MeshCam Workflow (Lots of pics)

Hey guys, still trying to get used to MeshCam. I’ve documented the steps I took to make a star. Could you look over my steps and see if this is how you would normally do it as well.

As a beginner, I like the fact that once loaded I could go up to Tools -> Carbide Auto Toolpath and go through all the questions and pick out what material I am working with. Have it generate the codes. But it leaves the question, how does MeshCam know that I wanted to center in the middle of my stock or lower left hand corner.

Hopefully this document will help other beginners as well. I’ve included all the files.

So this is my workflow:

  1. Open Meshcam and selected my star.stl the Star is 25.4 mm by 2 mm depth
    link to star.stl

  2. Next I clicked on the first Icon for Geometry and told MeshCam that I want to Z to be 0 at top

  3. Tool Path -> Define Stock

My stock is a round piece of delrin that is about 38 mm all around and 46 mm height but I put 2 mm for Z because I want it to start cutting from the top

  1. Retraction Height, MeshCam auto populated to be 2.540 mm. I left it as is.

  2. Program Zero I placed Z right in the middle of the stock.

  3. Set Max Depth, I put 2 mm since that’s how thick the star is.

  4. Now I go up to Tools -> Carbide Auto Toolpath

  5. Material - Delrin with Carbide #102 cutter, quality High

  6. Toolpath Parameters, I left it alone because not experience enough to play with that yet., I then hit OK.

  7. MeshCam generated toolpath

  8. Estimated cutting time 1.1 minutes

  9. Saved toolpath as


  10. Turned on Carbide Motion and loaded

  11. Centered cutter over workpiece. I used paper method for Z. Once I felt resistance with the paper, I removed it. Measured the paper to be .06 mm thick. So I pressed Z- 6 times with .01 selected. Switched over to Set Zero and clicked on Zero All.

I then Clicked Run and the rest you can watch in the video. Video was cut short after almost 4 mins because phone ran out of memory. Please excuse my son in the background :smile:

it took about 5-6 mins compared to the 1.1 minute that Meshcam estimated.

Video - Updated to launch from Youtube




Thanks for posting this! This will help many that are new to things.

Could you please describe your method for finding the center of the stock?



I can’t video the video on my Mac.

This is great. One note, and this is based purely on what it sounds like, but your first few cuts especially sound to me like your settings are too aggressive - a common complaint about the MeshCAM defaults.

Caveats: I have a Nomad classic, and I’ve never machined Delrin, so I could definitely be mistaken! Hopefully others will weigh in. But on my machine, if it sounds like that for very long, it will often result in a dropped step, stalled spindle, and/or damaged work piece. YMMV.

In case anyone has issues with the video, I managed to get it to play by right clicking and selecting “open video in new tab.” I’m using Chrome on a Mac.

Thanks for the tip, I’m using chrome on Win10 and used your trick to watch the video.

I didn’t spend too much time zeroing in X and Y. I cut the delrin on my lathe so it left a mark in the center. I used that to center the Z. I really like how Darren Zero’ed his X and Y. I placed an order for the thickness gauge last night and plan to do it the same way. Link to his video for others:

One of the reason I included the video Josh, I thought the cut was aggressive as well. But that’s my first time with delrin. On a lathe, it cuts like butter. Hopefully others will chime in with their experience.

I’ve updated the video to launch from YouTube instead of a link to my Dropbox.

Here is a closer look at the result. The Nomad did a really good job in my opinion with the sharp angles of the star. You can tell I wasn’t completely centered.

I noticed you have the log window open in Carbide Motion, which is why you are seeing a longer run time than MeshCAM calculated, and the slow cornering speeds. Basicly, the log window requires computing power and is slowing the exchange of data between your laptop and the machine.

Good to know Apollo thank you. I thought it was common practice to open the log window during a job. The two times the Z went down by itself while jogging I didn’t have a log so I was hoping to eventually catch what caused it to execute the drop :slight_smile:

This might have caused CM to crash yesterday in my other post.