Use Snap to Grid to create closed paths


(Carl Hilinski) #1

I’m thinking about a carbide3D shapeoko, but I wanted to work with the software a bit to see how easy it is to produce something. I spent hours trying to get a pocket and simply could not get it to work. I finally figured it out. The path wasn’t closing. So how do you close it? Seems impossible in CC. I enlarged the end points to a huge amount and still couldn’t get a closed path.It would be nice if you could double-click and have it close the path automatically, but there is no such feature.

Finally, I figured it out. If you use Snap to Grid, it will work. You may have to set the grid to an insanely small amount so you can get reasonable curves…I set mine to something like .05


(William Adams) #2

You can use a coarse grid to close paths — just move both points.

If you find yourself doing a lot of drawing which goes beyond the basic facilities of Carbide Create you may want to consider a “real” vector drawing program:

  • Inkscape — the free option and quite workable. Also has some spiffy CNC and CAM plug-ins of its own
  • Serif’s Affinity Designer — modeled on Freehand, this is as good as it gets outside of Macromedia Freehand or Altsys Virtuoso (guess I just dated myself there — yes, I still have a NeXT Cube)
  • Cenon — free / opensource for folks using Mac OS X or Linux and the GNUstep libraries (or who still have a machine running OPENSTEP last I checked)
  • Adobe Illustrator — the industry standard which I cannot stand (and haven’t been able to since v3.2 on my NeXT Cube and earlier versions on my alma mater’s Lab Macs)
  • Corel Draw — the inexpensive PC option — used it from v1.21 or so through 3 or 4, never much liked it

If there’s some other application you’re curious about, let us know.


(Carl Hilinski) #3

I pulled in a logo and was attempting to trace it. A coarse grid put the lines at times way off the image I was tracing and really made a mess of curves. The really fine grid was the ticket.

I have Inkscape. I’ve used it on and off over the years since it first came out. But I’ve never dived into it seriously. I’ve been lusting for a CNC since the Shapeoko was in its first design stage, so I’ve looked at tons of software over the years. The learning curve on a lot of it is pretty steep, especially if you want to do any 3D stuff.I was looking recently at the CNC that is sold at Woodcraft, and that uses VCarve, but I’m not entirely sure it provides anything over and above what Inkscape (and Shapeoko) can do.

My first project would be some scoretracks that I provide along with a product I build as a hobby and sell. The scoretrack is similar to a cribbage board and that was pretty simple to do in CCreate. I make about 100 of these a year and standing in front of a drill press drilling 42 holes in each is kind of an ordeal. I’ve also used Makercam.com to do it in the past but I’ve never really had the CNC to see if it would actually work


(William Adams) #4

MakerCAM (w/ suitable feeds and speeds) will work w/ a Shapeoko or Nomad.


(Scott Conant) #5

@Boothecus don’t bother tracing the logo by hand in Inkscape. It has a much more powerful tool called “Trace Bitmap” You can find it in the Path menu. I’ve used it to make many things for my kids and grandkids.


(Joshua Rogers) #6

Fusion360…'nuff said.


(William Adams) #7

Auto-trace is a mug’s game — it never points the nodes in the optimal positions, and it’s never quite right / aligned / neat enough (for me at least). useful for organic forms (I did use it for the band of a watch for a Pulsar Watch Co. display (that one wound up in their annual stock report or some such) but other than that, I’ve always been disappointed by it)