Cut To Specific Depth Regardless of Material Thickness

Maybe I’m missing something easy, but I can’t figure out how to accomplish the following.

I’m designing a zero clearance insert of my table saw (milled upside down on the Shapeoko). I want to be able to utilize different thicknesses of material e.g., phenolic or various plywoods. I don’t want to manually change all the toolpaths each time I put a new material on the board. I’d like to just tell Vectric Desktop the material thickness using a “thickness” document variable and have a formula for all of the toolpaths. So the riving knife slot toolpath would figure out that I want to cut “thickness” plus 0.015" and the blade relief cut would be “thickness” to “edge_thickness”. My “edge_thickness” is a 0.010" from the wasteboard (which is the top of the upside down insert). This is a static measurement for several toolpaths, and is a dimension that shouldn’t change.

How do I tell Vectric to cut to a specific height regardless of the thickness of the material?

It has variables and formulas but you still need to recalculate the toolpath. You might be able to accomplish it with toolpath templates but I’m not 100% sure on that or if it’s in desktop or you need Pro

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I’m not opposed to clicking the recalculate button, but I really don’t want to manually figure out the calculations.

So how would one go about telling the machine to cut to 0.010" regardless of the starting thickness?

To set DOC in my head I subtract my desired thickness from material thickness to get DOC. How do you get Vectric Desktop to do this automatically?

If you set the origin on the baseplate surface and cut to a height of 0.010" above that, that would be the thickness always left.


So “cut depth” when measured from the wasteboard is actually resulting thickness?

Yes, from top of stock — if the actual stock is different from what is declared you’ll either waste time on air cuts or take a heavier first pass than expected.

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Just to make it more clear, you will have to change your job setup Z zero position from material surface to machine bed in Vcarve.


So if I have a variable for material thickness and change that to reflect the actual stock thickness my toolpath equations should calculate the depth of cut to leave the desired material?

I just changed the datum in the file. Thanks!

Good question — I don’t know — that sounds right though.

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