New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

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New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby stephenllanber » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:16 pm

Hi All,

Been a draftsman and 3dmodeller for a few years, decided into looking for a new hobby and maybe earn some money turning models to pieces of work, and turned to CNC which I have no experience.

Making enquires about carving welsh love spoon designs made in sketchup a company replied that their machine and supplied software was capable of producing the work from dxfs. An A1 Ballscrew Assembled CNC with VCarve pro 6.5

I sent a couple of dxfs including the spoon bowl below and assured that it was possible. They sent me the photo of the wizard below and said their machines could produce the product.

verything was delivered and installed a few days ago.I am finding the VCarve pro very easy to learn and am impressed with it's CAD capabilities but am coming aware of it's limitations.

Is it possible to produce the spoon bowl in VCarve pro or was i misled by the company?. If it is not possible what upgrade would I need to produce the model.

Many thanks

Stephen
Attachments
Spoon.jpg
The model I sent the company
wizard.jpg
Photo of what could be produced, sent by the company
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby SIBUD » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:31 pm

Here is a post about making concave and convex shapes using V Carve Pro.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16371&hilit=convex

Hope this helps. :D
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby 4DThinker » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:33 pm

VCarve Pro is very versatile. You can't cut undercuts with it with the exception of tricking it to use ball or dovetail bits with a slight undercut.

I spent 3 minutes and generated this preview using a single line, circular array of it, shifted horizontal stretch to turn it into an elipse, and the fluting toolpath to scoop it out.

So far I haven't done anything using a 3D DXF file, but am discovering new capabilities in VCarve Pro nearly every day.

Hope this helps.
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SpoonExample.jpg
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby tmerrill » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:44 pm

Hi Stephen,

VCarve Pro does not have the ability to work with any 3D shapes and generate the toolpaths. As others pointed out, you can approximate some simple 3D shapes using 2D tools, but I don't think this is what you are asking.

Cut3D can work with one 3D model at a time and could do your spoon assuming you can export it in a format that Cut3D can import. You can also create the 3D toolpaths in Cut3D and import them into VCarve Pro to include in a larger project, but this has it's limitations also. An advantage Cut3D offers is an automated way to setup for 2 sided machining, which I assume you would be doing with the spoons. You can do the same in Aspire, but need to manually set it up - not hard once you have done it, but not as easy as Cut3D.

Aspire would be the most complete solution to what you want to do, including the ability to do the modeling directly in Aspire and eliminate the Sketchup step.

Both programs have fully functional trial versions you can download and play with: http://www.vectric.com/downloads/trial-software.html

I would suggest you download and install the trial programs and see what they can do for you. As you work through them, don't hesitate to ask questions.

Tim
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby Leo » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:21 pm

Steven,

I don't know HOW you asked the questions or HOW you interpreted their answers.

1) Is the, MACHINE, capable to do the bowl and or the wizard - the answer is YES - the, MACHINE, is capable.

2) Is the programming software, (V-Carve Pro), capable to create the necessary code to drive the machine to be able to make the wizard scene - the answer is NO - that particular level of software s not capable. Though, there are some limited workarounds (fluting-etc).


Soooo - did the company mislead you --- I am not sure? It depends on HOW you asked questions.

Did you ask ---- Is the package you will send to me, capable of programming and cutting that wizard right out of the box - or do I need something else? I suspect that you did not ask pointed questions in this way. Perhaps this is you first time, and you were not so much aware that machine sale is worst than car sales. Personally, I work in an industry where I buy machines all the time.

My suggestion is --- consider buying Cut3D or upgrade the V-Carve Pro to Aspire. Either way - you will get the 3D capability. Yes - cut 3D can do the wizard scene and create the code to drive the machine (some limitations). Aspire can also do the wizard, and can change and manipulate the model.

Before buy though - do your Due Diligence on what you really need.
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby stephenllanber » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:20 pm

Hi all,

Thank you for you're helpful and detailed answers. I will go through the advice when I get a little more time soon.
All the experiance I have at the moment is the video tutorials supplied by VCarve pro. I have a steep learning curve.

Thanks for the link SIBUD.

4DThinker Is there a thread to describe the procedure you used to create that result.

I should have asked a few more questions when making my enquiries. Lesson learnt.

Unfortunately do not have the funds at the moment to upgrade, will have a look at the Aspire Trial in the near future.

One further question Is there anyone doing or is it possible to import 3d models from sketchup to one of the Vectric products to create toolpaths? I assume it is not as easy as that.

Diolch! Thanks!

Stephen
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby mezalick » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:04 pm

Stephen.
The Pro version of Sketchup extends exporting support to include the .3ds, .dwg, .dxf, .fbx, .obj, .xsi, and .wrl file formats.

Aspire will import the following file types:
Aspire Files (.crv3d)
3D Clipart Files (.3dClip)
STL Files (.stl)
Vector Art 3D Files (.v3m)
3D Studio (.3ds, .asc, .prj)
DirectX (.x)
DXF (.dxf)
LightWave (.lwo)
VRML (.wrl)
Wavefront (.obj)

So, yes, you can import file into Aspire.
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby sharbold » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:45 pm

stephenllanber wrote:Hi all,

Thank you for you're helpful and detailed answers. I will go through the advice when I get a little more time soon.
All the experiance I have at the moment is the video tutorials supplied by VCarve pro. I have a steep learning curve.

Thanks for the link SIBUD.

4DThinker Is there a thread to describe the procedure you used to create that result.

I should have asked a few more questions when making my enquiries. Lesson learnt.

