Before You Buy a CNC Router, BobCAD, and BobArt…

Just another WordPress site

Before You Buy a CNC Router, BobCAD, and BobArt…

I’ve done welcome to SVC ker saving vessel seeker she’s that big steel boat you see in the picture back behind us there and I love steel it’s it’s it’s as strong as durable it’s unforgiving it’s it’s just amazing product to work with but I also love wood too and a lot of people build wood boats I choose to put wood inside my boat yeah wood is just so natural it’s warm its inviting it’s you know something we like having around us because it’s comfortable and if you build a boat out of wood it’s something that you can claim to once the steel boat runs your ass down so think about that but here we are we’re gonna do a little bit of woodworking today and it’s not my normal thing but I just love the way these come out and so we have some octopus tentacles that we’ve done relief cuts of we have a dragon that we put into the boat a couple of them that are Chinese dragons and we’ve done V carvings on them and so if you’ve been thinking about doing woodworking but you don’t want to spend twenty years learning how to carve by hand CNC is the cheap way to get there quick now maybe you’ll learn to carve by hand after you learned CNC but you know anybody can do this well it takes a lot of work though so I’m gonna give you an overview pass through all the steps from getting the art work to making it to a cut file to cutting it on the machine just to give you a overview so you can see what’s involved before you take that big step and let me start off by saying CNC machines are a dime a dozen now and they’ve gotten a lot cheaper and mostly what you see I’m doing now is 3d printing and if you have one on there they’re great but I’ll tell you what most people that have them have underestimated the amount of work that’s required to design the thing you want to create there’s a lot of work in there so I don’t want to fool you as you say oh you go out buy a CNC machine you can be cutting one of these tomorrow that’s not really the truth so let’s dig into it so the first thing you’re going to want to do is find an image and maybe you’re an artist and you can draw this but most people just cheat they go to google put in octopus for example click on images and there you go you can pick one of these now they’re not all going to work well for the same process a black-and-white image for example will do nice on a relief file because it will make the dark parts deeper and the cut and the wider parts lighter in the cut or I like that one there in fact I like that one a lot so I’m gonna pick that one as an example now it’s grayscale so it’ll do relief you notice it’s got darker and lighter areas it’s got a lot of contrast in it it’s got no background to it so there’s a lot of things about this file that lend itself well to a carving it’s a also a large file so I could actually blow it up and I wouldn’t lose a lot of detail now if I was going to pick a color file that would work too but there’s not a lot of contrast here but it would probably be alright again it has no background to us so that’s great something that would work terrible let’s just find one there we go you can’t really distinguish the animal from the background there’s lots of things that the whole animal is not in the picture so that would be difficult this one too the shadow would be make it more complicated it’s kind of a grainy photo so you’re going to have to pick photos that work for the process now I’m sure there’s lots of different pieces of software you could use to go through this process a lot of times it would take multiple pieces of software like one to process the image one to vectorize it wanted to turn it into a deed maybe a DXF another one to bring it in to maybe do some CAD work on it and then another one to create the toolpath and then another one to run the tool pass so you could have lots of different pieces of software I use Bob CAD cam with an add-on package called Bob art and Bob are dead and run on its own anymore it works with these packages so you’re looking at about $700 worth of software if you go with what I you and I use this because it does all of these accepts except the last one which is actually running the cut file in one piece of software so to me it was a good investment now the bad thing about bob cat is if you call them you better enjoy going to use cars lots and talking to the slick is greasiest salesman on the lot because the whole outfit is like that so what are you gonna do about that well there’s a company called unique products incorporated its unique Inc and he sells versions without all the sales fluff and they actually go with his machines he sells machines as well so it’s worth taking a look at he’s got the newer version so they’re gonna be expensive you can go to ebay and find them there and you know I I’m not for pirating software but this company pisses me off so much there’s carted versions out

