New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

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Jones
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New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by Jones » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:47 pm

I am in the process of building my Shapeoko 2, should have it complete by Wednesday I think. I bought it mainly to do inlays on cutting boards, however my wife is a photographer and has gotten me interested in framing. I want to design frames like the one I have attached below. What is the easiest way to create these?

I don't want to rip off the current retailer of these frames, I am just using this as a jumping off point so that I can create my own designs. I have illustrator and inkscape, but for the life of me can't figure out how to create consistent images within those programs. Sorry for the lack of correct terminology and the overall ridiculousness of my question, but like I said, I am a newbie at all of this and I was always told "there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers." Thanks in advance, Zack.

I am also aware of the dimensions on the picture, I currently have the factory specs on the machine, but will be upgrading to the larger work area once I have this all figured out.
Attachments
FRAME2.png
FRAME2.png (218.89 KiB) Viewed 1630 times

Marty M.
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by Marty M. » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:13 pm

I will suggest a couple programs that I use. There are others. Rhino3d is one of the commonly used programs for 3d work by non professionals. I use that in conjuction with meshcam to generate my gcode for 3d things I create. For 2d work, Cambam is a free program and may be just what you need. It has drawing and gcode generation capabilities.

In Rhino, I would copy that drawing as a jpeg and place it on the background of the drawing. I'd lay some points along the line and then connect them with arcs. I'd do the left side and then mirror them onto the right. Then I'd mirror the top half to the bottom half and your toolpath is done.

It really is pretty easy. Then I'd take that drawing into Cambam and generate the gcode for the engraving, which just happens to be one of its better features.

You can probably do all that in your drawing programs and just use cambam to generate the gcode. It accepts DXF files which one of the above programs you have is capable of exporting.

WillAdams
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by WillAdams » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:55 pm

Inkcape would be fine for this (as would Illustrator). As surprising as it sounds, you might find Flash to be a good option for drawing in.

It's straight-forward enough, just place the pixel image in the drawing program, lock it, then begin drawing on top of it.

We have a few notes on the CAD page: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAD as well as a link to a game on Bézier curves: http://bezier.method.ac/#

There's a little more on the Inkscape page: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Inkscape
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

Jones
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by Jones » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:31 am

Thanks for the replies! Are there any video tutorials or anything that you think might help me out with it?

WillAdams
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by WillAdams » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:37 am

I'm not patient enough for video.

What's wrong w/ the game link which I provided?

Best resource for learning how drawing programs works is the Olav Martin Kvern's _Real World Freehand_ --- it would help even if one isn't using Freehand (though you may be frustrated by learning how elegant it is if one doesn't have access to it --- still running Mac OS X 10.6.8 at work so that I can continue running Freehand MX).
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

Jones
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by Jones » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:47 am

WillAdams wrote:I'm not patient enough for video.

What's wrong w/ the game link which I provided?

I don't normally get to work on my hobbies until the evening, even then its tough to do much else but watch a video while trying to please a six month old and six year old. Videos are pretty easy for me, even if I have to watch them a few times to get it all in. :D

I am taking advantage of the links you gave me though

ALuomala
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by ALuomala » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:10 am

If you are using InkScape, I might suggest using Trace Bitmap (under Path menu, or Shift+Alt+B). Once you have played with the threshold values, you will get a path that you can edit. This is considered a "cheat" by many people (and you end up with WAY more points/nodes than you need, and you will need to delete a lot of them to get smooth flowing lines), and once you have learned how to use the pen tool and drawing bezier curves, it is actually faster, but there is a bit of frustration and a learning curve involved (no pun intended ;) ). But, if you want quick-'n-dirty, you can't go wrong with the old Trace Bitmap (or Autotrace in Illustrator, IIRC).

Allan
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Upgrades: 900mm X axis and 1000mm Y axis; ACME Z Axis; modified MDF wasteboard with t-slot
Primary usage: wood crafting (signs, plaques, and ultimately a CNC-made electric guitar)

chambrot
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by chambrot » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:32 pm

Hello,

I think your best bet will be to find some illustrator tutorials online I find out how to trace a bitmap using bezier curves. Bezier curves are tricky to master but once you got it you can sketch something like this out in a few minutes. Here is a link to a version that I did of the image that you attached, took me about 5 minutes to sketch it out...

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rxg39uf5i34e ... VMPya?dl=0

What I basically did was cut the drawing into 4 quadrants, so drew a guideline down the middle horizontally and a guideline vertically. Then I traced one of the quadrants and once I had that done I just mirrored the other 3 so that are exactly the same.

I am sure that if you search online you will be able to find some info / tutorials on how to do this. Search for stuff like:

-Tracing bitmaps into vectors
-How to draw using bezier curves
-Mirror tool in illustrator
-Pathfinder tool in illustrator

How you figure it out!

Post some pics when its done.

J
Custom ShapeOko using original design, 1000mm MakerSlide X Axis, Double 1000mm MakerSlide Y Axis, Nema 23 on all, upgraded Z Axis, Dremel 300, controlled by TinyG

ralston4
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by ralston4 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:34 pm

TopPanelFrame.png
TopPanelFrame.png (292.73 KiB) Viewed 1521 times
Here's the top panel of a picture frame that I'm carving out right now. It's actually a two sided carve in 1.5" thick oak. The four panels will be miter cut and affixed together. The art I did in gimp. I make g-code using a program called bmp2cnc. I don't think you could do a long g-code file like this with grbl. And the shapoko wouldn't be able to cut oak 3/4 inch thick without going very slow. I'm waiting for the day when shapeoko can do this type of thing.

cvoinescu
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Re: New to CNC - how/where do I design plans?

Post by cvoinescu » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:51 pm

GRBL can do that. The only thing that might stop you from doing it is the USB connectivity problem, which isn't really GRBL's fault. If you solve that, GRBL has no problem with extremely long programs.
Proud owner of ShapeOko #709, eShapeOko #0, and of store.amberspyglass.co.uk

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