Multi bits

Hi JordanLee,

Thanks! Your description is pretty much what I assumed, but for neither love nor money, I cannot get "clear a pocket, to well… clear a pocket.

my original questions stand;

  1. what is the difference between the four above listed cut settings, and the four cut settings that pop up when I first attempt to bring in a design (I must choose one before proceeding)? While they seem similar, their titles are different, so I assume them to be different?

  2. what combination of cut settings (one chosen when importing the image, and the other from the cut drop-down) do I need to use to get it to clear the pocket?

  3. How do I instruct the software to clear a pocket, keep the outer edge, and cut the entirety of the project (through-cut)?

As an FYI, I have made several attempts at work-arounds. I found a different ‘heart’ pattern in the available choices which was solid. This will allow me to clear the pocket, but the problem is that I cannot figure out how to have a ‘rim’ around the outside, so that I can cut it out (let alone cut it out leaving a rim.

I attempted to do what Seth did in his video, which is to say simply add more copies of the design and make them different sizes. This seemed logical to me, but it does not work. When doing so, the spacing between the different ‘versions’ of the heart does not remain consistent between the enlarged one vs. the smaller one (the space at the two top arcs gets too wide while the space at the bottom point gets too narrow, and no amount of moving and manipulating will change that. And as this is not an art program, there is no way - that I have found - to customize the shape to make it parallel to the lines of the original.

You had mentioned sharing my project. Please accept my apologies, but I have no idea how to do so. If you can tell me how, I will share with the group so that you can see just how simple this project is - in theory - and yet how complicated it is in practice using my limited knowledge.

As an aside, a couple of months back I told a technical rep that Inventables needs to consider setting up subscription classes to teach people like me how to use the software. I was told that the goal was to make the software so intuitive that no one would need classes. My reply was; “that is a noble goal. But much like working toward world peace, it is simply unattainable, so classes would be very helpful. Bicycles are intuitive. Please show me the person who hopped on one and rode it without assistance and instruction.”
I believe the fact that conversations like this exist on this forum is proof that some of us need education if we are ever going to be able to use this equipment with any level of proficiency (I hope that someone from Inventables actually reads these).

Thank you Seth!!

valuable information, I will give that a try this afternoon. That however will create a new problem. I am trying to do something very similar to your bulldog tray. I wand a ‘lip’ or ‘rim’ around the outside. As such, I suspect that deleting one of the hearts will just make the problem worse. I just replied to JordonLee and described the additional problem that when I try to do as you did, which is to say bring in additional copies of the heart to make the different features (carved out center, with a rim), it will not keep the lines parallel between the outside and inside hearts.

I’d happily share the project so you can see what I mean, but I am completely ignorant as to how to do so.

Thank you again for your patience, i know that newbies like me and our stupid questions can be frustrating for those of you with a much flatter learning curve. So know that I appreciate any and all help.

all my best,

Joe

All,

I just got off of the phone with Tec Support at Inventables. Found the solution (we believe), and that is using the ‘off-setter’ app, which will allow me to enlarge (or shrink) the design and keep the lines parallel.
I might not be able to get to this until tomorrow. I’ll check back in to let you know how it went.

Also, I got the answer concerning the cut types. As you know - and I did not - the cut types from which one must choose when bring in an image, is the same as the cut settings in the cut drop-down - despite the fact that the names are different. I made the request (begged actually) that they make the naming convention the same so that the uninitiated such as myself won’t get stuck on this in the future.

so… I have my marching orders, wish me luck.

thanks to all of you!
(I appreciate that this forum exists, I feel a bit like a babe in the woods, and love that those of you with knowledge are willing to share and help.

All my best,

Joe

How to share an easel project is shown in the 2nd half of this > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9gEkbX0v4

the cut types are in fact the same and bear the same names.
If some of the cut types are not allowing you to apply them to your design this is usually because an OPEN design has been imported, rather than a fully closed design shape. IF you CLOSE the shape than all cut types will be allowed.

You’re right, that’s why in the video I did not do as you’ve described, I use the offsetter V2 app.
In fact, here’s a screenshot of the timestamp and I even labeled that section of the video accordingly…

you’ll actually want to use the app called “offsetter v2” not the original one without the “v2” and this is also shown in the dog tray video…

Now My questions> Did you import an Image or a SVG/DXF?
…If importing an Image I highly suggest converting that into a SVG prior to importing (the video referenced in the opening of the dog tray video shows how I convert images into SVG’s using inkscape , it does a much better job than Easel does, but there are more steps to get it looking perfect.)
…If importing a SVG/DXF than it would appear that, based on some of your comments, that the imported file was not properly set to automatically CLOSE the shapes when the SVG/DXF was saved, and this could be the root cause of your issues with cut paths…

Thankyou Seth!!

  • I will try to share the project shortly (first I’m attempting the instructions sent me by Tec Support, and then actually make a carve… might be tonight or tomorrow before I get back here.

