View Full Version : Ramped Z plung

02-24-2006, 05:05 PM
I import all my parts files into Vector as .dxf files. In Vector I add the Z depth and do "connect at Z" and then creat the .sbp file. I started to use, for the first time, an Onsrud "O spiral" single flute bit. They do not plunge straight down very well. My question is: is there a way to get Vector to create a ramped plunge when I do the connect at Z?

02-25-2006, 12:07 AM
Doing this inside Vector was too much of a schlep (http://www.imsrv.com/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?tpc=12&post=341#POST341) for me. We now draw the angled entry with AutoCad before making the .dxf file.

(We plunge straight down with 1/4" spiral O - havn't used bigger ones yet)

02-25-2006, 12:55 AM

You can't make a ramped entry with the "Connect at Z", but there are several ways to make a ramped entry before connecting at Z. You can also do a z axis arc approach. The easiest way to explain would be to draw a point by coordinates that would be at the material surface and at some point x and or y away from the start of the part and then do a draw line connect to the first segment of the part or offset. Then do your connect at z. If you want a arched entry, add the point again as before, select the point first and then the first segment and then do an approach with an appropriate radius. Uncheck the autodepart closed chains. In order for the ShopBot to execute the z axis arc, you'll have to break interpolate the arc approach into small segments before generating your code.

Maybe even easier would be to "Draw line at angle" on a entity.

Hope this helps.

02-25-2006, 02:56 AM
George, if you recognise that the "connect at Z" adds a vertical line to your .dxf, then you can go and look for the top end of that vertical and move it in the x,y plane, changing the vertical to an incline.

This is what we do in AutoCad. Scott may know of a way to move the top end of the vertical in Vector. It is also relatively easy to find that top end in the .sbp file and tweak the end x,y values in the Jog just before the plunge.

02-25-2006, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the replies

I ended up going into the .sbp and doing some editing in there. It wasn't all that hard to do. Edit some lines and cut and paste a few times and it worked pretty well.

I use DesignCAD and CassMate to do the basic design on everything. Then I import to Vector to convert to .sbp. I've never liked Vector but it's what I learned to use and I have gotten by for a few years with it. What would you guys suggest if I were to move up to better software. Enrout, made by the same people that made Casmate, is an option. DesignCad works well for me for designing parts & stuff and Casmate works well for the signage applications. What I need is a better interface between those programs and shopbot than Vector has been.


02-25-2006, 01:52 PM
Highlight the vertical line so that the arrow points up
then go to:

Select the End,Angles button
Type in any End coordinates you want.

If you need to adjust the angle of entry to something other than a simple X or Y direction you can go back to Change - Modify and type in the angle you want.

02-25-2006, 02:41 PM
While you can modify the connect at z, it's not quite that simple. When Vector makes a "Connect at Z", it makes two segments each with its own name/layer. One is DOWNFAST (jog speed) and the other is DOWN (move speed). If you select the DOWN segment so that its pointing up and Change/Modify, you need to do Begin/Angles and make changes only in the Angles/Length section. Change the Z Angle (say 30 degrees) and also the XY Angle (0=tip to the right or +X, 90=towards +Y, 180=left or -X, 270=towards -Y) and then the length. Type a number in any other box than the three in Angles/Length and your going to move the whole line to a different place. You'll then have to delete the DOWNFAST line. Also, be sure that your new angle entry is starting at a safe height or....well, you know what's going to happen before the bit gets to that position....and it usally doesn't make for a happy ShopBotter!

You can quickly stretch that line by going to Modify Mode (black arrow on toolbar, right click or F7) and drag the end out to where you want it. Escape gets you back to normal mode. (Normal mode in Vector.....some may call that an oxymoron :-0)


02-26-2006, 01:27 AM
Make your drawing in your Cad program (white), draw a circle at the start position of your ramp safely above material height (red), join centre of circle to start of cut (green).



02-26-2006, 03:27 AM

If you are doing all your drawing in DesignCad 2D and Casmate then PartWizard might be the simple solution for you. You can export dxf from DesignCad into PW, it seems like a pain but it becomes quick after a few dozen times. Also, you can design simple signs right in PartWizard, and save a step.

Brady Watson
02-26-2006, 11:59 PM
ArtCAM 3D and ArtCAM Insignia both allow you to add ramps automatically. They work pretty well. I am not sure, but I think that Enroute may allow you to do this as well. Get alhold of Dale Kerr...he would know.

I think that you will find the interface and 'wizard' driven interface of all of these newer programs a much more pleasurable way to work than what you are used to. In very few cases (if any) would you be giving up functionality that you have now in Vector...plus you would probably gain a few features. You could always go back to Vector in the event that you had something that you needed to do outside of the new program.