Stipple (Half Tone) Drilling

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adze_cnc
Vectric Wizard
Posts: 3057
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:08 pm
Model of CNC Machine: AXYZ 4008
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Stipple (Half Tone) Drilling

Post by adze_cnc »

Bharris wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:48 pm
...Unfortunately, when I apply a VCarve toolpath to a selection of overlapping shapes, it creates a group of anomalous paths that ruin the cut (See attached). From what I understand, this is simply how VCarve path calculation works and is to be expected. Drill paths, on the other hand, do not suffer this problem....
 
Overlapping V-Carve.jpg
This gadget takes a selection of circles and a choosen v-bit, engraving, ball end, or tapered ball end bit. It creates a drlling toolpath using the bit and selection the result of which is a conical or dish shaped depression to fill the circle.

The circles can come from a half-tone creation program such as the one for Windows written by https://jasondorie.com/page_cnc.html Jason Dorie. It also works well with StippleGen2 from https://www.evilmadscientist.com/2012/stipplegen2/ Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. A similar result can be obtained from the "V-Carve / Engraving Toolpath" in the Vectric software But that toolpath does not handle overlapping circles as mentioned above.

Note: because the Vectric gadget API seems to have no way of obtaining the side angle of an engraving or tapered ball nose bit you will need to enter that manually if you use one of those bits. Take note of the side angle when you select your bit and enter it in the field below the "Bit" button. If you are using a v-bit or ball end bit you can leave the field at 0.

The "Use Peck Drilling" has two choices: 'Peck' and 'Plunge'. Peck will use the bit's pass depth to peck down in steps. It will retract to the last cut depth rather than the top of the material to allow chips to clear. Plunge will step the bit down the full depth to be cut in one go.

The "Starting Depth" field will normally be left at 0. If you are stippling the bottom of a dish or box you can enter the depth of your pocket here. As with other toolpaths when cutting the job it is up to you to make sure that material had been removed.

If the diameter of a circle is greater than the diameter of the chosen bit it will not be included in the drilling toolpath. The depth of any cut will be limited to the material thickness between start depth and the bottom of the material.
 
V-Carve/Engraving toolpath. Circles missing. Overlapping causes odd shapes to be cut.
V-Carve/Engraving toolpath. Circles missing. Overlapping causes odd shapes to be cut.
  
Stpple Dril gadget properly drills circles
Stpple Dril gadget properly drills circles
 
This gadget works in Aspire and VCarve Pro versions 9 to 11. I have not tried it in Cut2D Pro but gadgets are claimed to work in that program.

I have not tried it in version 10.x but as underlying SDK entries have not changed between v9 and v11 it should work fine. I have also not tested it in versions less than v9 but I expect that it should work.

Because the forum software doesn't allow attachments with ".vgadget" extension the file is uploaded as "Stipple_Drill_v1_0.zip". Rename this to "Stipple_Drill_v1_0.vgadget" after downloading and before installing.

To install the gadget into Aspire/VCarve Pro choose on of the following methods:
  • with Aspire/VCarve closed you can "double-click" on the .vgadget file in Windows Explorer to automatically load Aspire/VCarve and install the gadget.
  • if you already have Aspire/VCarve open you can install the gadget by using the menu option: Gadgets > Install New Gadget...
If you use the latter option you will need to restart Aspire/VCarve to see the new gadget on the Gadget menu.

Some changes that might be made for the gadget:
  • remove manual side angle entry if API method is identified
  • user input toolpath name
  • copying invalid circles to a layer for further processing
—Steven

To use this gadget just follow these simple steps:
  1. Select the circle vectors for the gadget to create a drilling-style toolpath
  2. Go to "Gadgets" on the toolbar and select the "Stipple Drill" Gadget
  3. Choose your bit (or use the last chosen one); set side angle if needed; choose peck or plunge; set optional start depth
  4. Cick OK to create toolpath; click Cancel to exit without creating
  5. When the gadget is finished a "Stipple Drill" toolpath will be created
If there are circles that are too large an error message with the error count will be displayed.
Attachments
Stipple_Drill_v1_0.zip
(7.77 KiB) Downloaded 88 times

User avatar
adze_cnc
Vectric Wizard
Posts: 3057
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:08 pm
Model of CNC Machine: AXYZ 4008
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Stipple (Half Tone) Drilling

Post by adze_cnc »

 
Version 1.15 gadget update:
  • altered to work under VCarve 7.x & 8.x as well as Aspire v4.5
Installation Instructions

Because the forum software doesn't allow attachments with ".vgadget" extension the file is uploaded as "Stipple_Drill v1_15.zip". Installation instructions are the same for both new installation or in upgrading a previous version:

Instructions for Aspire and VCarve Pro versions greater than v8.x
  1. download the gadget attached below as: Stipple_Drill_v1_15.zip
  2. rename it to: Stipple_Drill_v1_15.vgadget
  3. in Vectric Pro or Aspire click on then menu option: Gadgets -> Install Gadget
  4. navigate to where the downloaded and renamed file is
  5. select it and click Ok.
VCarve/Aspire should give you a pop-up saying the gadget was installed and you should see "Stipple Drilling" in the Gadgets menu.

Note: after downloading the ZIP file do not extract it but continue on to the rename operation (unless you are running Aspire v4.5 or VCarve v7.x in which you need to manually unzip and move the folder to where your gadgets are stored).

This gadget has been tested to work in Aspire v4.5 and versions 9 to 11 and in VCarve Pro versions 7 to 11.

I have not tried it in version 10.x but as that version uses the same toolpath selection as v11.x it should work. Choose a tool and if you get no errors it should work.
Attachments
Stipple_Drill_v1_15.zip
(7.93 KiB) Downloaded 55 times

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