Assistance optimizing my toolpaths

Hi all - I’ve been looking at https://shapeokoenthusiasts.gitbook.io/shapeoko-cnc-a-to-z/feeds-and-speeds-basics and am still stuck.

Would someone mind taking a look at my toolpaths and telling me why this estimate time of completion for this job is 1hr 40 mins? This seems way too long, but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong.

First New Dr Stovall - 1.c2d (809.8 KB)

I only see 30 minutes of cut time…

but also the first toolpath is only 1 minute so something is wrong maybe

There is no geometry associated with the toolpath “Main Pocket”:

(if there were, the associated paths would highlight on mouseover as the other two do):

Using a tiny endmill takes a long while.

Better/faster to use a V endmill — do you have a BitSetter? If so, use an Advanced V carving and the pocket clearing option:

That’s weird! On my end, this is what I see:

I have noticed that cc overestimates cut by double. Load your tool path in cm and see what that estimates. You have to load file and hit start because the previous job is still in memory.

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Nevermind - I closed and reopened and now I’m seeing no tool path!! ARGH!

@WillAdams I’ve tried advanced vcarve at your previous suggestion, but only one tool path works. Seems really simply to set up, so I’m not sure how I could be selecting the check box wrong - LOL.

Yes, have a bitsetter.

EDIT: Oh, to clarify, the small bit was just for the pocket around the smaller top names. I used a 1/4 for the main pocket

As the image notes, I selected everything but the outermost geometry.

is it your intent to carve it all out, and you just use the smaller bit to carve the fine details around the text?

(if so there are other interesting options than just drawing a square… for example its more efficient to use the “offset” tool to make an outside offset contour geometry in the design tab of the radius of your large tool (so 1/8th) and only carve the details inside that.

and if you pick a smaller tool which is half or more of the big tool, you can do even better, and just only do an outside contour toolpath of your text.

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Ok, looks like the file works now.First New Dr Stovall - 2.c2d (824.3 KB)

Thanks Arjan. I figured out the square thing myself trying to get pockets to work. I assume there has to be a better, quicker way.

My thought process was to pocket the bulk with a big tool and the smaller text with a small tool. Was I close?

yes I have done this this way quite a few time

to optimize I then use the offset tool instead of a worst-case “box”… much smaller area to clear, and time is proportional to area more or less.

if you also have an 1/8th bit you can do the following

carve the bullk out with just the 1/4th bit.
then use the 1/8th bit to do an outside contour of just the letters
and then use your 1/16th bit to again do an outside contour of just the letters

the places the 1/4th bit cannot get to, the contour with the 1/8th bit will clean up
… but not all since the 1/8th cannot get into super small places
so the 1/16th contour will clean that last bit up

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I vaguely follow you. So am I creating a “series” of boxes of various tool paths, larger to smaller? Or pocket the bulk, and then make a new “box” selecting the smaller text and then switch tools to a smaller tool?

Hopefully you understand that.

how about this; I tried to do this in your file
First New Dr Stovall - 1.c2d (840.5 KB)

the key is that the smaller bits aren’t boxes, but just tracing the outline of your text

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Ok, got it - how do you fix the detail around some of the letters that are touching then?

EDIT: Do I just highlight those specific letters and then use a smaller tool for that area specifically?

thats what the outline with the smaller bits will do!
ah I noticed I did this only for the small fonts. You can extend the outlining I did to include the other fonts as well… it will just work

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Thank you!! I’ll go try it!

note that this outline trick only works for going to “half size” bits (or larger, not smaller!).
Hence doing the 1/8th inbetween your 1/4th and 1/16th

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