How do you join/group objects?

I’ve been digging around for a few minutes on the forums and have a solid hour in the software and can’t figure out what we think is a simple thing.

We’re seasoned CNC folks but are trying to do a project with a STEM class at a local high school. We’d like to cut rubber stamps and were hoping to use Easel because of how simple it is. However, we can’t get past a hurdle. We want them to make a design and cut away everything but the inside of the vectors to reveal a raised profile (like you’d see on a stamp). However, there’s no way to group the vectors together that we can find.

Example. Let’s say we want to cut out a simple circle shape as a raised profile. We put a circle inside of a circle. If we chose a pocket on the outer circle it wipes out the material for everything inside of the circle. We want to pocket out the outer ring. We can’t join the vectors because they aren’t touching so the software deletes everything inside of the outer circle.

Set inner circle to a pocket, set depth to 0, right click and select bring to front, then select the outer circle and set to pocket and set your desired depth.
If you like you can at this point use the combine function to tie the parts together if you like

In easel layering matters and I think this is what’s causing your issue, the inner circle is behind the outer one…

Perfect. That solved it!

The layering didn’t seem to help. We tried various forward-backward configurations. Mentioned for any future readers for this post.

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Layering, combining shapes, and not having the machine overcut and destroy a relief in the bottom of a pocket in Easel is something you have to play with a lot to get the results you are looking for. I used the “Shakespeare’s Monkeys” approach. (if you put an infinite number of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters, one of them will write Hamlet).

When I started turning kids loose on the machines, I cut up sheets of 1/4 MDF and 1/8" Masonite into 8x8 and 12x12 tiles and then just challenged groups of kids to try to design different sorts of shapes. Then we’d try out the cut files and see what happened.We crashed the spindle a lot, broke a few mills and created a lot of saw dust, but eventually the kids learned how to make the machines do what they wanted and the kids were able to teach each other. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of continuity of knowledge over the past few years with older kids not being able to show the ropes to the younger ones, but for the students, it was a really good way to learn.

I can see how this answer works in this instance, but I can’t figure out how it works for my issue. I want to “group” these objects so I can move them around without worry that I move them in relation to each other, but “combine” just creates a square pocket. Changing the layer order doesn’t seem to work either.

I basically want to cut out a square, cut a hole in the middle of said square, and also 2 smaller holes (think of it and a countersink and a pilot hole) on top of each other in a precise spot in the upper corner. The placement of these holes is why I want to group this whole thing, they’re placed in specific areas in relation to the overall square. The preview is exactly what I’m going for, but I can’t combine it and retain that result.

This is my first post on a forum, so I hope this works…

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