there I didn’t say that I did not say that but you know it does exist you could do this get on get burner phone right and get on and call them up get on their list they’ll start hammering you tell them you only pay $300 for what you want and after a year and a half they’ll probably break down and sell it to you for you know $300 so good luck with that okay Bobcat and this has the bomb art module so I’ve got a little tab down here and I go right to Bob art and let’s start off by going to images right mouse click load image and let’s pick that octopus that we are so hopeful about now don’t get too hopeful about these things and sometimes they don’t work out well and I’m going to it’s a huge image each of these big tick marks is one inch and so I’m gonna say you hole window and wow that thing’s like eight feet tall so let’s just start off by trying to vectorize it with a vector eyes and oh this is not going to work out well let me show you why when I bring this I see there’s so much dark that is picking up each of those would become a line where it wants to translate that but when I bring it down in order to lose that real dark interior I’m also losing the outside edge of the legs and it’s the outside edge that I was hoping to keep good I want to use that as a boundary this is not gonna work well now if I was just gonna the whole board I didn’t care about only doing the octopus and and it was alright to cut the whole board then that would be fine but all this white area out here it’s gonna run the bit over it unless I have a way of telling it Boyd that I could take a line tool and I could literally draw slowly a line around this whole thing and unfortunately octopuses are cated animals and there’s eight legs that would take some time but now let me just go ahead and I’ll show you a little bit but I’m not hopeful of this I want to put this on somewhere here in the fairly high level right about there we’ll go with 1:38 you know if it was colored and you know had an outline of black I’d be great with this multi colors strategy but it won’t work on this one now I don’t want this thing this huge I mean that is huge we’re gonna read a moose deuce this down to 16 inches by 16 inches I’m gonna turn off that keep aspect ratio and forced to go to a square 16 by 16 now it’s done it but remember here this is this thing is eight feet tall so our 16 by 16 is way down there in that bottom corner so I’m gonna get my zoom window and I’m gonna select this little area down here there it is there’s our vectorize octopus now a vector it’s real means that it’s just turned it into lines yeah zoom in really tight you can see they’re not even well-defined but I only want this as a boundary and that may may be alright Lamia yeah hover over that hold down my shift key and click on it and that didn’t do too bad it picked up most of the tentacles it didn’t pick up this interior but that it wouldn’t even connect it somebody pick up that interior there that loop does everything I’m trying to define here as areas that I don’t want it to actually cut so like this space in here I don’t want that to be cut so I’m trying to find a boundary around it that line will work I love this one up here you know see it picked up a whole bunch more that I didn’t want but it is going to be somewhat possible let me show you what I would do here to start removing these boundary lines from the rest of it is I’d come down here to my layers and I’d add a layer a new one we’re gonna call it boundary and I’m already got the boundaries selected or a lot of what I think is going to become my foundation I’m going to right mouse click say modify attributes modify the layer and I want to move this all to the boundary layer and there we go now I can turn off the boundary layer so I can’t see it and it shows me more clearly the pieces that I still need to get and add to the boundary so let’s go ahead and see if I get that piece there yeah that’s pretty good with all this stuff on the screen it is slowing my computer down and I don’t have a rocket other than here anyway modify attributes the layer move those

pieces into the boundary and they’ll go away because the boundary is currently turned off just come back in here and try this you get the idea of it here there’s going to be a lot of little fiddly work here just get one more piece here and I’ll move on without doing it all I mean I say that but I don’t moving too quick for it again and I’ll let it select it connect over here and I’m gonna get that there we go over this little inside piece here maybe this up here okay I probably have more that I want I’ll move those pieces over to the boundary I’ll disappear okay everything else here I think is trashed I’m gonna do a ctrl a delete and it’s gone now I moved to the boundary turning it back on I get my default in there I’ve got a lot of work here okay as I still have to come in and clean up all this garbage you see the garbage lines here are connected to the line I want so I could just delete the connection point all right then I can use my shift key and select this whole piece now it’s connected to it somewhere else – yeah you’ve got most of it here and this is one of those things you know you come home with visa software think oh wow I’ll be doing it just like the guys on YouTube and I’ll be cutting a piece here in 30 minutes know it typically doesn’t work like that so clean that up that I can select all this one piece rid of it I’m gonna break this one off about there yeah that part can go away and you getting the idea that you’re gonna spend hours upon hours doing this oops I actually like that see there right there is the problem at little crossover zoom in on that that piece and go away those parts can go away I would get my line drawing tool join this line with that lines actually need the oh it’s messed up up here – hmm okay I’ll get rid of that okay now we can draw and join a line we could do with a spline make a little prettier but remember this thing just a boundary so I don’t have to get to fit finicky with it even that line coming off a boundary will mess it up it won’t see it as a founder himself there we go you know that all that can go away so anyway that’s the idea you can see how this could be cleaned up what I’m gonna do though for the sake of speed is I want to show you one that I know works better and I let’s do the one that already done before but I like what’s happening here and so I will continue to work on this you know what before I do that and make sure it’s really gonna work as I said this is just gonna be a boundary that I used it as a batteries sake I don’t want anything outside of this area cut but we still haven’t done the the part where we would do the emboss so let’s do that let’s come back and let’s zoom our whole window here again and let’s actually do the emboss that we would want to put a boundary around and let’s create a piece of stock now we made our boundary based on 16 inches by 16 inches so we’ll do that here too so we’re going to create some stock 16 by 16 okay and now we’re going to emboss our stock from image and you know which image we’re going to use the same one open them now we’re not going to keep the aspect ratio and we’re going to reduce it the same that we did for the vector and so it’s going to be 16 by 16 it’s going to be subtractive we’re going to cut into the surface of our board so we want to make that subtract this is how deep we’re going to cut in I generally put it anywhere between point 1 and point 1 5 okay we could move it on the XY axis we’re not going to do that we’re just gonna say okay take a little time and – should have embossed it I need I’m way out I need to go way in yeah there’s our emboss bees way down here okay so now the blue line is the vectorization we worked on before it just turned that off now you can’t see it the boundary layer and now that is done that came out looking really good and to see it what

