Help with v carve

So I made the decision and bought Vectrics v carve after using the trial for a while. I really like the software, but I have some questions. If anyone can answer or point me in the right direction, that would be great.

So I made a simple sign and I went to save the toolpaths with the Marlin post processor. When i tried, it made me split the project into multiple files because my project contained multiple bits. I was hoping that vcarve saved to a single file and somehow worked like my wife’s embroidery machine and just added a pause to the project to swap bits like the embroidery machine does for thread colors. Is this possible or does it just not work that way?

If it isn’t possible to save to a single file with pauses, how do I line up the other files in the project to start in the exact place I want it to?

One last thing, it seems to be random as to where vcarve starts the cut. I edit my g code to zero the coordinates, but it still seems to take a bit of a random place to start. I am used to using estlcam where I can place the zero starting point. How can I go about this with vcarve?

Thanks to anyone who can help me out in any way!

What are you using for a control board? Does it have a touch screen interface at the machine? I use a SKR board with the TFT35 touchscreen and run my projects from an SD card inserted into the TFT35.

The following discussion relates to using the CNC with a touchscreen interface but can be applied in other configurations as well.

There is no need to be concerned about multiple files or where the bit starts if you have set the zero for the board up correctly. In the job setup screen where you set board size, you select either the middle or lower left corner of the board as your zero position. I usually use the lower left corner. All of your cuts are automatically referenced to this point. As long as you do not power off your steppers in between files, you change bits between files, reset Z zero height for the new bit, and then run the next file. It will remember the x,y zero point without you having to adjust it. You can also move the CNC around from your touchscreen in between files without concern as its location is always tracked by the software(i.e. you will not affect where the zero position is with movement.)

The order in which each toolpath is executed within a file is the same as the order of the tools paths in the design(i.e. put your holes, vcarves, pockets,etc before your cutout toolpath).

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@ronnycowart I’m running Rambo 1.4 with Marlin, no touchscreen. For the sign I made, it had 3 files created. When I loaded the first file, I used the G92 x0 y0 z0 command in the gcode. Are you saying as long is I do this for each file and I don’t move the gantry, each file had the coordinates that I need and I should just load them into repetier sequentially and it will go to the right spots? Thank you so much for taking the time to help. I’m also open to reading/watching any resources you might recommend on how to get better with vcarve.

If using Repetier to send the jobs, make sure the “turn off steppers at end of job” checkbox in the printer configuration screen (probably not the exact right wording) is not enabled or you risk losing position between jobs.

Does your machine have endstops? If so, I would keep track of the offset between machine and work coordinates, i.e. what are your X Y and Z coordinates after jogging to the work start point but before executing the G92 command. This will allow you to re-establish the same offset if for some reason you do lose position between jobs.

Marlin remembers where it is as long as the steppers remain powered between jobs. Only issue a G92 x0 y0 at the beginning of the first job. You will need a G92 z0 for each file where there is a bit change and on the first one. You can move the gantry with g0 or g1 commands between jobs as long as you don’t issue a g92 x0 y0 again. Marlin keeps track as long as coordinates are not reset with the g92 command and motors are not powered off and then back on. I do not use a gcode sender app in my setup, but as Tom stated, be sure the motors do not power off between jobs in your gcode sender app.

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