Loading a file, first attempt

Jonathan, good and informative answer. A V-groove cutter is just a flat or ball endmill with a non-zero taper angle. There was a little discussion on the MeshCAM forum at http://grzforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=47&p=285 The taper angle is per side, and use something realistic for the flute diameter (at the tip) of .005-.010" or .1-.2mm.


The v-groove bits that I have are .005" and .003" on the ends, with 10* and 15* included angles (super sharp little buggers) but you could get ones that are at 30, 60 or even 90* included angle pretty easily.

I’d also point out that when using engraving cutters, they’re usually one flute cutters instead of 2 like your typical end-mill, so something to keep in mind with your feeds and speeds, so you aren’t accidentally doubling the chip-load on the cutter!

thanks you guys. I’ll try the threshold idea in photoshop. I haven’t tried to load a new design yet. I was hoping to see the settings for the wrench in mesh cam. I think that they should be similar to what I’m attempting. All in all what I’d like to do is cut out a contour shape and put some detailed engraving on the top. While I was waiting for Nomad to arrive, I created this animation with some of my designs. If you check it out, you’ll get an idea of what kind of projects I’m attempting. And of course if you have any advise on how to achieve this, I’d very much appreciate any advise. I feel pretty much like flailing in the dark, trial and error. At least I’m zeroed and cutting. I can see what the artifacts look like in Mesh cam and I’ll see if I can make a clean parameter cut. here’s my animation link https://www.flickr.com/photos/newmichael/14837725415/in/set-72157605446928973

Hi New Michael,

That video helps a lot—now that I see better what you’re trying to make, hang tight. I’ve been working on a brass bookmark for my wife that is a similar process. I’ve been documenting my process. I’ll try to finish that today and get it out so you can see it and follow along.

I’m digging what you’re doing, and I want to praise how much you’re cranking out! Yu’re quite prolific, between drawing and music you can’t turn the creative off, can you? :wink: It’s a good problem to have!

Also, what are you looking to cut these out of when you’re done? These remind me of stained-glass medallions I’ve seen, is the end goal to make yours out of acrylic and then color them, or just wood and stain them?

thanks Jonathan I’d like to cut these pieces out of brass, copper, silver, and hopefully some mother of pearl and jade.
I’m getting the idea that I’ll have to dial down the feed rate. I really don’t know what that would be, to start. thanks for helping out. I’d also like to incorporate video into this project. I like watching machines do things like this.

Hi New Michael, if you search the forum for my posts I explain feeds/speeds a bit in a number of different places. i’m working on putting a few reference pieces together that tie it all into a single piece of content that we can “sticky” or something to make more readily referred to.

This post is probably a good place to start, and I recommend everyone check out Michael Zalewski’s CNC guide.

When you go to cut silver, be sure to save the chips and vacuum them up into a clean vacuum so you can make the most of them!

I’m not making any progress. I changed the -z to +z and that made the graphic look right. but figuring the tool path is crazy. Is there a mesh cam file for the wrench available? That just simply cuts out the profile and leaves the rest of the stock intact. I’d like to eventually add the inner veins of the leaf, but I’ll leave that till later. This is to be cut in thin gauge brass with a V groove. It’s one inch stock. I get an incorrect RGB error that pops up. Other than that, all the tool paths are about the parameter of the outside of the square. What do you think



Try app.easel.com

It’s a 2d program that makes it really easy to do profile cuts.

Convert your file to svg, import it, and then resize it to whatever you need.

I used easel to do engraving. It works well with carbide motion.

I down loaded easel and imported my .svg It’s really tiny. The size of my leaf is 1/2 inch. So I can’t even see it in easel. I don’t see what I can do to navigate in the program. I closed easel and now I can find it. It’s not in my applications. I have it in downloads. Have any suggestions?

Easel is an online application, not a program you download. So just go back to app.easel.com

And you can change the workspace size you want. Click on machine, and then change the size (which is 12" by 12") to whatever size your workpiece is. Then you should be able to see it.

Thanks Darren Do you not think mesh cam is going to work? I’ve been going over the 2D tutorial and the parameters just don’t fit my application. I can’t put the tool I want because it’s not listed, and the specs. for the bit aren’t available. the material isn’t listed, and I don’t know what gauge the metal is. Feed rate should be low, I don’t have anything to compare it too. plunge rate, I’m not finding a glossary of these terms. As far as easel is concerned, I really don’t need to see anything in the program because I don’t need to alter the design. I just need to know that the machine sees my drawing and can interpret the size, and how deep to cut. I don’t want to turn everything outside the perimeter to dust. Do you know if the wrench mesh cam settings are available? I really need to be in the ball park so my trial and error can at least be comprehended.
any thoughts?

Why don’t you email me your svt file and I’ll play around with it in meshcam.

And I have some micro cutters coming next week so I’ll have some new tool data that may work for you.

I’ll send you a private message with my email

Picture is fixed! For some reason the svg file you made wasn’t being recognized by MeshCam (or Easel for that matter.) I fixed it in photoshop, converted it to svg, and just emailed it to you. Here it is opened in mesh cam:

Now just let us know what your plan is in terms of material you want to cut it out of etc., and I can help you through the rest :smile:

And I just clicked on tool path, only checked pencil cleanup, made the margin O, and here is a cut-out path you’re looking for:

Well, that’s almost the tool path he’s looking for :wink:

You should probably do water-line passes first, and then pencil, but you’ll need to specify the actual stock size correctly to help make sure it goes all the way around the object in the way intended.

I’m working on a brass project currently too, so should have a tutorial up for everyone on it as soon as I can wrap up!


Hi Jonathan

are you making any progress on that tutorial for your brass project?

Hi Michael,

I did make some progress, and then broke all my teeny cutters, had Maker Faire, etc. and had let that go fallow, sorry about that!

I’ll post some images tomorrow from the project and the settings that I found did work and didn’t break anything!


thanks Jonathan

I can’t wait to try it out

any progress to report on the sheet brass project? Is there a way to look at the settings for the wrench? My projects are cutting out a contour like the wrench but also to engrave a design on the top. It would be similar to a brass dog tag. One the shape of a bone with the dogs name on it. I didn’t think it was going to be this hard. any suggestions?

@newmichael Give app.easel.com a try. I’ve been using it quite a bit for my wooden baby rattles and teethers, and have successfully done engraving and cutting with it.

In Easel, you just set the cutter size (so .125 or .063 or whatever) and you manually set the feed and depth per cut. I’m not sure what settings are good for brass, but I would assume a slow speed (like 10 or 20ipm) and a high spindal RPM (like 9000)

To engrave, what you can do is add the text and set the depth to something very shallow - say .005. It will cut to that depth, which will essentially be engraving.

After the engraving cut, then do a separate cut for the profile.