Pocketing frustration

Hi. I’ve designed a simple sign with 4 words & a single outline. There is only 1 toolpath: the outline is a pocket, leaving all the letters proud (uncut). The cut seems very inefficient, cutting a little bit of 1 letter, then jumping over and cutting a little bit of another letter in another word, then a little bit of background, etc. - taking almost 3 hours to cut. Is there some way to make this cut faster by completing each letter/word in order rather than jumping around? thanks

two tool paths?
A large end mill to remove bulk, smaller to clean up and bring detail

thanks for the reply. so are you saying to run the same toolpath twice, 1st with larger endmill, then again with final size endmill?

you’ll generate two tool paths, not the exact same one

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so you’re not saying what bit and F&S you’re using…

but there’s a roughing strategy you can do:
first make a pocket with a large endmill, say the 1/4" bit 201.
and then you can do a contour around the edges with a smaller endmill, pick the 1/8" one.
as long as you pick the 2nd endmill as half the size (or bigger) of the first one, a contour is going to be enough to get all the remaining parts of the material

(the physics works out so that all the places a 1/4" can’t go is not bigger than 2x 1/8", so by contruction as long as you’re at least half, you’ll get all the remaining parts)

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Rather than doing a pair of pockets, one gets better control and detailing by pairing a V carving toolpath and a clearing operation.

If you have a BitSetter the new Advanced V carving feature handles this automatically.

If you want more control, one can do it by hand, see:



that’s what I had thought to do. By “contour,” do you mean making an “offset” of perhaps .02 in. and a 2nd toolpath using the 1/8" endmill?

I’ve just made an example file to explain since maybe that is easier than words
example_pocket_contour.c2d (29.3 KB)

Will’s suggestion to use an Advanced VCarve is also a good one, but it will be a different look… depends on what you want it to look I suppose

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got it! I think I understand now. I’ll give it a try. thanks so much everybody.

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