Tab height varies

Me again.

Is there a setting/method in Estlcam that will make sure the cutter rises all the way up and leaves a whole tab ie top to bottom of the plywood tab?

I can’t seem to get it to do it reliably. I may have 12 tabs on a piece of plywood and some are only eg 3mm thick, (it has cut the top layers off) and some are all the way to the top. ie the cutter has retracted further.

I have fiddled with the tab height settings but can’t seem to pin anything down.

Any clues?


Estlcam does things the same way for all the tabs on a cut, so if you have a shape, and the tabs are set to “full depth” then they should be.

The “gotcha” here is that Estlcam does not go all the way to the clearance plane for tabs. It will go to the top of the tab, which is the top of the material – so far as it knows. If your bed isn’t level with respect to the machine, then it might still plow through your material, but the machine will think that Z=0 at the time. Alternately, you will probably end up with cuts that do not go all the way through the material.

If your spoilboard is level, it might be your holddowns that are allowing the material to rise up to meet the bit. This can happen in the middle of a thin sheet, or anywhere that isn’t close to something holding the sheet down. Most of us use an upcut bit (The default bits sold by V1, for example) which does have a tendency to pull the sheet upwards as it cuts. WIth thin material, the sheet can lift upwards, and then your tabs will get cut.

I don’t think that Estlcam has an option to raise to the clearance plane for tabs. I’ve never seen it do that for me, but I’ve seen it skim the top of my material. (My bed isn’t 100% level with respect to the machine.)

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Ok, that makes a bit of sense.

What I tend to do is this…

Lower Z until it hits the plywood
Set it there which is usually about 1mm into the wood. (so that is the point of error I reckon)
cut the piece out … if it is 6mm ply I ask for 7.5mm cut but am now starting down in the wood
Will make the cut deeper but will start at Z+1 and see.
ie kiss the table. go back up 1mm
and start there.