Drilling holes with drill bits

New here and trying to learn Carbide create to make aluminum parts. These are parts I’ve made for years on my manual mill. The holes need to be drilled, not milled by pocketing, as they are too deep for that method. I’ve no problem holding the drills in a collet. When I go into Toolpaths and select the Drill function and then a tool there are no drills (what’s with that?) and if I try to create my own tool tray it populates with just end mills etc. If I try to just input my own tool with a plunge rate, peck etc but zero stepover (because I don’t want any) the program won’t do it. So…can you drill on this machine or only do pockets? I mean ya…I can use the program to do a shallow pocket which will at least locate the hole and drill it later on a drill press…but the point of buying this machine is to have it do what I want…not half of it.

We only have feeds and speeds for tooling which we sell.

If you use drill bits in the machine, please be certain that they are rated to spin safely at the speed which the trim router/spindle spins at.

Once you set up the tool w/ appropriate settings and feeds and speeds the Drill toolpath should do what you want.

There are hybrid drill-mills — Harvey is one vendor.


Or use a third party program, like Vectric Vcarve, that allows you to set a drilling strategy, like peck drilling.
Depending on the project I’m working on, I’ll use Fusion 360, Vectric Vcarve, Meshcam, or Sheetcam. Each one has there strong points.


If you’re going to do a lot of drilling, I would create a “Drill” library. Otherwise just add them to the “End Mills” section, and name them “Drill_”.

The drilling operation doesn’t use stepover, so it doesn’t matter what it’s set to on the tool.

You can drill, but the machine wasn’t designed to do it. The problem is the spindle speed. It doesn’t go slow enough to accommodate the design of a typical twist drill. They are designed for much slower speeds. they do make “Router Drills” that will do better.

If you’re going to use twist drills, very shallow pecks with complete chip clearing (retract out of the hole on every peck). Air blast or coolant on the tool (It’s going to get hot). Never cut past the flute length of the tool. chips will fill the flute, rub, and get even hotter.

I tried using drills on a couple jobs & just didn’t like the results. I do all of my “Hole making” now with hole milling. Essentially a pocket with the next size smaller tool, and a pocket with a shallow ramp (1-2°). I get much better results with climb cutting, so I program them in another software.

We need Climb Cutting in CC :wink: (I personally think it should be the default)


thanks Tod, great info

thanks Steve for the help

Thanks William, good info

I didn’t realize this was a one-speed machine, I must look into that further before deciding if I will purchase the Nomad, good to know.

The Nomad has a variable speed spindle:

Spindle RPM 9000 - 24000 RPM

Please note that it only has the torque to use smaller tooling in harder materials — we recommend 1/4" endmills only be used in wax and renshape and similar less demanding stock.

You’ll get a better result if you use a smaller tool and mill as a pocket — Garr is notable for doing long reach endmills — it can be a bit tricky geometry-wise, but hopefully will be workable.

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Drill bits are designed to run at lower speeds that a router is capable to run at speeds. Dont use regular drill bits on Shapeoko.They sell router end mills designed to drill.


My primary product with my CNC is cribbage boards so I use the drill tool path all the time. I dropped the speed on my router as low as it will go and just set these up as 1/8 inch endmills. My drilling is not all that deep though and always into wood.

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You could also order a Spindle & VFD from Carbide. The only problem is they sell out immediately whenever they get posted on the website.

Just my 2cents