# G-CODE 3-axis input?

Eagerly awaiting my M4, so now my brain is firing on all the stuff I haven’t had the time to practice and test.

I have not used or converted gcode before, but I have been creating CAD/svg/stl files and 3d designs to warm up to my planning out projects.

Earlier in my research I asked about making pathways for 3 axis designs and understood that typically only 2 axes are adjusted at a time, with the 3rd axis adjusting only after the current plane has been completed. I compare this to how a quarry is excavated: clear out the full area, then dig a little further down and repeat until a ‘staircase bowl’ is formed.

So heres my question (with followups) - can gcode adjust all 3 axes simultaneously or concurrently, and can the sled/router/bit handle it well? For example, let’s say I wanted to cut a “racetrack” for a marble run into a sheet of plywood (think like a hilly bmx track, only trenched in). The track winds around like any typical track, and also has small hills or elevations, with both outside ‘walls’ of the track staying full height (original plywood thickness). If I were to try and do this one z height at a time, there would seem to be a lot of unnecessary travel to reach each valley or low points. Plus, this design example has smooth curves potentially across all 3 axes simultaneously. To make it more complicated, let’s say this track is narrow and equal to or slightly wider than the bit size.

Could I trace a single path, from ‘start’ to ‘finish’, slowing the sled travel speed whenever approaching a more complex angle or curve that moves across 2/3 axes? Would this improve the smoothness and efficiency of the cut? Would it cause complications of too much stress on the bit and more bit failures? Is there a more efficient way to approach a narrow 3axis shape like this? Would this actually save any time?

Thanks, and as always, apologies if I missed the answer somewhere else in the forum.

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yes, all 3 axis can move at the same time. It’s common on v-carve sign cutting.
But doing a layer at a time is simpler to compute, so that’s what most CAM
software does

look for 3d countour or similar in your CAM software to try it.

David Lang

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@dlang is exactly right, you can move all three axis at once no problem.

The stress on the router bit comes from cutting too deep or too fast so even when moving all three axis at once you might want to remove material in multiple passes.

ESTLCam will do this for you, so long as you have the design correct. So an extra ‘wide’ line carved with a ‘v’ bit, will result in an extra deep cut. @Christian_Estlcam can explain more.

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Have you tried V12 yet?