Creating the right tool path

Good day everyone,
Let me start by saying I am using Vectric Aspire, I have a 1.32 inch thick piece of wood that I am trying to make a bathymetric lake chart with. I have 6 different levels for the depth and each level is 1/8th of inch high. When I create the toolpath for the first level I set it to cut a pocket from 0.0 to 0.125, the second level pocket is 0.125 to 0.25, the third is 0.25 to 0.375… you get the point I’m sure. So the total depth is only 0.75 if you add all the levels together but once I program the deepest level it says I am going to cut through because I am at 1.57 deep and the material is 1.32. How is this even possible that it double my depth cuts. I went back and programmed the cuts to 1/16th and it came out fine. I don’t know if this means anything or not but when I run the simulation each level looks like its a different thickness but I realized that the simulation isn’t always a great preview of the outcome. Any suggestions on what could be wrong or am I supposed to have a box checked off that isn’t? Thank you for any help you can offer.

If you have a topographical map of the lake that shows the different depths in a color gradient then you could import that into Aspire and create a 3d model of it. Then carve the entire depth map in one pass using a tapered ball nose bit and you would not have any sharp step down lines. They would all be smooth hills and valleys so to speak. You would probably need to use a photo editor to remove any unwanted text or boundary lines which could take you a while but in the end you would have an amazing finish product.

Otherwise, to use multiple depths of cut there is a setting for Start Depth and depth of cut on the tool path creation menu. After you have carved all of the lake surface to initial depth and you are ready to carve the next depth you would set your start depth at the initial depth and cut depth to the additional amount to cut. In other words, if the initial depth is 1/8 inch and the next depth is a total of 1/4 inch then your start depth would be 1/8 and your cut depth would be 1/8.

This can be a little confusing. If you like I can setup a peer to peer connection between your PC and mine and walk you through it while we are speaking on the telephone.


So the 2 numbers combined need to total the depth I want! Instead I was making it actually seem like it wanted to go 3/8 each time it cut a new layer. I think I understand now but just in case I actually cant fix it, then I will be happy to join you for a class on making this work. Thank you for your help!!

Yes that is correct. Your start depth will be the current depth of the carving where you will be starting your carve for the next layer. The cut depth is how much deeper the next layer will be. When you combine the two, it will be the actual depth of the current tool path when measured from Z 0. It sounds like you have it but if you need any help feel free to contact me any time.