3d carve questions

Hey again guys,

I have my oily new Jerray ball end in hand! I’m excited to try my first 3d carves but had a couple of questions.

Can I reduce the size of an STL without compromising the format? I made the mistake of buying some beautiful files on Etsy but they are 200-300 mb each. The link provided by Easel didn’t work for me.

Secondly, can we talk feeds and speeds? I’m very nervous about breaking my new tapered ball end. I’ll be milling some quarter-sawn oak, hard maple- and other equally taxing materials.

I would tend to begin with 120ipm / .0625" dpp at 16000 rpm for the hardwoods- but I’m really just guessing. I don’t know the mechanics of the bit.

Any advice?

in order to reduce the size of the file you WILL reduce the triangle count and this reduce the level of fine detail, however depending on the size of the bit and the stepover amount and the size of the carve, this 1/3 reduction may have little impact to the achievable outcome.

Don’t be nervous, this is the genius behind the tapered sides, the forces of carving are transferred UP the shaft… a 1/4" shanked tapered ball bit is stronger than a 1/8" endmill bit any day of the week, EVEN if the tip is only 0.5mm diameter (the smallest size sold)

Well, for 3d you’ll use an endmill for roughing and then the tapered bit will perform the finishing pass in a single pass, so there is no DPP setting for the finishing bit in the 3d workspace.

Something else to keep in mind for 3d carving is the stepover of the finishing pass. I suggest 8-12%, and easel defaults to 10% to keep you setup for success in this category…

Depending on your experience with the CNC this might be beyond many users, so if it is, you can ignore it and come back to this in a years time:
IF you want to carve the 3d as fast as possible you will need to increase the plunge rate, because ANY time the X or Y AND Z are in motion at the same time (which is 99% of the finishing pass) the Plunge rate actually takes over and overrides the feed rate setting BUT IF you’re using an X-Carve than the default MAX plunge rate is 19.68IPM so even IF you set Feed to 120IPM the CNC will never feed faster than 19.68IPM due to this plunge rate max setting… The user COULD tune this max plunge rate, easily and increase it to at least 40IPM, possibly 60IPM with some testing, and easily reduce the carve time in half or even 1/3 of the carve time of the default plunge setting limits the cnc to…


Thank you so much. That saved me hours of research and/or days of trial and error.

I will definitely shelve the last bit information in my subconscious until the 3D carves become as mundane as brushing my teeth. It’s great to know though.

The huge STL. Is there a quick way to reduce the resolution and re-save as an STL? I tried in AI but I got lost quickly. I also tried running it through the file-to-lithogram but that was a no-go as well. Sorry if this is a newbie question.

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Ive used blender, following a youtube tutorial along with some trial and error , undo try a differnt option, and in 3 tried i got the desired results…

Meshlab also works for this, and a free windows program called 3d builder can also shrink the file… and i hear that last one is the easiest, but ive never tried either of these.
If 3d builder is as easy as they say. This would be the best solution becsude what ive seen blender and meshlab are kinda tricky.

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