I’ve been using Carbide Create (the free version) for a short time, and very quickly I noticed that the gcode files it’s producing are enormous, for the (lack of) complexity in the toolpaths.
For example, I drew a circle of radius 0.78125 inches, then made a toolpath for a pocket 0.090 inches deep, cutting 0.040 inch per pass (so two full-depth passes and one shallow finishing pass.) The tool diameter is 1/4 inch and stepover is 0.125 inch (50%.)
The resulting gcode is 973 lines long, which seems INSANE for such a simple toolpath. Examining it reveals that it’s not circles or even arcs at all (i.e. G2 or G3 is not used once) but rather a zillion tiny little linear cuts to approximate a circle. Srsly?
G0X3.9779Y1.9780Z0.5000 G1Z-0.0900F10.0 X3.9765Y1.9794F100.0 X3.9732Y1.9838 X3.9700Y1.9907 X3.9690Y1.9960 X3.9689Y2.0030 X3.9694Y2.0067 X3.9702Y2.0100 X3.9712Y2.0125 X3.9732Y2.0161 X3.9748Y2.0185 X3.9776Y2.0217 X3.9800Y2.0239 X3.9823Y2.0257 etc.
Also the precision seems to be weirdly off. Notice the start point in the above snippet is X = 3.9779 and Y=1.9780 inches. In CC the circle I drew was centered on X = 4.000 and Y = 2.000 (typed values, not just clicked or snap-to-grid.)
This error doesn’t seem to be big enough to be explained by tool radius or something like that, but it’s also way too big to be explained by unit-conversion rounding (e.g. inches to mm and back again?)
Any thoughts on what’s going on here? I’m curious whether Carbide Create Pro has the same (apparent) lack of precision and/or arc usage in its gcode.
Is this a post-processor issue? I’ve got GRBL selected but maybe I should be using something else? (If so, what?)
BTW, I’m posting this here instead of asking the Carbide 3D people because I’m also looking for recommendations for simple-but-accurate 2D design software (also inexpensive as possible.) Some of the other solutions (e.g. VCarve, Fusion360) seem far more complex than I need. I like the simplicity of CC but not if it’s going to risk making the 1F controller freak out by processing 133,000 lines of code just to cut 49 small pockets (and position them inaccurately.)