View Full Version : Seamlessly Joining Textured Panels

12-12-2007, 03:23 PM
I need to seamlessly join two 8' x 4' textured panels to make up one 16' x 4' panel. I have been using V Carve pro for all my textured panels. I called Vectric and they said it can't be done on V carve pro.

I was thinking of somehow mirroring the toolpath file to get two mirrored edges that join but I have no idea as to how to go about trying this.

Does anyone know what software has the capability to do this?

If someone has a software that can do this for me I will be willing to pay for a few toolpath files as this is quite urgent and I have already promissed the client it can be done. :-)

Thanks, Zak

12-12-2007, 03:41 PM
OK, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you should be able to mirror your first 8ft by giving your x axis unit value a negative sign, zeroing at x= 8ft and running the same file.

Yes? No?

12-12-2007, 04:04 PM

You could create the file in VCarvePro or PartWorks as a single 16'x4' textured panel, and then postprocess it with a program that would read the file and split it up into seperate panels. For instance it could read the file and copy all the commands that had an X-axis value between 0 and 96 into one file, and all the lines that had X values between 96 and 192 into another. Then everything would match up correctly. It might not cut quite as efficiently as a file that hadn't been split up, but shouldn't be too bad.

I'll work on a program that does that and (if it works!) will stick it in ShopBot Labs for you to try out...might be handy for others as well


12-12-2007, 04:13 PM
Scott, I like where you are coming from. I'll try it tomorrow. Do you know where I go in to the shopbot software to reverse the unit value? In 'Unit Values I found two options. Do I change my x unit value from 1273.2395 to -1273.2395 or do I change my x resoution from 4 to -4? I assume any of these will reverse the process.

Regards, Zak

12-12-2007, 04:18 PM
Bill, I like this even better as I am sure there would be some kind of identifiable line if the texture file is mirrored.

I look forward to trying both options in the morning.

Thanks again, Zak

12-12-2007, 04:51 PM

Here's another option. I can take the .sbp file from VCP (the full 16' so you don't create a seam) and backplot it in VectorCam. Then I can truncate everything beyond 96" and join with rapid clearance paths. Then I can do the same with the other half.

Takes just a few minutes.


12-12-2007, 05:42 PM
Scott W, Sounds interesting. What do you mean by Backplotting and Truncating.

Can I email you the .sbp file?

Regards, Zak

12-12-2007, 06:13 PM
Backplotting is like reverse engineering.
You can convert a sbp to a dxf with SB3 also and then open the dxf, but a program that can read a 3D dxf is needed. That's where Vector comes in handy. Truncating is just cutting it off at 96". Then the rest would be generated from 0,0 again.

Yes, you can send me the file. Email address is in my profile.


12-12-2007, 06:35 PM
I did not know a sbp file could be converted to a dxf file. Now I come to think of it it is quite obvious as thats where it starts life. I have 3d rhino so I can open the 3d dxf. Where do you find SB3? I would like to get a copy of this. This opens up loads of different avenues.

I guess my problem would be generating the new cutting file from the 3d dxf. I have Millwizzard, Vector V Carve and Part Wizzard but I dont think these programmes will be able to create a 3d along the vector cut file to generate the tool path I need.

This Vector Works sounds like a good piece of software. How much did you pay for it?

When I come in tomorrow I'll send you the file.
Thanks again, Zak

12-12-2007, 08:05 PM
Here's what I've done before on signs over 8' long, but the background was not textured.

Still, it should work even if it needs slight cleanup by hand with chisels, sandpaper, etc.

Assuming your panel is single faced: butt join the panels with biscuits and pocket screws from the back side and slide the panel along your x axis with the excess supported by roller supports.

Import your design into VCarve Pro and set the material size at 16'x4', generate your tool paths and make sure it all virtual routs ok in the display.

Now go back into VCarve Pro and change your material size to say 96.5" x 48", slide your actual panel to 0 x,y and generate and rout all toolpaths for that 96.5 x48 left side of your panel. Now slide the actual panel and your design within VCarv Pro left precisely 96.5" so that the old 96.5" is now your x=0.

Generate toolpaths and rout all parts of your design within this right side of your panel.

I use a 60 degree v-bit to place a precise point at 0 x,y and x=96.5 so that I can slide the panel left and pinpoint the old 96.5 at the new 0.

