LumberJocks

All Replies on CNC WOODWORKING NOVICE NEEDS ADVICE

  • Advertise with us
View GOSSIMER's profile

CNC WOODWORKING NOVICE NEEDS ADVICE

by GOSSIMER
posted 10-07-2017 02:36 PM


33 replies so far

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1564 posts in 3119 days


#1 posted 10-07-2017 03:18 PM

I have been at it almost 2 years and it took me about a year to get a decent hang at it.

To me the cutting skills took a lot longer than I anticipated. Learning feeds and speeds and tooling took some time. I’ll highly recommend G-wizzard. Its a great jump starter. You put in parameters and it will get you the feeds speeds and ramp in/out.

2nd, as to 3-d capabilities. So many options you can go, You will find you can do a lot with v’carve pro, I got that with my Cnc routerparts 4×8. I’ve been trying diff ones in demo versions, and all i can say is it will be a learning curve. I’m a computer progammer/IT guy so thought it would be easy, it’s not. Its a lot of time learning but beauty is no matter what you pic, youtube will be your friend. Rhino is very feature rich, but I could not justify the $$.

I got a note that autodesk’s artcam was runnin a special 187$ for a year. It’s based on a monthly subscription. Default is 45/month. I’m just not getting to what I’d call crawling.

I’d suggest you get demo’s and try them. I’d suggest you spend some time learning the cutting aspect first.

I too looked at laguna’s before going cnc routerparts route, so i know they have a lot of demo files you can download, and play with.

Great sites where you can buy a lot of art to use and integrate and get your feet wet so to speak.

Good luck and next you gonna want that plasma…..
cheers

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1441 posts in 1266 days


#2 posted 10-07-2017 03:41 PM

Best of cutting with your CNC. I have the Laguna IQ- I am very satisfied with the machine and support.
You have VCarve Pro- I would think that Aspire 9 would be able to work.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#3 posted 10-07-2017 04:08 PM

I was afraid the learning curve would be a long and difficult one. At first I thought that VCarve may be able to do what I need, but then Laguna put me in touch with another guitar builder, and he advised me on Rhino software. My hesitation is that his shop is all Laguna tools, though he was very helpful. Now I’m wondering if the Rhino software will allow me to use it 2d until I can handle 3d. Thanks to both of you for your help. G

View MickNM's profile

MickNM

8 posts in 311 days


#4 posted 10-07-2017 07:05 PM

Good advice here. I’ll echo what others have hinted at – walk before you run. The jump from 2D to true 3D is a big jump. You have a pretty steep learning curve ahead, not only in the software, but primarily in machining wood with a CNC, learning the proper feeds & speeds for the material, as well as fixturing your parts will take a while. I would focus on projects likes designing and making jigs and fixtures and learn to use the machine first. VCarve is much easier software to grasp than Rhino, IMO, and is a great stepping stone to Aspire for 3D.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1441 posts in 1266 days


#5 posted 10-07-2017 07:28 PM

+1

-- Desert_Woodworker

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1564 posts in 3119 days


#6 posted 10-07-2017 08:20 PM



Good advice here. I ll echo what others have hinted at – walk before you run. The jump from 2D to true 3D is a big jump. You have a pretty steep learning curve ahead, not only in the software, but primarily in machining wood with a CNC, learning the proper feeds & speeds for the material, as well as fixturing your parts will take a while. I would focus on projects likes designing and making jigs and fixtures and learn to use the machine first. VCarve is much easier software to grasp than Rhino, IMO, and is a great stepping stone to Aspire for 3D.

- MickNM

very true. When I bought mine with vcarve-pro, i got an upgrade to aspire within the year at just the diff. A year in there was nothing i needed that was missing. ....Now I have not added 4th axis yet, but it’s coming.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#7 posted 10-08-2017 01:00 AM

I think you may be right about hanging on to the VCarve until I can step up to 3d. At least I’ll get use of the machine. Thanks for your input! G.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6943 posts in 3420 days


#8 posted 10-08-2017 05:02 AM

Nothing to, but to do it … but it’s easier said than done!
I don’t often do this but I have to agree with the comments about Rhino!
The Vectric software is hard to beat!

