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  #11  
Old 05-09-2011, 08:49 AM
mikeacg mikeacg is offline
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Doug,

OK, I just downloaded the trial version of Cut2D and was able to import both .eps and .ai files so that's not the problem. I could email you some files to try if you would like.

Mike
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2011, 09:41 AM
Gripus Gripus is offline
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Doug,
Check these out...


Link 1

Link 2

Link 3


While Cut2D does an exceptional job for which it was intended you really should consider a move up to VCarvePro or possibly Aspire. When I first started running CNC machines 7-8 years ago I found the software had a steeper learning curve than the machine itself. Just hang in there and soon you will start having "Ah-ha moments" that come quicker and quicker. A good way to get going is to think of a simple project you would like to try then ask how it is done. Someone (probably a lot of someones) will jump in and give you very clear instructions on how to do it...and explain why it is done that way. That is a lot easier than trying to learn how to "operate the machine/software". Small steps from the known to the unknown make it pretty easy, really.

There are a number of us who will be happy to provide our phone numbers for direct assistance. Now that I am retired we need only to schedule around doctor's appointments and I would be happy to help.

Regards,

Joe
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Last edited by Gripus; 05-09-2011 at 09:44 AM.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2011, 02:17 PM
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Michael Mezalick Michael Mezalick is offline
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Doug,
I aggree with what Joe writes.
I had a few "moments" the other day, it turned out to be a " Ah-ha-ha-ha " moment.


Just ask.
Michael
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2011, 03:07 PM
Brad Knight Brad Knight is offline
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Just to muddy the water a little more - there is another vector graphics program - Inkscape - which will export .eps files and allow you to work with vectors like a corel draw or illustrator - best of all - it's free.

It does have a learning curve of it own, not unlike any of the rest of these packages. I've assigned my daughter the task of learning inkscape because she's the artist.

Biggest drawback - it doesn't seem like these vector graphic programs really like one another!!
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2011, 07:15 PM
Xray Xray is offline
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Thanks for all the input guys, appreciated.
The tutorials I have been following are simple enough, cut2d simply will not recognize the saved file as vector. The version I have is from 2008, maybe its not up to speed reading newer files.
I'll just have to keep plugging away at it.

James, I have been messing with the vectorart app for a while.
I dl'ed one of their sample files, opened it, ajusted parameters, created toolpaths, and saved as .tap.
I opened it in wincnc, and when I hit enter I expected a preview screen, with the option to start cutting, but to my surprise it started as soon as I hit enter.
The machine was going through the motions of cutting, the router wasn't even turned on and no material was there, so I Estopped it ,,, Put some material in, turned on the router and tried again.
It wouldn't run, said y soft limit exceeded or something like that.
Tried it again, no joy. I tried the file you made for me yesterday, that cut successfully.
That wouldn't run either.
So I shut wincnc down and restarted it, when I hit enter the damn router turned into a lawn dart. It bored straight down before I could even blink, I hit Estop quick, which didn't do a whole lot of good since it had already bottomed out.
I had to cut the power to the router so I dashed over and unplugged it ,,, And that was it !
Apparently no damage done except top the scrap material I had in there.

So I am quite obviously not ready to cut just yet. I need to get the basics down ,, The only thing I got good so far is setting height with the Zpad.
If there are any step by step procedures to follow for beginners posted anywhere, that would be nice. Setting home position, determining where the machine is set to cut on any given project, ect.
I need to recognize that I am starting off on the rocky bottom, and have to climb my way up - I do look forward to the day when I am able to look back and laugh at my beginners errors though !
At this point, I am just glad that I have a nice, functioning machine ,,, And its up to me to give it the proper input so it can do its job as intended.
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2011, 07:43 PM
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JohnnyCNC JohnnyCNC is offline
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Doug,

First thing, when you hit the ESC button and your machine is moving, you WILL lose position. That means that you have to home the machine because it does not know where it is. For all it knows it is doing exactly what you want.

Not to say there isn't a time to hit the ESC key (this sounds like a good one). If you have time, hit the space bar first. Wait for it to stop. Then hit ESC. By hitting the space bar you are pausing the machine and it will remember where it is.

I never leave sight of my machine while it's running. These things seem to have a mind of their own and might pick that time to go whacky.

If I leave sight of it while it's off, and there is any chance of it having been moved, I home it. It only takes a minute or less and it could save my spoilboard, vacuum table, tool, expensive material..., (insert anything you don't want to damage here).

Once you've homed it, check your Z0. Slowly move the tool to the table. If it's off, remeasure it. If it's correct, you're ready to play.

As far as running without cutting anything, I do that a lot on purpose. What better way to see if something is going to cut right than to cut it in the air? Also sort of like flying a radio controlled airplane, fly two mistakes high.

By the way... to view your piece, load the file, then click the eyeball.

Lots of others here will have other ideas. Most of us have driven the tool into the table and probably worse. It's part of the learning curve. Someday you'll smile when you tell that story.

JohnnyCNC
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2011, 07:56 PM
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james mcgrew james mcgrew is offline
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if you remember as i said it should be a rare occurance to use the estop, as johnny has said this stops the machine but not the controller it is just a power shut off to the mechanics the controller/computer is still just travelling away !!

get a majic marker, a large poster board and start writing the rules

1) if estop is used, re home "initialize" (there is that word again) if you rember we saved this position in your >settings>home settings>#10 machine home. i do this to double check exeryonce in a while'

2) file is run from job home (g92x0y0) "save xy 0" this can be whereever you want to start your file but must mach the same start location in your file

while you are learning the machine your finger should always be on the spacebar (pause) on the keyboard
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2011, 07:58 PM
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james mcgrew james mcgrew is offline
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by the way i stepped away from my machine today with the dustcollestor running and without the vac on

ruined a 90.00 sheet of exteria
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  #19  
Old 05-10-2011, 02:35 AM
Xray Xray is offline
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Don't think I have ever hit the ESC button ... But failure to rehome after hitting the Estop must have been the cause of the error.
I realize perfectly ,,, If I am clueless, then the machine will be clueless as well, a dumb & dumber scenario.

Oh by the way, how do I know what post processor I have or to use ? When I saved the .tap file, there was a large drop down list, there was one for cammaster and a few for wincnc ... I picked one of the wincnc ones, but it was only a guess.

Thanks for the eyball tip, never noticed it, I did find that little calculator on the screen.
I tend not to want to click around too much, worried that I might drive the bit through the table again.
Not discouraged a bit, I look forward to becoming proficient at operating this machine and creating files, I just gotta take it slow.
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2011, 04:23 AM
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Mick Martin Mick Martin is offline
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Doug,

Here is the post processor for the Stinger

I use Aspire and have deleted all the other post processors from the drop down menu.

Mick
Attached Files
File Type: pp CAMaster Stinger (WinCNC).pp (3.2 KB, 13 views)
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