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Help with 3D engraving

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    Posted: 09 March 2017 at 8:59pm
comrades, could use a little help with 3D engraving. I am attempting to do some fairly fine engraving in pewter as an alternative to acid etching. The largest letter forms are only .375 high with very fine serifs. I tool pathed the work with a .25â^… - 30Âo engraving bit with a .01 flat. My problem is that I cannot get sufficient depth. The result is a very shallow & narrow cut at the thickest areas of the letter forms and nothing in the narrower areas. I am using 3D Engrave with surface set at the top of the plate. Letter outlines at Z=0. The depth of the cut should be sufficient for the bit to reach the font inboard & outboard outlines in a single pass. I thought that my surface calibration may have been inaccurate and made a manual correction but still the same result. When viewing the tool paths in "front" view I can see that only the deepest parts of the cut are below the surface of the plate which matches the resulting cut. I must be misunderstanding some of these settings. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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    Posted: 09 March 2017 at 9:01pm
That tool definition should have read .25" Diameter, 30 Degree with a .01" flat
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 7:27am
does it show the toolpath going al the way into the serifs? When you f9 is the whole letter purple?
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 8:54am
F9 shows red on my screen and appears to be an inverse corollary to cut depth. The narrow serifs are completey obliterated by the red blob which it narrows to a hairline the widest areas. I have some screen grabs which I will try to post in anther reply. Many thanks.
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 9:32am
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 9:40am
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 10:28am
The way I have it set up, purple is engrave, red is entry/exit, blue is routing offset exterior, dk blue is routing offset interior, fill is maroon, etc. I'm not sure how many are defaults, I changed some colors like the background isn't glarring white, its now gray. Makes it easier to stare at all day.
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 11:01am
you need to have INTERNAL checked.
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 11:11am
But having INTERNAL checked shouldn't give you what you have there. The toolpath looks correct until you f9 it and then it looks like it gives you the opposite of what you want: plunging when it should be raising and not filling the fattest part of the stroke.
But then that's not what you get whe you run it? hmmmm.

All my V tools are "Engrave 2" not "Engrave" but I dont know what difference that would make.
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 11:12am
*EXTERNAL
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 11:27am
Thanks for your recommendation. It brings up another question– my intent is to have the lettering recessed and so INTERNAL is where I began. However, when INTERNAL is checked the tool path runs around the outside of the letter form- not an intuitive result to my thinking. I must be mis-interpreting something here. I'll give it a try.
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    Posted: 10 March 2017 at 11:33am
Yes! Thank you. Something does seem amiss. When the piece runs that widest parts of the letter are barely scored by the bit, serifs and other narrow elements are not touched at all. It appears at a glance that the surface calibration is not correct but the result does agree with what I see in the "front" view: most of the cutting is happening in the air.
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    Posted: 13 March 2017 at 1:48pm
Originally posted by Quibble Quibble wrote:

Thanks for your recommendation. It brings up another question– my intent is to have the lettering recessed and so INTERNAL is where I began. However, when INTERNAL is checked the tool path runs around the outside of the letter form- not an intuitive result to my thinking. I must be mis-interpreting something here. I'll give it a try.

This wouldn't cause your first problem/result but if 3D and INTERNAL are both checked it would cut outside the letter if you had the rectangle (or any shape) around it selected also. (letter is red, rectangle is blue when selected.)If just a letter is selected INTERNAL and 3D SHOULD give you a carved letter like you want.
Do you have one vector on top of another?
What if you draw a .0625 x 1" rectangle and engrave that or try a letter from somewhere else. What happens then?
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    Posted: 13 March 2017 at 3:12pm
Ok, I think I have it sorted out...
The only geometry selected to tool path was the letter form. The problem is that Enroute does not allow 3D engraving with an engraving tool (go figure). 3D engraving can only be done with a conic. I tried cheating the tool definition accordingly and all of the inverted backwards anomalies I was experiencing disappeared. Internal is internal, external is external. The depth issue resolved itself with one caveat- minor in this case. Since the actual tool has a .010 flat and I defined it as a conic the tool depth calibration is off by a small amount and consequently cuts slightly wider than than a "real" conic would. I'm experimenting now with getting a clean cut without excessive machining artifacts. I'm not there yet.




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    Posted: 20 March 2017 at 9:03am
"go figure" haha

All my Vs are Engrave 2 (not Engrave)and I use them for 3D engraving. I thought that might be the problem though I'm not sure why it would be.
That should fix the problem dealing with the 'flat'
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