you got to do really is zoom in on it close and it’s selected as wise red here I don’t think it has to be red now maybe this gonna stay selected when we pitch it over and you can start seeing the three-dimensional part of it see that and if you didn’t think that was deep enough you could increase that 0.15 but I’ve had problems when doing that before that it starts to really make it look like garbage I thought that was gonna be yellow red see what I could do here emboss image stock yeah all right its darkest that yellow we generate interesting and shown it to me in red like it’s selected it’s not and this is a good sales pitch for a cancel now Bobcat is it I want to save this and save it as octopus I’m gonna close this down yep that’s right open it back up demo videos will be that honest with you open octopus backup yeah it’s behaving much better now okay yellow like it should be so we’re gonna go back in here to our milling stock try this again mill 3-axis slice planer next let the geometry that whole stock is our geometry good turned red okay that’s selected nothing to bother with a boundary go on and slept tool I don’t care about the works at or anything like that I’m not going to use a system tool this would be best cut with like a 1/8 inch ball nose so you know what I even have a 1/16 that would make it really nice so I should be 1/16 tool diameter and the radius would be 1/32 so really small the speed I know my machine will max out probably on something like this at about 20 inches per minute so I’m not gonna mess with you the rest of it will go next here’s an important one this is zig and zag zig zag means that it guns across and then it comes back and it’s very efficient because it’s cutting both directions right but with a machine especially if you’re doing something really small and really detailed this is very important all machines have backlash on them in their own words the motors the belt to drive whatever has to move in a certain direction for a little while before the cutting bit starts move in that direction and that’s the same thing from the other way as well think of it like a steering wheel on your car you know you’ve got a little bit of wiggle especially old cars like mine before the wheels start to move so that wiggle means that the computer said I went this far but really nothing happened and if you have a Z zag it means this one is cut just a little bit you know far that way and this one’s cut a little bit far in this way so they don’t line up and when you’re doing a lot of details that line up or miss line up makes a big difference so when you’re doing something there’s a lot of detail you’ll want to do a zig and their words you want the bit to pick up come back take up all that backlash and then cut across and do it again so every time it’s coming at the same direction the backlash is immaterial it resolves there right at the beginning of the cut so there’s no problem with that it’s just harder to see when you look at it though so I’m going to leave it on zigzag just so it makes it a little easier to see what we’re doing we can also change the degree we can go 90 degrees or zero degrees or anything so if my thing is laid out you know I’m diagonally I would pick 45 degrees so that most the cutting always goes in the same direction and if it’s perfectly like that this whole thing about the boundaries becomes immaterial because the bit sets down cuts off the edge of the board possibly so and most likely it’s not gonna happen like that you’re gonna need a boundary so I’m gonna go next the rest of these things Oh step over that’s real important so step over is okay the bit passes by how much does it go over before it goes again and on something like this maybe 20 thousands would be probably the most I’d want as a step over I might want to go all the way down to 5,000 so it’s just five thousands of an inch before next next pass now that’s a little you know 20 to 5 you’re talking about four times more passes just for making that change so let’s keep it relatively manageable here and let’s just go with 20 thousands the pieces I’ve been cutting so far are cut at 20,000 step over just next through the rest of these yeah oh that’s fine finish and now go back in I want to look at those those a half see you can really see those mountains and it’s like oh that’s going to be spiky and everything but the tool won’t actually do that because of the size of the tool bigger tools would even smooth this out of you more so let me go to compute tool path and here’s where you take a break because it’s a lot of tool path down here and at some point it will

