V Carve Tool Behavior question

Been doing a lot of v-carving lately, engraving boxes, making things, etc. for the wife (you know what they say about that :heart_eyes:). I’m using CC to set up the job and generate the g-code and running everything on CM. Here’s the issue: Sometimes I get very long g-code files that take forever to run. What is peculiar is that the tool will often do repeated plunges in one spot. From the best I can tell, it is not taking out any more material on the subsequent plunges. There are also times when the carve will basically look completed and the file will run another set of passes over the text–again, not appearing to take any additional material out.

Any thoughts on this or tips for making some of these jobs run faster? I know I can change the feeds and speeds or push the file to run faster through CM, but it just would prefer that it not make repeated cuts that don’t seem to be taking any material.

repeat plunges are most likely due to exceeding the max cut depth.
the way CC works is that is even one part of the toolpath (e.g. selection) exceeds the depth, the whole section gets cut multiple times.

easy workaround is to break the selection into smaller pieces and separate shallow from deep

…more generally, you will find out that CC is ok but not great at generating efficient VCarve toolpaths, compared to e.g. Vectric products (and rightly so, this is their niche business)
If you are doing a lot of complex Vcarve jobs, you should probably have a look at Vectric VCarve trial version, generate a toolpath for your project, compare it with CC’s, you’ll know.
I am absolutely not saying that CC cannot or should not be used, but at some point you can’t beat 10+ years of perfecting Vectric’s products. It comes with a hefty price tag though. Choices, choices…

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The odd plunges are caused by Carbide Create miscalculating as @Julien noted because things are represented as polylines — I believe it has gotten better in newer versions — ages ago I drew up a series of rotated circles and sent them in to the developer to show how each was cut with a different pattern of such plunges.

also time to plug my hobby, the “Toolpath” tool can create v carve toolpaths from exports of carbide create (see the other threads on the forum).

and it uses some different algorithms that … aren’t quite optimal yet but might be interesting anyway


So I don’t quite understand this. How is the miscalculation occurring? How are polylines involved?

Sorry, I’m still new at this.

The ideal would be that the shape would be one which a V endmill could cut with a single plunge — a perfect circle — the V endmill plunging straight up and down at the center would “just work”.

The problem is, the circle is represented as a polyline — mostly the CAM toolpathing algorithm is able to figure out that a plunge at the center will remove the material slated for removal, but for some lines it gets confused and is a bit off, hence the extraneous lines.

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now you got me curious and I need to go test Toolpath for this :wink:

I have encountered this on a piece I am working on. Sometimes Carbide Create will give me double or triple the estimated time. Then it will look great and start all over and do it again but can’t see any difference or material get taken. I am just stopping it mid-routing at that point.

I have also noticed sometimes Carbide Create will take that same file, same tool and same settings and estimate it all in one pass which is what I want. Don’t know why it doesn’t consistently do that though.

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