Problems with job
December 26, 2016 09:09PM

I have a very simple job where a .25 deep box is being created, and in the center of the box are some raised letters.

I'm having a problem where about 43% into my job, the machine just runs the bit around the outer edge of the .25 deep box, for what seems like infinity. This is not showing up in the preview for vcarve. So I'm not sure why it is happening.

A couple of questions, first is there any way in Fabmo to figure out what step in the code this is happening at? I don't really see any good debugging mechanism in FabMo, but maybe I'm missing something.

Second, is there any way to start the job from a particular step in the code, once I figure out where it is happening?

Third, any other ideas why this might be happening?


Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 12:43AM
Every time I've had a problem like this it has been a bad "compile" of the code coming out of Vcarve. I am not saying that is the case here but it is a good place to start.
Move all of the elements in your file just a touch and force all of the tool paths to recompute then send the code out again.

If you download the shopbot control software 3.x there is a good editor and viewer that you can use on the computer you use Vcarve on. You study on the code for a while and just like in the matrix you can start to see what is going on. Are you going the full .25" in a single pass or stepping down?

Try just the pocket on a piece of scrap. Will it do right?

That is something I liked in the old USB card, in full mode, you would show each line as it exicuted. If FabMo has such a capability I have missed it so far.
Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 10:12AM

I'd also like to have a look at your .sbp file--could you attach it to a post here or email it to me (

Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 10:57AM
Sure, I'll post later today when I'm back home.
Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 04:45PM
It wouldn't let me attach the file. But here is a dropbox link.

Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 06:43PM
I don't see anything obviously wrong with the file though I'm no expert. One thing that will help troubleshooting is saving each tool path as a separate file. One file to do a whole job is great when it is a job you have run repeatedly and each of the elements are working well but I always compile the pocket and the profile as individual files for one-offs and first tries.

Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 06:54PM
Yea. I tried the recalculate. It is currently going around the square sad smiley

Interestingly, it just bumped from 42 to 43%, even though it just spend the last 10 minutes going around the square. Maybe that is promising?

I can try the separate files. I'm doubting that will work though.

I guess I'll have to wait for Brian to weigh in, if just waiting it out does't solve the problem.
Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 07:03PM
Huh. I guess it moved past it. I'll call it either a corrupted file, or my over excitedness!
Re: Problems with job
December 27, 2016 08:09PM
Glad to hear that it has moved on! Some things take longer than anticipated but this doesn't sound like that to me.

My point of separate cut files was not so much to fix anything but to aid in troubleshooting.
Re: Problems with job
December 28, 2016 10:19AM
Makes sense. Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

I installed the Shopbot pro software as you suggested, anyway. I noticed that it seems like it can be hooked up to a Handibot. Is that for the pre-fabmo version or can I hook it up to the handibot via USB? That would be sweet since it looks like the Shopbot software has way more control.

Re: Problems with job
December 28, 2016 10:39AM
The bad news, no, the new FabMo cards have no USB fallback mode. You have to run them WiFi.

The good news, with each firmware release the FabMo cards perform a larger and larger subset of what the old 3.x cards would run. I think in the end, the FabMo cards will do everything the legacy cards would do plus the wonderful plus of being wireless and having their own memory. You have to understand that under the old cards if you had one little USB glitch you'd loose a cut, with FabMo, most small and midsized cut files get transferred to the handibot before the cut ever begins. This, at least in theory, makes the FabMo setup far more reliable.
Re: Problems with job
December 28, 2016 11:08AM
The FabMo team is currently pushing to get the software ready for use on larger tools. With that will also come a lot of the features that we're more used to seeing on big ShopBots--tool changes, better pausing in files, more dialog options. I've been pushing for a number of upgrades--and I think they'll all be rolled into the release on desktop size tools.
Re: Problems with job
December 28, 2016 11:35AM
Hi Daniel. The reason it looks like it's making so many passes is that your file is setup to cut with a 1/16" ballnose which has a pretty small stepover, so each pass is offset just a little bit to clean out the area. If you can use a bigger bit with a larger stepover percentage and still get the detail you need, especially a bit with a flat end, the cutting will go much faster.

Here's a preview of your toolpath... []
Re: Problems with job
December 28, 2016 11:41AM
I'm running the file on a handibot here at the shop and it is behaving a bit strangely--pausing for extended periods in the middle of the file. We're going to dig a little more into it here...

But yea--the 1/16" bit doing the pocketing is going to be a loooooong file. In vCarve, when setting up a pocketing toolpath, there's an option to "Use Larger Area Clearance Tool" which will let you use a 1/4" bit to pocket, then clean up the fine details with a smaller bit. You might need to check the "Show advanced toolpath options" check box at the top to see this option.
Re: Problems with job
December 28, 2016 01:04PM
Yea. I know it was set for 1/16. I did that mostly just for testing because I didn't want to do any bit changes. I did see the "Use larger clearance tool" option, and would use that in the future.

Re: Fabmo. Nice, looking forward to those features. I did see that it has a javascript API, which will probably suffice for my purposes in the future, since it will tell you the current line.

With respect to the tool changes, what do you mean? Do you mean automated tool changes? Just wondering....
Re: Problems with job
December 28, 2016 02:05PM

The largest ShopBots have an option for automated tool changing (there is a rack of 8 tools in the back that the spindle can grab during the job). In order to make fabmo available on those tools, we'll have to deal with that kind of task--which will also solve some of the little quirks for multi-tool handibot jobs (even though the handibot doesn't have an automatic tool changer option).
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