Anyone have any tips for meshcam

does anyone have tips or trick? maybe links to videos

I’ve used Meshcam for years. I just played with it to learn what does what. I always make the top of the part the Z zero. I always use the “fit to geometry” aspect. Go in order from start to finish with a simple cube or something. You’ll have to create the tools you use first and then select them at the last step. I use primarily router bits and you give them a diameter, cutter length, and overall bit length. Once they are in the library, you just select them. I do 3d roughing, but use a Y axis finish cut. In many cases I don’t do waterline or pencil clean up. I don’t generally do a stepover that is more than half the diameter of the bit. Finish cuts vary depending on how much time I want to spend sanding. I play with the varying parameters until I’m satisfied and then save the toolpath.

Thank you for responding. Im wanting to do some 3d carving. so I have a few questions for you. do you use easel? If you do, does the program pause inbetween rough cut and finish cut or do i need to bring in the gcode separate for each type of cut? can you give me more detail on waterline and pencil clean up?

I don’t use Easel, but I have used the UGS with my 3D meshcam gcode. I don’t think meshcam stops between roughing and finishing, but then again, I use the same bit for both passes. Perhaps it would have a M0 if you select different bits for roughing and finishing and have to change bits. I’ve only used waterline finishing once or twice. It just takes more time and not needed for what I do. Pencil cleanup just goes down to the depth you set and cleans up the irregular rough scallop wood bits that a round nose might leave. I usually leave some material on the wood for me to flush trim off later, which is why I skip those steps.

This is from this link: 3D CNC Milling & Machining: CAM Toolpaths

There is a great recent video from John Saunders (NYCCNC) on youtube about cutting out half-spheres like you have above. Comparing different strategies and tool angles. It was informative: (the one big disappointment based on the title is he really only tested half-spheres since the obvious elephant in the room is “op 2”.

Can anyone tell me how long a project should take in easel to carve that was created in meshcam? I just uploaded my first g-code and easel is saying like 4 hours. Is this normal. The piece is a simple face X =2.75" by Y=2.75" by Z =.69" Any wisdom here would be appreciated.
face (797.7 KB)

A lot of this is dependent on stepover, feed rate, and of course what size tool you are using, and how much you are taking off during each roughing pass. I don’t machine top of stock on flat items, and select machine geometry only. That saves a lot of cutting time.

You can mix and match things and see how it impacts the toolpath and time for the machining.

A question in which I find myself. :slightly_smiling_face:Thanks to everyone for the answers!

This discussion is very useful for me, I appreciate that! :handshake: