Can carbide create generate gcode to make a pulley/spool shape?

I see there’s a keyhole function added to carbide create. Is there a way to have the software do some combination of a plunge with the keyhole bit out in no-mans-land, short horizontal travel, and then contour a circle?

I would like to cut out a pulley shape. Currently, that is using shapeoko to cut out a circle and then using a lathe or a router table to cut the grove around the perimeter. It would be cool if the shapeoko could do it all for me.

No, Carbide Create doesn’t model undercuts, and there’s no toolpath option which wouldn’t have it lifting up and spoiling the flange. EDIT: unless one counts on using an open vector as @rnicolson shows below

You’d need a 3D CAD and CAM system which would allow for undercuts EDIT: if you wish to see it in 3D.

There is no built in function to do that but I don’t see why you could not get it to do that with your own design. I used to make keyholes manually by creating a pocket first and then having a line go up and back down with a start depth at the bottom of the pocket and a finish depth of .0001 less than that. So a similar way would be to make a circle and then a small rectangle to break the circle. Use the trim vector to break it.

Draw a line to one of the open ends and then another to the other open end. Select everything and join the vectors.

Now you could do your contour starting at .5 and ending at .5001 or whatever you need the actual depth to be.
I would be very careful doing this though. Also if your bit does not have a cutting edge at the top make sure to offset by the radius otherwise you will slam the bit into the material and definitely have issues. Just because you can does not mean you probably should.

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Or, you could make half of a “spool” or “pulley” shape and glue the symmetrical halves together; including the hole in the center. There won’t be an undercut.

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This is a really good idea…
You just need to make sure you align the grain on the two halves when you glue them back together…don’t create any cross-grain stresses.

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I will award 2 points for creativity.

But the amount of time it takes to resaw the stock beforehand and then glue the 2 halves together afterwards is several times as long as it takes to make the pulley grove on a lathe or router table.

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Perhaps, but depending on the size of the “spool”, you might be making 10 or 20 or 50 with one setup on the Shapeoko. Jus’ sayin’

PS. Nothing CNC is going to compete with a competent lathe operator on a one for one basis. CNCs were created to reduce the mistakes and fatigue in manufacturing multiple items.

Personally, I would cut both halves from the same piece of wood (surfaced to half height), side by side, in the same CNC job, and then “fold” one half onto the other…


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