Estlcam trouble.

So there is a piece I’m working on. 3/4 inch plywood

80mm x 300 mm rectangle with filleted corners.

5 x 39mm holes 14mm deep in the topside.

3 x 9.3mm holes in the centers of 3 of those larger holes.

If I save the CNC program and use a 1/8 flat nose endmill everything seems fine.

However, if I use a 1/4 endmill. All goes to hell.

With a 1/4 flat nose it cuts through my part to make those 3 smaller holes. And takes
longer to cut the part because its making these extra cuts. What do I do.

I literally pick the 5 larger holes one by one and choose a toolpath depth of 14mm. Toolpath: Hole with pocket strategy.
Then I chose the 3 smaller holes one by one and use a toolpath depth of 19.56mm Toolpath: Hole with pocket strategy.
Then Chose the outside of the part, cut at 19.56mm with three tabs. Toolpath: Part with 3 tabs.

When I add those second holes of 19.56mm depth inside the already 14mm deep pocket, does that 19.56mm start at the work piece topside
or 14mm below the work piece topside?

When you click on the cut in the previous screen it shows you where it starts along with all the relevant details.

For some reason your 1/4 cut is going to the origin after each path?

This is shown in my intermediate tutorial if I am not being clear.

Ive looked at the 2.5 routing walkthrough.

What I don’t understand is why just changing an endmills diameter makes it do this.

Hard to say from the output screen grabs, maybe the upload the job file as a zip. Or show the settings on some of the toolpaths. Have you shut down estlcam and restarted? Hopefully just a glitch.

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can you please send me the .e10 project file or upload it here?
I’ll then have a look at it.


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Here is the project file. Thanks for checking into it. (34.4 KB)


the issue is the small holes inside the larger ones.
They are defined as pocket but too small for a pocket with the larger tool.
I’ll try to detect this situation in future to avoid the issue - but the solution is to simply not make the small holes a pocket.


For something like that, I’d just helical drill all of it.

So don’t pocket it? I would think as long as the endmill is smaller then the hole diameter it should still just plunge and move it’s little bit and back out, and go to the next hole.

That is essentially what the helical drill does. The pocket operation wants to cut the inner perimeter and clear the central material. I hear what you are saying, but the software does not currently like that scenario. I generally use the helical drill for any holes that are less than or equal to 2x the bit diameter.

So you can use your standard flat endmill for a helical drill operation?

Yes, great way to drill oversized holes just don’t go larger than 2 times your bits diameter.

Why? I’ve helical drilled 4" holes because I didn’t want to deal with the puck in the middle.

Really, I thought left them as well. Learn something new everyday.


the helical drill function is the best option for this - it works with any diameter larger or equal to tool size and creates the best results with lowest tool load.


Yea, I was being lazy, and needed the holes to be smooth. It was my template for my paulk style workbench top.

Barry, Didn’t you cut out an SG at one point? I remember seeing it on here but can’t remember who did it.

What’s a SG?

So… An all new issue. Everything still applies from above. I finally cut the part out. However on the parts tops edge there’s an issue. The first pass of cutting out the actual part cuts slightly into the part part of the way around it. It leaves a sort of step and its not all the way around it. Its not much, maybe a mm but its annoying and noticable. Any ideas?