Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Any Vectric or Inkscape users?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    4,331

    Default Any Vectric or Inkscape users?

    I have my cheap Chinese K40 laser up and running, and should have my Shapeoko CNC router following shortly behind (technically it works fine as it is, I just need to finish the vacuum system.)

    The K40 I switched over to using "K40 Whisperer" software, which appears to work quite well. It's paired with Inkscape, a free Vector-based drawing program, that also seems to work pretty well. I'm well-versed in conventional graphics programs like Photoshop and Paintshop, but have done very little vector work, apart from just making generic rectangles and ellipses for my artwork. (The graphics programs won't let me save it as a vector file, anyway, so it's irrelevant.)

    I'm curious if anyone is familiar with Inkscape, and has some tips and tricks they'd like to share.

    The one thing I'm not sure Inkscape can do is automatically "vectorize" an imported drawing. For that, a buddy of mine briefly demonstrated Vectric for me- I'd heard about it, but that was the first time I'd seen it in action. It could apparently do a very passable job of automatically processing an imported image- I don't mind having to do some adjustments, but the Inkscape, unless I'm overlooking a feature, requires the user to trace/redraw the entire image, which can get tedious for complex linework.

    Vectric also of course includes V-Carve, which I'd also heard about but hadn't actually tried, and seemed to be the ideal software for the CNC router as well. It's spendy, at something like $800, but I'll buy it if it does what I want it to.

    Anyone familiar with either of those, too, and have some tips or tricks to pass along?

    If anyone knows of a good YT video on any of those three, and can recommend it, I'd be very interested to know that, too. (Yes, I've looked- there's 20,000 results. My time at the moment is very limited, I'm hoping somebody can recommend a "cream of the crop" video or series to save me about six hours of rooting through half of them to find a good one. )

    Doc.
    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,018

    Default

    I use Adobe Creative suite 6 so I create vector drawings in Illustrator for my vinyl cutter.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,921

    Default

    I've been through the business of vectorizing line drawings many, many times.

    AFAIK, both Inkscape and Vcarve (or Desktop at half the price) don't do centerline vectorizing. What I mean is, with a single line, both programs will create a vector on both sides of the line rather than a single vector down the center. For the vast majority of my uses in laser marking or machining/routing what I needed was the single centerline vector. For my use I bought Cutting Shop from Arbor Image, by far the best vectorizing software in an affordable price range (under $500).

    There are quite a few programs that'll do centerline vectorzing. It's been a few years since I've looked, I recall one that had a free version that was quite workable, with the for-pay version doing a better job, Win Topo is the one I recall. Google on "raster to vector software".

    Whatever software you find, there will always be vectorizations that'll need cleanup. Little things like the way line crossings are translated. For cleanup you need CAD software that can handle entity level operations easily.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,609

    Default

    I am a registered Vcarve user. I posted a bug on their site, just once. It was very well documented, with toolpath, and example model file. In the generated g-code they were increasing the feed rate during stepover. Rather than respond to the posting, etc, they deleted the posting and my forum account. In emails they acused me of working for a competitor. I guess my bug report was too well documented?

    There are good things about the software, but there are also so many limitations that make it extremely time consuming and cumbersome to use. It seems their strategy is to trickle fixes and very basic features out at an incredibly slow pace, forcing expensive upgrades.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,921

    Default

    I agree about Vectric (the Vcarve people), they are not nice people. I was considering their software a few years ago. They got very testy when I asked how or if they supported 4th axis feedrates for certain CNC controls. They didn't understand the problem and quit answering my emails. Now I find 5 years later they've finally come up with a solution to the problem I tried to make them aware of.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,038

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DR View Post
    I've been through the business of vectorizing line drawings many, many times. AFAIK, both Inkscape and Vcarve (or Desktop at half the price) don't do centerline vectorizing.
    Just curious, have you tried messing with this? I haven't.

    https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-centerline-trace

    -SD:

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,018

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DR View Post
    For cleanup you need CAD software that can handle entity level operations easily.
    Or Adobe Illustrator ;-)
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,921

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokedaddy View Post
    Just curious, have you tried messing with this? I haven't.

    https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-centerline-trace

    -SD:
    Thanks.....No, I wasn't aware of it. I'll try to look at it later today.

    If it does do centerline trace then it could be a useful program. The concept of edge sensing on line drawings and creating double vectors where you really only want a single centered vector never made any sense to me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    692

    Default

    I have used f-engrave... It works ok.

    http://www.scorchworks.com/Fengrave/fengrave.html


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    3,921

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Magicniner View Post
    Or Adobe Illustrator ;-)

    Adobe Illustrator to edit vectorized files...??????

    I found this mention in Adobe Illustrator instructions about vectorizing:

    "convert a logo in Illustrator, edit it in CAD software and send it to CAM for use with a CNC machine. "

    Notice they say to edit in CAD. But, what do I know? I've only tried an old version of Illustrator which was pretty poor in vectorizing.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •