Path Optimization (and a few other) Frustrations

Newbie here that is frustrated over the time wasted by the tool paths that CC generates.

Holes.c2d (59.2 KB)

The attached C2D file is a simple grid of holes. I created this in CC and the paths that are generated are very inefficient.

From this post, I see the suggestion is to use g-code post-processors

The only one listed that performs path optimization (G-Code Optimizer) did not do the trick… all the Z ‘plunge’ info was removed.

The process is also VERY time consuming! (I wish CC would show actual G-Code!)

  1. Since I do not design on the computer that runs the CNC, I must save the encrypted g-code to a Dropbox folder.
  2. I go downstairs to the computer connected to the CNC and am forced to home it (before I can load the encrypted g-code).
  3. Load encrypted g-code from Dropbox folder.
  4. Click ‘See GCode’.
  5. Copy G-Code
  6. Open TextEdit
  7. Paste G-Code and save to Dropbox folder
  8. Perform optimization using utility (many steps here too)
  9. Open new G-Code in Universal G-Code Sender to see potential optimizations (if any)

I also tried to see how efficient Makercam would be at generating the tool paths, but CC does not export or save as SVG so that too was frustrating.

Another suggestion was to assign each tool path in order, but the limitation of not being able to copy/paste toolpaths to a new object made this very time consuming also.

Am I expecting too much from Carbide Create or any other free software out there for that matter?

How responsive has Carbide3D been in improving Carbide Create and Carbide Motion?

Would love any suggestions or tips on how to streamline or programs to entertain.

Thanks all… I am having a great time learning and appreciate the help!

More discussion here:

1 Like

Oh, something that helps…just remembered… This doesn’t fix the ridiculous rapids…but it does at least reduce the pain a little.

There is a change that can be made to the post that helps a little, and a trick that wasn’t obvious to me.

  1. Set the “retract” depth to something close to the surface of the stock. It needs to clear any clamps, etc on the surface, but I usually get away with .1" or less, and clamp from the sides of the material. Your situation will influence what you can do here.
  2. Add this:

to the Carbide3D-Inch.con and Carbide3D-MM.con post files for meshcam. This will get you a rapid to the safety height, then the actual plunge into the material will be at the right plunge rate, instead of plunging the whole way through the air at the slow rate. Not perfect - would be better to be able to rapid to the “layer” above the current one, and only plunge the last bit. (came from here: Plunge_rate_move - Thanks @Randy ) I did some work on a tool to do that change by rewriting the gcode, and reordering the larger blocks into smarter regions, and it sort of works, but I lost interest in it, and it’s not really ready for prime time…

GCode-Optimizer intended for optimizing for a laser cutter, and as such it strips out all the Z movement. I think there is an option not to do that, and just reorder the blocks, but when I tried it…it really chewed things up and didn’t output a usable file. Maybe your experience with it is different.