View Full Version : Important Note on Maximum Cutting Depth for your Bits

11-06-2007, 03:18 PM
We would like to clear up some confusion on the maximum depths allowed for certain bits (specifically the carving and cutting bits). The maximum cut depth as stated in the Operator's manual is 1" for the straight 1/8" cutting bit. The maximum carving depth for the 1/16" tapered carving bit is 3/4" because that is the length of the sharpened flutes. This max depth rule applies to all bits; you cannot carve deeper than the length of the sharpened cutting surface. If you program the project to go deeper than 3/4" with the carving bit you will most likely damage your machine or bits since the stress on the machine increases exponentially when the bit is not cutting.

11-29-2007, 10:51 PM
just a hair smaller than 3/4". a 0.75 carve region leaves a 1/32" or so at the top of the board that it rolls up instead of cutting. noticable diff in sound when in that area. took my board aout and planned it some more thinking i had it too thick but it was looking for a 3/4" board measured from the top. maybe set carve regions that carve all the way through a little less than
0.75". just a heads up for ya all.


well maybe not. i just went to work on the file and noticed one of the carve regions was set at 1"..hmm it cut it but i think that might have been the one that rolled the top up instead of cutting.

04-07-2008, 07:49 PM
The new restriction in the 1.126 project director that does not allow pattern depths greater than .8 is a problem. I completely agree that a warning to the user is in order, explaining the issue about the cutting depth of the 1/16". However, there ARE some legitimate reasons for allowing a full 1" depth.

- imagine a 2-pass cutting project. In the first pass, the drilling/cutting bit is used to clear out gross quanities of material and in the second pass, the carving bit is used to apply detail. In this case it doesn't necessarily matter that cutting pattern ends at a place that might be below what used to be the surface of the wood, because only the tip and part of the cutting area will ever contact wood.

- I have several patterns that are derived from scanned objects (not the carvewright scanner but a 3D laser scanner). In order to recover real-world dimensions, I may have to use a depth in excess of .8 in conjunction with a height value that scales the samples, even if no sample in the pattern causes the bit to sink down below the .8 mark.

- the machine-integrity argument only holds so much water. Recall that when a pattern is cut with the carving bit, it does not bore down to the depth of the first sample and the "slice" it's way through the model from left to right. It takes off material in increments of approximately 1/16" at a time for each scan-line of the pattern. Thus in a pattern that causes the carving bit to extend to it's greatest extent, even if it does so at the very edge of an unfeathered pattern (i.e. one with vertical walls), by the time the cutting bit reaches that depth, all the material has been cleared away by the successive passes at shallower depths. I know this to be the case because ALL of my patterns so far do this. It's true that the vertical walls will have an angle to them, due to the fact that conical cutting bit has intruded upon them on the way down, but it does not hurt the machine. Again, I know this because every pattern I have does this.

By all means give the user a warning at depths greater than .8", but do NOT prevent those of us, who are trying to do innovative work with the machine and have done enough research to know how to use the pattern mechanism safely, from using the last 20% of the machines dynamic range when cutting. If I sound angry or over-worked about this, it's because I took a break from working with the CW machine for personal reasons for over a year now and was looking forward to coming back to it with lots of ideas for interesting projects. What I found was that my entire library of carefully designed two-sided projects are now now longer usable.

And BTW, I called and asked a software support person about this issue and specifically asked, if legacy projects would be modified by being opened in the new version of the software (in other words, I know I can't add patterns with depths greater .8, but I was hoping that it would leave my old projects alone). He told me that they would not be modified, which is specifically not true. The very first thing that happened with I opened one of my existing projects, was that a dialog came up and told me it was modifying my project to conform to the .8" rule.

The bottom line for me is this: I have many projects with patterns inserted with depths in excess of .9" that have never damaged my machine, even after many iterations. I and others like me know how to use the machine safely. There is no need for your mission of protecting/educating users from bad usage to prevent those of us who know how to use it safely from doing so.