Help with creating different shapes in Vcarve Pro...

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Help with creating different shapes in Vcarve Pro...

Postby melarky » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:09 pm

I really like V-Carve and think find the interface so much easier and more intuitive than any other cad programs I have used, but I can't seem to figure out how to make custom shapes in the program.

For instance, I just cut out a cocktail arcade cabinet (thanks to the plans at http://quarters.ca/), but I was unable to program in the shapes with V-Carve (had to use a different program that always seems to spit out bad g-code, like dragging the bit across my material when moving from cut to cut, I love how easy it is to set those things correctly in V-carve).

I am attaching an example image of part of the cocktail cabinets plans to show what it is that I couldn't program in. Is something like this possible to program in with V-carve? If so, how? I tried making a rectangle with the general dimensions from the plans of 30" x 36", then making a circle with the radius of 2.5" and placing it in the top corner, but when I tried to "weld" them together, it just "swallowed" the circle and I was left with just a rectangle again. I hope that makes sense.

I was just guessing at how to do it (don't know if "weld" is not the tool to use), but couldn't seem to think of any other way to do it. I would love it if I was able to program these sorts of parts in V-carve and then create tool paths from it.
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Postby CRFultz » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:36 pm

Any cad program will be able to do this. Since you have the callouts just draw to the size and then save has a dxf.
Use your snap and join the polygons.
There is alot of cad programs some I think are free or maybe shareware...
If you need help just letme know and I'll draw it up for ya when I get a day off.

Chuck
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Postby melarky » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:00 am

I was able to do it in a different cad program, but it can't save as a dxf (it's a pretty old one). I actually aready cut it (this past weekend), but the tool paths generated with that old program always end up doing something screwy (like dragging across the materal to go to a different cut, even though I told it to move an inch above the material when not making cuts). I just like V-carve better and it has always been easy to make tool paths from the .crv files and they always act the way I want them to :)

I guess I was just curious if it was possible to create these sort of files in V-carve, I would be more than happy to learn more about vector editing if I'm able to start making these sort of things in V-carve as it's a much nicer program than my other cad program, but as it stands right now, I'm not proficient enough in the vector tools to know if it's even possible to create these files in v-carve.
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Postby js11110 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:13 am

You could easily do the part you posted in VCP (not as easy as a cad program, but easy enough.) Just takes some easy math. Draw your circles in the correct spots by putting in the center distances, break the circles into arcs in node edit mode and delete the sections you don't need and then join the arcs with a straight line. I hope that makes sense. Once you get the hang of it, its pretty easy. I could probably do the drawing you posted in under ten minutes. Have fun! :D


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Postby bryson » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:19 am

Stewbidasso, Like Jason said, you just need to practice. There was a time (not long ago) that it would have taken all day. I didn't check the thickness, so be sure that you do.
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table.crv
(7 KiB) Downloaded 169 times
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Postby melarky » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:37 am

Wow, you guys are incredibe. I guess I have some more learning to do. What kind of tutorial should I be on the lookout for to help me with this? Is this basic Vector editing stuff, or is it soley unique to v-carve? I kind of understand what you said Jason, but I've never used the node edit mode to delete sections of a circle, so maybe I'll play around with that and see if it makes more sense in practice :)

We need some of you v-carve masters to write up some tutorials on some of these more advanced features (though I'm sure to you guys, this doesn't seem advanced :) ). Thanks again for the help, I'm blown away at how fast you guys were able to throw that up.
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Postby melarky » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:02 am

Cool, I started playing around with v-carve after reading your instructions jason, and I think I made the top. That pretty much stretched my abilities, but I'm sure with more practice it will get easier, really slick software this v-carve.

Thanks again for your help, and I would still love any tips or pointers on more advanced techniques with this method (wish I had known this before I cut, we did it out of 3/4" oak plywood, pretty spendy stuff, the g-code from the other program dragged the cuter across the top after I cut out the middle monitor hole, really bugs as this is pretty spendy wood, that has now become the "bottom" of the top piece).
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Postby js11110 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:36 am

stewbidasso wrote:Cool, I started playing around with v-carve after reading your instructions jason, and I think I made the top. That pretty much stretched my abilities, but I'm sure with more practice it will get easier, really slick software this v-carve.

