Vcarve Pro setting questions


I’m currently just getting started in Vcarve Pro and have a few specific questions if anyone here is experienced with the program (please don’t suggest another program. I can only use VC Pro at my makerspace).

  1. Currently the shopbot will carve one part all the way. I want the shopbot to carve all the parts simultaneously. Another words do all parts level 1 (ex .09%), then all parts level 2 (ex: 18%). The reason is I want to try and get the cleanest surface cuts before wearing out the bit sharpness.

  2. What is the best way to reduce the feed speed. Currently our setting seems to be 4 in per, but it is still too fast. Maybe its running 4 in per sec not per minute? on long arcs it travels very fast, like 4x faster than I want it too.

I have other questions but will ask them once I hear back from some folks.

If I understand your question correctly, you want to cut down to a certain depth on all the parts and then make another pass over all the parts cutting deeper.

In Vcarve you can do this my selecting all your vectors on all your parts and doing a profile cut with the depth you want the first cut to be. Then create a second profile toolpath and select the same vectors again but this time set the start depth of the cut at the depth you stopped at on the first pass and the cut depth to the new depth you want to cut.

You can create as many profile toolpaths over the same vectors as you need

Example first pass cuts a profile over all parts to a depth of .15 inch

Then you make another profile pass over all the parts starting just slightly above where you stopped the first cut and cut down as far as you want the second pass to go

Then just keep creating new profile tool paths till you reach the full depth you need.

THEN, when all those profile toolpaths are created, when you save the tool paths to send to your machine, check each profile toolpath in the correct order, and then click the check box that says, “Save Visible Toolpaths To One File”

As for feed speed, make sure you are using the correct post processor when saving your files. If you cannot find a specific shopbot post processor, then look for gcode arcs inch. Otherwise, you may need to calibrate your machine. 4 inches per minute is way too slow for nearly anything I can think of. You will experience burning in wood, or melting/welding in other materials.

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Yeah It’s probably 4 inch per sec. I’ll be on the shopbot tomorrow and will check. I thought of setting up the passes as you suggested Allen, but it seemed a bit old school and thought the software might have a more simple radio button selection for doing layers rather than parts.

There could very well be a right and proper way to accomplish this. One quick e-mail to Vectric support with this question might yield an interesting answer. Every time I ask a question of them, the subtext of their answer is “DUH!” but the text is very informative and polite.

By the way @AllenMassey have you played with the new MOULDING toolpath in version 8.5? It is AWESOME. I played with it this afternoon instead of doing what I get paid for.

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Yes the moulding tool path is great. I have had so many needs for the two rail sweep it allows me to round over edges and even make bowls


Bowls is a great idea. Gonna try that some day.


I haven’t used Vcarve Pro much (yet) but I think I remember that the program stores the feed rate in the bit/mill definition. You may have to set up a custom bit/mill or change the feed rate on a standard one.

@LarryM, probably the easiest way to adjust feed rate is to “edit” the tool that has been “selected” from the database.

In the images above posted by @AllenMassey you’ll see next to the tool that has been chosen, there are two buttons, “Select” and “Edit”. Both will allow you to adjust feeds, depth per pass and so on, but there are important differences in why each is option is used.

Choosing “Select” allows you to select a tool from the database which will already have a bunch of ‘standard’ feed rates etc. changing any of these values here, will save those values in the master tool database.

If however you first “Select” a tool, and then use “Edit”, you can adjust all the tool parameters such as tool size, depth of cut, step over and so on, and these new settings will only be save in the current project (the master tool database remains unchanged).

As an example, when creating a job, I’ll regularly “Select” the 6mm end mill as my tool, but then use “Edit” to change the tool size to 6.29mm (the actual size of the cutting bit), I’ll then tweak the feed rate and step-over to suit the material I’m cutting. This means my database settings will remain unchanged (as will all the tool’s initial feed rate and step-over values), but each time I open this particular job, all my ‘tweaked’ settings are already set.

When making a new job that is very similar in cutting characteristics to something I’ve previously done, I’ll open the original file, select “Save As”, to save it as a new file, I then adjust the material dimensions to suit the new job and I’ll then delete all the unwanted drawing elements. I’m then left with a blank job that has all the feed rates, step overs etc that I already know to be appropriate for that type of material and I’m all set to begin anew…

Alternately, if I were to go and buy 50 new 6mm end mills, and I found that all of them were actually 6.29mm at the cutting tip, I’d go into the tool database and either change the dimension settings for the existing 6mm bit, or better still, I’d create a new tool, call it “6.29mm” and then copy all the data from the existing 6mm bit.

Hope this all makes sense. Let me know if you’ve any questions.


Hi David,

Yes, I’m just learning to use vcarve and setting properly without formal training. I’m noticing when I change the tool it sets new parameters that are not optimal. By correcting these I’m getting much better results now. I’ll be sure to ask more questions as they arise.