Multi-cam tool marks

I don’t think there is a 3D surface here. (Inb4 all surfaces are 3D)

I think this is a 2.5d part. Just a cylinder with a (very large) counterbored hole inside.
I think all round faces are perpendicular to the bed of the machine and the flat face on top is parallel to the bed.

The line / damage is from waste material being compacted into the bottom of the slot. Use an upcut end mill to cut out the part then a downcut end mill to trim. I get great results doing that. As a bonus, run a third pass to cut through the tabs (if the part has enough surface area for the vacuum to hold it down).

What kind of license do we have for Vcarve? Is it just the one license we have on the server? Or is it like our license for Solidworks where we can load it on our own computer? I use Amana bits and none of them are listed in the tool database. Amana provides all of the recommended settings for use with CNC routers and I would rather maintain my own tool database

That’s correct Jacob, thanks for the clarification

Thanks for the tips. Part does not have enough surface to cut the tabs with a pass. I ordered some x-acto chisel blades to cut the tabs, but I’m always open to other suggestions!

If you’re just making one a chisel is plenty fast enough but I like a flush trim router bit if you have a couple to go through.

I don’t have the correct terms for the licenses but it’s like this:

We have a license for DMS that allows full functionality on the jump server, including the generating of toolpaths. Our DMS installation is (for obvious reasons) locked down and we can’t make persistent changes to the tool database. Allowing that would soon result in a much worse situation than the one that exists.

We have licenses for “home” versions that are fully functional except that they won’t generate toolpaths. With a home installation, we can obviously make all the changes we want to our tool databases, however…

The DMS installation and “home” installations are different versions of VCarve, so the files created at home are incompatible with, and can’t be opened by, the copy at DMS.

As for the tool databases (home versus DMS), there is no way to simply “open” a private tool database and use the settings from that. VCarve only has an “import” function which merges the tools in a database with the ones in the DMS installation. Due to the “locked-down” nature of the DMS installation, such an import will not work (or at least won’t be persisted - I haven’t dared to try it).

So given all of the above, your only reasonable option is to use the DMS copy of VCarve to create your entire job (can be done using Remote Desktop), pick standard library tools and tweak their settings to match your bits.

IF feeds/speeds are stored in the VCarve file (meaning your project file) and don’t depend on a particular tool database AND we get the installation versions in sync, then theoretically projects created at home could be opened at DMS and toolpaths generated with no friction.

I build myself a second router table (with two router insert plates and two routers) specifically to keep a flush trip bit always adjusted and at the ready for this purpose.

1 Like

It sounds like the “home” version of VCarve we have access to is of limited use. However, Vcarve is not insanely expensive (not like Solidworks, anyway). If I purchased a copy, I assume I could generate my own toolpaths and copy them up to jump server where I could access them from the Multicam. True?

Yup, but be aware that the least expensive version is only good for a 24x24" working area. Larger than that and you’ll need the $700 version. For that money I’d rather just RDP to the jump server.

DMS has (or at least had in 4Q19) both an oscillating tool with saw blade and a trim router in the brown Multicam cabinet for use with CNC work. The oscillating tool is wonderful for quickly clipping tabs to get a piece off the table. Trim router yields cleaner edges but must be used from the back side of the work. Using both can be advantageous on some projects such as cutting large projects into manageable sizes, flipping the parts, then using the router to cut the rest and clean up the others.

1 Like

I typically make 2 toolpaths for such work. First cuts almost all the way thru with a small offset. The second toolpath is 1 pass full depth and zero offset. I find this eliminates the “layer” lines and since the bit is still cutting on both sides on the final pass, it seems to help with bit flex. I notice in the picture that there is a vertical indention that is full depth and I suspect that means the cuts are stopping at that point and the indention is the tool exit path. You can avoid that problem entirely if the part arrangement will allow you to use the “Leads” option (to right of “Ramp” on the toolpath screen). A small amount of circular lead both in and out results in tool entry & exit marks being made in the waste area and not on your part.


The only drawback with full depth passes is the cost of endmills with 3" of cutting depth

And then there’s that! But you can still do it if you have a bit long enough for 3" cuts even if the cutting height is less. Just make multiple deep passes at somewhat less than the cutting height of the bit per pass. That way you reduce the number of layer lines to deal with.


Say what? Did they change the licensing model again?

It’s always been that. I’ve had a personal copy of the cheapest version of VCarve (Desktop) for years and that’s the biggest I can do. If I want larger, I have to use the DMS version of VCarve which is Pro.

1 Like