MultiCam - The Next Generation

Continuing the Multicam Upgrade Project

Going to the Dogs will no longer be updated.

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  • New MultiCam Design Software *

Good news. @jast & @IanLee have finalized the paperwork needed to acquire VCarve version 11 for the Multicam. We can now begin working through the tool library and figure out what will be required in order to share tool settings with the authorized users.

The old workflow was for users to either:

  1. Sign-on via the jump server and use VCarve as a remote desktop application and design their job.
  2. Design their job in a CAD application of their choice and then goto step 1 above and import the DXF into VCarve for creating CAM tool paths.

The new workflow will not require using the jump server for design. Each user can download a full copy of VCarve for use on their personal computer. All design can now be done offline, while sitting beside a lake in the Swiss Alps that doesn’t have Internet reception. The workflow will continue untethered up until the point that the G-code needs to be saved. At this point the user will visit a designated DMS workstation where they will open the pre-created file and export the G-code for the job

We will be sharing a detailed workflow during the VCarve to MultiCam CAM class.

We are still waiting for the software and have not configured the new tool library, or figured out how we can share it with the user base.

Users who also use VCarve to drive other devices at DMS like PlasmaCam, Fusion Laser, Shapeoko, etc, will probably have a few more steps to follow.

On a different note, we are finalizing the design of the new dust boot and are optimistic it will provide a see through area for the cutter & hopefully float along the surface of the job. This could turn into to a working prototype with upgrades over time since we are trying to loc it down quickly.

If you have read this far, then here is the link for your free copy of VCarve. We will be providing an unlock license code in the following days. The key will lock your copy to the DMS CAM engine. You will be able to do everything except export G-code on your personal computer.

This software shows to be a evaluation version, but converts to an actual license when you provide the unlock code.

The download is roughly 1GB and is a Windows application. If you use a Mac then you need to follow your setup regarding running windows applications. Of course the software will be installed on graphics stations at the space for member use.

Note: You do not need to register at this point. There is a download as guest link at the very bottom of the dialog

We will be publishing a list of tutorials for self starters in the near future and will also be providing classes on VCarve basics for those members who best learn in a class room setting.


If you are a Mac OSX user and want to use VCarve on your machine you will need a copy of Windows installed, as VCarve is a Windows application. Windows can run under OSX like any other application. We don’t provide support for this, but we suggest you consider Parallels as the standard solution. You can learn more about this software at the following link,

My msgs were disappearing to the dogs, I guess.

VirtualBox has a version that works on Mac OS 10.12.6

Can anyone opine about the capability of VirtualBox’s free version to do the pending new CNC process?

Your question was answered on the other thread. Good luck.

The new VCarve 11 trial installed on top of V10 easily and looks pretty nice so far to me. Here’s the ‘Whats New’ video link :


** Latest Update 08/15 **

The minions were able to do a little testing last night. The objective was to begin documenting the changes and clarifying new process required to use the Multicam machine.

Although the Vcarve 11 upgrade has been acquired, we are still waiting for access. We expected it to be ready for tool library setup and testing this weekend, but no such luck. When it is released to us, we expect to be looking at one or two days of effort before it is ready for use. There is both a local and a cloud aspect to its use. The gcode machines in commons will have a full version, along with the NUC that is machine side. Each user will most likely have a copy of the library on their personal computer in order to create tool paths. The user will open their design file(with tool paths already created) on one of the DMS computers that has the unrestricted version installed in order to save the Gcode files that the Multicam requires.

With that said, we moved on to documenting the setup and running of a new job. We wanted to experience the new dog hole system and see how smoothly it performed. The job we ran was a test file that was two sided. It contained a nice mixed of 2-D geometry. In the end it was deemed trash, but served its purpose as a guinea pig piece.

Since this session was about primarily about written instructions, only a couple of pictures were taken. One discovery was that we needed a couple of more dogs. Eight dogs seems to be the magic number. Four on the table and four on the spoil board. Otherwise after engaging the vacuum, the CNC table dogs had to be moved to the sled(personal spoil board).

What is shown here is the the table, with a temp sled outfitted with its own dog holes, with the actual job aligned on it. You can see how the work piece is precisely indexed off of the machine home. The job’s corner is exactly 2",2" from machine Home 0. Remember we had to reuse the dogs from the table after the vacuum was engaged.

