Toolpath difference between BN and tapered BN

I experience the most interesting things sometimes and they are almost always self inflicted. Yesterday I experienced problems with UGS platform and had to switch to UGS classic.

Experience: I set the JVM to use 4G of memory… well, my laptop only has 4G of memory and you know what that means… My ornament had been carving for 6 hours (with 10 more to go) when I came back to see the progress. The carriage would sometimes stop and sit there a few seconds before moving on. The JVM had used up so much memory, the system had started paging and nearly become unresponsive. That doesn’t explain why it took so long to carve, tho.

It took about 15 minutes for things to respond, but I finally got the carve cancelled and the bit back to zero (so I could restart and re-use what had been done already). I looked thru Vcarve and saw I had selected a 1mm ballnose bit instead of the intended 1mm tapered ballnose. Hmmm. I made the switch and moved the speed up to 120 from 100. The estimated carving time went from 6 hours down to 15 minutes.

I can’t image the difference of 20 could have that much effect which means the toolpath from a standard 1mm and tapered 1mm is quite a bit different (exact same parameters such as stepover and such). The toolpath file is smaller and loaded much quicker into UGS.

Now my UGS platform works with the new tool path and it’s already caught up to the progress from the last carve in about 5 minutes. It’s funny how a seemingly little difference can make such a huge difference in time.

Where would one want to use a standard BN instead of a tapered counterpart? The only thing I hate is having to waste material and so much time in learning this stuff. lol