Thanks again for your help, and I would still love any tips or pointers on more advanced techniques with this method (wish I had known this before I cut, we did it out of 3/4" oak plywood, pretty spendy stuff, the g-code from the other program dragged the cuter across the top after I cut out the middle monitor hole, really bugs as this is pretty spendy wood, that has now become the "bottom" of the top piece).



No problem, its just practice, practice, practice. If you run into another problem, be sure to post it and if I can't figure it out I'm sure someone here will. :lol: The best part of this forum is the willingness of everyone to share their talents and resources and is one of the main reasons I bought the software.

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Postby melarky » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:45 am

I've been playing some more, and I have been able to "go beyond" the first cocktail cabinet, but I'm still running into some other problems.

I am attaching some plans for a pac-man cabinet, now I can get most of it programmed in, but when it comes to stuff like the top arch and some of the other radiuses, I can do what looks ok to my eye, but I know I'm not right on to their plans. Is there a way to be exact with things like that? The way I did the top arch was to use the node editing handles to just make the arch by hand (no actual radius was typed in etc...).

Any v-carve experts want to share how they would program this?
Attachments
pacman-sideLayout.jpg
Pac-Man Side Layout (this shows that top arch I was taking about, but also the curved front parts were just a guess to me as well).
pacman-sideLayout2.jpg
More dimensions of the side layout (may have values missing from the first one).
pacman-frontLayout.jpg
This gives some more measurements of the front pieces. I didn't use this one, but I'm including it for completeness in case anyone ends up wanting the whole file set...
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Postby Wemme » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:55 am

Hi Stew.
if getting it close as possible to the plan is important I would draw it up in cad rather than V Carve.
just my 2c worth
Regards
Bart




stewbidasso wrote:I've been playing some more, and I have been able to "go beyond" the first cocktail cabinet, but I'm still running into some other problems.

I am attaching some plans for a pac-man cabinet, now I can get most of it programmed in, but when it comes to stuff like the top arch and some of the other radiuses, I can do what looks ok to my eye, but I know I'm not right on to their plans. Is there a way to be exact with things like that? The way I did the top arch was to use the node editing handles to just make the arch by hand (no actual radius was typed in etc...).

Any v-carve experts want to share how they would program this?
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Postby CRFultz » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:54 pm

Like Bart said,
It is possible to do this type of work in VCP, but unless you just want to spend the time on it, A CAD program can do it
Faster and alot lot more accurate out of the gate. Then just save as a dxf and import into VCP and cut the profile.

You have some nice drawings...it would be pretty simple to draw them up in cad.
Doing a 55 degree radius in VCP might take some time and it might not end up
with a nice flow but maybe a segmented arch....anyway my 2cents...good luck
and let us know if we can help otherwise

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Postby melarky » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:36 pm

Maybe it is time I updated my cad software :). What would people suggest? I have a friend who uses SolidWorks (or SolidEdge, can't remember which) up at school, and he said it was pretty nice. Would that program be pretty easy to get up to speed on and program in items such as the ones posted above? Is there something better?
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Postby CRFultz » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:21 pm

The designs that you have posted are very simple in regards to cad work.
Solidworks is indeed a very nice program. I would luv to have it on my home computer.
But, way over kill for this application.
there are way to many cad titles out there that will do this type of work for a fraction of what Solidworks will cost.
The first one I ever used was TurboCad, it's a good program for the price.
Everyone will have there own opinion on this, but, my choice is AutoCad.
I should note that my company paid for it...I couldn't afford it by no means.
I think there is a cad program out there that caters to woodworkers...I can't remember the name.
maybe Google will find it...

here is a good place to start...
http://www.woodbin.com/docs/popular_ww_cad.htm

Good Luck

Chuck
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Postby darde » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:00 pm

solid edge has a free version of there 2d cad program and alibre express would also be alright for 3d that is also free. Try them out . Open office may also work. I have tried alot of different programs and they all have good and bad points. you will have to decide what fits you needs and style. Don't spend big money as it may become an icon on your desktop that never gets used.
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