I haven’t gotten that far with Fusion 360 but my son, a certified CNC machinist/shop manager, has is and is way ahead of me with “our” CNC!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DS's profile

DS

2928 posts in 2472 days


#9 posted 10-18-2017 08:51 PM

You can download the free demo for Aspire and try it out (with some limitations) just to learn if it will do what you want and also to learn by running the tutorial programs.

There is a learning curve, but results are usually achieved in equal measure to your efforts.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#10 posted 10-18-2017 10:11 PM

My machine doesn’t arrive for about 8 weeks, till then I’m studying the software and my capabilities with it. Looks like I may not even need 3d after all, and I already have experience with xy programing. One fun little project I’m going to do with a friend of mine, is to reproduce the parts for a balsa wood model of a Stearman biplane, only 10 times the size of the original plans. should be a lot of fun!

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

9708 posts in 1538 days


#11 posted 10-19-2017 03:52 AM

Use alder. It’s makes everything better.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1441 posts in 1266 days


#12 posted 10-19-2017 04:12 AM



Use alder. It s makes everything better.

- TheFridge


Alder must be capitalized! respect it and you will get results…

-- Desert_Woodworker

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#13 posted 10-19-2017 05:03 AM

DW-Were those done in 3d or 2d?

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1441 posts in 1266 days


#14 posted 10-19-2017 05:16 AM

3-d Aspire 9

-- Desert_Woodworker

View CherryWood's profile

CherryWood

22 posts in 3291 days


#15 posted 10-19-2017 04:27 PM

VCarve is an awesome CAM program and CAN do a Guitar neck IF you have a model to import into it. VCarve cannot create the model. BTW – there are some people around that would create the guitar neck model for you for $25 – $75 with some detailed information from you.

Aspire CAN create the model. I would create that model with a 2 rail sweep in Aspire. Easy, once you are past the learning curve.

Lots of times you will see samples that people have cut in VCarve and yes VCarve CAN cut 3D BAS relief models. The Wolf, Horse, Flowers etc are all purchased models and not created in VCarve.

Rhino is by far more capable than Aspire – BUT – maybe you don’t NEED that capability. For guitar necks and bodies you don’t need it. Rhino also does NOT post out code for your machine. It is ONLY CAD, but very capable CAD, it is.

Aspire CAN create the guitar body AND neck AND post out the code for your machine.

RhinoCAM, is an add on to RhinoCAD so that you can post out code. Quite an awesome combination – wish I could afford it. It is fully 4 axis capable, and not simple axis swapping or wrapping. This combination is FAR more capable than Aspire. It is also FAR more expensive.

You cannot compare RhinoCAD/RhinoCAM to Aspire. They are just two completely different packages.

To my way of thinking – Aspire would serve you VERY well. You may be able to get it for the upgrade price from VCarve to Aspire.

BTW – I have been around all this stuff for 30-40 years professionally.

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#16 posted 10-19-2017 05:22 PM

Cherrywood— I have a lot to learn about all this. But I have to start somewhere. By CREATE, do you mean the CAD program that will allow you to draw the piece? If so, then what your saying is the the VCarve will only draw the path of the tool for cutting and carving? If that’s right then I will need to find a simple CAD program I can work with. However, I am interested in your model creating for $25 to $75. I may need that at first.

View CherryWood's profile

CherryWood

22 posts in 3291 days


#17 posted 10-19-2017 05:45 PM

VCarve CAN create 2D vector VERY well. It is a very capable, and very powerful program. The VCarve program can toolpath the 2D vectors that you create in VCarve and also toolpath the 3D toolpath on imported models. VCarve has a LOT of potential and can make a LOT of VERY awesome stuff. It is perhaps a LOT more powerful than you can imagine just now.

There is skill involved is CAD and in CAM. There is a learning curve. I used VCarve for about 7-8 years before I upgraded to Aspire.

With the amount of learning involved, VCarve will keep you occupied for several years. The added features in Aspire to create the models is yet another added level of learning curve. Taking on all of it at one time is an extremely aggressive course of action.