actually show it there okay now we see it now if we zoom in a little bit more let’s say instead of intersection right here okay and here we go you can see that tool is actually rounding out a lot of this let me lean the whole thing over a little bit more so you can see that yeah so you see it right up here it looks like it’s really rough but that tool path has really laid it smoother s and this would cut beautiful another thing that won’t work here is if you’re gonna cut the whole board you know sixteen by sixteen this would be fine because that tool path will actually wear all this wood down but you’re doing a lot of cutting out here on you know that’s not actually necessary if you put a border up right along the edge of this tentacle and that’s where that vector file was gonna come in so well force in fact you know what let’s just give it up now it won’t even work because this hasn’t been completed yet so we can’t even try it out as a boundary it just won’t let us do it I could go back and turn it on maybe we’ll get lucky so we’ll say select and I’ll pick my boundary now see it won’t even select the whole thing it’s got too many gaps and holes in it that it’s not going to work so we’ll have to move on to one that will work nice it thinks it did a little bit of boundary so this would tell it to compute the total path maybe it did part of it and again another break what earl and yeah it said okay oh well I did do some of the toolpath didn’t it that’s weird but you can see how that boundary would work but let’s go to one that it actually works on I’m gonna come back and finish this but not tonight it’s just gonna take too long and that’s the kind of one of the points I want to get across to you is and you can do a lot of things with this but it’s just not as easy as the salesman would like you to think it is it takes a lot of time and work but man I’m gonna get this because I just love pumps in here so I’ll be back on it and again if you’re just doing a piece of art and you didn’t mind you could draw you know a quick line around that and it would it would cut it but I don’t like the looks at let me show you a piece that I did that with these lines going across it’s because it knows it has to cut here here here and here but it didn’t lift the bit enough to get it across now if we had set a boundary around this then we wouldn’t have it the bit would come over here we could make the bit come up go across and back down so it would leave all of our wood out here virgin except where it was actually cutting the pattern this is what I’ll show you to avoid but to do that I’m going to get a file that I know works want to show you that octopus tentacle shoe the real thing so this is what we’re going to cut okay and you notice there’s no cutting out here well you know actually there is there’s a little mistake right there where I didn’t get the boundary just perfect it kind of looks like the arm but it’s not it’s just worth a bit ran across but this is what I really like doing where I keep the cabinet door or whatever it is countertop untouched except where the relief is and we’ll start a new file again on this one go back to Bob art we’ll go back to images right Mouse load image I just want to right here open that up and zoom to fit window yeah there we go again no background great contrast this will work well okay and let’s do this vector on it first again we’re gonna keep everything in its size that it came in as though I’m not going to change any of this so our stock size well then you don’t want yeah we’ll make it ten by eight on our stock size I would have to remember that so there we vectorized it I can just hit the eye button and that turns off the image you can also go up here and I think you can blank the image out there yeah works the same way interesting enough that if you do one it doesn’t like you and messing with the other one you gotta hunt to it with whatever tree or one you did it with so anyway let’s blank out the image blank it out and there you can see it just a beautiful vector outline of it okay no questions asked about it if we wanted to do it again we can open that tree up and say edit and it would let us select something else in there we could have lowered this value down but you’ll see that we start getting it broken up and as we get too high we get way too much black so it actually was just sitting at

the right spot right there but you can’t adjust it if it doesn’t work out as perfectly as this one did now I’m gonna take out some of the stuff I don’t want to bother with that as a boundary it’s too small and this can go away so I just select these things and press the delete button and they’re gone great I’m going to add a layer down here called boundary again I’m going to select all this piece here right mouse click modify attributes the layer off this stuff over in the boundary good where he done now what was that 8 like it was 10 by 8 8 by 10 go back here and look at this again the specter ization edit you know X is 10 y is 8 okay so now we’re in an emboss we’re gonna start off by creating a piece of stock okay X is 10 y is 8 gonna be that beautiful yellow okay there’s our stock now we’re going to emboss that same image by selecting emboss from image all right be sure and select the same image and open that we’re going to subtract this is going to be cut into wood the size is left the same as what we used our vector for that’s good thing oh the depth see it’s point one I’m going to change that to 0.15 and there it goes now watch this and that cool now if I lay that over a little bit now you also want to make sure that you’re actually got your relief or your embossing done right to your stock sometimes I come back and I do the stock after the fact let me show you what happens when you do that so here’s a test cut and the same thing I didn’t have a bounder on it so you got these cuts between the piece but up here I hadn’t defined that the stock actually goes out this far so it just cut it out all hollow I mean it really messes it up so that’s why you need to make sure you get your stock and your embossing in the same size and I find that if I turn it over and look at it from the bottom side if that mistake becomes really apparent so here we go it looks fine I know it isn’t this time I’m good careful it’s a good kam little stock right mouse-click it’s like mil 3-axis slice planer next I’m going to select our geometry and just click on our stock there to turn the whole thing red or pink right mouse click and say okay and we’re not going to do the boundary I’m going to show you what it does without the boundary and then next okay the clearance is okay and don’t have doing even work offset here we’re gonna change our bit we’re going to tell it we’re using a 1/16 inch bit and it’s a ball nose so the radius is 1/32 and I’m not gonna bother with any of these speeds or speeds I know my machine will handle maximum twenty inches per minute on the plunge and cross next here’s the next important thing is the zig zag okay now it’s the steering-wheel thing I’m going to leave it in zigzag even though it wouldn’t be as high resolution because it’s easier to see for a little while I generally even work at it with the zig zag and then I flip it to Zig just before I produce the cut file or the g-code that the machine will use so I’m going to leave that alone the rest of these things the step over I’ll go ahead and change that down to twenty thousand and I think we’re good there next the rest of these things to the plunge extense we can ignore all that finish and now we go over here we’ll see we have a slice planer tool path we right mouse click on that say compute tool path here’s where we get a little nap okay about 20 seconds later here there’s our tool path we’re going to zoom in and look this area right here and let me lean it over a bit more and you can see that looks real nice that looks really nice

