Optimized paths during a pocket carve

So I’m carving away tonight and it dawns on me that during a pocket run it seems that the tool paths are slightly, and only slightly, more than random. There are a ton of rapids and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to where and when it drops in does a pocket, or some part of it, then moves to another pocket. For example it did 3/4 of a pocket, left about 2mm on the outside then moved to another pocket. Later it came back and finished the first pocket.

Is that the way it is supposed to work? Is there anyway to optimize it so reduces the number of rapid movements?


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This is an intractable problem in computer science known as “The Traveling Salesman” — it simply isn’t possible to have an algorithm which always gets it right.

If you have a file which is especially egregious, please send it in to support@carbide3d.com and we will do our best to see if it’s suited to having a developer look into it.

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Depends on the CAM software you use. Something like F360 is pretty good about optimizing travel, and that is configurable. But there are plenty of options to preserve selection order, machine to final depth, order by depth ect.

I love F360 for the CAD and 3D printing but the free version limits speeds and the number of tools you can use. It limits the rapid movements to a slow speed and you can’t have any tool changes. Both of which I can get around but I use Carbide Create Pro and Motion so I was hoping I was there was something in there I was missing!

You may be interested in this tool from @fenrus (full story in this thread)

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Thanks Julien. I’ll give that a try. Is there a way to get around the single tool at a time limitation? This isn’t that big of a deal since we have to manually change anyway but it increases the number of files I have to keep track of.

I’m not aware of any, but I did not look for one either (I tend to use one file per tool)

I mean you can manually join the gcode files but that is probably a bit error prone and tedious.

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