Vectric Software for the Absolute Beginner Part 4

Part 4 Thumb

This article accompanies the fourth video in a series on my YouTube channel. If you’re not subscribed to my channel, here’s a link. Come on by and check it out. Hopefully you’ll find something you like. Read More

First things first

While this series might seem like going back to the basics to the seasoned veteran, people who are new to CNC in general, and CAD/CAM software in specific, are joining Facebook groups and message forums every day. I frequent a lot of those forums, administrate a few Facebook groups, and am a member of several others. As a result, I’m seeing a lot of posts from beginners who have never done anything in CAD/CAM software, asking questions on some of the very basic tasks involved in using CAD/CAM software.

what’s new?

In this fourth video of the series, I’ll go back into our clock face file that we created in Part 3, and answer a question on resizing. Then I’ll switch over to the Toolpaths tab and demonstrate a few of the options in the Pocket toolpath and Profile toolpath that I kept putting off “for another video.” Among these are Pocket Allowance, Separate Last Pass, Adding Tabs, and Adding Ramps to your toolpath.

Lastly, I’ll demonstrate how to choose the correct Post Processor for your CNC router, save G-Code, then open that g-code to give you a look at the instructions your controller will send to your CNC to cut out the project.



a few thoughts

For the seasoned veteran; I would ask that you please remember that none of us were born with this info. We didn’t just magically start knowing this stuff. Every one of us had to learn it. So if something seems like it should be common sense to you, remember that the person who taught you thought the same thing. No, you probably don’t need a lot of the info contained in this video, or even in this series. But if you decide to check it out, hopefully you’ll pick up a tip or pointer here or there, or at least get some insight into what the absolute beginner wants to learn. Maybe you could start sharing your expertise with others as well. This hobby can never have too many teachers.

For the absolute CNC beginner; don’t stress over any of this. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You CAN learn this. You CAN do this. It’s not always super easy, but it’s never really super difficult, either. Just like anything else you want to do, there is no replacement for experience – and the only way to get that experience is to practice. Get into your CAD/CAM software, and learn it. Draw in it. Calculate toolpaths. Generate g-code. You don’t’ have to cut anything with it – it’s more important that you learn how to use the software than it is to start making chips.

get on with it already!

That’s enough jabbering from me. Below is a link to the fourth video in the series that’s geared toward the absolute Vectric software beginner.

I use VCarve Pro version 9.015 in this video, but all of the information in the video applies to Cut 2D, VCarve, and Aspire software – both the Desktop and the Pro versions.

As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to comment! If you don’t wish to make a public comment, click this Contact Us link, and submit it to me privately. I read ALL of the messages I get through my website, and I answer as many as humanly possible – unless you’re a spambot. Spambots get blocked – so there.

Remember, beginners – relax, take your time, and enjoy the process. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You can do this. I’m living proof.

the loose ends

This is not an endorsement, paid or otherwise, of VCarve Pro, Vectric Ltd, or any other software or company. It’s just a demonstration of how I work. For more information on, or to download a free trial of VCarve Pro, visit the Vectric website at:

http://www.vectric.com/

Remember to click that link up at the top of the page to check out my T-Shirt shop!

Until next time, take care and have fun!

Please follow and like us:

Vectric Software for the Absolute Beginner Part 3

Thumbnail for the Video
setup

This article accompanies the third video in a series on my YouTube channel. If you’re not subscribed to my channel, here’s a link. Come on by and check it out. Hopefully you’ll find something you like. Read More

While this series might seem like going back to the basics to the seasoned veteran, people who are new to CNC in general, and CAD/CAM software in specific, are joining Facebook groups and message forums every day. I frequent a lot of those forums, administrate a few Facebook groups, and am a member of several others. As a result, I’m seeing a lot of posts from beginners who have never done anything in CAD/CAM software, asking questions on some of the very basic tasks involved in using CAD/CAM software.

what’s new this week

In this third video of the series, I’m demonstrating vector creation and layout in a different way. Instead of showing how to just draw a circle, we’ll use the Vectric software to design a complete project that’s ready to save g-code and cut. Along the way, we’ll discus drawing circles and rectangles, we’ll discuss creating a circular array of copies, then I’ll demonstrate the Pocket Toolpath.