now this is cut into the surface so it’s cutting the whole surface because we haven’t selected the boundary yet them now that we have a battery that actually works we go over here to boundary say it’s reflect let me tell it this is a boundary and this little thing in the middle is a boundary select those okay regenerate that tool path let’s see what that did boom all right and there we go that’s pretty dang close but there’s still a problem here I mean I took out a lot of cutting but you can see it’s gonna run this tip across this area in order to get from the bottom to the top or the top to the bottom depending which direction is coming and that is going to cause that problem I showed you it’s going to cause this ugliness right in here and here and we don’t want that and what it’s doing is the bit comes up to the top of the relief and then it just uses that high thing goes on across but if we told it this is actually a solid and you’ve got to come up and skip over it we can fix that problem just to get it a little cleaner we’re gonna turn off our tool path so we don’t have to look at that we’re gonna go in and do a little cam work now so I’m going to select my tool here and the first thing I want to do is I want to kind of draw a box around this because I need an outside edge and this was ten by eight right so I’m gonna say other rectangle X is 10 Y is eight we don’t want it snared we want the bottom-left to be zero zero zero draw that in and there we go when you get a rectangle okay so we’re done with that now we got to say that this is a surface let’s do that little one first so let’s say surfaces this is a planar surface we’re going to use this area right here I’ll hold down my shift key select that area and then I can say okay boom did it that’s nice now if it doesn’t do it what you got to do is you got to zoom in and find the mistake there’ll be some little part of the edge that it’s not connected or it makes a loop over itself but you’ll have to dig in and start looking for the little miniscule problem that it has you’ll find it and then then till you find all of them you won’t be able to create these these surfaces and so now I’m gonna do it again I’m going to select this outside rectangle hold down my shift key now it’s got the whole rectangle and then find part of this arm hold on my shift key it’s got my whole arm the spacebar which is same thing as right Mouse and okay no it didn’t do it okay now we’re gonna start looking to wider do it my problem may be over here because I got two lines doing almost the same thing yeah they’re crossing over each other in fact I might be able to just make them into the same line there we go I’m gonna trim these two lines with my trim there it is true this and that okay there’s a corner maybe that’s my problem now my true my rectangle and my tentacle boundary are all one line so this time I should be able to say surface planar and select this and all its selected that’s good no say okay to that yeah okay that was the mistake so now we’ve got two surfaces but what we need is a solid so the next thing we do is it go back over here and we want to extrude the surface so we’re gonna select up this surface and we’re going to tell it you know what’s come out an inch that’s kind of insane let’s just make it come out 0.2 and with caps is fine okay now it should be a surface or a solid rather from the surface let me lean this over and you’ll be able to see but that actually is for treating up now and let’s do it to the other one as well so we’re gonna come back selection tool this one and hit spacebar just the okay it’s thinking about it it’s thinking about it boom there we go so now we have two solids so you’re thinking okay well where does that guess well if we go back over to Bob art and we go back to our embossing thing here we can right mouse click on a boss off model and we can see that we have a selection says emboss from solid surface and it’s like okay and then we’re gonna add these surfaces okay and we have to select them this one and this one ain’t

gonna let me do to a minute on really it won’t okay well so they’ll do extrude surface I don’t want extrude the surface I want to emboss from it okay it’s like the geometry try it again where you select the geometry okay he’s happy with that when you do a second one and boss from solid surface okay so I’ll help you select that little surface in there it’s again now it’s happy to let me select it okay I think I’m trying to move too fast it’s just taking a little more time but if you look over here on the tree you can see that I got two objects that are in my embossing tree now and the little X across the emboss model means that it’s out of date so I’m going to regenerate that and you’re not going to see much because I got these objects sitting out there now you did a little bit of change right there but is actually now brought the everything that has a solid on it has been raised up out of the wood now there’s actually no wood there but if we tell it to cut it it’s okay it’s cutting up in the air so now let’s make this a little more obvious and just come back over to layers and this add a new layer called solids and let’s put these new objects we have in here in that layer so again modify layer did the solids layer let’s turn off the solids layer so we can’t see it let’s do this again I’m gonna have to think more about this big one modify later solids okay goodbye there you go okay so if I turn the boundary off yeah that looks good okay now our boundaries still set right we’ve changed our embossing so if I lean this over maybe you can see if I move in close and you can’t really see any difference here if we go back to the tool path and say hey let’s turn this tool path back on and we’re going to tell it to don’t we’re going to recently remove the geometry and we’re going to reselect this new geometry which once again is just our entire emboss object here so that’s what’s changed now we’re going to compute this tool path again these lines which stretch across between one side the other are going to be more elevated top apart below okay so we got changing the top of part because we’ve told it that it’s now two inches up so we’re gonna edit this tool and say the top apart is going to be point to law to do it finish that try again on the a few toolpath okay it’s happy this time boom okay and I can see that it’s worked this jog upward first let me zoom it really tight right here and you can see that deep V right there so it was normally coming across while I was down here but what we do is we forced it to come up point two inch and come across and now it’s not gonna be touching our virgin wood out there and that is going to give us the cut that we want to see even though it’s passing across this boundary area that is the whole trick now the next thing that I would do before I generate the code is I would take a look at it from hard on the side right this is where I I’m gonna flip it underneath a little bit take a look around I’m gonna zoom in really close along this edge yeah I like what I’m seeing but I don’t like this cut pattern because again this is the zigzag so I’m going to edit our tool path here go back down the list here until I get this exact I could change that to just Zig and 90 degrees it’s okay that turned out pretty good with this one here click finish click compute tool path wait another 20 seconds yeah okay that’s it so now we have a tool path that’s just

