Easy Zank Toolpath Maker

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Vectric Apprentice
Posts: 1868
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:08 pm
Model of CNC Machine: AXYZ 4008
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Easy Zank Toolpath Maker

Post by adze_cnc »

Hello Jim,

Here's some observation on the "Easy Zank Toolpath Maker" gadget.

It asks for too many things. Perhaps this was because the gadget was to be used to make toolpaths for both halves of the tapered inlay process (the inlay and the base).

The "Base Depth (B)" and "Glue Gap (C)" have no bearing on the final cutting of the Inlay plug. It might be nice to use them as a check to see if the Inlay will fit ( i.e. if D-A >= B-C ) but not strictly necessary—more on this in the suggestion below.

The value of Inlay Thickness (D) doesn't really need to be input as it is not used to create a Profile toolpath and D should be the material thickness of the job (v10.x) or the current sheet (v11.x).

The code in "EasyZankTool0Ver3.5.xlua" reads the material thickness:

Code: Select all

function GetMaterialSettings()
  local MaterialBlock = MaterialBlock()
  Milling.MaterialBlockThickness = MaterialBlock.Thickness
but never does anything with it.

For the following see the attached image:


My suggestion is to input only four things:
  • Carving V-Bit
  • Clearance Tool
  • A = Material to Inlay into Base (this is the "Start Depth" of the normal toolpath we're replacing)
  • B = Air gap between Inlay and Base (for bandsaw, to prevent binding, etc.)—this corresponds to your current "Inlay Waste Amount (A)" (this is the "Flat Depth" of the normal toolpath we're replacing)
That's it. The first two exist on the current form.

There could be an information area that might display things like (for these examples I will presume A=0.18; B=0.08; MillingThickness=0.50; v-bit angle=60):
  • If A+B >= Milling.MaterialBlockThickness (i.e. if 0.26 >= 0.50) then warn them that they need to make the material thicker.
  • Remind them that the Base Depth needs to be at least "A" deep and if possible "A" plus glue gap. e.g. "Base Depth cut-out needs to be at least 0.18 plus a small glue squeeze-out gap"
  • Remind them that the v-bit used to create the Base needs to have the same angle. e.g. "Remember to use a 60-degree v-bit for the 'V-Carve / Engraving' toolpath used cut out the base."
For the text messages (e.g. the v-bit warning) the numbers will be taken from variables within the LUA script and are not hard-coded.

I'm sure there's something I've forgotten but I'll pass it along if/when I think of it.

Thanks for all your work on this. It'll be great when the API properly creates the clearance toolpaths


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