Vcarve 3D Toolpath Questions

Finally took the plunge and bought Vcarve Desktop (and some model packages from Design and Make) and now I’m having fun figuring it out and trying to figure out just how “real” 3D carving is from a time perspective.

So here’s what I can’t figure out, for a 3D roughing pass, does it really matter the level of detail remaining?

Here’s a 0.25" roughing pass rendering:

Here’s a 0.125" roughing pass rendering:

Vcarve time estimates for the 0.25" are 1:05:10 (8000 mm/min rapids, scale factor 1) and for the 0.125" it says 4:36:47.

Is it really worth the extra 3.5 hours for the 1/8" roughing pass when the finishing pass should handle it? The finishing pass right now is a 1/16" ballnose bit but I might switch to a 1/8".

Is anyone aware of how to do multiple 3D roughing passes with different size bits? My search skills (rest machining) basically said that it isn’t supported but there’s a workaround in Aspire only.


I think I had the roughing ipm at 80 for both paths. I had finishing at 120 ipm so I might bump it up. I’ve got the single piece X and Xcontroller so it should handle it no problems. It shouldn’t break anything major even if it doesn’t work :slight_smile:

I’ll look into a tapered bit, I read a lot about them in my search for rest machining support so maybe I take the plunge (pun intended). :slight_smile:

I also realized the baseball diamond is almost a full depth cut in the middle so I need to adjust that model some considering I’m planning on some text in the middle.

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The 3D finish carve does not use the cut depth limit of the bit. It does it all in a single pass. So it may be powering through a full inch of material - Yikes!

It is assumed you will be making a rouging pass first. Which will do it in layers.

To speed things up use a larger bit with a higher stepover for the roughing 3D operation.
My go-to is a 1/4" downcut bit with a 40% stepover.

I got a linear Z…sitting in a drawer waiting to be installed. I’m gonna design out an adapter plate and cut it out at work probably this summer. I just need to get carving and selling more. I’m gonna go all out with the linear upgrade so I need the machine making $$$ before I go tell the wife I’m gonna spend a few hundred more to upgrade.

I’ve got 1/4" ball nose bits but the finishing pass time isn’t what is bothering me…it’s the roughing pass. I think I can minimize that by modifying some of the model heights. The project size is 11" x 24" so it’s a decent sized carve as well. I just wanted to see each of the pre-made assemblies from d&m carved out. A 1/4" roughing with a 1/8" ball nose will probably be fine. I compared previews of the finishing with a 1/16" and 1/8" and couldn’t see any difference in the rendering. I think they’re all scaled up enough to take a 1/8"…might even see what a 1/4" looks like.

Just getting my feet wet into 3D carving.

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For smaller carves I usually use a 1/4" or 3/8" ball mill for roughing, and have gone as high as 1/2" or 3/4" end mill. You could also use a really coarse roughing pass, then a moderately coarse finish with a 1/4" mill, and finally a true finish pass with the proper finishing mill. Probably overkill, but doable.

For a couple jobs I’ve done multiple finishing passes in different areas with different bits - Make offsets that cover all the flat / shallow areas and do those with a bigger bit, then finish the detail spots with a narrower bit. It takes more time to set up, but can cut a lot faster if you have a lot of smooth or relatively flat areas.

For example - The inside and outside of your “diamond” shape could just be done as a normal pocket clear. If you exclude all of that area from the rough / finish passes, but leave the contoured part in the lower middle, you’ll cut out a bunch of time. The flats around the beer mug and on the banners would be candidates for coarse finishing, and then just the banner edges, beer foam and handle would need a finer bit.

Thanks I’ll set what I can do.

I think compiling the individual models into the same design would give more flexibility. Those models are the entire assembly and, to the best of what I’ve seen, I can’t disassemble the models.

I’m still learning the program and enjoying it.

It’s been a while since I’ve used VCarve, so I’m not sure which features are available there. In Aspire you can create a vector outline and tell it to do a rough or finish pass within the bounds of that vector, so doing “spot areas” is relatively easy. VCarve may or may not have that option.

I know this is an old thread, but I’m hoping to get some advice from experienced vcarve users.
Background: My experience lies with solid modeling (Inventor, Fusion 360, a little solidworks) and a bit of vector stuff. My designs are typically more along the lines of robot parts, electronics enclosures, phone stands, etc. I like the CAM for Fusion 360 and HSM, I’ve used F360 and F-engrave with success for v-carving. My 3D stuff is basic (fillets, waves, ripples, “random” surfaces). I’ll never design a group of horses, but i thought I could carve some with vCarve.
I just started messing around with vCarve Pro as I’d like to try carving some 3D stuff (relief images). My problem comes when generating toolpaths. A couple of questions:

  1. Is there a way to generate dynamic DOCs? If I set a 3D roughing depth of cut to .125" and my model is .300", the roughing will only do two passes and stop at .25". That seems to be asking for trouble with a finish pass.
  2. Is there a way to build on a previous toolpath? In above scenario, if part of my model is .124" from the surface of my stock, the roughing pass will skip it. My finishing pass then has to plow through all of that material. I thought I could start with shallower depths and then build on that.
    3.Anyone willing to glance at this file and give me any pointers? I’m not actually planning on carving a large 3D horse relief, but I want to gain some experience using the software.
    EDIT: Based on the fact that I couldn’t upload the .crv, maybe it’s just the size of the model that makes it estimate 21hrs? Is that typical?
    Anyway, here it is on google drive:

I really got vCarve because I am a teacher, and my students always want to add 3D relief elements to their designs. Their designs are much smaller.