going to be beautiful stepping over 20,000 some an inch with a sixteenth inch ball nose mill I come up here to camp Park milling tools right click post and save and I’ve already saved this file off as technical example so it comes up with a name for me to know for example and see for me save that off and would even be better than the tenant will actually cut and that is generating g-code at this point we’re pretty much done with bobcat we could do other things we could run a simulation it’ll open up the file here and shows us the g-code down in the corner but and you know that’s about as exciting as you can possibly yeah right so it the nice thing is it’s saved off that file as well we pick up and now I have a file essentially that one that’s already on this computer I would just put it on a memory card and actually physically bring it over here and so I’m gonna click on load G code and it’s not a tap file so it’s all files tentacle 1 I think it’s the ones closest to what we were doing and here comes in G code this machine does the instructions to the computer to cut the actual image and there it is now there’s other things we do before we get to this point we use a program called G code Ripper so we actually don’t take G code directly to Mach 3 we take its G code Ripper and G code Ripper is a program that integrates in measuring the height of the board all over the place so if the board’s a little cupped and twisted it’s okay G code Ripper will probe that board find out where that how it bends and how its cut the curve and it will mix that and as formulas into the G code so that when you far-off Mach 3 the first thing it does is it probes the board and then once that’s done it then was ready to cut the board so you move the probe out of the way and you can start cutting the piece and makes sure that even though you put in three or four different boards and they’re all twisted and cut a little bit different you can even put in something that’s like a baseball bat or a wooden bowl if you want to etch into the bottom of it and it will find that curvature of that bowl and it will mold that G code to fit so you could put a tentacle on a rounded surface not insanely rounded but you know curved and it’s a some beautiful work can come of that so I really recommend G code Ripper I’m not gonna go into it on this video because we have another video that you can see to look and death at G code Ripper so now let’s go back and do a little V Corbin because there’s that’s a cool feature too so I’m gonna save this off I’m gonna start another one but I’m gonna use a piece of artwork that I know works well it’s a solid black and white there it is and this is not a grayscale this is just black and white zoom to fit the window and there’s the traditional Chinese dragon these are not your European dragons these dragons mean good luck this is what I have cut into the cabinet doors in the aft bathroom and the boat and they came out just looking spectacular want to vectorize this and again it’s a matter of you know moving this slider down so you pick up the detail but not too little of it I don’t want broken lines if you see if I go way down I’m starting to getting not enough edge out there so I’m gonna come back up and it’s tried about let’s try about 50 and again this is 11 by 7 I actually increase this for the boat I wouldn’t want to do too big but you’d stay you can get it round by you can blow it up some it won’t be a big problem so I’m going to say let’s go 16 that makes it 16 by 10 and where I keep the aspect ratio say okay to that and you see because I increase the size the vectored piece is actually larger than the actual dragon that he came from so I’m gonna turn off the image now and zoom to fit window or that looks really really good and I’m not all artwork comes out that crisp but for this this is looking good now if it has a problem we’re going to find about it when we try and do the tool path and the simplest tool path to do on this one would be a V carbon you’ll get that nice death to it and that’s what we did on our doors you could do a a relief on it and there’s some other relief tools that I’m not going to show you a under embossing menu that would allow you to make curves out of sharp edges but I really like I don’t think it’s any better in fact I like to

