Long carvs

How long can you pause the X-controller? I have a carve that is 21 hours long and I do not whish to let the machine run all night. I have been researching but cannot find a definitive answer. Anyone help please.

As long as your USB Power Management system isnt setup to reduce power during inactive PC, and power to the CNC controller is on - in theory indefinitely.

For long carves I recommend you perform a Homing sequence first so you will have a known point as reference, in case you need to start again/redo some steps.

21hr long carve, how confident are you that the tool path required is efficient?
You could also, design depending, split up the carve in smaller jobs.

This is a 3D stl. file that I bought. I started a carve and when the carve reached 85% a thunder storm rolled through causing a power outage for about 30sec and the x-carve went off path. I am hoping the damage will be removed by letting the machine run the same carve again. I do have a homing sequence.
Thank you for your help HaldorLonningdal

An APC UPS would have averted this. You’d have over two hours of pure non-stop backup power…

Thank you

Will one of these power the spindle that long?

Yes it could, but ultimately it depends on which spindle and UPS is used.

What size APC, UPC is recommended to run computer, monitor, X-controller and X-Carve. Not all night, maybe a couple of hours.

I would size the UPS large enough to pause the CNC, power off spindle but maintaining PC/Controller power. Then you can resume carving once power come back on.

I dont have the answer “how big” tho :wink:

Add the wattage plus 10% and you should be fine. I would not share one with the spindle. You’ll probably need a separate one for that. If you’re using a DeWalt 611 then figure around 850 watts (once it has been running more than a minute). Do NOT restart the spindle on a UPS because of the inrush current (unless you figure that into your calculations). Personally I wouldn’t buy any other one than from APC, because other companies typically inflate their wattage figures.

I was thinking that as long as I have everything connected to the APC that the spindle would not have to be plugged into the APC.

If it’s not plugged into a UPS, then it’s not protected.

Spindle stop but feed continue, not good, break bit and loose steps.

I didn’t hear anyone say anything about dust management. Unless you have the vacuum on a UPS, it might cycle but come back. But, there may be a power transient so make sure your laptop or computer is on an UPS. The internet could also go down so that’s one reason I don’t use EASEL.

Since you are carving a purchased file, there might not be a way to easily split it up. Was surprised that only one tool was used for such a long carve. I use Vectric Aspire which breaks carving up based upon the tool you are using at the time. You can easily break up carving even when the same tool is used for two or more carving aspects. I do this all of the time so that carves are shorter. That way, you don’t have to sit and watch for hours and hours and you are less susceptible to power transients. If you use homing, you can even shut everything down and come back without loosing your place.

For awhile, I was having the machine simply stop in the middle of a carve. I fixed this by replacing the USB cable to the X Controller and by ensuring that when I started a carve, my laptop wasn’t doing anything else, like having an internet connection open, or trying to 3D print. Don’t know which of the two actually fixed the problem but guessing that between UGCS, the PC, the USB interface, and the X-Controller, there were too many interrupts and UGCS got out of sync.

Good luck. I still don’t trust everything enough to not be there watching.

Thanks Gary, I do use a roughing tool, pocket tool and a finishing tool. The finishing tool is the tool that takes 21 hours. A lot of detail in this carve. I am using a 1/32" tapered ball bit. I am also going to use PicSender, Easel cannot load the file because it is to large. I know that Easel has to be on the internet, dose PicSender?
Also I would like to thank everyone that has responded to my cries for help. All the information that everyone has passed on to me has been of great help and I have learned a lot. Thanks again everyone!!!

Once the design is loaded and viewing in Easel, internet access is no longer required.

Do you know if Vectric VCarve Pro has this feature?

Even the desktop allows for this.

You have to have the toolpaths visible and you can choose to save all visible toolpaths if they use the same tool.

Thanks Justin :slight_smile:

Yes, VCarve Pro generates separate GCode files for each tool.

I sometimes create multiple files for the SAME tool in order to reduce carve time for a single session. For example, if I’m making a panel of 4 coasters, I could just carve a tool feature into all 4 coasters during the same session. But, since VCarve estimates “carve time”, I can see whether or not the time for that one session exceeds what I’m willing to sit and watch. By having 4 files generated, one for each coaster, I can either run one file after another or just shut down and come back later. If you come back later, you do have to home X and Y and re-calibrate Z. But, that’s not a big deal.

I generally use at least 3 different tools for each carve - a straight bit for roughing and cutting out, a ball-end bit for fine finishing, and a V-bit for text of inlaying. I suppose that it would be possible to create a single file using all 3 bits, but it would require the machine to pause while you change the bit with the machine “live”. I have been successful changing bits with the machine live, but some have not been.

If you don’t have VCarve yet, they offer a free demo version. There is a pretty steep learning curve for Vectric s/w so you just have to watch the tutorials several times. They are excellent and I still refer to them when trying to learn/understand a feature I’ve not used before. Yes, it’s pricey, but it is excellent s/w.