Easel Pro Tutorial: Carving with Raster Toolpaths

Easel Pro can get a cleaner finish and better-looking carve by using raster toolpaths to carve wood. The raster toolpath cut setting changes how the bit moves across your material when carving filled shapes in your project.

As a default, Easel uses the “offset” strategy: the bit typically starts in the center of a filled area and gradually work its way to the edges, following the contours of your design. By contrast, with the raster approach, the bit's toolpath moves back and forth in a linear direction.

The main advantage of raster toolpaths comes when carving wood. Because the bit moves linearly in parallel lines, using raster can help you follow the direction of the wood grain. By carving with the wood grain, you will see a much cleaner finish on the resulting carve.

To use this feature, open the cut settings panel and select a raster direction. You can choose to have the raster direction move parallel with your X-axis...

...or with your Y axis: 

The appropriate choice should be made based on which way you've mounted your workpiece on the wasteboard. If the wood grain is oriented horizontally, you should choose "X-axis." If the wood grain is oriented vertically, you should choose "Y-axis."

When a raster direction is selected, all filled shapes will automatically be carved using the same raster strategy for the corresponding workpiece. If you are doing a two-stage carve with a roughing and detail pass, you can pick the cut setting toolpath method that will be used for each bit:

Here are some other samples of raster vs. offset toolpaths: 



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