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X-Carve (example) won't utilize 1/8" bit for cuts and requires 1/16" or smaller

OK, so I don’t even know how to phrase this question to search for it, so if this is a topic that’s been covered numerous times before, my bad.

I’ve noticed time and time again on our carves that we’ll be forced to use a smaller bit for making cuts that I KNOW, for example, a 1/8" or 1/16" bit could reasonably make when hogging out excess material. The generated preview will show that details are missing and won’t carve, so we’ll swap between a 1/16" or 1/32" bit in the preview to try and find a happy medium with 1. getting the picture carved and 2. decreasing time to carve. At times, we’ll more or less be forced to use a 30-degree v-bit when I know that a 1/32" could get the job done, but the preview makes it appear that the 1/32" is too big to cut the detail. And if we can get the carve to work with a 1/32" bit, the carve duration will absolutely balloon above what I would consider an appropriate time (the different of 5 hours with a 30-deg or 12 hours with a 1/32", for example).

Is this some setting that I’ve missed somewhere, like step-over or something? While I have access to Aspire, I typically don’t use it to generate g-code but I have to feel that Aspire would have no issues setting up a carve to use the larger bits and carving correctly because let’s be honest… a 1/16 bit is NOT that large!

You can cheat and tell it you are using a 1/16" bit and use a 1/8". You will end up with a little bigger carving but you can leave your settings for 1/8" and just tell Easel you are using a 1/16" bit. It is cheating.

I haven’t considered that. May do a test run and see how it carves. Thanks for the suggestion!

I assume that this is just how Easel behaves and isn’t a setting that may be off in the g-code for the controller?

Correct. You will end up with a slightly larger carve because it thinks it is using the smaller bit but test it and see what you think.

I should also point out i do this with some text but if you have a complicated project you may need to go to a v bit.

Is´nt that something that could be achieved with two stage carving? For instance running 1/4-1/8" for roughing and 1/16-1/32" or V-bit for the details?

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That’s exactly right, but the issue is a little more lengthy. We had a large (20"x20") family tree carve a few nights ago. The trunk of the tree and a few other locations (like leaves) were able to be carved with the 1/8", however, there were many areas of the tree with a larger width than 1/8" that could have been reasonably carved with the 1/8" bit, however Easel did not recognize that these areas were capable of being carved with the 1/8".

So we went to the 1/16" for the detail pass… which should have reasonably been able to carve everything else on the picture, except once again, Easel determined that most of the remaining detail could not be carved with the 1/16"… which meant that we had to select the 1/32" bit for the detail pass, which tripled the carve time because it was carving not only the finest details, but also everything that the 1/16" bit did. First option was rough = 1/8" and detail = 1/32" for like 10 hours or second option was rough = 1/16" and detail = 1/32" for like 15 hours. We ended up using option three, which was rough = 1/8" and detail = 30-deg v-bit.

At this point, I really feel like Easel should have a three-stage carve option (rough, detail, and fine detail) because it really doesn’t seem to do a very good job of reasonably calculating what a bit is capable of carving, in my opinion. It’s almost like it has some built-in safety feature where if, for example, a line is 0.13" wide, it will not allow you to carve it with a 1/8" bit. Now that I think about it, I’ve actually had instances where I created lines to be carved and I’ve had to increase the thickness larger than, say 1/4" or else it wouldn’t let me use a 1/4" bit to carve it. I’d have to make the line be something to the effect of 0.31", and then it would it would do two passes to get the entire width carved. Doesn’t make sense to me…