Efficient tool paths/reducing processing time Vectric Aspire

Hi folks:

I grabbed an STL file off of eBay (screenshot below). I sized this piece 8 inches by I think about 18. I increased the Z height to just under .75. I did create a vector around the piece, so I could cut it out. I believe on the original design the interior sections around the trees were designed to be cut all the way through, but I just thought it would be too delicate and break, so did a pocket tool path for that.

Anyway, I’m a pretty much a newbie on these carvings, and always wonder if I’m creating the most efficient tool paths. I always try to do roughing passes whenever possible. I recall something on a vectric’s tutorial about doing a raster cut to make more efficient use of roughing or clearing cuts.

By far the most time-consuming part is the ball nose bits and the 3-D finishing paths. I’m not sure if there’s any way to make these more efficient. For really detailed stuff like this file I’m assuming I’m going to have to go down to at least 1/8" if not 1/16" bit size. How fast can I go with a bit like this? Using cherry wood and less than 1/8" cuts. I think the default is 50" a min. for 1/8" and half of that for a 1/16". Not sure if this can be increased or not?

I would welcome any suggestions on feed rates or useful tricks and tips for speeding up the process. I’m not sure how accurate the time is in the Vectic’s software, but this one was coming out to about 7 hours! Yikes!

Thanks for any input!


Finishing passes take off very little material at a time. I run mine at 180 ipm but that’s a tapered ball mill. I’d think 100-120 with a 1/16” should work fine.

Thanks Justin. I too am using the tapered ball mills, but would hate to break one. Expensive bits.