New to CNC and Vectric

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New to CNC and Vectric

Postby Erik B » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:20 pm

I am making the leap to CNC, expecting my machine in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am trying to get up to speed on how to cut cabinet parts. I will be using KCD for most cabinet jobs, but there are projects that will require custom machining, and as V-carve comes with the machine, I am hoping it will fit the bill.

My question is very basic: What are the steps in creating, nesting, and toolpathing cabinet parts?

I've created separate vector files for each part of a sample cabinet. How do I combine separate those files into one nested job, with each vector's machining intact? What if I want to make multiples of either this group of parts or parts within the group?

Can someone could point me to the right tutorials, or explain what the process is?

Thank you,
Erik
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Re: New to CNC and Vetric

Postby zeeway » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:29 pm

To move a design from one file to another, you can simply copy and paste the vectors. You will like have to make you material larger to hold all the parts on one sheet. You also need to read up on toolpath templates and the nesting on the help files accessible from an open session of Aspire by pressing F1. Then you can right click on the page, and use the "find" dialogue to find the subject you are interested in.

Angie
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Re: New to CNC and Vetric

Postby nostradamus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:15 am

Erik,
What level of KCD do you have? What I mean is, does it output dxf files? Is it screen to machine? Or are you going to create a library of parts in Vcarve that you will pick what you need for each job from? What level KCD you have will determine what steps you need to take.
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Re: New to CNC and Vetric

Postby Erik B » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:28 am

I am using the cnc version of KCD, so those parts are taken care of, it's the odd pieces that KCD can't handle that I'm hoping to use V-carve for.

Angie, I understand about cutting and pasting designs onto a larger sheet, but the program is only letting me save things as .crv files, and when I try to import them, they are not available as an option to import. How do I save a file in a way that I can bring it and others into a new, larger job?

Erik
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Re: New to CNC and Vetric

Postby zeeway » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:24 pm

Erik B wrote:I am using the cnc version of KCD, so those parts are taken care of, it's the odd pieces that KCD can't handle that I'm hoping to use V-carve for.

Angie, I understand about cutting and pasting designs onto a larger sheet, but the program is only letting me save things as .crv files, and when I try to import them, they are not available as an option to import. How do I save a file in a way that I can bring it and others into a new, larger job?

Erik


As far as I know, you cannot "append" crv files (that's an old computer-ese term for adding files together). While you can export files as dwg files and work in autocad or something along those lines, I would simply save the components as separate crv files. Then you can copy the vectors directly from one crv file and paste them in the second file. With toolpath templates you can apply your toolpathing scheme directly.

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Re: New to CNC and Vetric

Postby nostradamus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:19 pm

Erik,
I use KCD to draw and Cabinet Parts Pro to produce my cabinet parts. What I have found is that I very rarely (almost never) have to draw special cabinet part pieces. When I need to, I just draw it in Vcarve and and toopath it. It is so rare that I don't even save the files.
Two ideas that may help answer your question. One, if the parts you are talking about are 'standard' parts for a cabinet that need modified, you may want to batch import dxf files from KCD to Vcarve, nest them, make your modifications to the particular part and then toolpath using a combination of toolpath templating and vector selection by layer. The benefit to this is you get to nest your special or modified part with all the others instead of on a separate sheet. It's a little complicated, but once you learn it and get it down, its not too bad. Two, you draw the parts in their own files with layer names for the different processes that are common amongst the files,and save them to a special library or folder. When it comes time to gather and nest all the special parts for a job, open vcarve and set up a file for that job, open another window of vcarve (so you can have two different files open at the same time) and use the second window to open the individual files you need to copy, select and copy the part in the second window, then switch to the first and paste. Go back to the second window, open your next special file ,select, copy, switch to first window, paste, etc. When you get all the parts you need, again, nest and toolpath with a combination of layer selection and toolpath templates.
I'm not going to take the time to look up and link the relevant tutorials, but if you look for the ones that cover layer control and toolpath templates, and watch them, they will give you more details on those topics.
There may be an easier way, I don't know. If someone has a better method, chime in. I would be happy to learn about it as well. This is how I deal with the question you asked about.
Hope this helps,
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Re: New to CNC and Vetric

Postby Erik B » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:34 am

Thank you, this is very helpful. I am making slow/steady progress understanding how this works. I'm getting comfortable with drawing parts and adding the machining.

Tool pathing is my next challenge. Should I be dedicating a layer to each kind of machining and/or tool? For example, one layer for perimeter cut, another layer for boring holes, another layer for dado's?
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Re: New to CNC and Vetric

Postby nostradamus » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:16 am

Yes, that's exactly how I do it. Then you can set up a toolpath template that selects only the vectors on a particular layer so you don't have to go through and select all your adjustable shelf pin holes (for example), just recalculate the toolpath template and they are 'toolpathed'. Because if you have to select them all individually, you know your going to miss some sometimes.
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