be carving tool much better and I’m looking at one little spot right in there yeah that’s gonna be problem say it’s got a crossover line so that is not gonna work for us it’s not gonna like that at all so I’m just gonna delete those lines out we’re going to do a line join and we’re just gonna artificially run a line from here to there now let’s just test the rest of it using the deep carving tool because if it has a problem it won’t do it doesn’t have a problem then we’re done so milling tools see mill stock again this is a mill 3-axis process again and down here on the bottom of the list is a vCard and the next select the geometry and it’s just all of it spacebar it’s happy next and now tell us about the clearance plane yeah that’s that’s fine point one no-work offsets here’s the important part we’re going to be using a quarter inch diameter the carving tool with a ninety degree bit on it if you make it a smaller bit you’re gonna have more lines in there a bigger bit you’re gonna have less detail so the bit really is the level of detail that you’re gonna get out of this piece I know this is gonna work as what we did but you know I first started off with a 30-degree bit that was eighth inch diameter real tiny real sharp but there’s at this size there’s so much space between everything that that bit was having to make multiple passes and digging down and really deep so I thought well I don’t need that kind of detail and it didn’t look any better so I just made a bigger bit and it looks great too big a bit you lose too much details so it’s just one of those things you’re gonna have to play with you can go you can get a quarter inch bit with a 60-degree angle and that would be much more detail than a ninety degree on my machine I have to go really slow with this but I can slow it down over on Mach 3 so I don’t have to be too concerned about the number I put in here next you could even this this the flat places out in the middle if there were any you could tell it I want to use an end bill to get most of stock off with this one doesn’t really have any places like that so I’m not gonna worry about down here though it does have the death is set to 0.125 as an eighth inch depth of cut that worked out well for us it’s another one of those things you can adjust but that’s the last screen so we click finished and there’s our beat carve tool and the tree now and if I say compute tool path you take a coffee break and you hope for the best now if it comes back with nothing it means that it doesn’t like some of the lines out there it comes back with a carving yeah you’re good to go ah we came back with a carving so cool now there’s still some things I’d like to change on this but let’s take a listen it’s doing that section of in here and let’s pitch this over so we actually see what’s happening here and see that green tool path is what you’re looking at there and you can see went over in here there’s a spot where it is really carving deep let me zoom in a little bit more of that section there and you can see here it is I’ll rotate that a bit and you can see that is going fairly deep there but it’s really obvious if we back out a bit panned down to where that is is what’s going on there is there’s no lines through there so it keeps digging this you know it’s kind of like a copper mine pit and to fix this and I did this on an ardor to I it’s not a hard thing to do you just gotta come in here and see let’s go to arcs now now let’s go to splines and terpil ated and we have to draw this in here so there’s the first part we just make a little curve line there’s an anchor point come up here there’s an anchor point I’m gonna turn the corner here with another anchor point come back down on the other side here yeah so that kind of matches what they did say okay to that just do another one here that I think we just get by with a line so we’re gonna draw make a point there there here sure this will work – okay so now we’ve added a little bit to the drawing let’s cancel out of that tool go back to our can the vector or geometry and you can see when I click on geometry it shows me everything that’s been selected but these two new drawings haven’t been so I say reselect and I’m just going to click on that and click on that my spacebar now I’ve selected them as part of my geometry and so I can run my compute tool path again take another break pay attention to these green lines that are there now that’s the old tool

path and watch what happens here when it comes back a new one yeah so we’ve got a lot less tool action in that area if I roll this over we can take a look at that yeah it’s going down much less than it was before in fact now other areas are starting to stand out and they’re going to be similar areas that have you know not a lot of drawing in it I simply went in and put some nostrils in just it cut this just like a clown nose and I didn’t like that so I just put a couple of lines in here to be like nostrils and that fixed that up and again a back here on this tail session I went in and put some lines into that as well to keep that from being so deep because you can see that that’s my three layers deep in there it was pre you know that’s almost a third the way down through the board that I was carving it into so those are the kind of things you got a look at but again I really like to be carving especially when you have these black on white images or you can make it out of one of the you can actually use a color image you just have to vectorize you have to get all those lines to come out something that looks like it and then you can vectorize from a color image to or a grayscale image will I’m really gonna go back and work on that first dragon I found I just love that one so that’s gonna be a late night getting that done but it’s gonna be worth it so what am i stressing to you is you don’t just buy this software come home and wham bam thank you man hey I’m a I’m a 3dv carving you know artist here it takes a lot of work now does it take as much work it’s good old hammer and chisel out no no it’s it’s a huge cheat compared to that so there it is for you I hope I’ve laid it out well for you at this point all we do is we again we generate the the g-code we take it over to the Machine and we load it in and start running it now the last thing I want to leave you with a little bit about how the machine works okay Lorenzo built this machine for me and he did it to my specifications meaning that I told him what I wanted and why and it is a fairly unique machine the first thing you’ll notice it’s got nothing out here in the middle in fact it’s not even attached to the table I can pick it up the meaning that we can pick this thing up and take it out of the boat it’s also sized so it fits inside over on one of the tables the next thing you’ll notice is a real tall z-axis it’s this axis so this thing’s works out just like a piece of graph paper in school you know you’ve got your X is this direction your Y is that direction your Z is up-and-down and this has a real tall z axis now for carving on a piece of wood that doesn’t make any difference but for a block of foam in there that I’m going to use as a pattern for casting metal that makes a huge difference for something that’s big in here that can be turned and yeah we’re gonna add a fourth axis that rotates the object this z-axis comes in real handy and most the times I’m carving foam when I’m doing that and so I like having this big travel I could do it in small layers and glue them and stack them together but that’s kind of a pain this takes that out of it now the other thing that we can do to stiffen this up is we can lower this whole gantry down and that gives us death or we can take the board and mount the board up here the less distance between this cutting tip and this beam means it has less reason to flex this got more rigidity so that helps out if you’re new if you’re cutting foam it doesn’t matter 12 inches through foam any bit will do that and the next thing I told him to do is put everything in a portable box and so you just went to Harbor Freight got one of their plastic cases and this is perfect so there’s all the equipment in fact this is the equipment times two if you look down in here this here is a power supply so AC power comes into it and 24 volts DC comes out of it that DC power powers our gecko driver and you could get by with this and this alone in this box each of these cables runs out to one of the stepper motors so there’s one here that drives the X there’s one up there that drives the Z and then there’s these two on the end that drive the Y they’re actually wired together so they work together his pushes and pulls from both motors at the same time the beautiful thing about doing that is it leaves all this space out open here in the middle so I can take this machine set it down in a steel yard on a piece of steel put my plasma torch which doesn’t care how flimsy the z-axis is and I can have this box you know plugged in out there to a plasma torch and have it cut out a piece of steel that goes back to the boat for me so it’s a more portable machine this way now this is an expensive way to go but it’s US made by guys like that it’s under warranty for its life I believe and it’s a fine piece of equipment the

