View Full Version : Exploding parts

11-17-2000, 06:21 PM
Am new to vector. In reading all the posts, I continually see reference to "exploding the Drawing".
I have drawn several items in Corel 9. Some have included curves and simple arcs. When I bring them into Vector, They seem to import all right. But upon producing the cam file (.sbp), I get all sorts of cutter-up commands in the curve sections.
My question is, do I need to "explode" the curves and How do I accomplish this?
John Miller

11-19-2000, 11:59 AM
John I have found that Turbocad will do the same thing in Vector, so before you open or export it in Vector explode the file in Corel.

I have found that exploding it 2 times works fine but try it 1 at a time in Corel.


11-19-2000, 09:40 PM
'Exploding the curves' in CorelDraw translates into the command 'convert to curves'. And yes, you need to do that before exporting as a .dxf file... especially if you are using any type of font.

I'm only familiar with CorelDraw8 (Mac Version), but what I've found is that arcs and rectangles created in CD8 (with the arc or rectangle tools) and then exported as .dxf files are very 'sloppy'. Vector picks up alot of information from the .dxf file that gets interpreted as multiple lines going back and forth where only one line was originally drawn. The simplest solution I've found so far is to sequentially pick single line segments, draw a point on each segment and copy and paste those points into a new window for drawing spline curves. It sounds more difficult and time consuming than it actually is.

I've also found that it is usually easier and safer to delay any interpolation within Vector until after any automatic Z movements. Sometimes when interpolating Vector creates single line segments rather than chains. The automatic Z movement function will lift the cutter for every segment. With the new SB software it should be a moot point though since it can read the arc commands from the SB driver.

11-20-2000, 09:41 PM
Try the following and see if it works a little better.

1.Instead of drawing points which may not be necessary & adds a lot of unneeded time to
the process.

Try 1) Re-organize to combine doubled geometry, reselect, then 2) Spline-Arc Spline

Also it has been my understanding that Vector will correctly interpolate any selected chain. It is careful to make sure that the interpolated chain is also a connected chain.

As I said, this may make the process easier, if not let me know how and I'll check to see that I am doing it right and that I understand you.

John Forney

11-22-2000, 08:23 PM
Well, I guess when I said that I pick single line segments, I should have said that I pick very selected line segments. Three points usually suffice for arcs created by the CorelDraw arc tool. Also, it is common for the points where lines intersect in Coreldraw to not be fully connected once in Vector, hence, the selecting points and redrawing often turns out, at least in my experience, to turn out quicker in the long haul than tracking down the gaps in the chains.

Sort of related: On a particular job where a customer emailed me an already translated .dxf file, one entire section of a drawing was missing, while an area of his drawing that he had deleted was transmitted to me. This particular bug with this specific drawing happened repeatedly and the only way we could get around it was by having him email me a jpeg that I could verify. My guess is that not every .dxf translator is the same. I came close to shelling out for Polytrans, but haven't had as many translation problems recently.

Though not really a part of this specific discussion, I'm usually not satisfied with how Vector re-organizes. There usually seems to be a final segment pointing the opposite direction, or jumps in sequence which, though creating shorter toolpaths, doesn't take into account the cutter direction that I need.

That said, I will try the re-organizing, reselection, and arc spline sequence as you mentioned.

11-22-2000, 10:13 PM
Steve your post got me to thinking? so I tried somthing.

I drew a file is Coreldraw, then drew the same file in Autocad,Turbocad verisons 4-5-53d-6.5, Mastercam, Had a friend do it in Artcam, Signlab.

All files had been made with the same tools, not 1 would work in Vector? so In Turbocad I redrew the file TRACED IT with the Multiline Tool, then took it into vector and it worked no problems, so I re-traced it again with the SPLINE tool and tried that, it did not work, but when I exploded it in Turbocad then tried it agian it worked fine.

I could not find how to draw the same file in Vector, I do not know what is going on but I do know you might just want to draw your files with the tools then save the file then group all then re-trace it with a Multiline tool or Spline tool, you will need to explode any lines you make with the Spline tool.

