Vcarve and rotary

After having difficulties carving a sculpture on rotary I decided to scale back and just design a simple file with easy geometry to check measurements and so on.
It has been quite disappointing, to say the least.

I frankly want to blame Vcarve here, I think the software might not be up to the task, or is it me?

There are a lot of unfinished areas.
There are tool marks left from the roughing tool path.
The round base is oversized by 0.9mm.
The cuboid is oversized by a similar amount.
The truncated cone has a lot of tool marks from the roughing tool path.
The Cylinder on top is oversized by about 1mm.

It appears that most areas just got touched by the roughing tool path, the oversizes areas would make sense then, I had the machining allowance of the roughing tool path set to 0.5mm

It looks like Vcarve did skip a lot of areas in the finishing tool path.

I roughed out with a 6.35mm end mill.
Finishing tool path 6.35mm ball end, then tapered end mill R1mm.

I used the touch probe to set the Z after every tool change, so that should not be the problem.

Here is the VCarve file:

Rotary test cut.crv (15.4 MB)

I would appreciate any ideas on what went wrong and how to have VCarve finish the whole model.

I’m not sure of the reason for your animosity toward VCarve, but I suspect it may be misplaced. I have rendered the milling preview for your file on my machine, and VCarve does not appear to have any issue with the defined tools or toolpaths. It also does not appear to have “skipped” anything of note.

How are you probing? And how are ensuring consistency in probing between bit changes?

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On the rotary machine block with the 1F probe. I use a constant offset then to arrive at the cylinder axis. I don’t think that is the problem.

I do not change the X or A axis at tool changes. The 1F stays on.

I agree that VCarve does not show anything unusual in the preview. However, the result seems different from the preview.

Many thanks for looking at the file!

Having results that differ from the preview usually indicates something lost in translation. Most often, this points to an issue with machine settings, material set-up, probing, or a bit mismatch — using a bit other than what was defined in the software, or incorrectly defining bit parameters in the software. We could also add post processors to that list, but it’s my understanding that others are using the rotary PP successfully.

Wish I could be more help.

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I was very careful with the carve and I think I can exclude

Material setup,
bit mismatch

Probing Z is very consistent, A and X are unchanged.

The more I think about it the more I am sure it is Vcarve.

Just playing around with different sets of tools creating different toolpath. The finishing toolpath seems to ignore some areas. However, those areas change depending on the tools I chose.

I think Vcarve rotary is probably somewhat neglected.
Maybe there are not enough users.

Rotary is an illusion. The radial model is “unrolled” into a planar model and processed like any other single-sided 3D carve. You can actually see this in action while you run a preview.


Different tools for the finishing tool part. I used 6.35mm end mill, followed by a 6.35mm ball end, followed by a 0.5mm tapered ball.

Better but not perfect.

Still impressive how precise the CNC is.


I appreciate all these postings concerning the rotary attachments and capabilities with the buildbotics so to speak controller my question here is for the rest of us to learn more of others can post pictures or videos or explanations of what they are doing with their rotary so we can learn more grab nuggets from you thank you