Trace inside text and code, new guy here

I have been using my Shapeoko pro for a month now, plenty of stuff to learn, try and brake but fun at the end.
I encountered a problem that the more I read the less I understand so sorry if is to basic or has been discussed but I need to ask.
When using text or tracing drawings I have a problem, I will like to use just an end mill to trace or write (like a pen), but when I insert in carbide create the text or street (in maps) I get 2 lines so the only tool path that I can use is VCarve or VCarve advance.
question short is , if I have a text that looks like 2 lines but is 1/32 thin, Is there a way to run the tool in this case 1/32 just trough the middle?

Also (2for1 :slight_smile:) Can I start from the middle in Gcode after it is stop? when the machine is running and I see something that its not right, I stopped it, modified my mistake, load the code, restart from 0 and all is good, but to speed the process before loading the Gcode I opened it in notepad and erase the part that is already done so It goes close to the last point, its really sketchy but it work (almost always) as long as I check where is Z.
Is there a way to do that in Carbide motion? lets said, stop, fix, and start from last point?
Thank you in advance

Hello Matias!

Your first problem is probably best solved by modifying your drawings to only have one line, then doing a contour toolpath right on the line itself. If you need help modifying the drawings, maybe post one here so we can all have a look and offer suggestions?

The only way I know of to restart in CM is to edit the gcode and trim the file down to where you want it to restart. Of course, you can run the whole thing again and wait for it to ‘cut air’ for a little while until it catches up :slight_smile:

Welcome to the community @Matias!
You can also try single line fonts like these from CamBam.

Thank you for your responses !
I’ll try single line font, looks a little limited but will do.
For the maps yesterday I found that inkscape has a feature call trace bitmap-centerline in autotrace , it kind of does what I need but is not accurate at all (picture), so I will keep playing with different endmill and settings until I find a good compromise between detail and size.
I read it here if anyone is interested ( )
Thank you again

If your maps are sourced from Google Maps (or OpenStreetMaps), there is a programmatic way to get the node data from google or OSM and rewrite it in an SVG with single lines. It’s even possible to put major roads on a different inkscape layer so you can generate different toolpaths for each (CC doesn’t support layers at the moment but some others like VCarve do).

If you’re a programmer I’d be happy point you to what you need to do this.

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Hi Gerry
I’m far from a programmer but I like to play a lot with arduinos :slight_smile: , so your suggestion sound interesting but goes over my head.
What I end up doing was cheat the advance vcarve setting to believe that I was using a Vee tool and after changing dimensions, feed and speed I kept the 1/16 pocket tool to do the whole map, it took a while but it work for what I wanted. (photo)

Yes, in my search I kept seeing that Vcarve is much complete software for carving, however at the moment I can’t justified buying it.
I’m glad that programmers like you keep helping/putting out there all kind of alternative software’s for free like, inkscape, zephyr, blender, freecad etc. so we can play around with 3d printers, animation, design, machining and all kind of fun stuff.

I’m trying to used as much as possible with my shapeoko so I can learn and understand the capabilities, next week I’ll start doing some 3D routing base on @funrus post, so will see how it goes.
Thank you for your help !


oh that’s a cool idea (I likely will steal that but for my own area in PDX)

eh the way I would likely do this is use inkscape to make every line/etc a proper “shape” with thickness etc (so not just lines), and then use a combination of pockets and advanced vcarve…
a few combinations are possible with those and they all have interesting different effects

(I’m assuming a somewhat shallow max depth of say 0.04" or so)

  1. Advanced vcarve with a (small) area clearing tool, no pocket
    Easiest to click in the tool. All edges will be under an angle (but my 30 degree V bit makes that look ok-ish). Can take a while to cut since many parts will get cleared by the V bit … I’ve learned that carbide create creates poor gcode for this but I wrote a simple optimizer that I need to convince @robgrz to make redundant that speeds the cutting time often up by 2x to 3x

  2. Advanced V carve with area clearing and a pocket with the same bit
    Big difference is that the contour will make the thicker lines have straight walls, and generally will look better on “stringy” wood if you use a downcut endmill. Normally I cut the contour first which creates sharp edges, and the V bit then basically only ends up carving the wood in “too thin” places and corners. This ends up “air cutting” a bunch… but again there’s a trick… I use one of my tools to split the gcode for the advanced vcarve into the V bit and clearing bit… and just don’t cut the clearing phase at all.

  3. Advanced V carve without clearing and a pocket
    This is not a good idea. CC will not generate the paths for the V bit to pocket out the areas your normal bit cannot get to in this mode, and it will leave some artifacts… it’s less cumbersome than 2) though on the digital side.

  4. Avanced V carve with a clearing setting but with a tweak
    Use a super large bit for the clearing setting, so that it does not get used. This will cause the whole design to be done with just the V bit, so no tool changes needed. Can take longer to cut (and worth feeding through a gcode optimizer as per 1) … but if large areas are rare in the design and you if you don’t like tool changes, this is certainly an option.


Well done indeed!

If you do need to do lots of these, let me know and I’ll dig up something for you :slight_smile:

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