[Easel Feature Request] Drill Operation

I am not sure how it could be implemented.
I guess it would have to wait until Easel supports multiple bits and tool changes.
Then add drill operations as an option?



You could just make “black” circles in Easel.

That works with larger holes say .250" carved with .125" bit
This will not work with smaller holes or holes the same diameter as the bit
Say a .125" hole and a .125" bit

Drill Operations are different in CNC as they use a regular drill bit of the desired diameter with a single down command and a different set of feed rates. (As opposed to a end mill bit moving around to make a larger circle of the desired diameter)

If you are making a lot of holes it can be a big time saver. Or in this case, you want to make holes smaller in diameter than are possible with the end mill.


Seems like there should be some logic that says, “hey, this hole is the same size as the specified tool. I’ll just plunge”.

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A recipe for broken bits…

A drill hole operation would also have clearing functions such as raising the bit at intervals to clear the chips to prevent binding.

+1 for hole drilling operations even if it is a separate App within Easel


We need an actual “Peck Drilling” operation to do proper drills.

The detail pass in two-stage cutting seems to behave that way already.

+1 for hole drilling operations

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this cannot be that difficult to implement : +1 for drilling

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+1 for the drilling operation. I got parts that need 45 holes of the same size.

I had the same question today. I was trying for 4 hours to drill a hole in piece of MDF, the hole needed to be 2mm, the bit was also 2mm. Nothing worked… What now?! Wait for easel or are there other programs to do perform this operation?

Lie? Maybe tell Easel that the bit is 1mm…

Only problem with that would be that it would drill the hole oversized, I think. I’ve made the holes slightly oversized, such as drilling .128" holes with a .125" bit. It sounds like death, but seems to work. :smile:

I tried, Going from 1mm to 1.9mm… Nothing really worked. The hole was always 2.1 or 2mm wide. I think the only thing I can do is buy a smaller bit. This will probably be the most precise.

A drill operation would be useful even if it didn’t do it properly (raising bit to clear chips). It seems to me that if you specify a hole with a diameter that exactly matches the bit size, Easel should treat it as a drill. Instead, it just refuses to do it.

And, BTW, the same thing applies to ANY object with a width that matches the bit size. For example, an outline circle or rectangle meeting this criteria should be carved as a single pass (per depth). In this case it’s mostly a matter of saving time: Why require a larger line width and thus multiple passes?

So, is the drill function off the table?

I almost pulled the trigger on a large xcarve then found out this might be an issue. Drilling 3/16 holes would be 99% of what I would use it for. Lots of properly positioned holes in Aluminum and Acrylic. I do it manually now but I need a quicker more automated method.

Along the same lines it would be cool if there were other devices that could be purchased for the router mount like for example a drill… The key is a proper mount that’s compatible with the x carve. There are videos of people that have made mounts but not something I could replacate. I’m looking for something I don’t have to create.

Hi @DanielDebusschere

This feature request is for a specific type of drilling operation to be added to the Easel software itself. That doesn’t mean that the X-Carve, or other CNCs for that matter won’t do the job you are looking to do.

I personally have used my X-Carve to make many 3/16 holes and a CNC is definitely the way to go when you have to line up those holes in a pattern or grid. Easel and the X-Carve can make these holes, but through different methods. An example would be to use a 1/16 end mill and have it mill out a 3/16 hole, but that isn’t to say that drilling operations aren’t possible. If I have a drill bit that I just want the machine to plunge over and over in a grid into a piece of material, I usually go into Fusion 360 (free for the hobbyist) and use it’s excellent CAM drilling operations and then import the F360 g-code into Easel, hit carve and away it goes.

I’m not necessarily trying to sell you on the X-Carve (I am partial to it), but the X-Carve can definitely do the job you are describing… hope this helps.

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I’ve started a spare (ha) time project. Hacked together bits an pieces
of a program to generate the gcode for a peck drilling cycle. Need to add a
few tweaks to also generate a deep hole drilling cycle.
Would like to try javascript /html so it can use a browser as the interface.
Right now manually hard coding the XY coordinates. Which works for small
number of holes but would be tedious for something like a vacuum table or
cribbage board. Looked at a DXF file generated by LibreCad. Looks like hole
or point locations can be parsed from the DXF file.
I’ll work on it as time permits. If I get something going I’ll post it.

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I’m new to all of this. It sounds like there’s a software stack that you build the project paths and depths plus the software that drives the machine. In the ease of Easel it does both but if you need more complex depths, paths, or other operations you can combine them. I suppose that makes sense. Thanks for your feedback and input. The software part of this thing is my biggest concern actually.