I don’t have extra material to clamp outside of the cutting area. I’m trying to design my cuts carefully but I’m wondering if there is a way to ensure the machine avoids certain areas… In other words, I want to tell Easel where the clamps are and to avoid passing there when cutting/jogging.
Use glue and tape and forget the clamps
You can preview the toolpaths and base your clamp locations on that, but I’d agree with @PhillipLunsford here… Use super glue and tape.
Easel do not support “no pass zones”.
Make your safety height above your clamps
As you said you don’t have extra space for clamps then safety height does not matter nor does clamp placement. Reviewing the tool path is excellent and place clamps away from toolpath.
Good question and advice all around. Where possible, I’ve taken to centering the design on the zero instead of going from the corner.
I still find it inexplicable that the bit lowers and THEN moves. This to me is madness and has ruined many a clip and bit of mine. Why not the opposite??
If you are not a fan of superglue, double sided duct tape or double sided carpet tape will do the job. I don’t use Easel, but instead the Universal G code sender. I set the safety height higher than my clamp and work thickness combined. I still use wood clamps just in case.
“I still find it inexplicable that the bit lowers and THEN moves.”
There’s a whole lot of inexplicable behavior in Easel. For example, why after a carve, do you have to click ‘Carve’ just to move the spindle out of the way? I could go on and rant, but at least it’s free and does most everything I need, just annoying to work with it most of the time.
Yeah…I hear you there…
The most annoying thing that I have to gripe about is that Easel will generate rapids within a model that goes right over an already milled area that is already complete. This should never happen; no matter what, if a toolpath moves over an area which the tool is not going to be milling over again then the tool should, AT MINIMUM, be brought up to the milled area plus the safety height. Now, I know that Easel might not currently have the capability to determine where it has just cut, so in that case going to the regular safety height above the original stock height would be fine. Ending up with a 0.001" deep carve over a part where it was just smooth perturbs me greatly.
Easel used to not do that, but on one of the update a while back that optimized toolpaths it started happening.
Now, for the OP, what are you milling that you cannot use clamps?
alternately (and probably already mentioned) you could hot glue the workpiece to the waste board. Or use painters tape and CA glue. Either option will work, no clamps needed. I feel the hot glue option will be more secure, but I haven’t really tested the tape/CA glue method.
Polycarbonate… hard to explain exactly but I just don’t have extra space for the clamps.
Thanks for the tips everyone! I was hoping for clamps to avoid consumables but it’s too risky. I really like this idea of painters tape and glue… it sounds awesome because it won’t be too long to set up and will come off my part easily.
Can anyone suggest if I can substitute superglue for hot glue? (I never liked working with superglue). So like:
- Tape on workpiece
- Hot glue on tape <— instead of superglue?
- Tape on waste board
- Clamp waste board to bed
Do yourself a favor. Get some double sided duct or carpet tape. You won’t smoke yourself out with Cyano fumes and it’s ready to go. You’ll have to play with amounts because too little isn’t good and too much you’ll have to pry your work off of it with a pry bar. The risk of breaking increases at this point. On a part 3 x18, I’ll cut a length off the roll and cut that into three strips. Usually two strips on the outside does the trick. I like the Lowe’s double sided duct tape. I used to use a cloth carpet tape but they did away with it. I tried the superglue trick and don’t see the cost savings or any advantages that are better than this stuff.