This work piece was removed from the sled many times when items were tested fitted. This happened with both side of the work piece and it always registered right back on the money. This means that if you are cutting a job and decide to make changes or add additional geometry, you can do it. It is great to be able to trust the indexing solution we now have. One use case will be it you have a job that would require a very long run time, you can break it up over multiple machining sessions.

We are pushing hard to get this back online as soon as possible as @mdredmond personal free time has pretty much vanished due to a new global IoT initiative at the office. Hopefully we will have this phase wrapped up this coming weekend after working though the Vcarve 11 tool library. At that point we can begin onboarding the users, in small groups, that were very current. Then setup classes for the other authorized users. The next step after this will be to roll-out courses for new users.


Question; will accessing vCarve from the jump still be an option for members that want to do that? I’m not keen to steal a windowsOS license nor pay for one just to continue using vCarve from my imac. I never had an issue remoting into the jump server from my mac at home via Microsoft remote desktop, and would be fine continuing to operate this way to prep my work before tying up the physical machine in-person

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We don’t know at this time, as this might be against the license agreement, or just too difficult for IT support. You can always use the software of your choice to create DXF files and then open them in VCarve to process the CAM. If you benefit from using the Multicam, purchasing a copy of Windows is a small price to pay. BTW, there is always the Shapeoko along with the free Carbon software that allows both Windows and OSX to CNC things.


I would recommend you saturate the dog holes in the main spoilboard with CA glue or some other similar hardening agent. LDF will wallow out pretty quickly and you will start to lose the precision you have created. That or embed something like a Delrin sleeve that is hard, but machinable.


the licensing for VCarve would allow the makerspace edition to be run, even from the jump, to allow you to design from the jump, but then required coming onsite for 1 of the 5 allowable workstation installs to run the CAM output.

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This issue certainly crossed our minds. The prevailing thought was to wait until a dog hole rounded out and then fill, and re-machine that position. In all honesty, this seemingly straight forward project has been anything but. At the point the rounding out issue came to our minds, we were already hearing “are we there yet?” from members. At the same time, we were reflecting on the monster undertaking we had committed to, and how many tens of hours of work were still left to achieve our original project goals.

We are using four dogs, two in each direction, in order to spread out the corner force.


Hopefully stressing the importance of being gentle during training will sink into the user’s mind. I expect you just spit your drink out laughing, but … I will say this, the farm boy in you would want a hickory stick hanging on the wall next to the machine as a gentle reminder to the wayward user.

We have been striving to keep the surface appearance looking nice in order to create maximum peer pressure on users to be careful to keep it that way.

With all that said, We are going to keep a close eye on this.

Please keep the comments coming as I’m sure we missed a lot of opportunities. Hopefully many can be added as we go.


Tentative plan for when they get wallowed out is to mill them oversize, then fill with thickened epoxy and mill that out to the original 20mm.

We’re going to hold off on that until I can sweet-talk Gougeon Brothers into an epoxy donation.


When the time comes, I recommend you consider boring those holes out with a dovetail bit. Create the toolpath with a LEAD, and you will better anchor the epoxy to the board. Same concept as bell bottom piers.


So basically cut threads?

No, cut a bell bottomed hole using a dovetail bit. If you use a “lead” both in and out instead of a “ramp” in the toolpath, you will plunge down the center of the existing hole, move to the inside of your new profile, make the circle, retreat to the center of the hole and retract the bit.

Leads are real handy things in case you haven’t been using them.


I got it. Bell bottom the hole. You must excuse @redmond as he is a city boy, through and through. No digging fence posts for him. :cowboy_hat_face:


Way OT: a late, great semi-relative of mine once held a patent for a bell-bottom pier construction technique. “Uncle” Myles wasn’t my actual uncle but he did become my step-grandad very late in his life.


Latest Update: Good news.

Vcarve Version 11 has been installed by @jast on a workstations and the MultiCam NUC. We are going to begin discovering kinks and working through them later this afternoon. There are still many open items to resolve with the software, but we are clawing our way to the finish line. Vcarve V 9.5 is still on the jump drive for design use until further notice. We are moving to V11.0 for CAM beginning today. We are hell bent on getting past all of this by the end of the weekend in order to maintain our release date.


@SWA Okay, okay you jokers. I was thinking of some sort of spiral ramp in where you lied to the machine about what bit was installed.