  • please do not take this as belligerent or obstinate, but the name ARE NOT the same. Here are the two different sets of titles. While they sound similar, they have different names, and thus my confusion:

On import:

“Fill”
“Outline (on Path)”
Outline (Outside)"
“Outline (inside)”

From the "Shape/cut’ menu:

“Clear out a Pocket”
“Cut on shape path”
“Cut outside shape path”
“Cut inside shape path”

Again, once one knows them to be the same, one can see which is which (one must still ‘presume’ that “fill” and “clear out a pocket” are the same). But as the names are in fact different, an honest assessment can see the confusion. And when nothing I tried would get it to carve out the center of the image, questions naturally arose.

  • Seth you are correct, but that does not make my observation incorrect. you did in fact import the image multiple times, and as mentioned, it was very hard to follow to understand that you went to ‘apps’ to use the “offsetter” app. so there I was attempting to enlarge the image and have it remain parallel. Now that I know how it is done, I can see in your video that it is in fact what you did. Again, PLEASE accept that I am not being critical of your video. I truly appreciate it; I would not even be attempting this project right now if you had not posted it (I know that my knowledge is too limited to attempt this without help). It’s just that it [video] goes fast and is thus hard to follow. Now that I see what I was missing, I can attempt this again - which I plan to do today. (this experience should make it clear to everyone that the software is not ‘intuitive’ and while attempting to make it such is a worthy goal, I don’t believe it will ever be attainable, and thus the constant need for instruction - again, hoping that someone at Inventables is listening).

  • in answer to your question (pardon my limited grasp of computer terminology), I did not import a custom image, I simply chose a heart shape from the Easel options in the “Pro Design Library”.
    I do know that I have to convert images before I can import them but am nowhere near understanding such at this point on the learning curve, and so for now, I must stick with the “Pro Design Library” for the time being. Until I can carve out the time to learn how to do conversions (because no one in the computer industry has seen the light and decided to write a program to simply automatically make such conversions (do so and become rich beyond your wildest dreams) - which is WELL beyond my wheelhouse, and until such time, I’ll need to continue to learn through videos and online classes). So, it is my assumption that this is not at the root of the cut path issues.

And for the record, I recognize that the trouble is me, and the limitations of my understanding of how to ‘work’ the software. But I’ll keep getting up and brushing off my knees wiping the wounds and trying again… thanks for holding the bicycle seat for me as I learn to ride. Again, I TRULY APRECEATE the help. Now back to working on the design, and then back into the shop for the first rough carve - wish me luck!!

PS, in the highly unlikely event that it is not patently obvious, I am an experienced woodworker attempting to learn how to implement computer technology into my repertoire - NOT an experienced computer guy attempting to add woodworking into my repertoire. I recognize that this is the future of woodworking and am simply trying to stay competitive - and thus MUST learn to master this - or starve.

Hi @JosephJohnson1 Joe,

First off, I want to say that I am still pretty new to all this CNC stuff too. I’m not even a year into this yet, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Seth is MUCH more experienced than I am, but with experience sometimes comes assumptions that us inexperienced should know more than we do.

I am following along with your posts here, and trying to replicate what you are doing. I wasn’t sure if you were drawing your own design, importing an image (SVG, DXF, or JPG), or using the Pro Design Library. Now I see what you are talking about in the Library. I did a search for ‘heart’ and lots came up. I don’t know which one you chose. I chose the second one because I liked the deeper groove and pointier tip, and it is already a solid fill, which means it will want to carve it as a pocket.

Fill is going to give you a full shape, which should want to create a pocket of the whole heart, which is what you want.

Outline (on path) will give you the shape and the vector will be based on the line of your path. Choosing this option means that it will not cut the whole heart as a pocket, it will just do the outline.

Outline (outside) will give you the shape and the vector will be outside of the path. You might choose this if you want to have text inside the heart, this way the heart can stay away from your text.

Outline (inside) will give you the shape and the vector will be inside of the path. You might choose this if you want the heart to be inside of another object.

I’m sure that there are good reasons for each of these options, but I really only use two. Fill, and Outline on Path. Everything else I can control and I can change it later as well (which hopefully you will see and understand here as I continue).

When I choose Fill, it creates a shape which I can size up, and it is already set to Clear Out a Pocket, and the preview window shows what I want, I just need to choose a depth. I have changed the depth as you can see, just so that it gives a clearer indication that it is indeed going to clear a pocket.

Something to note at this point is that the dark outlines means that is what is going to get carved. Anything that is white will not. Simple black and white images are pretty easy, but if you start importing colored objects (which will be converted), sometimes what you want to not get carved actually will because the color indicates that it should. You can select areas and change the cut to outline. This may be confusing right now, so I will see if I can come up with an example to show you what I mean, but for now I am just going to stick with what I believe you are looking to do.

