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A member registered May 05, 2021

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Hi Charlie,

I’ve been doing my first experiments this week, and a few questions/suggestions popped up already:

1/ Does PixelCNC take the length of a bit into account to avoid collisions between the router and the material? 

I’m experimenting with 3d landscapes, and the smallest bit I use (1/16”) is rather short, possibly not long enough (3/16”) to get into deep valleys. As an experiment, when I set the length of the bit artificially short (e.g. 1mm), PixelCNC still seems to generate paths deep in the material, although such a short length would cause the router to bump into the material.

2/ Related question: can I model this bit in PixelCNC?

Just modelling it as a cylindrical bit with length 3/16” wouldn’t allow me to cut deep enough in the material. Modelling it as a bit with a larger length (e.g. 1”) could make the wider (conical) part of the bit crash into the material on steep cliffs or precipices in the terrain => support for a small bit with a thicker shank would be nice.

3/ I expected parallel carving to scan over the material, line by line, each time from x_0 to x_max, monotically increasing from y_0 to y_max. The algorithm seems however to cut all lines into segments, and order them by z-value. I guess there are good use cases for this approach, but in my case, it causes a lot of time being lost in travelling around. As I do a rough cutting with larger bits first, and only use the parallel carving to remove the last 1-2mm of the terrain, I expect a monotonic approach would be the most efficient.

See this video starting from 10:30 for an example of this approach:

It would be nice to have this as a parallel carving option (e.g. ’Sort cuts by Y value’).

4/ A minor issue: in the interface, the precision of values is sometimes lost; e.g. when setting the tool diameter to 0.25”, closing the parameters and re-opening it, it is shown as 0.3” (although I expect it is correctly stored internally and applied in the calculations, as it is still shown with full precision  on the technical drawing of the bit).

Thanks for looking into my questions!

Best regards,


Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your feedback! My parameters were indeed too small, my mistake. I’m new to CNC and getting a good understanding of all settings is part of the learning process, I guess. I’ve been experimenting yesterday, and once I started to get a feeling for the reasonable range of each parameter, the software didn’t crash anymore.

It would have been helpful though if PixelCNC would show a warning when you try to create a path that is of unreasonable length, rather than crashing (even though it might be a graphics driver error in the first place). Especially when you’re still working with the trial version and can’t save your project, it is quite frustrating having to start over and over again …

The crashes made me even hesitate whether PixelCNC would be mature enough to spend my money on, but in the end your swift support and help convinced me :-) I’ve bough the full version yesterday, so I hope to start carving some nice projects in the coming weeks … 

Thanks for you help, keep up the good work!


Hi Charlie,

Thanks for looking into the issue! I tried with the 1.47a build (placed the EXE in the existing 1.46a distribution as suggested), but unfortunately still got a crash using the same scenario, at the same moment, when the toolpath is being computed and shown.

Here is the new log: PixelCNC 1.47 test -

I hope this helps ! Let me know if you need any additional information.


Hi Charlie,

Thanks for having a look at the issue! I've updated the graphics drivers already, but that doesn't seem to affect the issue. Looking forward very much to your fix :-)

Meanwhile, if there's any setting I could try or feature I can disable to circumvent the issue for now, let me know!


Hi Charlie,

Here is the link:

Let me know if you need any additional information on the hardware. Thanks for having a look at it!



I am looking for the right software to carve 3d topographic map projects with my CNC, and am testing PixelCNC v1.46a (trial).

After having imported a PNG with height data as a raster layer, I created a tool and then an operation using that tool. The software randomly crashes during the calculation of the operation, typically after a few seconds. 

The PNG is not particulary large (276 kB). Sometimes the first operation succeeds, but then it still crashes on the second or third operation. The operations I experimented with were all parallel carvings.

The logs typically end with ‘r_shaderuniformfloat: INVALID OPERATION’, if that helps. They occur frequently in each log.

Although PixelCNC looks promising and, based on what I've seen, would probably be my preferred CAM software choice, random crashes like these would make the software unworkable for me … quick feedback would be appreciated!

NB: I also tested 1.45a, which crashes as well on the same test, although it typically takes a bit longer.