CNC Mach3 / Vectric / 3/16 end mill info

As of Sat (last) the Mach3 Profiles have been whittled down to 5.

The one to use is CNC 5-19-2017

In Vectric VCarvePro 9.009 Makerspace Master Edition,


Mach2/3 Arc (inch)

for your postprocessor in the Save Toolpath pane.

If you’ve tried GWizard to calculate the Feed and Speed for the 3/16 carbide end mill,
you may see the RPM of 20000 lit up red. A Speed of 20000 is Ok to use.
(We don’t run the spindle any faster.)



Thanks for working on this.

I think we should also develop a set of instructions for using VCarvePro at home. I seem to remember some instructions with a code that the Hive would give out. On the wiki it just says to contact the CTO to get the code.
This would let people install VCarve at home and test some projects and then bring the file into the Hive and complete the Gcode creation.

On the VCarve website they kind of walk through the concept:

The attached document gives pretty good instructions. I guess the CTO can still be the gatekeeper for the ID. Although I think it is linked with our computer at the Hive so I’m not sure how useful it is outside our space.

VCarvePro MakerspaceDocument.pdf (4.44 MB)


I left a copy of the 2 page info sheet for using the CNC router on top of the computer stand on Saturday.
(Didn’t tell anyone till just now…)

The quick way to set up VCarve Pro 9 at home is
a)download (& install) the demo
b)get the number from the CTO (I guess)
c) launch VCarve and click oh the Help menu entry


I left a copy of the 2 page info sheet for using the CNC router on top of the computer stand on Saturday.
(Didn’t tell anyone till just now…)

The quick way to set up VCarve Pro 9 at home is
a)download (& install) the demo
b)get the Hive Makerspace number from the CTO
c) launch VCarve and click on the Help menu entry

d) click on About VCarve - enter the number there

You can save (File → Save) any “file” you make in VCarve, but you can’t “postprocess” any toolpaths
you made in the CAM section into GCode on your home PC/Laptop.

To use at Hive, bring the saved file in and launch a Hive “Makerspace Master” copy of VCarvePro.
Open your file via the File menu item.
When it asks to register, say yes (this validates your file as one with the Hive registration number).
Now you can go to the CAM panel and the Save Toolpath (3.5" (not very) floppy disc) icon.
There you can now postprocess your toolpaths & save each one to whatever folder you want.
If you save them to a folder on DUMPSTOR, Mach3 can find them to run on the CNC router.
(Of course, if you save them to a USB drive, Mach3 can read that right from the CNC PC USB slot.)


If you mean a short intro to VCarvePro,
I could forward a 1 page summary based on the CNC class.

Vectric has great video tutorials and two good pdfs,
VCarve Pro 8 and What’s New in VCarve Pro 8.5
which explain almost all the icons and their functions.

There is a new video introducing VCarve Pro 9 which
explains the changes since 8.5 (mostly reorganizing the interface).


Sounds great.
Let’s add this to the wiki. I’ll take a stab at it tonight.

So are we running VCarve Pro 9 at the Hive?


We have 8.5 & 9 at present.

In checking back, I find that the V 8 help manual is not available at the Vectric site.
Apparently it must be downloaded from the Help menu in 8.5 (Help/Help Contents)
The “What’s New In VCarve Pro8.5” pdf is still available.

The Help/Help Contents page in 9 is much less detailed than that in 8.5.
(The version from 8.5 lists itself as 295 pages!)

I guess Hive needs to download the 8.5 Help manual.
I will try to get that done this week.


VCarve Pro 9 (short overview! much more in the Vectric website tutorials)
Create a new file:
Single Sided
enter Width (x),Height (y) and Thickness (z) of material; verify your Units
Set Z Zero to Machine Bed
Set XY Datum Position to lower left corner of material.
Click OK
Mark the placement of the hold downs (nails, etc.) with 1.5” circles.
Import or make up your design.
Remember to include a path for cutting it out of the material, if needed.
Offset under Offset and Layout
Click the right-pointing blue arrow icon (Switch to Toolpath commands) at
the top to get to the CAM section.
Click Set… and enter values for Clearance(Z1), Plunge(Z2), and
Home/Start Z Gap above Material
Z1 to clear clamps & screws, usu 0.5-1” (or above any clamps!)
Z2 to prevent mill crashing into material, 0.2”
Z Gap above Material - easiest is Thickness + Z1 + Z2
Click OK.
Choose each vector in turn & define the tool path parameters.
Select your tool from the crib via Tool: Select
Enter your feed, speed and (where required) plunge values via Tool: Edit…
Name tool path so you know what project, what path, what mill (type & size).
If you are cutting your project out of the blank, be sure the Profile tool path
you are using to cut it out is only 0.04” deeper than the material. Be sure you
get a WARNING from VCarve that you are going to cut through the material.
Click OK for the warning.
After all tool paths are calculated & checked, Save the file via the File menu.

At the Hive, import your file into VCarve, affirm that you want to register it.
Go to the CAM window, as above; save the toolpaths via the Save Toolpath
floppy disc icon. (You can save them to our DUMPSTOR server, or to a USB drive.)
These are the GCode text files you will Load into Mach3.

sorry, my posts are being deleted by the list

i will try to email it

huh! now it’s present!

have fun with it!


Part of the reason the code is not on the wiki is that students get it when they have completed the CNC class. It’s an extra check to make sure people aren’t using it all Willy nilly.

Sounds like a good reason.
I could not remember.

The VCarve Help files are now present in DUMPSTOR / VCarve Pro Help.

These pdfs cover most of the icons in version 8.5 & 9.

The actual changes & additions in 9 are described in a video on the Vectric VCarve Pro 9 web page.