vCarve and vCarve after pocket VERY inefficient

Two issues on which I would like your input.

Sample code: Carbide3D Example - Google Drive

Sample has two tool groups, both vCarves are 0.125" deep, 0.625" per pass, one at top surface, and one at bottom of 0.500" deep pocket).

  1. (Enable/run just the 1st group, on top) The g-code created for vCarving text is very inefficient. I think this should only take about 60 sec if it was well optimized, but instead of carving one letter then moving to next letter, the g-code does a lot of very short carves, as well as some longer ones, moving back and forth between letters that aren’t close after each carve, and takes a total of 6 minutes. Why all of the inefficient back and forth? Why not stay working in the same area as much as possible to reduce all of these long rapid moves to non-adjacent areas?

  2. (Enable/run just the 2nd group, pocket then vCarve) vCarve at the bottom of a pocket is even more frustratingly inefficient, as each time it does a rapid move it goes up to the original top surface height, plus retract height, then back down to the bottom of the pocket, even though the vCarve is set to start the at the bottom of the pocket. Since we need to have a reasonable Z-axis plunge rate, this adds a LOT of wasted time. In this example it turns a 6-min vCarve into a 12-min vCarve (6 minutes of just going up and down between rapid moves). Imagine doing an array of 10 of these; that would mean an additional 60 minutes just for the unnecessary Z moves between rapid moves.

I’ve watched all of the training videos and searched around YouTube…am I missing something fundamental here that fixes these and makes it all faster and more efficient? Carbide3D, if this is “just the way the software works”, WHY? Issue number 2) should be easy to fix in the software. It knows what material has already been removed; it knows the vCarve is supposed to start at START DEPTH, so why not make the retract height reference the START DEPTH specified in the vCarve toolpath? This should SOP for all toolpath types that specify a Start Depth.

Devil’s advocate, perhaps there may be some circumstances where you can’t do this. How about putting a checkbox in the vCarve toolpath that makes it reference the START DEPTH as a new top surface for that path (user responsible for assuring no other interference)? Or a new toolpath type: “vCarve after Pocket”?

Using the start depth for the base of the Retract height is only safe if the carved out area is Convex.

For example, if the carved out area is ‘U’ shaped, then a full retract would be needed to move from one arm of the ‘U’ to the other.

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Hence my last paragraph :wink:

Besides, there is already a work-around - use two files, and set Z Zero to Top-of-Stock for the VCarve, and zero on the pocket.

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