Cutting piece larger than my mpcnc

it is bitter here in Michigan and my machine is out in the cold garage. So I have been reading/watching up on all software, especially Estlcam. My question, my work area is 12x24. If I want 24x24cut, can estlcam separate it or do I need to have 2drawings? I looked/searched but did not find this topic. I have learned a lot today though!

I don’t know if any automatic features to do that. You can use estlcam to do it, but you may end up having to manually define paths and where they end. You will also need to add features to the drawings for registration pins, or however you are going to keep it aligned. You’ll have a lot more control if you draw those in CAD first (IMO).

I can understand the locating part, but how would you tell estlcam to only cut the first half of the part? Save g code then 2nd half and gcode?

I am not aware of any feature in Estlcam to only cut part of a profile.

This will probably need to happen in CAD. Separate the project into 2 drawings. I’m also not sure in Estlcam how to handle a non closed shape. So if you were to have, say a half circle, I think you can “engrave” that, where you follow the line, but I don’t know that you can cut the “outside” since Estlcam has no way of knowing which side that would be for a semicircular line. This might require some more forethought in your CAD, by making the semicircle 1/16" bigger knowing that you’re going to cut it with a 1/8" tool.

I suppose that defining a closed semicircular shape might do the trick, with the width the size of the tool, or very slightly larger to allow a finishing pass.

Registration pins must also fall within the addressable area.

You can choose the manual tool and then use the right click to choose how much of a profile to keep.

This gentleman has a great way! It was just what I was looking for. When it is warm I will try. I also will give inkscape a try!

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I’m trying to set up a piece that is 24" wide and 7’ long and my work area is 24x36. It’s to make a tiki figure door skin to dress up a boring equipment closet door on my lanai. My plan is to do it in three pieces and join with finger joints. I have tried to cut the image in inkscape, but found the software was automatically joining paths. This automatic joining was messing up the different depths to be cut… then when imported into estlcam, it ignored the image edits, showing the full image. Could be me, but was frustrating. The only way I got it to work was making a box with the finger joints in another layer, then manually editing the paths making sure the correct paths were where they needed to be with no distortion as these need to match up perfectly. I did this in three copies of the image in one drawing, top, middle and bottom. Now I can bring it into estlcam and assign all the tool paths on the top piece and save that as one file, then repeat for the other two pieces. I’m sure there is an easier way, but this worked for me.

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Nice! Clear and simple.
The only thing I’d add is that instead of deleting each separate tile group and saving separate svgs you can put them on different layers. Make visible the layer you want to export and Save a Copy as dxf. This way you’ll have one SVG file with all the tiles and individual dxf files for each separate tile.

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Thanks folks. I like this forum!

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gcode ripper by scorchworks will do that, look it up on you tube and the web

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Very interesting, thank you

You don’t have to save as dxf. You can pull the svg straight into estlcam. I’ve done it both ways and didn’t see any difference.

A few people have had scaling issues importing some svg’s into Estlcam in the past. Using dxf’s seems to eliminate the problem. But if you don’t have that issue then svg’s are good.

I wonder if it is due to software versions? I used to save as dxf, then one day I skipped (forgot) that step and haven’t had an issue. When dimensions are checked after cutting, they are dead on.

Also possible!
I’ve usually had the latest version of Inkscape and Estlcam so if they don’t play well together I’d have to revert to older versions. I have also had settings incorrect in the beginning (Visual Bounding Box vs Geometric Bounding Box in Inkscape - answer: use Geometric). Regardless, dxfs have always been rock solid. No need to figure out the real problem :grinning:
As a side benefit…I sometimes have a lot of different versions of designs going when I’m experimenting with something, and usually many layers in an svg. dxf tells me it’s a “finalized” version of the model ready to bring into Estlcam. So it’s incorporated into my workflow. The Save a Copy and using layers saves the “Re-open the Original File” step in the video. That’s independent of whether you save as dxf or svg.

Interesting. I’m going to have to experiment with more than two layers and see if I have any issues.

SVGs are about as complex as web pages. You can open one with a text editor and see what they have.

Many SVGs just have paths for each line. That is easy for something like Estlcam to read. “Start at XY, go to XY” (it is bezier curves, so slightly more complex, but you get the idea). Other objects are ellipses, or rectangles, or the union of two parts, or complex shapes combining many of the basic shapes.

You may have two SVGs, one with a very complex pattern described as abstract shapes, and another that looks identical at any scale, but us just made of paths. Estlcam would have no trouble with one, and the other may end up in some obscure transform code that has a bug in it.

I find it completely believable that one person has no trouble and another has nothing but problems. Switching to DXF is a good way to avoid a ton of code, and possibly fix the problem.

It looks simple, but Estlcam almost has to be as generic as a web browser to import files. It isn’t an easy task.

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