The advantage to the above method is that you've routed over your butt joint, which is the hard place to get it to match up.

If I misunderstood your problem and everything I wrote was a waste of time, then as Emily Litella on the old Saturday Night Live would say: "That's very different. Never mind."

12-12-2007, 08:24 PM
SB3 is your ShopBot Control software. If you go to "File/Conversions" (FC), you can choose what type of file you want to convert and what to.

You may be able to open the resulting file in Rhino, but editing it would be a pain and generating a sbp file wouldn't work with Millwizard.

Vector Cad/Cam came with my ShopBot back in 2000 and I've updated it a couple of times. It's now called Vector XT. It was the program that most people hated and never took the time to learn how to really use. Since VCP has evolved into what it is today, I don't use it much anymore, but it really comes in handy for some unconventional toolpaths and problems like this. It can be found here (http://www.imsrv.com%20). I think the base program is now $795. $500 more for the 3D surfacing option. Although it is good, it's an acquired taste.

Don, due to the way that VCP textures at the edge of a panel, it would show at the seam.

12-12-2007, 09:47 PM
If you're feeling adventuresome I've uploaded a file divider program that should do what you want to do with the least amount of work.

If you give it a try I'd suggest putting in a little overlap when you enter the dimensions for your new files...maybe from -1 to 97 for one and 95 to 193 for the other...to give a lead-in, and you can also enter an Offset value to move the second panel back on the table if you would rather not re-zero. I'd strongly suggest viewing the files in preview mode before cutting to make sure they're REALLY doing what you expect before cutting expensive material.

I've tested it on a handful of PartWorks texture files and it's worked well so far, but as with all things in ShopBot Labs consider it experimental.



12-12-2007, 10:45 PM
Just to clarify Scott's first suggestion of cutting the file in reverse by changing the unit values to negative, this can be done even more easily by running the file with the X proportion set to -1, starting with the tool at X=96

12-14-2007, 10:03 AM
I have done files of large leafs that hung under a grid celing( 26'X 26'). They had veins running through them so it was critical that they lined up. I designed these in V-CarvePro by taking the total area and assigning 4X8 sheets to it then importing the design on top of them. I then node edited the vectors to each sheet and made cut files for each sheet which lined up perfectly. One bit of caution you must line up the 4X8's directly ontop of each others borders by zooming in and moving the vector into position or your files will be off. (ask me how I know) hope this helps.

12-18-2007, 05:05 PM
Hi all,
Bill's solution worked well. After doing a small 18" x 18" test piece I am now doing a full size sample for the client. It totals 184" x 44" with a seamless joint in the middle.
In the end we are overlapping the sheets 4" each side (a total of 8") and then trimming with a straight bit for a near perfect joint.
The problem now is that the Porter Cable is struggling to plunge the 2" dia round bit 3/4" in to 1" MDF. I'll send pics when all is complete and the dust settles. :-)

12-18-2007, 06:16 PM
Hey Zak,

Glad it worked for you. I've been playing with it a little more and have a new version in ShopBot Labs with a new name... File Sampler.

FYI, The original inspiration for it came from a conversation that Grant Bailey and I had a while back about creating very large texture files...maybe 8'x16'... of natural things like woodgrains, river stones, fabric folds, etc, and then having a program that would let you create files of smaller sections of those large textures.

The idea was that if you created your smaller panels in different places around the big texture, your panels could all be different and look more natural without having to create a new texture for each panel. It would also let you create things like a series of doors with a continuous texture spanning them, by selecting adjacent sections of the texture to sample. The File Sampler is a start on that program, and the ability to split up large files so that they fit on a ShopBot table is just gravy!


08-06-2008, 01:52 PM
To take this thread to another level we are doing a project to make two walls of textures 80ft high x 14ft wide. A total of 108 panels. Although Bills file sampler is a solution for the job we would like to quite simply make one panel that can be tiled in all 4 directions. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? The closest we have got to a solution is 4 panels that replicate. Panel A can be mirrored using Scott Cox's method above (-X) to give Panel B. Then Panel A and B can be mirrored by using the same method but with the Y axis being negative (-Y).
However I want one mirrored panel. Any suggestions?