Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

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Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby Tailmaker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:42 pm

So I made that new software to generate a variety of Guilloche patterns and that works quite well. More info here.
My latest addition was to generate not only .dxf files with open vectors for the center of the engraving trace but also closed vectors for the outline of varying width traces to be used for Vcarving in Aspire/VCarvePro.

However, such patterns often consist of intersecting loops and waves. As long as such closed vectors only intersect with other closed vectors, the Aspire welding tool can be used for immediate cleanup, see attached examples "NonOverlapUnmodified" and "NonOverlapWelded".

If the pattern is however represented by long contiguous vectors that overlap with themselves (see attached "OverlapUnmodified"), they can not be "welded" with themselves and one has to resort to manual trimming of the crossings.

That can be quite a bit of busy work and is there any idea how to do this better? Since the traces are generated incrementally with an algorithm, there is no easy way to recognize such crossings while calculating the trace.

Thanks!
Attachments
DSC03124.jpg
NonOverlapUnmodified.crv3d
(362 KiB) Downloaded 55 times
NonOverlapWelded.crv3d
(365 KiB) Downloaded 48 times
OverlapUnmodified.crv3d
(179.5 KiB) Downloaded 52 times
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby adze_cnc » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:30 pm

Can you down-save these files to VCarve format for those of us without Aspire?

Just looking at the image: my thought is making this into 3 main vectors plus a number of lesser ones.

Each of the 3 main vectors would be the waves as they complete one revolution around the ellipse. You can then create a v-carve toolpath for each wave and not have to worry that it intersects the 2 others. Imagine the waves start under the "L" in Lab and end under the "rot" in Proto.

The lesser vectors would be the 3 "S" shapes needed to complete the design from "oto" to "L". With their accompanying toolpaths. The main vectors could be extended into the body of the "S"es for a cleaner look.

I hope I've described that well enough,
Steven
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby FixitMike » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:49 pm

adze_cnc wrote:Can you down-save these files to VCarve format for those of us without Aspire?

Steven

Use File--Save As--.crv
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby Tailmaker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:57 pm

adze_cnc wrote:Can you down-save these files to VCarve format for those of us without Aspire....


Sorry, did not think about that. Actually the attached sample files are simplified files to better show the problem, not for the carving of the photo (that shows only an example of what can be done with the software). Here again in .crv format.
Manual editing is a sure way to fix it (and I have done that for several projects) but for a more complicated pattern it can take 10 or 20 minutes clicking away with the trim/scissor tool and that gets old rapidly. Sometimes I rather used the bitmap import because, while less accurate, it can be converted into carveable vectors in no time.
Attachments
NonOverlapUnmodified.crv
(358 KiB) Downloaded 41 times
NonOverlapWelded.crv
(361.5 KiB) Downloaded 34 times
OverlapUnmodified.crv
(173 KiB) Downloaded 50 times
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby Adrian » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:27 pm

You could try different variations on groups as the Weld/Subtract/Overlap tools behave differently with grouped vectors than they do with individual ones but I think manual editing is probably going to be the only way with the Overlap files as I can't see a way the program could figure out how you would want those vectors joined. It's one of those things that is very obvious to the human eye but to a program it's a different matter.

I will watch the thread with interest to see if anyone has a quicker technique though.
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby Tailmaker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:02 pm

Adrian wrote:.....Weld/Subtract/Overlap tools behave differently with grouped vectors than they do with individual ones....


Thanks, fabulous idea and I did not know that. I tried grouping the outline of each trace separately then welding all together. That solved about 95% of the crossing overlaps. Manually cleaning up the remaining 5% was not so bad, see attached.
Attachments
OverlapUnmodifiedCleanedUp.crv
(870.5 KiB) Downloaded 47 times
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby adze_cnc » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:20 pm

Thanks for the CRV files. Scrap pretty much everything I wrote above as that was based on two faulty premises:

1. that the image was a representation of the Aspire files
2. that there was only one swirl that ran around the ellipse thrice

Having said that, my original idea of creating multiple toolpaths stands. Also, trying not to convert the 5 individual swirls into one semI-connected but mostly fragmented one.

See attached image and file for my attempted solution. (Saved via VCarve 9.507--sorry)

Steven

guilloche.jpg


guilloche.crv
(451.5 KiB) Downloaded 41 times
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby Tailmaker » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:16 pm

adze_cnc wrote:... trying not to convert the 5 individual swirls into one semI-connected but mostly fragmented one.....


Good point Steven. Usually, such a pattern for v-carve purposes has no more than 4 or 5 traces and making separate tool paths is not such a big deal. It only leaves the overlaps when a trace is looping back over itself. I suppose you trimmed those manually in my example?

If somebody needs more traces for a traditional guilloche it would most likely be a thin constant width engraving line on the center of the trace and that can be done directly with the profile tool path "On" avoiding all the overlap problems.

GB
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby adze_cnc » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:47 pm

Tailmaker wrote:I suppose you trimmed those manually in my example?


Yes. Again with so few paths and intersections it made sense. Next I should see if Illustrator's pathfinder tools can make it automatic.

I wonder how difficult it would be to have a toolpath that sort of acts as a two rail sweep? That is given two open vectors it would v-carve between them. That way it wouldn't matter if the vectors loop back on themselves. For an intersection the algorithm could look at the 3 possible next steps and choose whichever one is the closest match to the direction and angle that we are currently travelling in.
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Re: Tip needed for overlapping vector cleanup

Postby Tailmaker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:36 am

adze_cnc wrote:........I wonder how difficult it would be to have a toolpath that sort of acts as a two rail sweep? That is given two open vectors it would v-carve between them. .....


I am embarrassed to admit that I never tried the 2-rail sweep thing (usually I do my 3D design in a separate mechanical engineering software). But it looks promising and I need to learn how to do that.

In the meantime I played more with the Guilloche program but not with the variable depth v-carving but with diamond drag engraving various parts. Much less trouble with the open vectors and profile tool paths "on" the vector. They just don't care if the vectors are looping back.

Here a video clip...
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