other way to go is from the power supplies go to something like this like I said we’ve done both and these are drivers neighbors this gecko has basically all of these incorporated into it and this is for axises so we got an X Y Z and an A the a will be used for a rotation or it can also be used for a 3d printer to push the extruded material through and all of these are driven by this little cheapy controller cart and I do mean cheap and this thing is like I think it’s $24 and it’s one that actually worked for Steven has a relay on it the Gekko doesn’t have a relay so we wanted to relay in so the computer can tell the Gecko to close the relay in the relay turns on the router it can also be used to turn on the plasma torch and that’s the same thing this little relay here on this board will do four so basically if our gecko dies we can go to this setup on this side okay so photograph to a vector or a embossed image to a tool path to g-code to Mach three probably going to maybe go through in our case g-code Ripper then the Mach three the signals come off the Mach three computer through a parallel cable it really just is the old-school parallel cable now I like using these because the drivers make mistakes and this thing does not we’re also using a very old Panasonic Toughbook which is kind of wonderful because it’s touchscreen and it has a parallel port on a laptop and it’s hardened so we can carry that around and bang it around and get it to a steel yard along with this other tough case so like I said this thing is set up for portability we have a USB extender on it and that gives us a USB wireless connection to our jog controller these things are wonderful they let you move it around but they’re completely unnecessary you can do the same thing through the mach 3 interface in fact you hit the tab key and it brings something up it looks a lot like that it just lets you move the head around a little easier and that’s all there is to it those signals from the parallel cable go to the gecko or they could go to some other cheaper a little interface card which is also parallel driven from there the signals go to drivers which are built into the gecko or it goes to these drivers these convert the pulse signal coming from the controller and to the power that’s needed to supply to the stepper motors the stepper motors turn and there’s lead screws in there that they work on and that leave screw turns and that is what drives the columns either the X Y or Z in any one direction should you build your own absolutely there are a lot of fun to build but you can buy on cheap too I bought my first one it was a five by nine foot table you could do a full sheet of plywood four by eight or steel and I paid three thousand for it they’re a lot cheaper now you can even get Lorenzo if you want a custom one he’ll knock one together for you he’d be glad to do it if you need help on making selections I’ll put his email in the description and you’re welcome to write him now he’s a businessman so you had to pay him so offer him like $20 an hour and he’ll probably answer questions for you for a little while and work nicely with him he’s he’s crew so take good care of Lorenzo okay well that is all I can think of I wish you the very best and I hope I’ve set your expectations appropriately it’s a long video so if you’ve made it to here you’ve done really well you’re probably right up there ready to buy one and if you understood all this and you think you know I get that understand that when you see somebody else do it you kind of think artificially that you know more than you really do I’m going to tell you that there’s a lot of things you’re going to run into so having somebody that you can call having somebody that’s done it before that can help you through it is fantastic okay I’m not that person I’m building a boat I’ve got too much other things to do you know there’s so many people that buy these things and then they just sit in the garage that I don’t want that to be you you know you really gotta hunker down and put your time and energy to it and if you do there’s a lot of great rewards on the other side these things are wonderful things to have around for cutting steel sprockets at you know four with a plasma torch for doing relief carvings the artwork for doing 3d printing there’s a lot of capabilities there find the capabilities that you

need and hopefully you can make something great of it when you do send us your picture we want to see what you made today thanks guys