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Using Vcarve to Break Apart .DXF Files for Smaller Work Area or to Space Components For CNC Router

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Giarc, Sep 4, 2023.

  1. Giarc

    Giarc OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder Resident Builder

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    Vectric Software is a quick and effective tool for breaking apart multiple nested panels if your work surface is too small, or if you want to cut laser files with a CNC Router. I do this often for my K40 laser since the cutting area is fairly small. The reason I went to this method is that Fusion 360 can be very glitchy and freeze up when loading or scaling some .dxf files found online. That may just be the Hobbyist version though. There may be other CAD software that will work, but I have Vectric's Vcarve Desktop, and it works every time for me.

    For this, I will be using a tea light lantern I purchased off Etsy.

    Step 1:
    Open Model in Vcarve Desktop:

    upload_2023-9-4_15-49-45.png

    Step 2:

    Select .dxf components to break apart. For this model, I am cutting it on my CO2 laser, but the working area of my laser is too small. All I have to do is break it into two sections and I can cut it. However, this could also be cut on a CNC router, in that case, each component would need to be spaced apart, or have a separate .dxf file.
    Again, draw a box around the components you want to break apart (faint dashed box) trying not to overlap the unwanted parts much. If you do, some lines of those may also be selected.

    upload_2023-9-4_15-54-7.png

    As you can see, I was able to just get the 4 I wanted:

    upload_2023-9-4_15-54-41.png


    Zoomed in:

    upload_2023-9-4_15-54-54.png

    Step 3:
    Save this new .dxf
    upload_2023-9-4_15-57-19.png

    Then repeat for the other two components:

    upload_2023-9-4_15-58-56.png

    Another way to do this is to drag around just the “busy” areas of the component and then hold down the shift button and click on the profile:

    upload_2023-9-4_16-0-5.png
    upload_2023-9-4_16-0-24.png

    Again, save these files (Step 3 above).

    Alternate Method for Modifying for a CNC Router:

    If you just want to spread them apart so they can be cut with a CNC router using an end mill, just increase the Job material size to what your work stock is, (circled in red) and manually select and move them.

    upload_2023-9-4_16-1-51.png

    Moving them is easier if you select the components and “Group” them:

    upload_2023-9-4_16-2-36.png

    Step 4:

    Arrange/nest them however you want:


    upload_2023-9-4_16-3-21.png

    Hope this is useful.
     

    Attached Files:

    Rick 2.0 and Alex Chambers like this.

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