Author Topic: Help with toolpaths in BCL (OPEN)  (Read 65 times)

Hippie With A Cowboy Hat

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Help with toolpaths in BCL (OPEN)
« on: January 14, 2017, 08:47:08 AM »
Ordered a laser from BangGood, and looking for cutting sortware and see yours is recommended.  have watched all your videos, but have a question.  How do I get the arrows for the toolpaths? (complete novice, but learning)

Have converted a few jpg files to dxf, mostly geometrical patterns.  Dont know how you get the individual toolpaths and arrows though.  want to have an understanding before the laser arrives.

Basically, want to scan a shape and save as a jpg.  Then convert the jpg to dxf, and cut the outline out.

Help and guidance appreciated.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 09:03:53 AM by Administrator »

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Re: Help with toolpaths in BCL
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 09:03:39 AM »
Welcome to the forum...!!!

>How do I get the arrows for the toolpaths?

I'm not sure I understand your question. Those are created by BenCutLaser (BCL) in the main drawing canvas so you can see which direction a drawing object has. If you are stringing together multiple drawing objects (Lines for example) to be treated as one continuous group, then its important they all have the same direction/orientation.

You can change the direction by pressing the 'R' key or clicking the Reverse link.

Let me know if I'm not understanding your question correctly.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 09:04:41 AM by Administrator »

Zax

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Re: Help with toolpaths in BCL (OPEN)
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 09:15:09 AM »
Scanning and converting to a vector often results in a lot of small line segments, you may be able to reduce these in the CAD software before exporting as DXF. That should speed things up in BCL.

Hippie With A Cowboy Hat

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Re: Help with toolpaths in BCL (OPEN)
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 11:10:23 AM »
OK, so let me make sure we understand both ways.

If I take, say I a black dragon clipart jpg, run it through a jpg to dxf converter tool, I get basically an outline of the dragon in the converted dxf file.  If I bring that into BCL, it will "assign" the arrows or toolpaths automatically, and I can then change the directions of said arrows to suit a better flowing job?  Is that correct?

Not having ever worked in cad, cam, cnc, or any other 3 letter field, was having a hard time imagining how it would assign direction to a line that it doesnt know how it was drawn.

i Just want simple.  For my needs, a cad program is serious overkill.  if BCL assigns direction to the lines of any dxf imported, and I can change those direction if needed, thats all I really want.

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Re: Help with toolpaths in BCL (OPEN)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 11:38:10 AM »
>If I bring that into BCL, it will "assign" the arrows or toolpaths automatically, and I can then change the directions of
>said arrows to suit a better flowing job?  Is that correct?

BCL will assign the arrows but not the toolpaths...you must create the toolpaths so BCL will know how to generate the gcode. If you want, I can do a screen share with you later today, showing you this process, should not take too long...then you will be up to speed.

See attachment.

Additionally: Every single drawing object you add to a CAD drawing, carries with it many many properties. One of these properties is direction/orientation. When you load your dxf file into BCL, it reads this property for each drawing object so it knows which end to display the arrowhead.

BCL also displays other properties about the object when you select it. See attachment again.

Hippie With A Cowboy Hat

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Re: Help with toolpaths in BCL (OPEN)
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2017, 02:53:57 PM »
Ralph,

OK, got it.  I've watched the first 6 or 7 of your bencutlaser videos, so knew I needed to create the toolpaths for the individual lines per the power/speed needed for the particular line, just didnt know how the arrows got there to begin with. 

Pretty neat software to create individual directional flow that can be changed, from just a picture basically.  Impressive to say the least.

Laser should be here next week.  Once together, I will add a dedicated laptop, do the PWM Mod, and put BCL on it.  In the meantime, I will read every post on this forum that I think can help shorten the curve.

I really have zero need to engrave, only really need to cut shapes, so BCL looks perfect.

Really appreciate the help sir.

-Hippie

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Re: Help with toolpaths in BCL (OPEN)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 03:37:10 PM »
>Pretty neat software to create individual directional flow that can be changed, from just a picture basically.
>Impressive to say the least.

That's the work of my co-developer Paul...he's the talented one...!!!