Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout program

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Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout program

Postby Mikehell » Tue May 15, 2018 12:02 pm

Ok. I know that when I set my cut depth I can enter the shorcut Z or T for a value and get the thickness of my board. Im thinking it would be handy to be able to use this same variable throughout the software. When working with designs that rely on the thickness of the wood (mortise and tennon, etc) it would be nice to have use of the T variable, so that if I change the thickness of the material my slots change to fit automatically. I've found that plywood can vary in thickness quite a bit from supplier to supplier, or even batch to batch. 3/4 can be anywhere from .69 to .735

Yeah., I know it might be tricky getting dogbones and whatnot to automatically resize and all. But it sure would be a nice feature.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby Adrian » Tue May 15, 2018 1:38 pm

It's identifying what would need to be resized in a way that the software could understand that would be the hard bit.

Generally when working on designs like that I increase the size of the piece as well as the thickness when moving from, say, 6mm to 9mm material. That way I can enter a formula (using T) into the resize tool and everything is scaled to fit automatically. Might work in your case as well as long as the overall dimensions aren't critical. A few thou difference in thickness wouldn't have that much impact on the overall size.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby Mikehell » Wed May 16, 2018 1:47 am

Adrian wrote:It's identifying what would need to be resized in a way that the software could understand that would be the hard bit.

Generally when working on designs like that I increase the size of the piece as well as the thickness when moving from, say, 6mm to 9mm material. That way I can enter a formula (using T) into the resize tool and everything is scaled to fit automatically. Might work in your case as well as long as the overall dimensions aren't critical. A few thou difference in thickness wouldn't have that much impact on the overall size.


Why? A variable basically just says use this value wherever you see "z". So, if you put in a z (or z+.01 or whatever) it would replace z with whatever you've set the thickness to. I agree there would be things that would be more difficult than that (fillets, etc) but probably not a whole lot of rocket science to implement. Could be wrong though.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby Adrian » Wed May 16, 2018 7:48 am

In the case of a slot how would the program know to increase the size of the slot based on the thickness of the material without moving any other span in the vector? A rectangle with a slot in it is just one vector to the program. To a human it's obvious what need to happen but not to a computer program. If the slots are drawn as separate vectors in their own right then it becomes a lot easier but most people (in my experience) create the slots as part of the actual shape.

Feature requests and bug reports should ideally be made directly to Vectric as this is primarily a user to user support forum and they don't see every post that is made.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby Mikehell » Thu May 17, 2018 12:16 pm

Adrian wrote:In the case of a slot how would the program know to increase the size of the slot based on the thickness of the material without moving any other span in the vector? A rectangle with a slot in it is just one vector to the program. To a human it's obvious what need to happen but not to a computer program. If the slots are drawn as separate vectors in their own right then it becomes a lot easier but most people (in my experience) create the slots as part of the actual shape.

Feature requests and bug reports should ideally be made directly to Vectric as this is primarily a user to user support forum and they don't see every post that is made.


When you draw a slot, don't you typically just draw a rectangle and give that rectangle dimensions? If you're fitting .69 ply into it you may make it 1" high x ..71 wide (.69 plus .02 to give it some tolerance). Instead of entering .71 couldn't it be Z+.02 ? I am aware that it can get trickier than this, but I don't see anything that would be impossible. I come from a background in software engineering, so I tend to think in variables.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby Adrian » Thu May 17, 2018 12:37 pm

I'm from a software background too and I've written several gadgets for VCarve some of which are on the gadgets website but I've been on the forum long enough to see how many others work. Very few from what I've seen draw slots as separate items. They make them part of the actual vector.

If the vectors are separate then it's a different ball game but there have been many requests to make the software parametric over the years which is essentially the same set of changes and as that hasn't been done I expect it's far more complex or a low priority. Vectric have said in the past that they don't want to add complexity to the software to add minority features.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby ger21 » Thu May 17, 2018 1:09 pm

Very few from what I've seen draw slots as separate items. They make them part of the actual vector.


How would you even do that? A slot or dado should always be a separate vector, imo.

Just because most do it one way, doesn't mean that they are right.

Having said that, I doubt that V Carve or Aspire will ever be parametric, which is what this request would require. It may not be as beneficial as you think as it would still be a huge pain to have to measure each sheet thickness, and export separate code for each sheet based on thickness. Unless you are making the same parts over and over.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby Adrian » Thu May 17, 2018 2:41 pm

Never said they were right. But the vast majority of people I've seen posting here over the years who want an automatic way of resizing the slots in their designs have them as part of the overall shape not as separate vectors.
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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby 4DThinker » Thu May 17, 2018 3:09 pm

You do have access to the Z variable in most of the drafting tools. If most of my slots are running in the same direction, and I've changed the thickness (Z or T) variable, I use the resizing tool to replace the current width with Z= (or T=) then hit Apply. You can select which direction the change should happen to. When creating toolpaths you can leave the Z (or T) in place for depths and all that is needed is a recalculate all toolpath after changing the material thickness. Yes, it is not dynamic or parametric, but there are certainly some variable tricks to save time when updating a file after something has changed.

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Re: Feature request? Use Z (or T) variables thoughout progr

Postby SteveNelson46 » Thu May 17, 2018 4:44 pm

Mikehell wrote:Ok. I know that when I set my cut depth I can enter the shorcut Z or T for a value and get the thickness of my board. Im thinking it would be handy to be able to use this same variable throughout the software. When working with designs that rely on the thickness of the wood (mortise and tennon, etc) it would be nice to have use of the T variable, so that if I change the thickness of the material my slots change to fit automatically. I've found that plywood can vary in thickness quite a bit from supplier to supplier, or even batch to batch. 3/4 can be anywhere from .69 to .735

Yeah., I know it might be tricky getting dogbones and whatnot to automatically resize and all. But it sure would be a nice feature.


Maybe you could make the "Document Variables" feature work for what you need.
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