cut order of contours

hi, I am a new user to Sheetcam. I’m trying to cut wood letters on my CNC powered by CandCNC controller.

The auto generated cut path cuts letter centers out first then the outline as one would want. But there are a couple places the tool lifts to access cut contours connected with the outline but accessible only with a tool lift and new plunge. the auto path tries to cut these last - after the peice is free since the outline was cut.

I’m struggling to select a part of the cut path to change the cut order. I can change the outside start point, but that only fixes one such cut issue and there are multiple such areas.

I attached a picture, the yellow circled areas are cut last, after the part is free to move.

Maybe I need help to break the cut segment? or is there an easier way to say “cut this first.”

thanks for any help given!!


Select the Start editor button at the top of the sheetcam screen (+S). Then right click on the desired Start symbol on the drawing, and select properties on the resulting pop-up menu. At the bottom of the menu is a box labeled Order and a number, coresponding to the Start symbol you right clicked on, out of the total number of starts on this layer. This number is changeable to any of the other numbered starts. This will change the order in which the parts are cut.

Hope that made some kind of sense. Steve

I should add that in the drop down menu box is a Quick Cut sequence choice that will accomplish the same thing.


thanks WyoGreen, I’m still doing something wrong. Likely a simple thing. first… when I right mouse click I do not see the described drop down, I see a generic table view drop down as shown in the image below. no “Properties” is available.

second, the tool patch I describe which cuts the outline of my letters and the inside cuts between letters is all one path. So I fear moving the start point only moves the start point of a contour which still cuts the outline before all inside cuts.

Please comment further. I hope I am clearly stating my problem.


After looking at your picture closer, it looks like you are doing an outside offset. Try doing no offset or an inside offset. It looks like what is happening to you is your tool is wider than the space between the letters, so the tool won’t go thru there. An inside or no offset will give you more room for your tool to fit thru there.

As far as not getting the right popup, it sounds like you either didn’t have the +S button selected, or didn’t have the Operation (in the lower left box, it should be highlighted) selected to make it editable.

Hope this helps some, Steve

oh I see, there are two +S symbols, one to display start points and one to edit start points.

So now I see how to edit start points. Since my outside contour is a long string of all outside cuts, changing the start of this string doesn’t solve my problem. It cuts one “inside” cut then moves to cut the whole part outside.

I need to understand how to split up my string of cuts and use different contour operations. Do I have to do this in CAD or can I split cuts in Sheetcam?

(moving to inside or no offset removes too much of my letter). I know I will not have perfect cuts with this bit - some material will remain between the letters - that’s okay as long as the letter is clear.

Thanks again.

If your drawing consists of different parts, i.e. each letter was a different part, you can use the “C” contour edit button at the top of the screen to select each separate part and put it on it’s own layer by right clicking the part. But if your drawing is all one part, then you will have to separate them back in your drawing program. Then you can edit the separate contours in Sheetcam.


Thanks for the help. I went back to CorelDraw and worked to split the contours apart and set them to layers which I defined to cut first.

My key problem was that I could not define the cut order of essentially one long cut sequence even though because of tool size the machine had to pull up, reposition, and then plunge again. I’m surprised as smart as the auto path planning tools of SheetCAM are it couldn’t solve this problem OR maybe it can and I just didn’t figure it out.

Either way, I’m cutting again!


I have this problem when the tool’s diameter is larger than the path it is supposed to take as defined by the layer. Sheetcam always “saves” those orphaned pockets for last. Not great when plasma cutting and the outside has already been cut.

I either enlarge the project so there are large areas or modify the letters so the tool can get through.