First Pass Slower Feedrate

I’ve had this issue with wood, but it really became obvious this weekend with aluminium. I was cutting out rings that needed two circles with tabs, total cutting time several hours using default X-Carve feed and DOC. I found the first pass of each circle was better running around 40%, but then I could run at 200% . This first pass speed could either be directly specified, or stated as a percentage of feedrate. I was having to hand out and wait for it to go from one circle to the next, or cut the feedrate back down while it was still cutting tabs on the first circle, to ensure it didn’t try and do the first pass of the second circle at 200%.

Can you explain why the first pass is best at 1/5 the feed rate as successive passes?

The Depth Per Pass is 0.003 in , standard Easel settings for Aluminium. That means that any variance in the metal, clamping, wasteboard etc, or if zero isn’t quite right, the amount of material removed in the first pass can be greater than the 0.003 in . After the first pass, it is leveled, and so subsequent passes only remove 0.003 in. I’ve had issues with not flat wood before, and dealt with it, but due to the small DOC used for Aluminium, it made the problem more obvious.

You could set the start height slightly higher and do an extra pass or two (or more) to allow for this variance.

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Another option would be to start the carve at x per min feed rate and after it has made the initial pass abort the carve then change to 5x per min feed and start again using last home.

I suggest you move on from Easel if you’re getting into cutting aluminum. You’ll have more control over the toolpaths and cutter engagement. You’d be able to do 50x that DOC with an adaptive toolpath. Think about how you’re wearing that .003" tip of your endmill. The rest of it never gets used.
I know some applications don’t require the precision, but a facing operation might be your best bet.

Do you know if Vectric Aspire offers adaptice clearing tool path option?