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Thread: Victorian Porch Brackets

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2018


    > These drawing tools aren't difficult because they archaic, they are difficult, because they are powerful.

    I don't know, maybe that's true for generating the CnC files. Or perhaps my hopes were too high, but I'd say the image tracing tools were difficult and terrible because they lack any power/intelligence... Maybe it would have been faster to manually click tens of thousands of points for my large designs, then maually making those curves, but that just seems like something that should have been automated decades ago. I thought tools like Adobe Photoshop do a great job of tracing an object, I didn't expect to have a nightmare when scanning in Aspire. I also thought scanning would be far more accurate than a human, and I wanted "perfect" copies. But in the end I manually adjusted just about everything so that was a poor goal from the onset.

    While I was able to get slightly better results and reduce knots in Aspire by mucking with the resolution of nodes and reducing color levels, I think the biggest fix was to do an end-run around the software. I painted one side white and re-scanned it, and left the rest dark. That way, even the stupidest software on Earth cough aspire cough couldn't screw it up too badly. The high contrast let me reduce the color levels way down, too, without all the glitches VCarve made the first time. Dents and flaws in the bracket would still get traced, but I think I also used image editing software to clean up some spots before letting Aspire see/butcher them. In other spots I'd erase a know then use the curve-fitting tool. I wish I took more notes, but towards the end I did the smaller corbels in much less time.

    The Aspire interface kinda lacks common sense. It seems designed for a 640x480 screen or smaller like it's still 1990, with tiny, text-less buttons with hieroglyphics on them. I believe the technical name for that interface style is "Mystery Meat."

    Then if you're adjusting nodes and you accidentally click just one single pixel off, the mode you are in changes against your will and the function you were using is gone and all of your work selecting nodes is undone. Whoever programmed that obviously had very little common sense.

    Speaking of common sense, obviously people are going to want to print a design and compare it to what they scanned or compare it to physical objects to be sure the size is correct. So naturally Aspire left out that feature.

    So you try to convert it to another format so you can print it from less terrible software. Aspire thought of that too, and intentionally crippled cross-compatible formats.

    Just getting a design out of Aspire and into something the a laser cutter could use was an Odyssey of wasted time. I had to save in one Aspire version then open it in a different version then save it to some vector format then open that in different software and convert it into something I could us on the laser cutter. I don't remember exactly, it took an hour or 2 to figure out and I made a hand-written chart of which formats each software could use. All of which suggests that if Aspire ever goes out of business all your designs may be forever locked away in an unusable format.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Lenox High School, Lenox MA


    Obviously I wan't clear. I was suggesting that the work on the Victorian brackets should be shared on the Vectric forum since the work was done with Aspire.


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