Feature request: Vector limits!

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Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Decibel Guitars » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:47 pm

About a year ago, i purchased a Cut3D and VCarve Pro bundle, believing they would fit my needs for generating tool paths at a reasonable price point. Being a guitar builder, all of my CNC work involves either complex 3D carving, or fairly straightforward pocketing.

I'm happy to report that VCarve Pro has been getting a LOT of use for generating tool paths for all of my pocketing/routing operations. I really like the way it works, and the simulations are invaluable.

However, i have not used Cut3D once. The main reason is that limiting the machined area is not possible. This is an absolute deal-breaker, and had i known that it was not possible with Cut3D, i wouldn't have purchased it. (I had assumed that such a logical feature would be standard in a program of this calibre, and should have done more research and/or worked more extensively with the demo version beforehand.)

The reason i need machining limits is that some of my pocketing is NOT as straightforward, and involves complex contours and non-flat bottoms to the cavities, which cannot be done with VCarve Pro's "2.5D" tool set. Generating tool paths for a pocket like this in Cut3D results in a tool path file that machines the entire surface, wasting hours of machine time. As a result, i am now using a different (though slightly less flexible) product that DOES allow for machining limits.

I would like to request that machining limits be added to Cut3D's feature set. It would allow me to use the software i paid for. I use Rhino for my modelling, so the feature set of Aspire is redundant and not what i need.

Thanks,


darren.

P.S. Another feature that would be VERY useful would be the ability to set a custom angle for parallel finish paths. Sometimes i have a cavity that is not perfectly aligned to the X- or Y-axis, so a raster tool path often results in a "jagged" wall cut. If i could set my own angle, i could get the smoothest cuts possible. Thanks for listening!
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Strat » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:56 pm

don't know if this helps, but when I have a large 3d area and want to focus on a small area I draw a boundary around the spot I want cut, pick the 3d surface then the boundary and it cuts what I want.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Decibel Guitars » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:24 pm

Are you doing this directly in Cut3D, or are you selectively exporting parts of your models?

I can come up with workarounds, but ultimately, that's a huge waste of my time, when the software should be making it easier, not harder.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Adrian » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:09 pm

Personally I'd upgrade to Aspire. If time is that much of an issue then you'll soon recover the extra cost and there are many other features that will almost certainly make your life easier.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Decibel Guitars » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:06 pm

Spend another $1500 to $1700 to get ONE feature that should be included in Cut3D? No, thanks.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby PaulRowntree » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:07 pm

Darren, can you give us an idea of the kind of unusual pocket you need to make, and how you export these shapes from Rhino ?(stl, obj, height maps, ...)
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Decibel Guitars » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:41 am

Certainly!

This is an example of a control cavity for one of my guitars. The body has an arched top, and the controls are recessed. In order to maximize room in the control cavity for the pots, switches and wiring, i have the inside of the cavity following the radius of the top (i.e. the bottom of the cavity is not flat, but follows a compound curve), with recessed control locations supported by raised "islands" on the inside of the cavity. The curved bottom makes it a little tricky, and obviously VCarve Pro can't be used for this kind of operation. Because control placements can vary from one instrument to the next, i prefer to do the cavities as a separate operation. The line on the surface just outside of the cavity is where a recess will be cut for the cavity cover.

Without vector limits, Cut3D will want to cut the entire surface outside of the cavity as well, which is just not efficient. ALL of my files are set up in registration on the same 20" x 14" blank, so multiple operations can be done on each side of the guitar body as the build progresses. Being able to import a DXF to use as a cut limit would eliminate all the unnecessary cutting outside of the pocket area.

In an ideal world, i'd love for the interface and workflow for Cut3D to be more like VCarve Pro. (Or for VCarve Pro to have the ability to do 2.5D or 3D pocketing.) The step-by-step "wizard" approach in Cut3D is frustrating to me. I find VCarve Pro to be a VERY useful tool, and i get a lot of use out of it. I haven't used Cut3D to cut a single part since i purchased it a year ago.

My workflow is Rhino --> .stl --> Cut3D for all of my carving operations. More straightforward pocketing operations are Rhino --> .dxf --> VCarve Pro.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby PaulRowntree » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:56 pm

Decibel Guitars wrote:Certainly!

Without vector limits, Cut3D will want to cut the entire surface outside of the cavity as well, which is just not efficient.


By 'the entire surface', do you mean a rectangular bounding box around the cavity? Are these limits too large to be useful? Would machining a rectangular STL in VCP be an improvement on what you do now?
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Decibel Guitars » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:20 pm

Hi, Paul

Yes, what I'd like to avoid is having to cut the entire rectangular surface, and ONLY the pocket itself, using the upper edge of the cavity as the cutting limit. Even having an option to ignore the flat surface altogether would be useful.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby eph210 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:54 am

It would be nice to have some more features in Cut3D but that is where Aspire shines. Cut3D is essentially a 3D CAM program and it can re-orient and re-size but otherwise not manipulate the file. File manipulation has to be done in a 3D CAD program and then the file imported into Cut3D. There are many inexpensive or free 3D CAD programs that can be used.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Decibel Guitars » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:06 am

I don't really consider excluding a part of my raw material from being cut to be an "advanced feature". I use other software for some of my 3D carving tool paths, and it has vector limits, and it cost a fraction of what Cut3D does.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Adrian » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:14 am

Marc, If you think there is a bug in the software or something is not working as described in the feature list you should really contact Vectric directly at support@vectric.com ideally using the email address the program is registered to.

Vectric staff do respond to threads on the forums but it's primarily a user to user resource.
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby Decibel Guitars » Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:04 am

At the very least, there should be an option to "ignore flat surfaces at Z=0" or "do not machine entire surface".
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Re: Feature request: Vector limits!

Postby tbarker80 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:59 am

this is the biggest issue I've had with any vectric product.

I think that at the very least, you should be able to import a model in the orientation and position in which it was modeled and choose the area you would like to machine.

I would pay an extra $100 for that option.
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