Is this the process you are trying to automate?
I've lurked here quite a bit and searched and searched for this one, so hopefully I'm posting in the right place for direction or help.
I have my own engraving business and have created the Tyronosaurus and Mammoth puzzle models most of you are familiar with here. They are cool and well liked by most anyone. I have collected many, many other similar project files of 3D puzzles/models here and elsewhere and have a problem now. I have a variety of materials I would like to create these models in, acrylic in 2 or 3 thicknesses, MDF, possibly a heavy poster board, and aluminum and brass.
The problem this presents is one of time; to resize all of the slots on each model for each material thickness would take a GREAT deal of time and I just don't have it. I've had software built for me and I'm sure there must be some way to write a macro, script, or plugin that would automate at least part of the process like selecting all of the nodes for each of the slots and resizing the distance between the two longest lines to the measurement that is input for the end result.
I don't mean to be so long winded, but I don't know how to communicate this clearly any quicker. I use a laser engraving machine for most of my work, hand held rotary tools, a sandblast cabinet, and I am getting closer to operating my small CNC Router with good results, lol.
Any ideas or directions towards some solution for this is greatly appreciated!
Thank you SBC, yes that is exactly what I am looking to automate or find some way to select all of the slots and batch process. I use that exact tutorial and didn't even think of using it to explain, lol, so thank you very much.
Do you know of anything like what I'm looking for or another place to post?
OK, just wanted to make sure I had my head wrapped around the problem alright. I'm still thinking of a way to automate it. I just got CorelDraw in the past few months and there may be a solution in there. I'm not sure.
Hoping someone else will chime in with a thought, but still looking Stan.
EDIT - Just as an afterthought and I'm sure it's not a viable solution but if the material thickness variance was very small, a quick fix would be to scale the entire drawing. Just thinking out loud...
Last edited by SBC Cycle; 12-01-2008 at 07:21 AM.
Thanks for posting again SBC! I've done some more looking and found a couple scripts that I still need to check out later today. Coreldraw is what I do most of my work in and I've been thinking the same thing in regards to there seems to be some way just out of reach to my little ol' thinker in there to do this. I've never used the VB record function and am thinking maybe that will work, but I don't know enough about it yet to know if there is a way to record my selecting multiple slots in a manner that it will know to pick them up in another puzzle.
I'm getting some more Christmas engraving work, so my time is even more limited for a few more weeks, but I am going to continue pursuing this until I get somewhere with it. Oh yeah, I though of the resize thing and though that may work, for the sake of material cost and offering different sizes of the puzzles (i.e. small, medium, and large eagle), I still need a more efficient way to do it.
Now that I know someone else is interested, I will certainly keep you posted as well if I get this figured out.
About your forum name "SBC Cycle", do you have your own cycle business? Just curious; my wife and I both ride and I'm hoping to get past some obstacles/limitations in laser engraving chrome parts and accessories to break into that market. I have 3 of the largest cycle shops in my area panting to display and sell products like this, but there is only one of me for the time being, lol.
Forgive a newbie if I'm out of line, we have in the UK a product (Thermark Laser Marking Material LMM14 Black) would this serve your pupose?
I'm only making a start with my new laser and have not used this product, but it seems simple to use.
Spray, or brush a thin film onto metal surface engrave onto this surface then wash the product off with water. The lines 'zapped' are permanently on the surface. Job done! The sample I saw on stainless steel even resisted an attack with wire wool
I appreciate you sharing some info and trying to help me out, very much! Unfortunately this time around we're talking apples and oranges kind of. I am familiar with the Thermark product, also called Cermark, and yes it is amazing how well it works in marking metals! I've had some fun with it.
What I am looking for though has to do with manipulating graphic files in software. A 3D puzzle or model, they are referred to both ways and both puzzle and model are a good description of them, they are graphic files made up of several parts of the model, such as an eagle, that when they are cut from a piece of material can be assembled to look like an eagle.
I will attach the file for an eagle and a picture of what it looks like put together. I found both of these on this website, the eagle and the picture, and it will help you understand. My need is to resize the slots where the pieces fit together so that I can quickly adjust different models to cut out from different materials that have different thickness measurements. If I use the file with 1/8" slots and cut all the parts out of 1/4" material, the parts won't fit together and I can't make the model. That is the problem, and resizing all of the slots individually for many different models would be very, very time consuming.
Thanks again for trying to help out. Hope you have a great holiday.