Question from Beginner about Edit Toolpath in Carbide Create

I’m trying to get a job setup for the arrival of my just ordered XL. My project is a clock with wooden gears of decent size. My first hurdle was cleaning up the nonconnecting or overlapping lines in the dxf file I received. I’ve done this for one gear to see if allows me to create a toolpath in carbide create which makes sense - before it was creating extraneous lines due to imperceptable disconnects in the object. I now can create a toolpath, however, the path only displays in 2d and in simulation mode if I select Offset Direction: no offset. Obviously, that isn’t what I want. I want to use outside/right in order to cut around the outside of the gear. Any help you can give a newb would be greatly appreciated. I’ve spent four hours on this so far and am struggling to figure things out. I also downloaded Draftsight 2017 to work on the fragmented dxf. If anyone knows a better free option I would appreciate that info as well. Thanks anyone who can help.

Could you please share the .dxf source of a gear here or to

FWIW, I usually find myself resorting to:

  • load dxf into Inkscape
  • save out as pdf
  • open pdf in Freehand
  • fix
  • export as pdf from Freehand
  • open pdf in Inkscape and save out as svg

It would be nice if we could get Carbide Create to stitch such together automagically — it should be a simple problem.

Small Gear.dxf (115.9 KB)

Thanks Will. I uploaded the real life example I started with. I’ve continued with some more experiments where I open a dxf file. The true circles, rectangular and trapazoidal objects (I think) all load allowing all types of offset directions to be used for toolpath. Objects with curves such as gears load but even after closing all the open connections and trimming all the extra lengths back to a clean object they only allow “no offset” to be used for the toolpath. I also notice these objects load in a purple color vs the black outline for circles, rectangles… Perhaps its a limitation of the software that these types of objects cannot be recognized as having an “inside” or “outside”.

The .dxf had multiple paths stacked as well as some extraneous nodes which probably confused things.

Once I simplified it down to two paths which I combined into a single composite object it seemed to work okay in Carbide Create (might want to split them in the SVG).

small gear.c2d (114.2 KB)

Really surprising (annoying) to me that such a small part has such a large filesize — comes of being made up of lots of little lines and no real curves.

There are some gear creating tools listed on the wiki: — if the plans are well-documented might be that you could easily create replacements using a better tool.

Alternately, you could use clockit: Free 3D Clock Designer (listed at: )

Wow! Thank you so much for your help. It will take me quite a while to work through these suggestions and I’m very appreciative of the guidance. It’s very encouraging to me to know what I was trying to do can be done and isn’t a limitation of the carbide create program. I just need to learn more and find the right tools to get cleaner objects created. Thanks again.

OK, I think the thing you said that was the most helpful was the issue with the object consisting of little lines and curves. I have tried a few 2d options so far and currently am liking DraftSight. I was going through the process of meticulously taking the dxf file I purchased for the clock plans and zooming in and trimming and extending lines on gears. Very painful and inaccurate. The object still consisted of multiple lines and arcs afterwards. This morning I took one of those same gears and found an edit polyline function that allowed all the lines and arcs to be converted and joined into a single smooth polyline in just a few seconds. The resulting object worked perfectly for toolpath selection in carbide create. Thanks so much. I also looked at the clock designer and had previously looked at Matthew Wandel’s gear creater program. At this point I’m not ready to design my own gears. I’m trying to build a couple to get the concepts down before I get creative and come up with my own concepts. is where I purchased a dxf file from. Her husband’s page on her website has some incredible stuff he’s deigned and sells plans for. Have a Happy Christmas and thanks for being so helpful on the forum.

I’m glad that was helpful (I was worried about it being perceived as catty / critical). Please let us know if there’s anything else which you need or are curious about!