By the end of this video, the viewer should be able to follow along and create a simple clock face as I demonstrate. While the clock face may be pretty basic, I think it’s a good example of just how simple it is for an absolute beginner to get in and design such a project. It also puts vector creation and layout into perspective by giving the viewer a real-world example that’s easy for most everyone to understand.

Clock face
The Simple Clock Face Project We’ll Be Creating
a word to the cad/cam veterans

For the seasoned veteran; I would ask that you please remember that none of us were born with this info. We didn’t just magically start knowing this stuff. Every one of us had to learn it. So if something seems like it should be common sense to you, remember that the person who taught you thought the same thing. No, you probably don’t need a lot of the info contained in this video, or even in this series. But if you decide to check it out, hopefully you’ll pick up a tip or pointer here or there, or at least get some insight into what the absolute beginner wants to learn. Maybe you could start sharing your expertise with others as well. This hobby can never have too many teachers.

we have you beginners covered

For the absolute CNC beginner; don’t stress over any of this. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You CAN learn this. You CAN do this. It’s not always super easy, but it’s never really super difficult, either. Just like anything else you want to do, there is no replacement for experience – and the only way to get that experience is to practice. Get into your CAD/CAM software, and learn it. Draw in it. Calculate toolpaths. Generate g-code. You don’t’ have to cut anything with it – it’s more important that you learn how to use the software than it is to start making chips.



let’s get down to business

That’s enough jabbering from me. Below is a link to the third video in the series that’s geared toward the absolute Vectric software beginner.

I use VCarve Pro version 9.015 in this video, but all of the information in the video applies to Cut 2D, VCarve, and Aspire software – both the Desktop and the Pro versions.

As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to comment! If you don’t wish to make a public comment, click this Contact Us link, and submit it to me privately. I read ALL of the messages I get through my website, and I answer as many as humanly possible – unless you’re a spambot. Spambots get blocked – so there.

Remember, beginners – relax, take your time, and enjoy the process. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You can do this. I’m living proof.

the fine print

This is not an endorsement, paid or otherwise, of VCarve Pro, Vectric Ltd, or any other software or company. It’s just a demonstration of how I work. For more information on, or to download a free trial of VCarve Pro, visit the Vectric website at:

http://www.vectric.com/

Remember to click that link up at the top of the page to check out my T-Shirt shop!

Until next time, take care and have fun!

Please follow and like us:

Vectric Software for the Absolute Beginner Part 2

Thumbnail pic

Zoom, Material Setup, and The Profile Toolpath

 

This article accompanies the second video in a new series I’m creating on my YouTube channel. If you’re not subscribed to my channel, here’s a link. Come on by and check it out. Hopefully you’ll find something you like. Read More

The absolute beginner series

While this series might seem like going back to the basics to the seasoned veteran, people who are new to CNC in general, and CAD/CAM software in specific, are joining Facebook groups and message forums every day. I frequent a lot of those forums, administrate a few Facebook groups, and am a member of several others. As a result, I’m seeing a lot of posts from beginners who have never done anything in CAD/CAM software, asking questions on some of the very basic tasks involved in using CAD/CAM software.

I’ve often thought that these people were a segment of the home CNC hobby that was being overlooked in the video tutorials provided by most of the major software companies, so I’ve decided to take it upon myself to try to help fill that gap.

The second video

In this second video of the series, I demonstrate several ways to zoom in and out of the 2D view. I then move from the CAD side of Vectric software, and venture into the CAM side by getting into Material Setup, then demonstrating the Profile Toolpath.

Preview of the Project
Preview of the project.

