Two Stage Carve

Good morning all :slight_smile:
Am I right in thinking that you still have to make 2 separate projects in Pro to do a 2 stage carve - ie cut out a shape with a large bit on one project then change bits and engrave some letters on said shape with a v bit?
Ive read lots on this but Im sure Im missing something…
This seems to make the “add detail bit” function redundant?
Thanks in advance

Hi Garry !

For an engraving and cutout, it’s a better practice to perform the engraving and then cut it out… i do something similar here with these dog trays, although there is an added step for the pocket… IF you are engraving with a V-Bit then you might also want to surface the workpiece on the CNC before the engraving. But you can see the multi stage carve process using multiple workpieces and the “use last position” when you start a carve… You’d need to re Zero the Z when you do the bit swap though…

Not really, if you are making a design where lots of material needs to be removed from pockets, you can use a large endmill and a smaller one or a large (or small) endmill with a V-Bit.

It is true that if you want a straight cut out then you will have to remove that from the workpiece where any V-Bit is being used and place it in a workpiece of its own.

If you were to allow the V-Bit to do an outline cut out, your piece would look similar to the image below from an edge-on perspective.

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Brandon Parker

Hi Guys!
I feel like a complete fool - after watching Seth’s video I realised what I was missing! I thought I had to make 2 projects to do the separate bit passes. I completely missed the tiny (on my laptop screen) arrow in the bottom left corner next to"workpiece" text to make 2 workpieces on the same project.
Now I can see how the 2 bits work (thanks Brandon) individually. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain to a complete noob :slight_smile:

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Now I’ve got to this next stage… is there a way to “ghost” the first workpiece over the second?
By that I mean I have a shape on workpiece one and I need to align the text (on workpiece 2) in exactly the right pace. As the 2 designs are in effect separate would it mean temporarily copying over onto one workpiece, aligning, then deleting?
Thanks in advance!

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Yes. The copy paste will work. I tend to design it all in one and then keeping the master untouched as a reference I then make duplicates and delete stuff off of those duplicate workpieces

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Got it - many thanks Seth

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Just be careful with copy/pasting; make sure the object will be in view in the design window. On occasion, the pasted object will not be placed in the original position that it was copied from on the new workpiece. You can always change the coordinates if it gets pasted into the wrong location though… :slight_smile:

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Brandon Parker

Thanks Brandon - I discovered that one thanks! I pasted something in 3 times thinking it wasn’t pasting in and ended up with 3 iterations outside the view area!

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Im progressing but can I just clarify - on a 2 stage carve does the “use last position” recall the X, Y, and Z positions or Just X and Y?
I homed, set the front left corner and surface height and saved as new position and did the rough carve.
After the first roughing has finished and I’ve returned to work zero, can I jog the Z axis up to change the bit?
and when I’ve swapped the bit do I reset the z height and use last position or use new position?
I’m sure this is so simple but I spent 4 hours today and still didn’t get a good carve.
The first roughing pass all look good but X, Y and Z all seem to be off after swapping the bit.
Thanks

If you are making a bit change you will need to re zero the z axes and if the xy have not changed you will need to use new position.

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If the X and Y are off after a bit change then you likely moved the machine accidentally during the process. Check that $1=255 in the GRBL settings. Also, if you are using an X-Controller, did you set your dip-switches correctly when assembling the X-Controller?

Capture

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Brandon Parker

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I must admit I find it difficult to change the bit without moving the router. I maybe am overtightening the bit therefore need more force (inducing movement) to undo. Practice,practice. practice…
Im still intrigued though - does “use last position” go to previous X,Y and Z or just X and Y?
Thanks

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I think that if you go to machine > edit machine and check the box for probe, then those screens will update to 2 seperare screens. One for x,y and then a 2nd one for z… and you don’t have to actually use a probe… you’ll have an option for z of probe, use current position(paper method) or use last.

But if probing is turned off, then I think you’ll only get one screen for x,y,z and in which case, the use last would reuse all 3

Ah thanks Seth - that explains it, I dont have a probe so Im using the paper method.
Tomorrow I will check the box for probe and do a manual z set.
As I kept using the same point (in soft pine) to set the z axis I think I may have been creating a low point - all good learning!

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If you do not have a probe set up, do not check the box for using a probe.

Also, if you find it easy to move the machine when it is just sitting there waiting at the Work Home position then you definitely should check what I mentioned above. It should take a significant force to move the machine when those two things are set correctly.

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Brandon Parker

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My last statement was wrong… I feel like there used to be a 2 stage screen to set zeros, but it appears that there is only a single stage… which is pretty silly IMO

IF you use a seperate gcode sender,then you can set the X,Y,Z independent of each other. The Probe feature will still set all 3 at once, whether the probe is used, or the paper method is used…

You’ll definitely want to setup the Torque Locking as Brandon hand mentioned prior regardless. Here is that same process he mentioned ,but in a video format…
How to fix X-Carve Lock Motors Fault For Stress Free Bit Changes - YouTube

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