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DayneInfo
11-15-2006, 11:37 PM
I have been playing with VCarve and plan to purchase in the next week or so. While adding new tools to the database I see that it just adds the tool to the bottom of the list. This may sound crazy but I would like the tools to be listed n alphbetical order. Is there a way to do this?

Dwayne

drawbar
11-16-2006, 02:36 PM
I'm using VCarve Pro, so I hope you're looking at the same thing here.

When you have your tool list open, you'll see three buttons below the list that say New, Copy, and Delete. Just to the right of these buttons are small blue arrow buttons that point up and down. You select the tool in the tool list that you want to move, and you click the up or down buttons to move the selected tool up and down in the list.

Brian

DayneInfo
11-16-2006, 03:21 PM
OK...It works, however, now I feel extra stupid. I clicked on those last night and did not see what they were doing...LOL

Thanks,
Dwayne

CRFultz
11-17-2006, 05:26 AM
I have been playing with VCarve and plan to purchase in the next week or so. While adding new tools to the database I see that it just adds the tool to the bottom of the list. This may sound crazy but I would like the tools to be listed n alphbetical order. Is there a way to do this?

Dwayne

If you are using Mach as a PP, you can number your tools and VCP will combine the toolpaths of the same tool number into one g code file.

Chuck

sparkgirl
11-19-2006, 02:54 PM
Does tool number matter at all if you do not have a tool changer? I watched the tutorials and read lots of threads, but so much new info is starting to blend together that I will need to watch/read them all again. New to CNC, new to router, new to plasma torch, new to CAD, new to computers for that matter--that is my excuse if this is a silly question.

Also, when doing lithos in PVC, does everyone carve the litho from the smooth side of Solid Surface material? Has anyone tried to start from the backside, which would be the matte surface? or tried to polish the backside (uncarved) side of a solid surface litho to see how the light reacts? And has anyone posted a pic or tried to do something without a lot of detail in a darker piece of solid surface like maybe just words? I did see a pic of a beautiful frame someone made for their litho in a dark material, but I mean use it for the actual litho part. Didn't know if there was still any translucency?

I'm continually amazed at the beautiful and creative ideas you all come up with! Thank you for participating on these forums. It's definately where I come to learn! Thanks all

Tony Mac
11-19-2006, 05:30 PM
Hi Sparkgirl,

Setting the correct Tool number is only important if your machine has an automatic tool changer. The tool located on the ATC loader must then match the number programmed in the software.

Interesting ideas on machining lithophanes, but afraid I haven't tried any of the techniques you've described. It's worth remembering that if the material is to thick it will stop sufficient light to pass through and create the litho effect.

Tony

DayneInfo
11-19-2006, 11:36 PM
Tony - I though it did matter. You can save your file for Mach and it will stop for you to change tool. No need for an auto tool changer in that case. Seems I tried to save a file and VCarve gave me a warning that I had more than one tool with the same tool number. Will it still save the file anyway? Will it still tell Mach time for a tool change?

Dwayne

CRFultz
11-20-2006, 06:10 AM
Tony - I though it did matter. You can save your file for Mach and it will stop for you to change tool. No need for an auto tool changer in that case. Seems I tried to save a file and VCarve gave me a warning that I had more than one tool with the same tool number. Will it still save the file anyway? Will it still tell Mach time for a tool change?

Dwayne

For once we get to correct Tony:p :)

Adding a unique number to each tool will allow you to cut multiple
GCode files that use the same tool.
For example...
My project has ten toolpaths but 6 of them use tool number 24 (1/2" 60 degree v-bit)..when I click on the Mach3 atc PP icon it gives me the option to combine the toolpaths into one file...At the machine the one file will show up with a name that was closest to the top in the toolpath list.
Since i am using a tool number unique to each tool only 4 toolpaths are visible.
if i had the same tool number for all my tools then this would not be possible...I can cut alot of toolpaths without having to restart the machine for each one that uses the same tool number.