The section dedicated to the Profile Toolpath is LONG. I know that. There’s a LOT of info to absorb in it. I know that too. I did pare it down as much as possible, however the Profile Toolpath is one of the most complex toolpaths in the software, mainly because there are just so many options available. It would be an injustice to the viewer to not at least attempt to talk about the options that are necessary decisions that need to be made in every project. Topics like cut depth, tool selection, machining options, etc… have to be at least described to save the user a lot of grief later.

settle in for a long ride

I know that long videos like this aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. I did get one complaint about the length of the first video in the series. I can’t wait to see what he says about this one – it’s 12 minutes longer. Still, the info I demonstrate in the video is necessary to successfully use it.

I talk about making future videos to discuss several topics and options in this video. You can be sure those videos will be forthcoming, but I’ll try to tie them into a project, so the viewer isn’t just sitting there. I’ll apply those topics to a real life situation.



not a beginner?

For the seasoned veteran; I would ask that you please remember that none of us were born with this info. We didn’t just magically start knowing this stuff. Every one of us had to learn it. So if something seems like it should be common sense to you, remember that the person who taught you thought the same thing. No, you probably don’t need a lot of the info contained in this video, or even in this series. But if you decide to check it out, hopefully you’ll pick up a tip or pointer here or there, or at least get some insight into what the absolute beginner wants to learn. Maybe you could start sharing your expertise with others as well. This hobby can never have too many teachers.

beginners: take it easy

For the absolute CNC beginner; don’t stress over any of this. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You CAN learn this. You CAN do this. It’s not always super easy, but it’s never really super difficult, either. Just like anything else you want to do, there is no replacement for experience – and the only way to get that experience is to practice. Get into your CAD/CAM software, and learn it. Draw in it. Calculate toolpaths. Generate g-code. You don’t’ have to cut anything with it – it’s more important that you learn how to use the software than it is to start making chips.

let’s get on with it

That’s enough jabbering from me. Below is a link to the second video in the series that’s geared toward the absolute Vectric software beginner.

I use VCarve Pro version 9.015 in this video, but all of the information in the video applies to Cut 2D, VCarve, and Aspire software – both the Desktop and the Pro versions.

As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to comment! If you don’t wish to make a public comment, click this Contact Us link, and submit it to me privately. I read ALL of the messages I get through my website, and I answer as many as humanly possible – unless you’re a spambot. Spambots get blocked – so there.

Remember, beginners – relax, take your time, and enjoy the process. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You can do this. I’m living proof.

This is not an endorsement, paid or otherwise, of VCarve Pro, Vectric Ltd, or any other software or company. It’s just a demonstration of how I work. For more information on, or to download a free trial of VCarve Pro, visit the Vectric website at:

http://www.vectric.com/

Remember to click that link up at the top of the page to check out my T-Shirt shop!

Until next time, take care and have fun!

Please follow and like us:

Vectric Software for the Absolute Beginner

Absolute Beginner 1

This article accompanies the first video in a new series I’m creating on my YouTube channel. If you’re not subscribed to my channel, here’s a link. Come on by and check it out. Hopefully you’ll find something you like.  Read More

a New video series starts today

While it might seem like a silly topic to the seasoned veteran, people who are new to CNC in general, and CAD/CAM software in specific, are joining Facebook groups and message forums every day. I frequent a lot of those forums, administrate a few Facebook groups, and am a member of a lot more. As a result, I’m seeing a lot of posts from beginners who have never done anything in CAD/CAM software, asking questions on some of the very basic tasks involved in using said software.

I’ve often thought that these people were a segment of the home CNC hobby that was being overlooked in the video tutorials provided by most of the major software companies, so I’ve decided to take it upon myself to try to help fill that gap.

I don’t claim to be a CNC expert. I’m not. I don’t claim to be an expert with any software title. Again, I’m not. I do know what works for me, however, and if I can help someone avoid the mistakes I made in the past, or at least get to the point to where they’re comfortable enough to get up and running, I’m happy to do what I can.

not a beginner?