Now, at this point, I am going to add something because I believe (or at least what I think from what I am reading), is that you would like an edge. As if you were to make this heart like a bowl, for lack of a better description. This is what the Offsetter app is for.
Here is an example of what I am talking about, sort of. This heart has a curved edge, and what I am explaining to you here is going to be sharp edges, but I think it is still the general idea you are looking for.

Click on the heart to select it. It will show you a bounding box around the heart (that’s the lines with the squares for stretching or shrinking, etc). Pause for a moment here and bear with me, because this is important. The first thing that you need to do is go to the Cut (and Shape, but select Cut) toolbar, and change your Cut Path to ‘Cut on Shape Path’. Yes, this is going to change your carve and your pocket will disappear. Bear with me. Now with your heart ‘outline’ still selected, select Apps from the toolbar (Lego piece) and under Utilities, you will find Offsetter, and two icons below that you will find Offsetter (v2). Select v2.

It will ask you for some options and show you a preview of what it will look like. Distance is the amount that you want for an edge. I am just going with a quarter inch edge, so distance is 0.25. I want 1 Iteration - just one edge. You can make it go inwards if you want, or if you need to stay within your workpiece or other objects. I am choosing to Keep Original, because I do want the two lines of the heart. Import.

So now you have essentially two hearts, one inside the other. Select just the inside heart (not select all), and go back to the Shape and Cut toolbar, and select the Cut Path as Clear a Pocket. Now you should have two hearts, one cut as a pocket, and one as an outline.

Now select just the outside heart (not select all), and set the depth slider all the way to the bottom to do a through cut.

Now you should have a heart shaped bowl, which is what I believe you are trying to achieve?

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Thankyou Jordan,

yes, I was trying to carve a heart with text at the bottom. I am aware of what the four carve types are/mean, however, for love nor money I could not get the software to accept the carving out a pocket. with much expermentation and deleting re-importing-deleting, etc… I somehow bumbled upon making it allow me to carve the pocket. It was during this series of frustrations that prompted my question concerning the carve choices upon import, and the carve choices from the cut drop-down menu.
As previously mentioned, they have different names, thus my confusion. While on the phone with Inventables Tec Support, I learned that despite their different names, they are in fact the same (I put in a future request that they eliminate this confusion by adapting standard language for both sets of carve instructions).

moving on

during my initial test cut, many various problems arose - some that had plagued me in previous projects (pocket cuts in steps, and detail bit does not match those steps leaving a strange ‘ridge’ along the bottom, text not carving (the bit remains a mm above the surface despite ‘beleiving’ that it is carving, and I had to manually lower the bit by opening the collet grab the bit, pull it down, and retighten, then when it does a through carve, it goes too far and cuts a 1/8" into the waste board, etc… with the biggest PIA being that on the outside ‘cut-through’ the system somehow thought that I wanted to cut on the other side of the shop, and the gantry was slamming against the stops making all sorts of noise as it tries to carry the spindle off of the machine - slamming into a clamp and breaking a bit in the process).

I accept that much of the problems are operator error (if there is such a thing in an ‘intuitive’ software - which I believe is an impossible dream - AI save me!!)).

Anyway, I went with the old standby - HARDBOOT the system and try again.

after several fails and disasters, I ended up with a heart shaped bowl with carving inside (it was suggested that I do not trust the software and machine to do that lettering carve at the bottom of the pocket based on surface measurements (ODD to say the least), and instead I did this project as five separate projects, measuring from the bottom of the pocket to make that carve.

in the end, I got a heart-shaped bowl with carving at the bottom, and discovered in the process that there is much work to be done in easel on the part of the designers before such a project could be mass produced for a profit (no project that requires five separate carves to complete could ever be profitable), so for the time being, I will abandon this project as a potential income source.

back to the learning curve to learn how to do inlays… already ran into a question with that this morning and am awaiting a call back from Tec Support (mainly, what cut choice is needed when importing an image, text, etc… in order to use the inlay app???). again, ‘Intuitive software’ is - at least at this point - an impossible dream. So, my learning continues.

In case anyone is interested, I have one example of a complete fail for this project:

as well as the one that worked (I made the second one smaller as I did not like the rough cut once it was completed):

to be honest, I am not sure why the first had multiple FAILS and the second one worked. The second one is just a scaled down version. (BTW, the first screen of each project is the master, and no cuts were made from those. The Tec at Inventables suggested that I break the carve down into multiple parts (ultimately being 5 separate carves). As mentioned, this got the job done, but with the added time and labor of doing it this way, would price such a product out of the market and I’d need to learn to love Raman if I were to attempt to feed myself doing projects that requires that much time and work - grin. Either way, I think that rebooting and starting over may be what fixed some if not all of the issues. It is very frustrating to plebians such as myself that problems exist for which the solution is “I don’t know, try turning off the machine and turning it back on and cross your fingers that you don’t break another bit this time.” But it is what is, and at least I’m learning.