So far I have been talking about a model. When I say “model”, I am referring to the 3 dimensional shape with curved surfaces – ie, the curved shape of an acoustical guitar body or the curved, tapered shape of the guitar neck. Those “models” are created in Rhino, or Aspire or something that is capable of creating a 3 dimensional shape.

VCarve as well as Aspire and other CAD, like Rhino is capable of 2 dimensional drawing. Line lines on paper. Those are called “vectors”. VCarve can create the Vectors but not the models.

With just a little ingenuity, watching – studying the Vectric tutorials, getting help on the Vectric user forum, you will find that even 2D software, can make 3D parts. Not all 3D needs to be a model with 3D curves.

Yep – there is a lot to learn.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1130 posts in 2087 days


#18 posted 10-19-2017 05:48 PM

Goss,
VCarve and Aspire are Vectric products. VCarve is the entry product which does 2D CAD/CAM and 2-1/2D CAD/CAM (V-carve or engraving whichever you choose to call it – it uses a V-bit to make what looks like chiseled, incised carving).
Aspire is the full product which will allows you to make 3D models and carve them.

Last I checked you could purchase VCarve and later on when you got comfortable with it, Vectric will allow you to upgrade for basically the cost difference of the two products.

I recommend the full product eventually. It’s probably the best bang for the buck.

A partial seat of ArtCAM will cost you $360/year. A full seat will cost you nearly that much per MONTH. Used to be $10K per seat, plus about $1800/year for annual maintenance.

Compare at $2,000 for a full seat of Aspire, with NO annual maintenance costs.

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#19 posted 10-19-2017 06:22 PM

Underdog…....ArtCAM a seat?? Please elaborate, I haven’t got a clue what that means, but I’m curios.

View CherryWood's profile

CherryWood

22 posts in 3291 days


#20 posted 10-19-2017 08:00 PM

ArtCAM is a subscription based CAD/CAM software that is now owned by AutoDesk, the makers of AutoCAD, that you pay for monthly. A Seat means you can use it on one computer. Not sure how they work now, but you used to need a dongle (USB key with a license code). With a dongle you need the dongle to operate the software. Vectric allows you to load the software in, up to 3 computers, without any hardware (dongle). Also, at this time Vectric is not subscription based.

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#21 posted 10-19-2017 08:52 PM

I get it. Sounds like a good idea, if it’s affordable. Thanks

View DS's profile

DS

2928 posts in 2472 days


#22 posted 10-19-2017 09:02 PM

Cabinetvision is 2.5D CAD/CAM and costs about $10k for the 1st seat and $3600 for each additional seat.
Maintenance is $1k/year + $100 per seat.

It’s great for producing cabinets.
Maybe not so much guitar necks, but like VCarve, it could get it done in a pinch.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#23 posted 10-20-2017 12:11 AM

I’ve been building cabinets for years, but I should be able to figure out the path to divide a 4×8 for the caresses. 10K is a lot of money, but I can see where a business could benefit. I’ve learned some thing from our conversation. Thanks

View CherryWood's profile

CherryWood

22 posts in 3291 days


#24 posted 10-20-2017 10:59 AM

While NOT as good as Cabinetvision by any stretch of the imagination, you can do cabinet carcasses with VCarve.

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#25 posted 10-20-2017 02:32 PM

WOW! There’s a lot of software! Well, I shouldn’t be surprised.

View Balloonengineer's profile

Balloonengineer

2 posts in 3236 days


#26 posted 10-24-2017 05:27 AM

Don’t buy rhino, don’t buy Aspire to start.

V-carve will likely handle most any artistic type carving you will start with and could handle all you ever need. If you want a full 3D cad + cam system, use Fusion 360. It is extremely powerful, has CAM built in and is FREE for hobbyist or Commercial users making under $100k per year. It will do anything Rhino + RhinoCam will do and leave $5000 in your pocket for wood. You can used it to design and cut many of the jigs and forms you will need, and any and all parts of the guitar, including neck. It can produce g-code for 4 and 5 axis carvings, or 3D carvings from 2 or more sides of the stock.

