Noob question - how to pause without tool change

New to EstlCAM (and pretty new to CNC in general). I’ve been working my way through creating a CNC project in EstlCAM (slowly, slowly), and mostly finding answers to my questions using a combination of EstlCAM manual/tutorials, YouTube, Google (well DuckDuckGo, but close enough). But here’s one that I haven’t found the answer to yet.

I have a project cutting 6 parts out of fairly thin (2mm) aluminum sheet. All of the parts have 20 holes (5.2mm dia). I want to :

  • cut out all of the holes in all of the parts first,
  • pause the cutting to insert screws through some of those holes to hold the final cut out parts to the spoilboard,
  • resume to cut the pieces themselves.

I’m using the same tool to do all cuts (1/8" single flute), so I’m not actually doing a tool change.

The question I have is how do I pause when the holes are finished, then resume once everything is screwed down to the spoilboard?

I was thinking that I could manually insert a pause command (M0) into the output gcode, but is there a (better) way to include this in the EstlCAM toolpath machining order? I thought about creating a second tool with the same parameters, and using that tool to cut the parts. Not sure what the best answer is for this.


I think manually adding the pause into the code is your best bet.

You could also make two files. Run the first one, program ends, inert screws, then run the second file. This you would have to have the same zero though.

I’d cut out ~3 or 4 holes in the corner first, then screw down and cut the other holes / profile. No reason to cut them all out first especially if there is no tool change.

1 Like

The sheet itself will already be screwed to the spoilboard, so cutting all of the holes first shouldn’t be an issue. I just want a way to hold the parts without using tabs.

I also hate tabs

I have done this by making two gcode files and just running them myself.


I second the 2 gcode files.

Load the drawing, define the holes and save the program.

Remove the holes and put the part cuts in. Save the program.

On the machine, cut the first program. When it returns to the origin, add the screws, cut the second program. This is how I do many of my projects. I did just buy some new CA glue activator though…


An M00 pause can be added to the G-code via the Drill : ‘insert custom G-code’ tool. The pause can be inserted when and wherever (e.g. out of the way for inserting the screws) you want it.


Unfortunately, Mr. Christian Knüll has decided not to implement this option in V12 anymore :weary:
I use it quite often…

He is looking into it, doesn’t he? Besides that, you could either use 11 or add it in Notepad. :smiley:

You could always make two identical tools and use one for the holes and one for the outside. It will still pause for the tool change.

Wow, you just put my Estlcam knowledge way ahead!!! I had no idea about some of the things you covered in those small videos!! Excellent Job!

I use it not only for M00 but lots of commands. I make gcode for others (volunteers at a museum)

I know. You can still use 11 though. Maybe the full release of 12 will have it again then. :slight_smile: