Moulding Toolpath Insights?

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Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby ohiolyons » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:03 pm

Decided to "play with" Moulding Toolpath today. Watched Vectric tutorial twice and read manual on that topic twice.

I even understand why this toolpath is "cleaner" than a two rail sweep with a similar cross section.
Please educate me on the value of this. My initial observation is that it appears to be of limited use.

As a stand alone moulding toolpath it is a great addition.
But who just does mouldings without other embellishments? (apologies to those who do)
The tutorial is focused solely on standalone mouldings.

If you add any 3-D models to it then you have to do roughing and finishing cuts. The tutorial states the "cleaner cut" is due to the toolpath following the drive rail and not doing normal roughing and finishing toolpaths.

So am I looking at this wrong way? I hope so. Just trying to understand the potential of this magnificent software.
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby Adrian » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:15 pm

It's like pretty much anything in Aspire. If you don't have a use for it then it will be of limited use but if you do have a use for it then it's invaluable. I use nesting, merged toolpaths and templates several times a day but I expect there are many Aspire users who never use any of those facilities.

I don't do much cabinet work these days but the moulding toolpath would have been great for me when I did. In the UK there isn't that much call for 3D embellishments but there is a lot of call for mouldings.
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby ohiolyons » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:26 pm

Thanks Adrian.

So I'm not too far off base on the function of this toolpath?

I was worried I was missing something important (would not be the first time or the last).

This software never ceases to amaze me on things it can do and sometimes several different ways to accomplish a given task.
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby Adrian » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:42 pm

There are loads of things that can be done with it other than traditional mouldings. I've seen a few threads with people doing plates etc. Personally I'm not a particular creative person but I expect the likes of Michael can do all sorts with it.
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby ohiolyons » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:02 pm

There is a post where Michael uses a moulding toolpath and then wrapped it. This is why I started taking a look at the moulding toolpath.
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby highpockets » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:03 pm

Using the molding toolpath with models can also save time.
For instance I created the job below two ways.
The first using a molding toolpath for the ring then pocket around the inside a roughing and finishing cut on the apple and finally a profile cutout.
Then I created a component from the visible toolpath and setup a roughing and finishing cut on the component and finally a profile cutout.
Here are the results:
1: Molding toolpath, pocket around apple, roughing and finishing on apple then a profile cutout. Total time estimate 10:31:46 (on my machine 70ipm max)
2: Component roughing and finishing on whole plate and then a profile cutout. Total time estimate 18:01:55 (on my machine 70ipm max)

Image 015.png
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby 4DThinker » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:03 pm

I've found the Moulding Toolpath invaluable for many things I used to rely on the fluting toolpath for. You can use it for dish and dome shapes, tapered holes and tapered dowel ends to match, creative joinery, easy chamfers including those at angles you can't buy a chamfer bit for, etc..

If you are using VCarve rather than Aspire, it is one way to create what look like 3D shapes to emulate what the basic 3D modelling tools can do in Aspire.

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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby mtylerfl » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:31 pm

Our friend Tim Merrill lobbied for a feature like this many years ago. He wanted some method of improving the outcome quality and a speedier cut, if possible.

I recall he was doing some contract work to make several very large curved arch mouldings. Easy to create with two-rail sweep, BUT the model resolution suffered horribly because those arches had to be placed on material that had a ton of "white space" - aka WASTED MODEL RESOLUTION! Pixelization was a problem even at max resolution setting (plus the file sizes were enormous).

The Moulding Toolpath is an "answer to prayer" for things like Tim's arches. Resolution is not an issue compared to a raster model of the same thing.
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby tim mck » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:24 pm

Moulding toolpath feature is wonderful....... use it most days.. very powerful and useful addition to machine moulding a shape. I do wish there can be more added to this feature.

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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby mtylerfl » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:27 pm

tim mck wrote:Moulding toolpath feature is wonderful....... use it most days.. very powerful and useful addition to machine moulding a shape. I do wish there can be more added to this feature.

Tim


Hi Tim,

Can you be specific on what more you would like to have added?
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Re: Moulding Toolpath Insights?

Postby dealguy11 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:00 pm

I'm another person who uses the moulding toolpath every day. An example for us would be MDF doors. There isn't anywhere near enough resolution on a 49x97 inch sheet of MDF to do them with carving toolpaths, and in addition, the difference in how clean the paths come out with the moulding toolpath versus carving, even on a small door where you're not trying to do the whole sheet, is pretty stark. For me, this addition to Aspire was a Godsend.

Other place where the moulding toolpath shines is on large curved crown moldings. With carving, you either have a choice of rastering up and down the profile to get a clean outcome, which is deadly slow and doesn't leave a wonderful finish, or to try to use the offset strategy which gives truly horrible results. The moulding toolpath follows the curve of the moulding beautifully and gives a really nice result in fraction of the time.

Any place where you have a regular profile with steep curves, the moulding toolpath is almost always going to give you a better result with much faster cutting times because it uses vectors, not pixels, to lay out the toolpaths.

One thing I would love to have added to this toolpath would be the ability to use the vector selector to lay out the paths (there are some weirdnesses that would make this a little tricky to set up, but not impossible). This would make our MDF door production a dream, as I could use toolpath templates for everything on the doors.
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