Inventables Community Forum

Suggestion on how to split a very long DXF object into two pieces?

I have imported a DXF file and a few of the pieces are over 11ft long. My CNC can handle up to 8ft so I need to split that object into two pieces that can be joined later. I’m new to CAD design and Easel and haven’t found a suggested way to do that yet. (I have considered putting a cut line through the piece, but that approach would shorten it by the width of the cutting bit.)

Any suggestions how to bisect an object to create two objects? Extra credit if you have a suggestion how to add an interlocking “jigsaw” joint so the pieces will lock together later.

Thanks in advance.

Could you share the DXF file?
Thanks
Russell

The DXF file is copyrighted and has a full set of components for a standup paddle board so I shouldn’t share it here. But I did make an Easel project with the individual part so you can see the challenge I’m trying to deal with. I’ve shared that project here: https://easel.inventables.com/projects/sF2IN0W0Pf07yGV4KTP6-w

I’d download a Cad program. Then I’d open the DXF and split the drawing in two and move each half drawing to the left and right the radius of the bit. Put the x0y0 in the correct spot between them. Is the part symmetrical? It may be possible to do that in Easel, but I don’t use Easel, so I can’t say for sure.

Do you have any suggestion for a CAD program that has that capability that is so easy to use that I could accomplish this without spending a significant amount of time learning the tool? I did try to do exactly that in Sketchup, but wasn’t quickly successful and gave up in favor of asking here first for advice.

Could you just cut the drawing so it will keep the piece the correct size?

If you mean cut it into two halves and then CNC each half, that is exactly what I want to do, but haven’t figured out how to split the single drawing into two pieces.

If instead you mean CNC the full size piece and let the bit run off the edge of the material, I don’t have enough runout on the machine to allow it (I think). I don’t think the controller software will truncate the design automatically. I suppose I could accomplish it by hand editing the gcode, but that would be non-trivial for me to get right.

I attached an Easel file where I cut the image into 2 pieces. Then just cut outside the line.
I didn’t do it exactly in half because there was a hole in the middle so I split to the side.
Russell

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Thank you so much! How did you cut the image? I’d love to know how you accomplished it so I can repeat it.

But you just end up with two pieces and they don’t have any kind of joinery between them …

The standard approach with this design is to have two pieces with a butt joint (as Russell helped create) and glue the joint with two additional small pieces sandwiching it on either side. If I’d ordered the complete kit from the company that is exactly what they would have shipped. Instead, I ordered their CNC plans and was surprised when those plans were laid out as one long piece.

I took your image into CorelDraw and cut the image in half. You could add a butt joint on both pieces. What did you have in mind as far as type of joinery?

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I was just making sure that was what Bob was looking for :upside_down_face: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I haven’t used the XCarve to cut out any joinery but I’m sure its possible.
Russell

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Again, I don’t use Easel, but it would seem to me you could put a circle right in the middle of both parts and create a rounded mortise and tenon between the pieces…like a jigsaw puzzle. That would add an element of strength and more glue surface that a butt joint doesn’t have.

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I haven’t used the XCarve to cut out any joinery but I’m sure its possible.
Russell. Thanks you

To close out this thread for future reference, I did find it was possible to do this in Easel alone.

To split an object into multiple pieces (for joining later) follow these steps:

  1. Select the object to split and make a copy (copy/paste).
  2. Align the objects so that one of the object edges are aligned (i.e., both left edges are the same)
  3. For one object, create a rectangle, position and size it to cover one half of the object to split and set the depth of the rectangle to 0 (zero).
  4. Repeat step 3 on the other object but this time align the rectangle on the other half of the object.
  5. For each object, select the object and the matching rectangle and do a Combine operation.
  • at this point you should have two objects that are each half of your original object.
  1. You may need to reset the Cut style to your original selection since the combine operation may set the Cut style to “pocket” cut.

This approach only works to create butt joints. You could create scarf (tapered) joints by using triangles instead of rectangles.

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