Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

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Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby sudo » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:56 pm

Hello,

Ive recently started to endeavor into the wonderful world of CNC.

On my first big project, I used Adobe Illustrator to create all the vectors needed.

What I came to find was that a lot of the vectors had problems when importing them into Vcarve. Some had many lines drawn on top of each other. Some lines were vectors in themselves, meaning the line was enclosed on all sides creating a rectangle. Some closed vectors were not truly closed. In just about every case, I had to trace all my hard work in Vcarve Pro 8.5

Im sure there is some 'treatment' that I could have done in illustrator to make vcarve happier.

I would love to hear how you guys create, treat, and export vectors from Adobe Illustrator for minimal issues when creating tool paths in vcarve.

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby Adrian » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:21 am

The best long term solution is to draw in VCarve rather than in Illustrator. Not sure what you mean by tracing in VCarve from an Illustrator file. They should be coming in as vectors which means you should be using node editing etc to correct faults in the existing vectors.

The problem with Illustrator and other "artistic" vector programs is that they're meant for creating projects for the human eye rather than for a machine to use so unless you're very careful (I used to use Xara and fell into the same trap several times) you will get the problems you describe. Especially if you use any sort of colouring or fills.
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby martin54 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:00 am

What version of illustrator were you using & how did you save the file for export into VCP ?

Adrian is correct when he says that the best long term solution is to learn how to use the drawing tools in VCP & create all your artwork within the program. Having said that I struggle myself to do that consistently, for anything fairly basic then I use the drawing tools within the program, if it's something more complex then I revert back to what I know & have been using for lots of years to create vector artwork :oops: :oops:
Having used the same signmaking software for years & knowing how to use it pretty well it is sometimes difficult to stick to learning something new especially if your working on something that needs doing fairly quickly.

What I have found is that exporting as an EPS file gives me far better results than any other file format that can be imported into VCP. In fact EPS works pretty well when imported into any of the software that I use, not just VCP.
I am slowly learning to use the tools within the program for creating artwork but I have never had a problem with any of the files I have created with other software & then imported :lol: :lol:
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby adze_cnc » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:38 am

sudo wrote:What I came to find was that a lot of the vectors had problems when importing them into Vcarve.


No offence but I wonder if many vectors had problems while still in Illustrator? Illustrator can be a great way to create projects. VCarve can be a great way to create a project. Rhinoceros can be a great way to create a project, etc.

Illustrator's snap-to-end-point behaviour can be a little strict leading to not quite closed shapes. You really do have to wait until it says "Anchor" or "Intersection", etc. whereas in AutoCAD you can be much less precise.

VCarve's vector creation can be powerful but many times I find myself having to fool it into doing what I want when I might not need to do so in, say, Rhino.
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby newmexico » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:18 pm

Illustrator is a CAD program! Yes, it can make art too.

However, one must know Illustrator well to use it for CAD.
Our workflow: Adobe Illustrator > VCarvePro > GCode

Illustrator TIPS:
1. Turn on Grid View
2. Turn on SNAP TO GRID
3. You can also use SNAP TO POINT instead of SNAP TO GRID
4. Learn and use the "Pathfinder" tool.
5. Do not use FILLS.
6. The "Expand" tool can be extremely useful You can draw a simple line and expand it both + or - to any set increment.
7. The mathematical alignment tools in Illustrator are extremely useful.

CorelDraw and other cad programs can also be problematic. Node editing is a great advantage if one can take the time to learn it.
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby Adrian » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:23 pm

What is it that you can do in Illustrator but not in VCarve as part of that flow? I'm interested to know as it could be raised as a feature request.

In my experience a lot of the things (but far from all) people are doing in external packages are because they don't know how to do it in VCarve rather than the feature not being there.
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby newmexico » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:26 pm

Illustrator is a CAD program! Yes, it can make art too.

However, one must know Illustrator well to use it for CAD.
Our workflow: Adobe Illustrator > VCarvePro > GCode

Illustrator TIPS:
1. Turn on Grid View
2. Turn on SNAP TO GRID
3. You can also use SNAP TO POINT instead of SNAP TO GRID
4. Learn and use the "Pathfinder" tool.
5. Do not use FILLS.
6. The "Expand" tool can be extremely useful You can draw a simple line and expand it both + or - to any set increment.
7. The mathematical alignment tools in Illustrator are extremely useful.

CorelDraw and other cad programs can also be problematic. Node editing is a great advantage if one can take the time to learn it. Long term? Master any of the great CAD programs, i.e., Illustrator - CorelDraw - etc.
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby newmexico » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:38 pm

Thanks, Adrian. Great question.

Let's start with the vast amount of vector art available to CAD programs like Illustrator.
Also, Illustrator is vast in it's abilities. For example, importing and exporting file formats.
IMHO, VCarve is a watered-down version of Illustrator. It has the basic features of Illustrator.
IMHO, the staff at Vectric probably use Illustrator a bunch!

We have drawn up very detailed vectors in Illustrator with mortise & tenon parts.
We admit that Illustrator can be daunting to learn. It is not for everyone.

My apology to all if this seems like we are starting a old-fashioned forum brawl. Not my intent.
Illustrator also imports and exports to Autocad. Now there's a serious CAD program!
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Re: Adobe Illistrator Tips for VCarve

Postby newmexico » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:41 pm

NowPlaying_MASTER.jpg

The attachment is pure 100% Illustrator.
Thanks, Adrian. Great question.

Let's start with the vast amount of vector art available to CAD programs like Illustrator.
Also, Illustrator is vast in it's abilities. For example, importing and exporting file formats.
IMHO, VCarve is a watered-down version of Illustrator. It has the basic features of Illustrator.
IMHO, the staff at Vectric probably use Illustrator a bunch!

We have drawn up very detailed vectors in Illustrator with mortise & tenon parts.
We admit that Illustrator can be daunting to learn. It is not for everyone.

My apology to all if this seems like we are starting a old-fashioned forum brawl. Not my intent.
Illustrator also imports and exports to Autocad. Now there's a serious CAD program!

Maybe we should start a COMPARISON chart between Illustrator (and other great CAD programs) and VCarvePro to weed out the differences that could become feature requests.

(sorry about the double posts. My fault.)
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