For the seasoned veteran; I would ask that you please remember that none of us were born with this info. We didn’t just magically start knowing this stuff. Every one of us had to learn it. So if something seems like it should be common sense to you, remember that the person who taught you thought the same thing. No, you probably don’t need a lot of the info contained in this video, or even in this series. But, hopefully you’ll pick up a tip or pointer here or there, or at least get some insight into what the absolute beginner is wanting to learn. Maybe you could start sharing your expertise with others as well. This hobby can never have too many teachers.

Beginners: you are not alone

For the absolute CNC beginner; don’t stress over any of this. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You CAN learn this. It’s not always super easy, but it’s never really super difficult, either. Just like anything else you want to do, there is no replacement for experience – and the only way to get that experience is to practice. Get into your CAD/CAM software, and learn it. Draw in it. Calculate toolpaths. Generate g-code. You don’t’ have to cut anything with it – it’s more important that you learn how to use the software than it is to start making chips.



how i do it

The first piece of advice you’ll no doubt receive is to get into the video tutorials and watch them, follow along with them, and learn what the tutorial is trying to teach you. That IS good advice, as far as it goes. The problem, I’ve found, is that almost every tutorial series assumes several things. They assume you’ve been at this for several years, and just need to know where the controls and tools are in their software package. They assume you already know how a CNC works. They assume you already know what a vector is, how to import files, why you would want to import a file, and what kind of file you’d want to import. They assume too much.

I assume nothing. Okay, that’s not true: I assume the person who is watching the video has never done any of this before, and knows absolutely nothing about it. I HAVE to assume the viewer has used a Windows-based computer, and knows left-click from right-click, etc… But other than that…

I walk a fine line here. I have to keep things as simple, and as basic as I can, without boring the more experienced viewer to tears, and without sounding like I’m talking down to someone. I, in no way, wish to come off as sounding like I’m condescending. If you get that impression from anything I’m doing, PLEASE let me know! Click this Contact Us link, send me a message, and let me know what you think!

I try to talk as if the viewer were sitting right next to me, and I was showing them how I do something in person. In that regard, this video is just a little bit different. If you’ve seen any of my previous videos, you’ll notice that I speak a lot more slowly and deliberately in this video. I have recently begun closed captioning my videos, and that has forced me to pay closer attention to the way I speak. I learned that I tend to talk too fast, and I don’t enunciate my words very clearly. I’m working on that. This is the first tutorial I’ve done since I started closed captioning them, so maybe I slowed down my speech too much – I don’t know. Let me know what you think!

why i do it

So, why am I doing this series to begin with? Simply put, 3 years ago, I was the guy who didn’t know a toolpath from a stepper motor. I had never been in the same building with a CNC router, let alone used one. I hunted for answers, asked a lot of questions, and followed the instructions and advice of Dave Gatton, Bill Griggs, and too many other CNC guys to name. What I’m attempting to do here is pay back the community that has helped me to learn, by collating the information I’ve been lucky enough to receive, and put it in one location. If I can save a person a day of searching for an answer I have, I’ll gladly do it.

the meat and potatoes

That’s enough jabbering from me. Below is a link to the first video in a series that’s geared toward the absolute Vectric software beginner. In this video, we’ll get into creating a new file, Job Setup, and some basic navigation – how to select a vector, etc…

I use VCarve Pro version 9.015 in this video, but all of the information in the video applies to Cut 2D, VCarve, and Aspire software – both the Desktop and the Pro versions.

As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to comment! If you don’t wish to make a public comment, click this Contact Us link, and submit it to me privately. I read ALL of the messages I get through my website, and I answer as many as humanly possible – unless you’re a spambot. Spambots get blocked – so there.

Remember, beginners – relax, take your time, and enjoy the process. It’s supposed to be fun, remember? You can do this. I’m living proof.

Remember to click that link up at the top of the page to check out my T-Shirt shop!

Until next time, take care and have fun!

disclaimer

This is not an endorsement, paid or otherwise, of VCarve Pro, Vectric Ltd, or any other software or company. It’s just a demonstration of how I work. For more information on, or to download a free trial of VCarve Pro, visit the Vectric website at:

http://www.vectric.com/

 

Please follow and like us: