Spot drilling (cheating)

Hello, This software is incredible! I am just starting to use it and am very impressed with it. I am trying to figure out ways to do the things I have done in other software. One of the things I would do fairly often is to spot drill holes rather than drill them all the way. My router has a manual tool change so if I have multiple size holes I would just spot drill them on the router to get the accuracy in placement and then drill them to the appropriate size on the drill press manually. I could tell the software to just place the drill in center of the hole and it would ignore the hole size. Is there a way to “cheat” and get kiri:moto to spot drill all the holes in a model even though they are different sizes? It looks like I have to specify the exact drill size for each hole and then do the drilling operation for each? I love how the work flow in this software is different than any other I have used. It might take me a little bit to shift my thinking but it really looks powerfully simple. Just need to learn all the tips and tricks. There might be one for this that I am not finding.


Hi @mcinquino and welcome. Spot drilling is an interesting option that hasn’t been requested before. The code that identifies holes to match tool diameters should be able to spot any or all holes regardless of size if used differently. Let me think about a workflow that might make sense for this. I have a couple of ideas already.


This would also be very useful in laser mode, for plasma cut sheet metal parts that require drilled holes. (because the plasma cutter precision is good enough for the outline but not for the holes)

interesting. would an under-sized hole work, too? spot on/off may not translate to SVG/DXF when it would be easy in gcode.

Yes, a hole radius slightly larger than the offset (kerf/2) so the cut path is a very small circle works OK.

I often want to spot drill and then use a drill press to drill out the actual hole diameter.

Thoughts if the hole is equal too or larger then the bit spot drill it with a user selected depth. The depth selection could be to design depth or a user set depth. If the hole is larger a reaming option could be selected to make it the actual diameter. Same goes for making it smaller, meaning leave material on the hole surface for post route drilling.

I have plans to make more of a work-area selection approach for drilling, roughing, etc similar to traces. For holes, for example, you could select the holes you want to drill, the bit, and the depth could override the geometry. This is all TBD.

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That sounds great! Let me know if you need any help testing.

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This would be very helpful.
Adding something like a plunge cut routine where you can choose the center of a hole or plunge along an edge with a step width and have it be able to over ride the global Z depth would make the program more versatile. I’d also like to see more options for Register. I currently have a round model where i’d like to add 4 registry holes in a square pattern rather than a cross.
Another thought is to add some features to the G code previewer. Having it display min and max values for each axis would be very valuable. Especially considering you typically can’t preview the whole code before downloading. I’ve run into a problem with one of my files where Contour doesn’t obey the global Z depth and crashes the collet into the work piece, but I’ll make a new post about that. Last thing is having the program recognize tool changes instead of having to ctrl click features and export each tool path; which also usually results in a lot of air cutting.

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Welcome @E_Johns! Good notes. If you enable Code Preview under preferences, the first 64k will show up in the export dialog. And if you have customized your device and disabled Strip Comments, then you will find the bounds of the job at the top of the gcode. But point taken. I look forward to a bug report for Contour.

Thanks! I really appreciate all of the work you have done and your continued support! Yeah I’m not sure how to "customize your device and disable Strip Comments"; but a quick bounds check is exactly what I need before export. Otherwise, I found myself on that contour part using NCViewer or notepad to do some quick checks or debugging. Ended up trimming the parts by hand to fix the bad tool path and finish the job.

See this new thread:

The marking option for drilling will be in tonight’s development release.