Carbide create peck drilling

A few years ago I asked about peck drilling and was told at the time that carbide create did not not support it. Apparently this is still the case. Its a feature that will be hugely useful to me. Im not really sure why its not available. I was wondering if I could get an update on the status of this feature and why its not available.

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It’s not something which the machines or endmills are suited for — an endmill is designed for lateral cutting, not plunge cutting (this is probably an engineering decision to keep the endmill/machine from being continually pulled deeper into a cut).

Carbide Create seems to allow a much smaller range of narrowness for fitting an endmill into now though, so you should be able to fit an endmill into a circle not much larger than it — with appropriate feeds and speeds you shouldn’t see much deflection — it’s still best practice to use a slightly smaller endmill, leave a roughing clearance and take a finishing pass.

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the issue that comes up for me is needing small holes for tapping. like 6-32. Its so easy to break an endmill that size . The holes are also never going to be absolutely round. I want to be able to mount a drill bit and drill undersized pilot holes so I can go back and drill them out on a press. The ability to mark complex drill patterns is what is important.


6-32 needs a 7/64in hole for tapping so the biggest endmill for this would be 2.5mm.

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Is using a V endmill to spot/mark holes and finishing them on a drill press an option?

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In a pinch I can. But I still don’t have the ability to just plunge the v cutter in to mark. And it would still be way better to take out some meat with a drill bit so I can just quickly increase hole size. It seems to me that it would be easier to get rid of the requirement of the hole to be 10 percent bigger.

I’ve done peck(ish) drilling via Fusion 360, although I used my HDZero (Luke’s heavier-duty Shapeoko upgrade, before he joined Carbide 3D), not my Shapeoko. I needed to drill ~400 holes into 1/2" aluminum and then tap them for M6 threads, and boring them would have taken forever. I used a Kennametal GoDrill carbide bit with mist for cooling, and it worked beautifully.

By “peck(ish)”, I mean that I modified the peck drilling parameters so that it didn’t actually retract, it just dwelled for a couple rotations, so that it limited the size of chips generated. I used a 5.5mm drill bit at 15,500 RPM, so in theory you could drive it with any of the common Shapeoko routers, assuming you could find a 6mm collet.

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Won’t a V carving of the circle do that?

I think the hole can be less than 10% larger — I was just able to assign a #201 endmill to cut a circle with a radius of 0.126 in

Elaire sells a 6mm precision collet


That’s exactly what I want to do but I want the ability to do that in carbide. For security reasons I cannot use cloud based software so carbide is the go to.

I’ve used 1/8" stubby drill bits with the 1/8" collet in my Dewalt for peck drilling using Vectric VCarve, caveat being that I also run a SuperPID and run my router down at 5000rpm when doing that. Works great, but I’m obviously not using a standard setup or CC.


What material are you drilling

Aluminum. So I thought this was a feature you were working on. But I guess its not even in the plans?

I use Vcarve Pro and peck drilling to make cribbage boards, work great on my S3XXL.

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Looks great!

As a matter of interest can you show what the gcode looks like for a single peck drilled hole and end mill used? I am thinking it would be pretty easy to parse out a Carbide Create gcode file to do the same.

I “drill” with my XXL all the time - plastics, wood, aluminium.

I use Estlcam to generate my g-code for this sort of thing. It’s extremely easy to learn / use, and pretty inexpensive at $59. Not cloud based!

Check out this video - its on thread milling (you may want that feature too!), but it shows the drilling operation:

You can peck or helical drill (I always use helical).

Typically I use an end mill that is 2/3’s or less than the diameter of the hole I’m after - as you need room for it to wiggle its way down.

I have no affiliation with Estlcam, but I’m a big fan.

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