Now sure if this will help you but I gave it my best shot, but I did find out that anything I draw in Turbocad will work fine with Vector now that I know you have to explode Spline lines.


11-23-2000, 07:20 AM
if your looking for an easy toolpath function get turbocad pro 6.5 . it has a join polyline feature.create your shape the easiest way.then select all.join polyline.offset line for cutter size. delete original.convert to shopbot.start cutting.the join polyline feature saves me countless hours.

11-23-2000, 10:25 AM
Please excuse my ignorance with TurboCAD, but how are you converting to shopbot? Would this work for 3D Rhino files?

11-23-2000, 11:54 AM
sorry . save part as dxf. then use the dxf converter in the shopbot software.

11-23-2000, 12:22 PM
Yes it will work with Rhino too, just save as a dxf or 3ds and it will work fine.


11-24-2000, 09:37 AM
I don't understand your post about a easy tool path. If you like turbocad 6.5 use it, but if you are saying that your way is easier than Vector I beg to differ.

When I draw in Vector there is no polyline join since Vector joins automatically, then offset and without deleting your original select the offset and in Vector output to sbp.

I have absolutely no interest in changing your mind re Vector. This particular topic is Vector and I am only posting a reply so that people won't get a wrong impression. There is a separate forum for Other Cad programs. I suggest that you post ways of completing everyday tasks there. I am certain that many TurboCad owners will appreciate your efforts.

I have a very busy shop and we use Vector because it has proven to be the quickest and easiest CAD/CAM for us. If you notice I post real solutions to real problems we have every day. My next post will be a step by step description on how to make a pocket at an angle in Vector. I use this for the gun butts in a line of gun cabinets we make. Hopefully it will be on the forum this weekend.

I mean no offense in anything I post here and hope that people will take it in that way.

John Forney

Curt Bartel
02-04-2001, 09:59 PM
I am the proud new owner of a Shopbot and have a couple of questions about how to cut parts.
1) How can I cut a part out of 3/4 inch stock without cutting it out in a single pass. The pocketing function in Vector lets you step down in increments to a desired depth, I am sure there must be a way to cut outlines of a part stepping down in small increments but I cannot seem to find out how to do this.

2) I am making several different parts that I want to cut out of a 1x6. Right now I have five seperate programs and I have to move the board after each one. How can I group them to use the least amount of the 1x6? Is there an easy way in Vector without making everything really confusing?
I know I can write a Shopbot Program to call the files in order but I would like to do it in Vector so I can see the parts layout before sending them to the Shopbot software?

Thanks in advance, Luv the Forum

02-05-2001, 07:11 AM
1) Draw-Other Curves-Contour Tooling, it's right below Pocket on the menu. This function is for cutting contours, rather than pockets. Don't forget to pre-select the geometry in cut order and direction.

2) Make the complete toolpath to cut each of the 5 shapes, including plunge and tool up lines with connect at Z or Contour tooling, Make each one into a seperate object. (This is similar to "group" in many programs, but is more powerful in Vector,as the object can be independently edited and the original drawing updated.) Use Change-Make Object. These 5 Vector objects can now be moved around, rotated, etc to form a tightly packed "nest". Once the objects are arranged, they can be selected in a logical order of cut and made into a "master" object. A Vector object will generate CNC code if selected, so you have now defined a toolpath to cut all of the 5 objects in the order you selected them. Make sure that you select the original geometry and the 5 objects in the desired order of cut, NOT by select all or box select.

Vector version 9.0, which is scheduled for release in February 2001, will add a special mouse edit function that will allow you to manipulate objects with "no-snap", drags and rotation. It is activated when the caps lock key is depressed.

We will be covering all the new features of Vector 9.0, as well as how to get the most out of Vector and your Shopbot at the IMService training classes. Shopbot has placed a link at the bottom of the main page, but here it is again for those that may be interested: http://www.vectorcam.com/trainingclass.html

We will have a Shopbot, computers, and John Forney's wodworking experience for an intense 2 day learning experience.There are a few spots left for the February session.