Aspire is great, but $2000 you don’t need to spend until you you have learned a lot more, and exhausted the functionality of vCarve, if you ever do.

By the way, ArtCAM standard does not need a dongle, and you can install it on as many computers as you want, can only run on one at a time (log in online is required at least once every 30 days). Try the free 30 day demo, will let you design and generate g-code for any designs you create. Autodesk has been running different discounts (I bought a year for $99 in January, they had it at $180 for a year for a couple of months this summer). Sign up for the demo and you’ll be notified of the offers. You are unlikely to need any of the features of the much more expensive ArtCAM premium. ArtCAM standard is somewhere between vCarve and Aspire in capability, I.e. it can model and handle the two rail sweeps that Cherrywood mentioned, but can only do wrapped rotary carvings. It will do two sided carving, albeit not as easily as Aspire.

The Vectric demos won’t generate g-code except for one or two canned designs.

-- Tubular latex pressure vessel configuration engineer

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6943 posts in 3420 days


#27 posted 10-24-2017 06:39 PM

Another vote for Fusion 360 by Balloonengineer!
Not a easy to learn but so well worth every minute learning it!
Fusion 360 has the tools to create 3D CAD model’s and take those models through to CAM, sculpting tools, creating photo realistic images, and demonstrate how an assembly moves or how it is assembled.

There are many resources for learning Fusion 360 from Youtube videos from Autodesk to private contributers and books from Autodesk and knowledgeable user.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#28 posted 10-24-2017 07:21 PM

I am going to check Fusion 360 out for sure!

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3172 posts in 3283 days


#29 posted 10-24-2017 07:42 PM

The good thing about the Vectric software is you can upgrade to the next level by simply paying the difference between the two. No ifs ands or buts.

And YouTube is loaded with tutorials and demos. I played with VCarvePro for almost 2 months before purchasing my CNC. I was learning how to design my projects. And watch the software render them so I could make changes if needed.

I doubt that I will ever get into actual 3Ddesign. However, I have cut a few of the projects from the Vectric site in what I would call 3D but it is most likely 2D,,,like the rounded half of a football. Some of that stuff takes hours!!!

And I have cut some cabinet parts also. Not all of them will bit the bed of my CNC Asteroid from Probotix but I make do.
Good luck.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3172 posts in 3283 days


#30 posted 10-24-2017 07:45 PM



The good thing about the Vectric software is you can upgrade to the next level by simply paying the difference between the two. No ifs ands or buts.

And YouTube is loaded with tutorials and demos. I played with VCarvePro for almost 2 months before purchasing my CNC. I was learning how to design my projects. And watch the software render them so I could make changes if needed.

I doubt that I will ever get into actual 3Ddesign. However, I have cut a few of the projects from the Vectric site in what I would call 3D but it is most likely 2D,,,like the rounded half of a football. Some of that stuff takes hours!!!

And I have cut some cabinet parts also. Not all of them will bit the bed of my CNC Asteroid from Probotix but I make do.
Good luck.

- MT_Stringer

Plaque in honor of a beloved football coach. RIP Chuck.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#31 posted 10-24-2017 08:51 PM

Thanks for your input. Nice looking sign. I spent 35 years in the sign business, wished I would’ve had a CNC back then. I carved everything by hand and sandblast. Sorry for the loss of a 14 year old. Goss

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3172 posts in 3283 days


#32 posted 10-24-2017 11:07 PM



Thanks for your input. Nice looking sign. I spent 35 years in the sign business, wished I would ve had a CNC back then. I carved everything by hand and sandblast. Sorry for the loss of a 14 year old. Goss

- GOSSIMER

OOPS!. Sorry if I confused ya. The fellow was a teacher and football coach at the junior high school for 14 years. He was well respected and liked by all. Medical issues got the best of him.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View GOSSIMER's profile

GOSSIMER

23 posts in 284 days


#33 posted 10-25-2017 12:18 AM

Now it make sense! Thanks for telling me.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com