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Thread: Pocket Toolpath Concerns

  1. #1
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    Pocket Toolpath Concerns

    I'm trying to make a gift for Pastor appreciation month for our pastor. I've got everything worked out but for this concern. I'm wanting the pocket to cut everything but the cross and lettering. If my photos adequately show my issue I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm certain it's going to cut everything within the pocket including where the cross is. Am I wrong? What's my work around here? Running Vectric VCarve Pro 8.5.
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  2. #2
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    Hi Ronald,
    Here is one way to do it. The key here is to select both the outer circle and the perimeter of the cross so it knows the inner and outer boundaries for the pocket. If you only select the circle, then it will clear everything inside the circle and machine away your cross. There is no need to create a profile tool path around the cross, unless you are using a smaller diameter cutter to machine away material that a larger diameter cutter used for pocketing will not remove.
    David


    Step 1 - Select the two closed paths shown below.

    Step 1.jpg

    Step 2 - Use pocketing tool path to remove material between cross and circular boundary.

    Step 2.jpg

    Step 2a.jpg

    Step 3 - Select the text inside the cross.

    Step 3.jpg

    Step 4 - Create Engraving tool paths.

    Step 4.jpg
    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 10-23-2020 at 7:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    David has one method, as he says. You may want to do it differently, depending on how you want the text to look. Do you want the text to be proud of the cross, vcarved into it, or pocketed out of it?
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  4. #4
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    You need to select both the cross's vector and the boundary vector when you create your toolpath so the software knows you want to remove the material between them.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the replies. I will go try that shortly. I will let you know how it goes. Grant I'm going to carve the letters into the cross. But I may experiment with that to see which looks best.

  6. #6
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    my suggestion is to do the letters first unless you have to surface the cross to some 3D contour initially. If so, do the contour and then letter with the "follow surface" box checked. Then do your pocketing. Doing the lettering early makes for a more stable workpiece to support those fine cuts. This is a relatively simple project, but it's still an opportunity to reinforce the good habit of thinking through the process to order the cutting in the most efficient way. That gets more important with more complex jobs as well as with multiple multi-tool pocketing where reordering the sequence of individual tool paths leads to less time changing tooling. Etc.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 10-23-2020 at 2:23 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    That worked. I just had to figure out how to select more than one item at a time. Shift key does it. Actually that is what I'm doing Jim. Because I want to add color to the letters I'm applying sealer, cutting the lettering, then adding the color to them, and then cutting the pocket. I will post a photo when I get it the way I want it. Experimenting some at this point. Thanks for the great advice. You guys are a great wealth of knowledge.

    I didn't want to leave you hanging. I know it can be frustrating when you offer suggestions for something and there is no reply on what worked or if there is additional issues. I'm on another forum (unrelated) and believe it or not I am pretty knowledgeable about troubleshooting mechanical/electrical mobile machinery issues. Have given detailed insight into how to diagnose something and nothing but crickets. At least say if you got it figured out......
    Last edited by Ronald Blue; 10-24-2020 at 10:58 PM.

  8. #8
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    "Think like the machine" sometimes helps with this kind of thing. What does the machine need to know to accomplish the task? Yea...the boundaries. And multiple selection helps with that. At some point, you'll also start to work more with layers in the software because you'll get into situations where you need to use the same vector for other operations and sometimes in different combinations. Copying vectors to other layers so you can "slice and dice" can be the key to keeping things sane, especially when you need to physically combine multiple vectors into a single one to create what is essentially a new shape. Every project is a learning experience but you will find that the lessons learn start to become habits which become natural, both in thought and deed.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    You don't say, Ronald, how you want to add the colouring. I know this was not in your original question, but one method is to mask the area that you will V cut into with sticky shelf paper, do your V cut, paint or colour how you like, then remove the paper. You will get clean, crisp colour lines.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  10. #10
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    I'm trying different things. I don't think I have tried masking. I am trying clear sealer before the letters are cut. To keep from getting penetration into the grain where it will/would take lots of sanding to remove. I will know shortly how that worked.

  11. #11
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    It's a pretty good practice to seal indies and around the lettering, etc., that you're going to flood with paint whether you use a mask or not. I use wax free shellac for that. This is for the reason you state...color bleed. The shellac dries quickly even with two quick coats slathered on and sands of the top nicely prior to your next steps, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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