a number of tests today and it is more work at the preparation phase, but much better and cleaner result and less manual finishing afterwards.

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I found, why I had “chamfered” 3D cuts…I f*cked up mill settings and left flat nose mill with 90degree tip angle :slight_smile:

Anyway, combined strategy is way more effective - It saves something like 1,5 hours of cutting. As bonus, cuts are much better and cleaner.