Depth of a V-Carve in Aspire

The V-Carve will likely be your first CNC created file.  The software does a great deal of the work and creates beautiful carves from fairly complicated designs.  Once your design is in vector form, you are ready to create a V-Carve toolpath.  It is important to understand what the software is doing for you and how it decides the depths of cut that were made.  In the simplest mathematical terms:

The depth of cut is a function of the distance between vectors and angle of chosen V-Bit.

Lets break that down a bit…

This design is what I am bringing into aspire.  This could be a font, design, scan, shapes, etc.


This drawing is trying to depict the distance between vectors.  You can see that the larger parts of the “K” have larger amounts of red.  The center of the K has to also meet up all distances between the “K”


Imagine the “K” design on its side.  The larger parts of the K design will get deeper carves.  The thinner parts of the K will get shallower carves.  This drawing depicts two parts of the “K” and also shows what happens when you choose different bits.  Generally we will always use a 60 degree bit, but there are 90 degree bits, 30 degree bits, etc.


This is a screenshot of the vector in Aspire

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.45.18

Here is a screenshot of the v carve toolpath being selected

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.45.37

This is the settings for our favorite V-Bit

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.46.23

This is our favorite V-Bit

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.54.12

Here is what happens when you try to carve too thick.

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.48.16

If you override the thickness, this is what would happen to your wood.

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.48.37

One solution for this is to find thicker wood.  For this example that is what I did.  You could make the vectors smaller as well.

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.49.30

This is the same file, but I changed it to a 90 degree bit.  It is a minor difference, but it also carves shallower.

Screenshot 2015-06-02 13.49.57

Another solution is to add designs to the middle of your vectors.  This makes the distance between vectors smaller

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