Multi Stage Cut

I think the 2 stage cut is really great, what if I need multi stage cut. What if I have both large area to cut as well as very fine detail to cut? In this case it would be preferable to use multi stage, using a large bit for large bulk area removal and progressively finer bits to address the areas of fine detail only.

There are definitely times when this is needed, how can this be accomplished in an efficient manner? Clearly simply running the operation again with a fine bit could produce cut times in the hundreds of hours unnecessarily. An example would be bulk removal with a 1/8 bit and then going back and doing fine work with a 0.3mm bit, it might be advantageous to go from 1/8" (3.175mm) to 1.2mm then to .8mm then perhaps even to .5mm before trying to cut with .3mm.

Having implemented 2 stage cutting successfully, how difficult would this be to implement? Is there a way to SIMLUATE the larger bit as though it has finished it’s pass, then follow up with an actual cut on a ‘finishing’ bit. It appears that this would allow 2 stage cutting to produce this effect as mentioned in another thread one could simply run the first 2 stages, then set the first stage to then be the previously completed finishing stage, Simulate new rough cut and actively run the new finishing bit.

You can “cheat” a little in Easel… Let’s do a three-stage carve, as an example, first using a 1/4" bit, followed by a 1/8" bit, then a 1/16" bit.

Have your completed project open, and create a duplicate work piece. In the first work piece, set up a two-stage carve, using the 1/4" bit for the first stage, and the 1/8" bit for the second stage. In the second work piece, again set up a two-stage carve, but this time use the 1/8" bit for the first stage, and the 1/16" bit for the second stage. Then, when you’re actually performing the carve on your machine, use the first and second stages from the first work piece as your actual first and second stages, and the second stage from the second work piece as your actual third stage.

This isn’t a perfect solution, because Easel leaves some extra material around your design’s edges on the first stage of a work piece for the second stage to clean up (creates cleaner edges on the actual carve). Since the second stage of your second work piece (in actuality, your third stage) will be expecting some of this left-over material (that won’t really be there because it was cleared in the second stage of your first work piece), it will spend some time just “air carving”, and will really only clear away material in tight corners or pockets smaller than the bit chosen for your second stage (in our example, 1/8").

If you really want control over this, you can move out of Easel into another CAM program, such as Fusion 360. Of course, you’re looking at a learning curve if you choose to do this.

So I can do a cut with Only the second stage?

I mean I run the first job, page one with stageA: 1/8 inch bit, stageB: 1/16 inch bit.

Then I load the second job, page two, with stageA: 1/16 inch bit, stageB: 1/32 inch bit. StageB runs but stageA is not run at all. The massive area that was originally cut by 1/8 inch bit will NOT be done by the 1/16 inch bit.
Is this correct?

Second job, Page two: If I ‘did’ run the first pass (stageA)1/16 inch bit, it would take a long time and leave a tiny bit that it ‘could’ have gotten for the purpose of good finish. It would have done this because it knows that it is a Rough Cut pass. It is only these small areas that the Second Job, Page two, stageB 1/32 inch bit will air carve.
Do I understand all of this correctly?

On my Second job, Page two, how do I tell easel->carvey to only actually do the finishing bit work and to ignore the first pass with the 1/16 inch bit.

I think you’ve basically got it, but I do want to make some clarifications…

Yes. After you click “Carve” in Easel, at some point it will ask you which pass, roughing or detail, you want to run. It doesn’t actually “know” if you’ve run the roughing pass yet or not (in fact, it should give you a message to that effect when selecting the detail pass).

This is correct, but your last sentence of that second paragraph seems a little odd to me, because both of those operations take place in your first job, stages A and B. Your second job, stage B is your 1/32" bit, which should also avoid (basically) all areas already touched by the 1/8" and 1/16" bits (it’s actually avoiding all areas that Easel thinks would have already been hit by the 1/16" bit in your second job, stage A).

Sort’ve… If you were to run the second job, stage A after running first job, stages A and B, it would air carve almost your entire design (big waste of time), leaving a tiny little bit for second job, stage B to clean up. The reason second job, stage B will still air carve a little after running first job, stages A and B is because Easel will have pathed first job, stage B as a “final” (detail) operation, not leaving any material for the purposes of “finishing”. That’s why I said in my first post that the only things that second job, stage B will actually carve after running first job, stages A and B are sharp corners and pockets that couldn’t be done by your first job, stage B.

Same answer as to your first question - just select the detail pass after clicking “Carve” in Easel.

wow, that is very precise and clearly explained. Thank you. I think I have a functioning solution now : ) this should work well for me. I can use the easel/carvey “PCB” bits for this purpose, they range from 1.2 - 0.3 mm, i’ll start with 1/8 inch bit upcut (I have no downcut bits yet). This will give me all the detail I could want, save hundreds of hours milling with a .3mm bit (air carving) and allow me to use larger bits for the bulk of the work (protecting those fragile and expensive ‘pcb’ carbide bits especially from the fibreglass). As this relates to my previous post topic I’ll mention there I have a working solution as soon as I test this on tuesday.
THANKS!!! you’re so helpful man