Adjusting Tabs

Is there any way to adjust the width and depth of tabs when using Easel?

Not currently. This is something that is commonly requested–along with overriding the number of tabs and their placement–and we are looking into it.

What factors do you find most important when deciding on the tab settings?

  • For width and depth mostly depends on the material that I’m cutting.
  • For number and position, the actual design that I’m cutting out seems like the most important.

Does that seem right to you too? @Kazuma

Most of the time, I only want few tabs as much as possible. And most of the time, I like to have tabs that are easily removable by hands without using any tools. Makercam has those options for tweaking the tabs, but for a newbie like me, easel is a lot easier and user friendly. Since I could not find an option for tweaking the properties of the tabs in easel, I ended up making a my own method of making tabs that are strong enough to hold the material while being cut, but at the same time the tabs are easily snapped by hands. It was not a 100% success, but it worked for me. I was trying to make a acrylic enclosure for the controller using a 6mm acrylic sheet and instead of cutting all the way through the material, I set the cut depth to 5.5mm, that way easel wont make any tabs around the cut. After the final pass was done, I then set the cut depth to go all the way through the materials with one pass. The end result was I had tabs all over the cut, but it was easy enough for me to snap them off.

The way I have been using the current system is I run the job with tabs. Then I run a second job with the depth per pass set as the same as the thickness of the material but only cutting out the profile. The second job then perfectly cuts only the tabs. You have to be careful and always be sure to wear safety glasses. The risk with removing tabs this way is the material may get caught on the bit. If you use double sided tape to secure the part to the waste board it is less likely to fly off when the profile pass is complete since the tape is holding it down.

Could you please state what brand of double sided tape you use? I purchased some Scotch brand but it’s too thin to hold. There are many “carpet” brands around but some look too thick. I’m ready to try cutting acrylic but, obviously, removing the tabs is a much different task than removing from wood. For wood, it’s easy for me to run the board through my drum sander. Thanks.

I use Scotch® 665, and if I have a piece that won’t stick, I use two or three layers of the tape. That usually does the trick.

Thanks, TonyNo. I’m using Scotch 665 as well. Maybe I’ll do a search for double sided tape so I don’t need multiple layers. The big problem with double sided tape is sticking it to something other than your fingers. Another idea I got from a ShopBot video was to use your finger to hold down the part just before the bit cuts through. But, then, you’d probably have to order a supply of Inventables bandaids just in case.
Vacuum tables sound interesting but look cumbersome. Gary