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I am new to CNC routing. Most of the projects I've done so far are simple signs using the ShopBot. I work as a mentor to a group of teenagers who are designing, building and racing a human-powered submarine. We have the hull drawn up as a solid part on SolidWorks. We'd like to take slices of the hull at pre-determined intervals, cut them on the ShopBot, then use those as guides for a faired plug which we will use to make a mold. (This fabrication method is a personal learning objective for one of the teens.) The teens and I have created DXF files for the cross-sections of interest, but...

I was recently introduced to AutoDeck123D Make which will do this slicing automatically. Furthermore, it can be used to create a 3D interlocking puzzle, thus enabling us to have a longitudinal guide rib along the center of the plug, a desirable feature. After playing some with 123D Make, it looks like it's limited to a small bed size, perhaps limited to 3D printing or laser cutting. Does anyone know if there is a way to import it to VCarve (the software set up for the ShopBot I use)? OR is there another software program that does this same auto-slicing that is meant for a 4' x 8' bed on a CNC router?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

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I have never done that or read on it, but would appreciate if you updated your project on this forum especially as related to the slicing to make a mold.

Oh, and welcome to Router Forums.

Steve.
 

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ASPIRE offers a Slicing tool that takes any model and slices it as your request. You can go to the Vectric web site. down load the trial software for free and even review the specific video training on Slicing 3 D models.

The Trial software will not allow you to create tool paths... but, you can certainly look to see if the answer is valid.. I believe they offer educational discounts.
 

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Export your Solidworks model to .stl format and you can import it into VCarve Pro. For a model that is different on both sides you will have to do two imports one for each side. Then it is simple to slice the models into parts that can be machined with the materials you want to use for fabrication of the mold. You do need to be aware that there can not be any over hanging portions in the model or just be aware that you will need to do a little hands on modification to the part after carving.
 
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