Questions for the CNC guys - Page 4 - Router Forums
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post #31 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I for one hope that im not offending anyone. I can see Theo/JOAT isnt getting a cnc but Ihave to rub it in anyways. ]
Ah found this thread again. Good, because I still have some questions.
Not offending me. Yeah, just not my cuppa.

OK, I don't know what the differences between Vector and Aspire, which is basically immaterial. But the fiddle and grapes was done with Aspire. I can see where that all could be cut out by a CNC, but I'm wondering if the rounded bottom and tops of the grapes were done too. If so, could the same work be done on an entry machine, or would you need to step up to a higher class machine? Just what can be done on an entry machine, besides sign making? I think that's pretty much it.

"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
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Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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post #32 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 01:33 PM
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CNC does certainly have its share of nomenclature, like several other woodworking areas, and is something that is useful to learn to help understand the process, and be able to clearly ask or answer questions.

A Vector is basically a curve. It can be made up of straight lines, arcs, or bezier curves. Basically, anything that can be represented by mathematical formulas (you DO NOT need to know the math - thats what your drawing program is for!). Say for instance @JOAT has a hand drawn sketch that he wants to machine on his future CNC. He could scan his sketch, this turns it into a Bitmap - which is a bunch of different pixels. If you zoom into this, you can see every square pixel. A drawing program such as Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or some of the CNC specific programs such as ArtCAM, VCarve, Aspire or Fusion 360 can import this this bitmap image, and then either automatically (with different degrees of success) or manually allow you to create VECTORS to replace the bitmap image. The advantage of vectors is that they can be resized smoothly and with no loss of precision, and they can be used to develop a tool path for the CNC.

Vectric is a software company, that produces software such as Cut2D (~$200), Vcarve Pro (~600), and Aspire (~$2000). These have different price points and different capabilities.

The 3D surface analog of a vector is known as a Relief. They may be created by some of the programs above, or they can be purchased like clip art. Many files used for 3D printing can be used, and there are online collections of free ones as well. The usual format is a STL, but can be in many other forms. Vectric has its own proprietary format, as does ArtCAM, but owners of these programs can usually import or export in these other formats as well.

A relief like the fiddle and grapes is difficult to create and requires both artistry and skill to produce. Some programs can create a relief from a photograph, but these usually require some manipulation to look right. A special form of bitmap where each bit shade of gray translates directly into a height will convert and look much better.

Generally, any CNC router can carve both vector based or relief based images, it is the CAM program that creates the toolpaths that needs to be able to handle the format, the CNC hardware just does as its told. If its told to move in X, Y and Z simultaneously, it will.
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post #33 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Wow. Don't know if I am informed, or confused. But thanks anyway. I'll have to ponder this some, but may just be out of questions.
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"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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post #34 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 08:25 PM
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Great info Richard . How I’d like to meet you and your machine in person

I don't know anything about CNC router tables , but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night
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post #35 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 09:37 PM
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Joat

that is a 15 minute carve with a chainsaw... get a chainsaw.. no glue up, no tracing... fast..

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post #36 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 10:02 PM
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Chainsaws can be fun. Sanding the work when the chainsaw is done NEVER is.
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post #37 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 11:39 PM
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Sanding anything is no fun.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #38 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 12:01 AM
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Great info Richard . How Iíd like to meet you and your machine in person
If youíre ever near the Denver area, Iíd be happy to meet with you*. Too late on the extrusions though, went a few weeks ago and picked up the last two 1m pieces of the big ones that they had - enough to extend my machine to 4x8 sometime in the future.

We can talk about how I insulated my shop (in Colorado, above 6400 feet (1950m) ), so I can work in there even when it is below zero (F) outside! That cost much less than even my CNC.

I might even be done modifying my machine. Just finished replacing 2 relatively weak parts (3/8 thick plate pieces) with a 1/2 thick, 4 inch x 4 inch piece of angle. I donít like any flex.

Next up is redoing spoil board with embedded aluminum t-track. My milled in t-track failed when I was trying to take out a little bow in a 1 1/2 thick glued up maple counter I was salvaging.

*Invitation extends to anyone on this forum interested in CNC (or not interested @JOAT )!
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post #39 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 12:09 AM
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that is a 15 minute carve with a chainsaw... get a chainsaw.. no glue up, no tracing... fast..
Give me 15 minutes with a chainsaw and I would be lucky to have a few of my limbs left. Thatís why I built a CNC- no carving talent.
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post #40 of 73 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Chainsaws are not only precision woodworking tools, they are loads of fun. I've got two now, both electric, don't need to crank them to start. You guys 'sand' after using one? Must not be doing it right then.
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"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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