2D DXF "cutout"..not right depth

My material is .04" (1mm) metal. My file is a 2-D DXF file. My intent is to just cut out a shape. Within in Meshcam, I am selecting “cutout” only. When cutting out the shape, the bit does not cut into the metal, it just runs along the top when using a z thickness of 1mm. I have set the thickness of the material to 2mm which allowed the bit to cut into the material, and am working up through .5mm increments. It finally cut through when I sent a material thickness of 3mm

For the bit, I have the depth per pass at .01", however, each of my runs makes just a single pass.


Just some thoughts - did you properly zero the Z on your material? The only thing I can think of that would cause the cutter to not hit your material is that it’s not zero’d accurately.

Or maybe your tool length is not being taken accurately?

One thing maybe you can check in terms of tool length setting - try cutting a different (thicker) material to see if it happens with that as well.

And lastly, I had an issue where the cutter was starting to cut way off my piece even though I zerod it properly, so I went back into meshcam and built the toolpath over again - and this time it was bang on. Not sure why, but that worked.

Funny, you mentioned “cut way off”, that actually happened the first time on this piece. It was off in the x and y by about 10". Had to press the pause/quit button. I recalculated the toolpath, and reset the X-Y-Z zero points.

On tool length, does it really matter since you zero out the Z axis and the machine homes at least once. In addition, isn’t the tool inserted a random depth into the chuck.

My expectation with only using “cutout” only, is that since I have the depth per pass set at .01", and my total depth of cut is .04", I should have 4 cuts at progressively deeper levels; .01", .02", .03", .04", which is what I have when I do rough cuts, instead of just one pass.

Skeletonx, are you using waterline + pencil? Pencil does only make one pass at the bottom of the material. Waterline will honor the stepdown you set.

Can you post the tool path screenshots?

Randy… I am using “Cutout Only” as my only selection

Additionally… I am trying to mess around with this today, and I am not able to resolve the issue with where the machine initially starts to cut. My geometry x-y properties are 17mm and 24mm respectively, with the overall properties 18mm and 25mm to allow a 1mm band to cut around. However, the machine starts cutting X-132mm and Y-111mm.


JT, the “Cutout Only” option only applies to the pencil finishing. It is intended, if there are apertures inside the part outline it won’t cut them, only the outer outline of the part. But it is still a single pass at the bottom of the material. For starting from blank material, you do need to use waterline also, where you can specify the stepdown. Pencil is only a last finishing step where you have already used parallel and/or waterline finishing first.

And do make sure that after you set the stock size, that you also set the Program Zero, which is relative to the stock. MeshCAM does not pay attention to where the geometry zero is (even if you drew your DXF relative to 0,0 in your CAD system).



Thanks for the clarification. Helps a ton!