Complex patterns, any way to speed up the carve time?

My initial reason for buying the xcarve was to use it to carve complex patterns out of 1/4" mdf and plywood. I have the original machine with a dewalt spindle and the upgrade kit. I don’t want to start breaking bits or parts of the machine but is there any way to speed the cutting time up? Or is this type of thing better suited to a laser cutter? Would a laser be faster?

I have a 20x20 pattern I’m interested in carving, with the standard easel settings it will take about 4 hours in mdf and almost 12 hours in plywood. Ideally I would rather this not take 12 hours.

Recently I carved this 10"x20" pattern out of 1/4" MDF in about 50 minutes using a 1/8" compression bit. If I wanted to use plywood it would take 2 hours.

1 Like

How do you figure out how much you can adjust the numbers before you start running into issues?

Also, for pieces that have interior chunks that mean nothing I would work out a method to have the same shape at 0 depth just slightly smaller. You can add extremely small tabs to connect it so that it doesn’t go flying about.

Imagine cutting a ring (just a simple round shape with nothing in the middle). Where you need that to be gone; you don’t have to carve it all out.

Basically there is no reason to cut the entire chunks out as pockets.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

The first, cutting the center out, takes more than twice as long as the second, not cutting the center (obviously you’d have to create your own little tabs and cut them at the end).

Cutting Center

Not Cutting Center

It really depends on what your doing and how you want to do it with respect to this method.



I like it! Great thought.