Toolpath options in Carbide Create

Carbide Create affords a number of different toolpath options which provide for a wide variety of geometries which may be cut away from material depending on the endmill used. The first consideration is which sort of tool may be used with a given sort of toolpath. The following options will be discussed below:

  • Contour

  • Pocket

  • Drill

  • VCarve

  • Advanced VCarve

The following toolpaths are for either decorative or for Carbide Create Pro only and so will be handled separately:

  • Texture

  • Engrave (Pro only)

  • 3D Rough (Pro only)

  • 3D Finish (Pro only)

The most notable limitation is that V endmills may only be used so as to get a correct 3D preview with the toolpaths which are specifically for V carving --- while they may be assigned to other toolpaths, the 3D preview will not be correct.

Normally square and ball-nosed endmills will have correct previews when used with various toolpaths.


Contour toolpaths follow along a drawn element of geometry, and will be aligned relatively towards it based on path orientation/direction which will determine the Offset Direction:

  • Inside / Left

  • No Offset

  • Outside / Right

Where the toolpath will fall relative to the geometry will always be clear when viewed in the 3D preview, and the offsets will alter the geometry of features --- given a 1" circle cut with a 1/4" square endmill the following dimensions will be realized:

Carbide Create | Contour Toolpath | Offsets
  • Inside / Left --- a 1" hole will be made, and a post 1/2" in diameter will be left

  • No Offset --- a 1.25" hole will be made, and a post 0.75" in diameter will be left

  • Outside / Right --- a 1.5" hole will be made, and a post 1" in diameter will be left

When not cutting all the way through, a square walled slot will result:

If cut with a ball-nosed endmill, a rounded groove may be achieved: