I had some trouble with this simple project. Rather than carve down in passes then leaving the tabs, it milled down about 1/2 way then started to do each side separately. Then on the two rectangles on the right, the same thing, only the two ends did not mill down. I had also programmed in two 1/8" slots on each end, and those slots did not mill at all. Any help would be appreciated.
I’ve not been able to cut eighth inch gaps, slots, or holes with an eighth inch bit… maybe bit size?
The sequence of milling drives me nuts, I have no idea there
its in your layering, click on the black line go to Edit then click on the drop down send to back. See sample file. Steve
Ideally, you normally want your outline cuts to be on a layer above pocketing operations that it surrounds that way it will cut as it is supposed to. To get a proper union of a pocket on the edge of an outline cut, you normally have to extend the pocket into the region where the outline cut will pass. This ensures that Easel toolpathing algorithm actually “joins” the two regions; otherwise it can leave a sliver of material between the two. Also, make sure everything is lined up such that the pockets overlapping underneath the outlines are centered to the outline; this just makes it symmetrical.
Also, as Wylie mentioned Easel will not cut out a 1/8" slot with a 1/8" bit. Due to tolerances, this has its problems. One thing to start doing early is to measure the width of the bit your are actually going to use for the carving. Typically, end-mills are nominally spec’d; i.e. a 1.8" bit will be 1/8" ± some tolerance. Normally, mine have always been undersized just a bit. So, if you measure your bit and it is 0.123" then you should enter that into the custom bit section in Easel to ensure the dimensions are calculated correctly for tool-paths. A 0.123" bit will be allowed to carve out 0.125" in Easel, but a 0.124" bit is not allowed to mill it out. Don’t just change the size to an arbitrary value to get it to carve though; this will produce incorrect results. If your nominally listed 1/8" bit is too large to mill out a 1/8" pocket then you will either have to increase the pocket size or use a smaller bit (you should still measure that one too … ).
Here is a copy of your project where I made the changes listed above as well as changed the bit size to 0.123". You can see that everything is carved correctly, but if you changed the bit size to 0.124" you will see the pockets on the two leftmost pieces disappear from the preview section.
Thank you Brandon and everyone else. Very helpful.
I was also wondering if the location of the tabs makes any difference. I moved all four tabs from where Easel located them originally. Is that why I would have seen the odd behavior cutting the outside lines?
Not really, tabs can go anywhere, but one thing to try to make sure of is that if you are milling down the outside edge then make sure your tab thickness is below that.