Need help with Vcarve toolpath

The text that I vcarve doesn’t go as deep as I tell it. For example, my toolpath specifies the v90 cutter and I tell it to go down to - let’s say - 1/2 inch. It barely scratches the surface. I did a test project with 10 lines of text, each incrementing in depth 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, … They all come out the same. The bit never goes deeper than some mystery default. Pockets and contours works fine, I just can’t get any depth using a V bit and vcarve toolpath. What am I missing? Shapeoko 4 Standard, Carbide Create build 648.

Do you have any photos? It sounds like you’re not using VCarve on a closed vector. Vcarve is for closed vectors and only goes as deep as it needs to to fit the WIDTH of the interior of the vector being carved. The depth you give it is the MAX depth.


As Robert says, a VCarve toolpath is interested in the width of the channel you are cutting, and never the depth.

The VBit’s cutting width is proportional to its depth, and so it can only go as deep as the width of the area it’s trying to cut.

(edit: from this it follows that the narrower the angle of the vbit, the deeper it will have to go to cut the same width. So if you are after deeper cuts, get a VBit with a smaller angle)

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So - you can’t set a cutting depth on a vcarve path? To get it to cut deeper, I need to either:
[a] increase the font size so each letter is wider (and thus deeper) or
[b] use a thicker font so each letter is wider (and thus deeper) or
[c] define a contour path (rather than a vcarve path) and use a v-bit

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How does what is cut compare to the 3D preview?

If it matches, adjust the file.

If it doesn’t match, adjust the machine setup.

A simple vcarve only goes a deep as the width of the path. So for small letters if the vee cutter can touch the sides of both lines that is a deep as it goes. When using simple vcarve use stock bottom as depth so get maximum depth. Limiting v cut depth is overridden by the width of the lines you are cutting.

Also try an advanced vcarve to see if preview improves.

You can set the Starting Depth deeper. Or you could just move your Z zero down.

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