Newbie question- quickly editing large designs

Hey all! Green as grass over and attempting to edit a very large design (full sheet of plywood) and I’m hopping someone has an easier way… Even though I know it’s a long shot.

Essentially what has happened is I traced an image, edited it to my preferences and then scaled it up to 4’x8’. Of course when I did that, the space between the vectors also increased significantly. Leaving me with too large of an area to v- carve correctly.

Is there a way to quickly go through and narrow the space between vectors in carbide create instead of manually moving a billion nodes?

I did attempt it with a 1/4 endmill and pocket cutting the details instead but it’s just not the look I want, and it takes wayyy too long to run.

Hope this makes sense! TIA!

It would help if we had an idea of what you’re dealing with. A picture, or even better the file.

You may be able to delete half of the vectors, and then offset the remaining vectors the width you want.
Or some combination of offset & trimming…??

There are three ways to handle this:

  • use a Contour toolpath — this will somewhat distort the design, but with a judicious use of inside/outside and No offset, should be workable and will cut efficiently and will allow easy depth control to ensure that you do not cut through the plywood.
  • add offset geometry which will allow using a V carving toolpath — just offset to a distance less than the deepest you want the tool to cut – this will allow control of the design
  • use Advanced V carving with or without pocket-clearing — this will afford depth control, and if desired, can be combined with offset geometry to achieve more control

If you’ll post your design, either here, or to we will be better able to advise.


Here’s some pictures I have on my phone. I will have to see if I can upload the file later.

Using a pocket toolpaths is the closest I’ve come to getting my desired look. But the spacing is inconsistent and just too large (1/4" or greater in some areas)

Offsetting might get a little tricky & tedious keeping track of each vector.

I like Will’s idea of just using Advanced V-Carve. But that still leaves it full width.

What about programming it with a larger (1") Vee bit so it gets a nice clean V-Carve,
then setting your zero above the part so it’s not cutting as deep?
Would require a little math, or some trial & error to get the right depth.

So, for example it’s cutting 0.200 deep, and you only want 0.100. Move your tool to the top of stock and set your Z to -0.100. Now it thinks Z0.0 is 0.100 above the part and will only cut 0.100 deep.

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Ohhh. I like this idea! I will definitely play with it. Thank you!

That’s going to result in a lot of “air cutting”.

At this scale, I think No Offset Contours will be quite workable.

Will, that should result in no air cutting unless there are narrow areas where the cutter lifts.
It looks like the vectors are all relatively consistent so just cutting the program higher should make the lines narrower.

And you might as well get used to taking “too” long with a 48" x 96" sheet. That’s a lot of real estate.

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lol I definitely understand that. However, theres a HUGE difference between a 2 hr run and a 4 hr run. Narrowing the gaps and reducing the amount of pocket hole toolpaths required has already cut the run time in half. So, even though its been arduous… Id say its been worth it! :smiley:

could you scale the vectors

I like Will’s Advanced V carve with no pocket clearing. Play with the settings until the simulation looks good. If you are painting this, look into masking with Oramask (or something similar) and spray paint it. (Paint the whole thing the predominant color before cutting, mask the whole thing, cut, and unmask selected areas for painting the other colors). On large signs I concluded I was no longer carving, I was just painting a sign and the CNC /masking gave me great lines to follow. Your grinch would be great in an elementary classroom.


You might try this Web Site and check to see if their software would convert you smaller digital file to a larger digital file. I don’t know if that is possible or not.