Make sure you move your toolpaths in VCP to the order you want them to cut...You don't want to do a profile cutout before your other tools have ran there toolpaths.
For example, if you have a pocket cut in your crv file and you use the same bit for your profile cutout then your machine will cut it out before you complete the job. I always make sure my "same tool number" Gcode toolpath is at the bottom of the list, and at the machine, I make sure to run it last.

Plus my tool-tray is numbered to match the tool numbers in VCP...so when I load a gcode into Mach3 I just look at the tool number and then mount the tool.

Here is a pic of the tray....the crv file is at the Vectric forum

Chuck

CRFultz
11-20-2006, 06:40 AM
Does tool number matter at all if you do not have a tool changer? I watched the tutorials and read lots of threads, but so much new info is starting to blend together that I will need to watch/read them all again. New to CNC, new to router, new to plasma torch, new to CAD, new to computers for that matter--that is my excuse if this is a silly question.

Also, when doing lithos in PVC, does everyone carve the litho from the smooth side of Solid Surface material? Has anyone tried to start from the backside, which would be the matte surface? or tried to polish the backside (uncarved) side of a solid surface litho to see how the light reacts? And has anyone posted a pic or tried to do something without a lot of detail in a darker piece of solid surface like maybe just words? I did see a pic of a beautiful frame someone made for their litho in a dark material, but I mean use it for the actual litho part. Didn't know if there was still any translucency?

I'm continually amazed at the beautiful and creative ideas you all come up with! Thank you for participating on these forums. It's definately where I come to learn! Thanks all

For me...my experience shows that anything thicker then 1/8th the light won't pass thru and therefore will show up as black..or not illumating....but if you shine a tungstin halide on it..it might glow a bit.

As far has what side to cut....i don't think it matters ...I sand both sides before I cut and the results both appear to be the same.

Chuck

Tony Mac
11-20-2006, 07:27 AM
Oops - Thanks guys.

In my defense Sparkgirl is running a WinCNC control without an ATC and I'd previously been talking to her about a editing a PhotoVCarve postp to run with this controller. I'll stop digging now.

It's certainly a good idea to get into the habit of specifying correct tool numbering so various toolpaths that use the same cutter can be saved into a single file.

Thanks again for the useful information,

Tony

diarmaid
11-20-2006, 10:04 AM
The only stupid/ignorant question is the one that isn't asked! :)

...so in that frame of mind...:rolleyes:
Maybe I missed something, but if I have a VCP file using lets say 3 different tools (e.g A V-Bit, A Ballnose, and an endmill), and save as g-code for Mach3, then import to Mach to do my carving, will Mach automatically stop and tell me to change tools when necessary? (Maybe a pop-up window?...I don't have any Mach experience yet).

thanks :)

DayneInfo
11-20-2006, 10:50 AM
diarmaid-There is a tool change setting in Mach. It is under the configure settings, you tell it how to handle the tool changes. You can choose to have the machine stop at a specific location and restart when you hit the cycle start button. I have not used this myself, just what I remember from videos and instruction manual. But YES would be the short answer.

Dwayne

CRFultz
11-20-2006, 11:51 AM
The only stupid/ignorant question is the one that isn't asked! :)

...so in that frame of mind...:rolleyes:
Maybe I missed something, but if I have a VCP file using lets say 3 different tools (e.g A V-Bit, A Ballnose, and an endmill), and save as g-code for Mach3, then import to Mach to do my carving, will Mach automatically stop and tell me to change tools when necessary? (Maybe a pop-up window?...I don't have any Mach experience yet).

thanks :)

Since you have three different tools then you will get three different g code files....or at least you should save them that way in VCP
eg:
Vcarve 1...V-bit toolpath
Vcarve 2...Ballnose toolpath
and so on...
i don't depend on mach to maintain my tool changes or when they need to be changed...
For different tools I run separate gcode files.....
1. load the gcode into Mach
2. mount my tool that it calls for (by the assigned number) and set my z height
3. move my x/y to center
4. zero my x/y
5. start the machine

when its done i run the next gcode

For the same tool I run one gcode file....same x/y/z settings are already there,but, I'm cutting multiple gcode files


this is the only reason I use the ATC PP because I don't want to have to restart the machine for each gcode file when they are using the same tool.

Chuck