Combing tool paths for carves, 2 bits

So I’m playing with Ecam obviously and trying to recreate what I can do in vcarve. E12 is unusable as is as far as I can tell, but 11 seems workable. 12 seems to lack the option of choosing which side of the line to carve on and sets everything as a pocket. 11 lets me choose. More work than Vcarve but I think it will get the job done.

However doing a carve with a vbit and a clearance bit, it generates tool change after tool change. Every time it moves to a different carve it wants to switch bits. And I’ve got several carves so it’s a lot of tool changes.

I’d like to group everything together so there is only 1 tool change but I don’t see an option to do it. Using vcarve I just generate 2 files, 1 for the endmill for clearance and then the 2nd with the vbit. Is there a setting or an option I’m missing in E11 that will do that?

If not, would there be an issue if I go though the Gcode and manually group all the endmill instructions together and then 1 tool change, then all the vbit instructions?

In my mind it seems like it shouldn’t matter but I’m looking for some other more experienced minds to give an opinion before I set my garage on fire because of bad gcode :slight_smile:

In V12 you left click to carve inside the line and you right click to carve outside the line.

As Britt said, the click determines the path. You can hover over the button for the details:

In V12, I set up a carve for multiple items.

On each carve toolpath, I set the Pocketing tool to a different flat tool:

The resulting program only had 1 tool change after the pocketing was done

I haven’t used EstlCAM 11 for a bit, but I do remember @Tokoloshe (maybe) saying that the Carve generation was much better in 12, so maybe give 12 a try again and see if it’s better for you

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Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better! :slight_smile: It’s the bee’s knees.

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To avoid unnecessary tool changes select all your like (carve) paths and Group them via Edit : Group or right-click and select Group (v11) or click the Group icon (bottom left v12)… and never use machining order optimization (v11, don’t know about 12).

I always use Automatic path creation when a lot of paths need to be set, usually trying inside and outside to see which catches most of what I want and the least of what I don’t want selected, but clicking and deleting unwanted paths is quicker in v11 (v12 highlighting is not a feature in this case, too much select > delete lag). The first thing I do once I have the paths I want is Group them so I can edit all their properties with a single click.

Thank you, I completely missed that pop up.

This is my test piece I did in Vcarve pro. I’m trying to re-create it using estlcam. I have access to vcarve by using the local makerspace, so I can generate the design at home but have to drive to the shop to use their computer to generate the gcode. Being able to do it all at my desk would be great.

Using the v11 this generated roughly 42 billion tool changes before it was done :laugh:

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I’m curious what form of the word ‘optimization’ they’re using :slight_smile: For curiosity I hit it, added 40 minutes to the machine time estimate.

Carves like that can take some juggling to find the most efficient depth, V-bit angle and flat tool diameter. There is some v11 carve pocketing info on my Dave Lers : Workshop : CNC : Estlcam : Carving page that might help… including a video to go with my previous post:

Should have only one if you used two tools. If you want, upload the dxf and I will have a look. :slight_smile:

I can’t get the sound to work on this video.

There is no audio, it’s a visual aid for the described ‘Auto-create > delete/add paths > Group > Group properties (depth, max width and tools) > Preview flat pocketing and carve (pocketing) paths (> Properties and back to Preview as needed)’ process.

Gotcha, my speakers are iffy i never know if theyre going to work.

So it worrked, the results are ok but it left a lot more clean up work than the vcarve parthing. For some reason there’s a lot of artifacts that need removed and cleaned up.

The clearance bit is set at only 20% stepover, i wouldn’t expect to see any at all. Ill compare it to the vcarve settings and see if there’s a difference.