I am doing a lot of 3D carving. I use a cheap 1/4" two-flute spiral bit for my roughing passes. The cuts aren’t amazing but it works. Has anyone tried a better, dedicated roughing bit for this type of work?
I’m told (by guys who run industrial super machines) that those bits can cut 2-3 times their diameter per pass, no problem. Not sure if my little X-Carve can push that hard but it sure would save me time to get a bit that can remove a lot of material quickly for my 3D carves.
Here’s a video of the roughing pass of a dinosaur head in mahogany using a cheap carbide 1/4" 2 flute spiral, just for reference;
Because the X-Carve isn’t a 10 ton behemoth, the general guidance we users have come up with is to keep the cut depth half of the bit diameter or lower. Even when stiffened, the machine generally won’t support much more than that because of spindle power, belt drive, and lack of stiffness.
As for Y axis bracing, I made 3 braces for each side and integrated a mirrored acrylic belt dust shield in the design. It’s nice and stiff and works well for me. Y Axis Braces and Belt Dust Shield