Need help with inlays

I’m burning through scrap like a mad man.

I have a tapered ball nose (TBN) endmill - JERRAY@ CNC 2D and 3D Carving 4.36° Tapered Angle Ball Tip Radius=0.75mm X 1/4" Shank Tungsten Solid Carbide HRC55 with TiAIN Coated Router Bits : Amazon.ca: Industrial & Scientific

I’ve messed with Fusion360 a bunch, my tool of choice for everything else, but the issue is that smaller areas are skipped, as one cannot use the Engrave function since there is parameters like stock to leave.

Finally gave up and struggled through Carbide Create. Following this video Advanced V Carve Inlay Tutorial - YouTube

Deck-Inlay.c2d (330.4 KB)
Deck-Base.c2d (38.7 KB)

Attached are my 2 files.

This produced the sloppiest inlay so far, and with about 50% aircutting to boot!

Any tips would be appreciated, I’m clearly missing something. I’m sure Vectric would make this much easier but I’m just not ready to drop 350 bucks on it.

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I’ve done quite a few inlays with CC. I’ve also made quite a few that came out terrible.

I think you will need to adjust your depth settings on the advanced v-carve toolpath for your inlay to get decent results. Your ‘base’ project looks perfect to me.

For your inlay project, I would adjust your adv v-carve start depth to 4mm and your final depth to 5mm. This will give you about 1 mm of air space at the bottom of your base once the inlay is in place. This is typically called the ‘glue gap’. It is required? No, but it gives you a little bit of tolerance for inlay placement while still giving the majority of your inlay depth for side wall contact. Too much glue gap will make the inlay harder to position at glue up, and will even give a hollow sound if you knock on the final product. Note that these depth settings also give you 1 mm of space between the surface of your project and the ceiling (or floor, depending on how you look at it) of your inlay piece.

After several tries, I’ve found that if you apply enough glue to the base so that it squeezes out and adheres to the ceiling of the inlay piece as well, it gives enough stability to the inlay to cleanly mill off the extra inlay material without worrying about breaking any of the fine details on your finished product.

I hope this helps!

Oh, 1 thing I forgot to mention. Using a starting depth of 4mm can be a bit much for some bits. Unfortunately this is unavoidable with CC. Be sure to adjust your speeds and feeds accordingly to accommodate the extra stress of such a deep cut.