Unfortunately do not have the funds at the moment to upgrade, will have a look at the Aspire Trial in the near future.

One further question Is there anyone doing or is it possible to import 3d models from sketchup to one of the Vectric products to create toolpaths? I assume it is not as easy as that.

Diolch! Thanks!

Stephen


Here is a link http://www.guitar-list.com/download-software/convert-sketchup-skp-files-dxf-or-stl to a free plugin for Sketchup that will export your sketchup drawing to stl which you can them open in a lot of different CAM software to produce you machine code. CUT 3D and Aspire both will open stl files.
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby Leo » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:53 pm

stephenllanber wrote:Hi all,

Thank you for you're helpful and detailed answers. I will go through the advice when I get a little more time soon.
All the experiance I have at the moment is the video tutorials supplied by VCarve pro. I have a steep learning curve.

Thanks for the link SIBUD.

4DThinker Is there a thread to describe the procedure you used to create that result.

I should have asked a few more questions when making my enquiries. Lesson learnt.

Unfortunately do not have the funds at the moment to upgrade, will have a look at the Aspire Trial in the near future.

One further question Is there anyone doing or is it possible to import 3d models from sketchup to one of the Vectric products to create toolpaths? I assume it is not as easy as that.

Diolch! Thanks!

Stephen


Steven - yes

I HAD cut3D and I HAD V-Carve Pro -- both are EXCELLENT programs

I upgraded to Aspire because I wanted the 3D modeling capabilities.

I SOLD my Cut3D to a friend in California. Before I sold it he wanted to be sure he could import Sketchup into cut 3D so we did some testing before hand. I do NOT use sketchup, so I cannot explain HOW to do this.

Sketchup can output STL - and you don't need the pro version. My friend did it - I don't know how.

Cut3D can import the STL - and generate code.

V-Carve Pro can import the tool path from Cut3D. -- it is really easy to do.
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby Adrian » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:08 pm

There are a couple of STL plugins for the free version of Sketchup such as this one https://github.com/SketchUp/sketchup-stl or this one http://www.guitar-list.com/download-sof ... dxf-or-stl
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby stephenllanber » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:55 pm

Again many thanks for all the advice :P

I have been able to import some dxfs I exported from Sketchup into VCarve pro and need to look into it a bit more.

I have also downloaded and STL exporter so I have to see how good the exporter is and what I can do with it.

Just need to find the time now to take it all in

Diolch!Thanks!

Stephen
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby Leo » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:34 pm

Steven,

When you "find" some extra "time" please let us know where you found it. I am sure we can all use a little extra.

You can import DXF's into V-Carve, but V-Carve is actually pretty good at 2D graphics creation.

It doesn't seem so at first, but if you spend some effort learning V-Carve you will find it to be really good.

There is some learning - but V-Carve has features that make it very accurate.

The nice part about using V-Carve to create your geometry is that it will be clean and ready to program to.

Importing DXF's can be a little problematic sometimes. Not a bad thing - but a little extra effort vs v-carve created geometry.
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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby 4DThinker » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:34 pm

stephenllanber wrote:4DThinker Is there a thread to describe the procedure you used to create that result.

Stephen
Not specifically. Wasn't hard though. After entering the board dimensions with 0,0 at the center, I simply drew one vertical line ending at 0,0. With it selected I clicked on the array tool and picked circular array. I told it to make 240 copies to cover 360 degrees. Less would work fine if the spoon shape was small. Once I had that circular array of lines I clicked on it to bring up the control points. Deld down SHIFT when stretching it to the left until I liked the now eliptical shape. Use the fluting tool with a smooth curve chosen I set the bottom depth to T-1/4=. Told it to calculate, then rendered the tool path to generate the image I posted. Save the image when I liked it. Don't have VCarve on this PC so there may be a few more specific steps to click on in the fluting toolpath.

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Re: New to CNC and wanting to carve models from sketchup

Postby mrmfwilson » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:34 pm

Just as Tim said, it is possible to generate a tool path in Cut 3D and import it into V-Carve. You can only import one side of a two sided project at a time and it has to be the top side. You have to make 2 V-Carve files to make the 2 sided project. One for the top and one for the bottom. To do this you have to generate the tool path from the top and then flip the model over in Cut 3D and generate another top side for the bottom. Cut 3D has no way to add index holes to align the two sided parts. Which would be a great and much needed enhancement for Cut 3D! The tricky part is to be able to align the tabs in Cut 3D so that when you import the two sides the tabs line up with each other. When you flip the model over in Cut 3D the tabs are eliminated so you have to add them again and try to get them close to the same place as the first side. I usually use wide tabs so that I can assure some overlap. On my critical 3D parts I usually import them into V-Carve and add the index holes for pins to align both sides. I have attached a V-carve file of one side of a spoon for an example.
From my experience with Cut 3D I don't think you can import 3D dxf files. I haven't been able to do it successfully. I usually use .stl or .3ds files. Those seem to work the best. I think that you can import 3D dxf files into V-carve but they become 2D. If I want to import 2D files I use the lines option in the Sketchup DXF/STL exporter. You will end up with duplicate lines if you output a 3D sketchup model as lines that you will have to remove in V-Carve Pro. Sorry about the long explanation. It probably should have gone into the Cut 3D forum. But the question was asked here. As far as being misled... If you can buy that model from the Vector Art 3D folks, you could generate the path with a free program called 3D Machinist and import the tool path into V-Carve Pro and cut it. But otherwise you cannot import a .stl or any type of 3D model directly into V-Carve Pro.
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Flat Spoon 8x2x1.zip
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