Vectric Array of ToolPaths

While waiting for my OF-W (I’d have gotten it months earlier if one of you had called to tell me about them :slight_smile: ) I’m learning VCarve Pro (already purchased). Has anyone experience yet with if/how the newest post processor handles arrays of toolpaths when making multiples of a part that in turn requires multiple tooling?

Could you use the nesting function,
Or multiple nesting functions , ex: roughing and then finishing?
Or. Multiple Nesting functions of selected vectors.

From my early understanding of Vcarve Pro, there are several strategies that would work if necessary. I’m just curious as to what anyone has found thus far using the toolpath arrays.

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My question arose as I was contemplating how easiest to lay out a spoil board with 20 pocketed holes for fastening to table - I wanted 40 1/4 diameter pocket holes with a 1/8 diameter screw hole in the bottom. It was going to be tedious/repetitive to make 40x2 toolpaths, but you can array copy a set of toolpaths and then choose to optimize for minimal tool changes or completing each piece before going to the next. That is successful only if vcarve+pp are smart enough not to pause for tool changes in the first case and to repeatedly pause for tool changes in the latter case.

John,
I haven’t seen how you drew/chose your tool paths,
If I’m imaging this right. I would draw the spoil board exactly as you want it. With all your 40 holes.
Draw the large holes on layer 1, and the smaller ones on layer 2… for ease of selecting. Hide/unhide .
Then operation 1, would be all the large holes
Operation 2 would be the smaller ones.
So the only pause would be between the big-small holes. 2 separate programs(tool paths) with the same reference point.

I will not encourage a tool change in mid program on this type of machine… easier and simpler to do 2 separate operations.
As far as optimizing the movements… I don’t believe that’s an option with v-carve. Vs a high end CAM program.
It is already VERY impressive what these simple Vectric programs can do, vs a high end one.
The PP is only there to convert the program into the language that your machine will understand.

Thank you, Chris. I had concluded - as I spent more time in VCarve - that your suggestion was the way to go for this particular series of operations. I’m trying to learn as much ‘virtually’ as possible while waiting for this, my first CNC, to arrive.

My suggestion to you is…

Practice drawing stuff, get your imagination going for the artistic stuff…
get used to the MANY functions available in VCarve, or any other program.
Google/YouTube are your friends, with many many tutorials available.
Drawing or Imagining what to draw is the hard part.

As far as the machine part, It’s easy, you have nothing to do.
You can sit back and watch what your imagination created on the computer screen, come to life… as a beautiful sculpture or whatever!!