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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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I bought a set of digital (PDF) plans for a rocking horse from ToyMakingPlans.com and thought I would attempt to create vector paths in V Carve to use with my cnc. Some of the parts in the in the 60 page document cover multiple letter-sized pages that you must print out and tape together to have a full size paper pattern.

I imported one of the PDF pages into V Carve to see how accurately I could trace the outlines to create vectors. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the PDF page drawings imported directly as vectors and that the entire vector for the part was there even though only a portion of it was showing on the page. No auto or manual tracing of the image required.

In no time at all I was able to import vectors for all the parts and create tool paths for cutting them out.

The first photo shows one of the plan pages and the second how the vectors from that single page imported into V Carve. You can see that the vectors for the entire part were imported. I don’t know if other PDF plans will work as well but if you are considering using your cnc to make toys, ToyMakingPlans.com has a sure winner with their downloadable plans.
 

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Marine Engineer
Doug
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Steve Good of the Scrollsaw Workshop blog tipped me off to this feature. If your Cad Cam software doesn't support it, he recommended Inkscape as a solution. Fortunately the Vectric software handles it pretty well. (once you get past having to deal with all the different layers when you import a project book)
 

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Rick
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Oliver , are you saying your converting PDF files into vectors ?
The reason I ask is, I was trying to take pdf's of a model airplane , and change the PDF drawings into vectors so I could cut out the pieces with my laser .
Never was successful, but it was a few years ago and I can't remember which software I tried
 

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Doug
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Oliver , are you saying your converting PDF files into vectors ?
The reason I ask is, I was trying to take pdf's of a model airplane , and change the PDF drawings into vectors so I could cut out the pieces with my laser .
Never was successful, but it was a few years ago and I can't remember which software I tried
Try inkscape. If you have the file still, I can try to open it in Vectric and see if the PDF was created using vectors
 

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Rick
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Try inkscape. If you have the file still, I can try to open it in Vectric and see if the PDF was created using vectors
Long gone , but thank you for the offer Doug :) . It was driving me mad a few years back , and it certainly can't be rocket science . I thought I had it figured out , but the laser didn't recognize the tool path .
I'll be back at it next summer hopefully , and hit you guys up with solutions
 

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Theo
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Safety first. Just make sure you make that rocking horse strong enough to hold you.
 

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Mike
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Sometimes the PDF will contain vectors however the vectors may not be connected into closed vectors for each part. You may have to connect them to run toolpaths.

The Vectric software makes it fairly easy to get the close vectors you need to cutout the project with just a few clicks. I have worked with different PDF files from ToyMakingPlans.com and some contain closed vectors and others contained all open vectors, you never know until you import the PDF file.

All of the Steve Good PDF files I have worked with have contain closed vectors when required.
 
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Doug
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All of the Steve Good PDF files I have worked with have contain closed vectors when required.
Just played with this one as a possible door decoration for a kid that loves pirates.... Maybe put the name on the dagger.

Truth be told, if this is a 'one off' I can probably cut it faster on the scroll saw.
 

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Theo
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Just played with this one as a possible door decoration for a kid that loves pirates.... Maybe put the name on the dagger.

Truth be told, if this is a 'one off' I can probably cut it faster on the scroll saw.
OMG. I need shop time. I looked at that and instantly thought, "Hey, that would make a neat bank". Aargh I saved it, may design a bank, but seeing as I don't have a CNC, nor plan on getting one, it will be laid out on my old standby - 1/4" graph paper. I really, REALLY, need to get things out of the way so I can get in some shop time again. Argh, I can't breathe, need shop time. But In the meantime I'll just get a cup of coffee.
 
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