Edge bevel & profile shape thin plastic name badges

Hello, I am new to CNC operation and have just placed my order for a Shapeoko XL.
One of my first jobs waiting for this equipment are shaped plastic name badges with beveled edges and inlayed aluminum disks that I will sublimate.
Question: If I create a matrix something like this:

would I first mill down the circles for the inlays, then use a 45 deg bit to carve the outlines approximately half way through the plastic to create the bevel and then use a straight bit to cut all the way through the plastic?
Pretty tall order for a guy who has never used a CNC??
Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Yes, general rule of thumb:

  • small interior features first
  • larger features
  • interior cutouts
  • outermost profiles last

Just experiment with some spare / scrap material first.

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You might just want to cut through with the vbit. Save an extra tool change, and tool path (time), but the edges might be too sharp.

Thanks Will, I have much to learn…

I “think” I will be using 3 tools for this job and 3 steps per sheet of material?

  1. 1/4" straight end mill for the recessed inner circle
  2. 45 deg bevel half way through the 1/16" thick material
  3. 1/8" straight end mill to make the final outside profile cut

I anticipate a matrix of maybe 9 or 12 up on 10 sheets of material. It seems obvious to me that I need to leave each sheet on the board until all 3 steps are complete because of the close tolerance of the circle to the edge.

How do I tell the software to stop the machine for a tool change -and- are the tool shanks the same height so that I don’t need to re-calibrate between tool changes.

Thank you… Don

Hi Jerry… thanks for your suggestion. I had thought of this approach, but this is a laminate plastic of two colors and the bevel would be too wide and as you said, the edges would be sharp.

We all were beginners once — most of us learn enough to move past that, me, I’m eternally stuck there, and use the wiki as a crib notes / cheat sheet trying to keep stuff straight (sometimes it even works).

In Carbide Create, a tool change is generated whenever a succeeding toolpath uses a different tool than the preceding one — that’s why it’s important to appropriately name and organize your toolpaths. Many folks will export them separately, into different files, but Carbide Motion will interpret properly structured tool change commands so as to allow one to have them in a single file.

We do have a tutorial on tool changes: http://carbide3d.com/docs/tutorials/tool-change/

and there’s an (unfortunately incomplete) one which I started which touches on this as well: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Carbide_Create_V-carving_(advanced)

Hopefully this will get you going — if not, let us know where you’re specifically stuck and we’ll see what we can do.

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Oh yes, there’s also this tutorial which has a tool change and is finished:


(except for me getting the paths right and cutting out a good copy to photograph, as opposed to the scrap I’ve generated thus far)

Why not do the 45 Degree bevel first, change the tool (either 1/8" or 1/4" end mill) and then do the pockets and cutouts without changing tools?


Awesome, again many thanks!


I have done quite a bit of work with this type of material. Extra care needs to be taken with your Z height for good results.

You will have to carefully zero it after each tool change and make sure that your table is very flat and consistent. If possible tram the waste board and use a Z-Probe.

I use double sided tape to hold down the material with good results. This way tabs are not required so you can get a nice cut edge.

Best of luck.



I’ve been wondering about these for a while, and wondered if anyone ever used one.
This one is pricey, but I’ve also saw free plans to build ones own with a cnc.
I had an Idea for magnetic sheets awhile back.

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Yeah there’s a whole score of designs, and this exact model is $100 cheaper on Ebay. It might give someone some new ideas. It did me.

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List of and discussion of them on the wiki: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Spindle_Overview#Drag_Knives

I actually worked up a 3D printed design which could probably be pretty easily adapted to milling, esp. if one has a drill press:


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Thats some good info. Thanks. I need to spend more time on the Wiki pages :slight_smile: