Constant full retraction of Z-axis (fusion 360)

Hi there,

I’m another newbie on the “figuring everything out”…

I’ve managed to get the maslow up and runing however I’m having some issues with the Z-axis.

I’m designing with my mac on fusion 360 and getting the gcode from there and then transferring on a memory stick to a windows 10 where I run the GC 1.26

While trying to cut the sled I notice that on each plunge it wen’t up all the way to the “safe height” defined at the beginning where then it starts the process once it reaches that height then plunge again by the increment of the next pass. (A bit of a waste of time)

I probably screwed it up on a setting on the CAM but not sure which one… Could it be on this following pictures? (I hope it helps)

Thanks a lot!

Greetings from Estonia

1 Like

There is a checkbox setting ‘keep tool down’ on the ‘toolpath’ setting tab (last IIRC).

Hi Tinker,

Oh that’s great although in a couple videos I’ve seen about doing the CAM process they advised to always disable it, not sure the reason why, perhaps it can lead to break the bit? Do you know why would they suggest so?


This comes from metal CNC work where you have to be really careful. I doubt you will break a bit on wood CNC unless you are using a very thin bit <= 1/8". You should always preview the generated CAM paths before running them to make sure it does not do something stupid. So far I have never seen Fusion do anything stupid using this feature so I have set it as default.

Retracting tool also helps clear material between operations (for metal) but if you have a vacuum extraction hooked up you do not need it. Again with wood the material is cleared very well even if you don’t have vacuum.

Oh that make sense, I watched a video of Lars Christensen and was talking about the different ways to drill holes.

Thanks for the info!

If you are using “Keep tool down” on multiple operations (contour, pocket) then your next/following operation should begin at the same exact spot as the last operation completed. Fusion360 normally detects if end and next start point to not match and will do a full retract automatically. Most CAM software does not do this.