Any thoughts? Vectric apparently missing VTransfer file

I played with Vcarve for somewhere around a year before I even had a machine. The Vectric forum is full of users that will keep you grounded.

Just do it. You won’t regret it. Vectric products are so much more mature.

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When I first contacted Vectric about the trial of VCarve, they said the sample files were just to test compatibility. I edited the Avalon sample file to change the stock depth and saved the *.gcode - but I’m not sure if you can change the actual design and then save that.

They also provided me with a post-processor to check compatibility with BitSetter, but I haven’t got around to that, yet!

Which post processor is that?

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Thanks Tex… maybe more mature but sure as heck do not want anyone to test anything with files that are not their own approved files. I managed to load a sample file and just changed the size of it to fit my material… it ain’t happening. See the error message… below. So the sample file has to be unmodified… very poor show in my humble opinion. It tests nothing but what the developer knows will work!

A good question Peter. I would like to know the answer to that too. :thinking: I am starting to think that Vectric feel that they are the Adobe of CAD/CAM and its policy is take this or don’t. :roll_eyes:

Get on their website and go through the tutorials to learn the software and try out the process of using the software like offsets, toolpaths, node editing and everything else. You’ll find software for cnc material routing useful for many jobs. If you buy something besides the Desktop version, you’ll find many options on nesting, sheeting and etc., too. The Desktop version limits your work size to 24" square. The Vcarve Desktop and Pro models can manipulate and route 3D objects, but you have to move to the Aspire model if you want to create 3D objects. (Nothing keeping you from using other software to create the 3D models and importing them into Vcarve, though.)

What’s the point of your comments? Are you trying to see if you like the software or complaining about the developer or something else? I can’t tell.

The software works very well as attested to by anyone on the Vectric forum where everyone there is a user (if you want more opinions.)

The developer is tremendous with support as attested to by anyone on the Vectric forum where everyone there is a user (if you want more opinions.)

I’ll go back dark now, since I’ve pushed my limits on this C3D forum talking about this other software. I don’t even use CC (except to surface my 33" square wasteboard!) :smiley:

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You have taken the time to respond so I feel obliged (it is politeness that demands it) to respond in part.

As an outsider to the world provided by Vectric, I wanted to assess the software for myself. It required two things I did not have. 1. The software 2. Windows OS. Having followed the path, I have purchased a VM and Windows OS is now on my computer (a Mac) and I then downloaded a trial of V Carve Pro. I was dismayed to not be able to find a certain file that the software called for. I then saw that there is a tight integration between the trial software and the behaviour permitted. I downloaded and attempted to adjust the size of a Vectric sample file. It now does not let me carve it.

You can take whatever position you want about how developers protect their investment but despite seeing the GUI and the facilities offered in the software (which could have been done by listing them all) I had wanted to see what the interface with my SO3 would reveal. I also wanted to carve just one file, any file. My S03 is limited to bed size and I do not have a handy piece of 10 x 10 x .75 inches on hand. I wanted to use stock I had on hand and that involved adjusting for workpiece size in the software. Now V Carve Pro will not carve because I had adjusted the size. That is more than a little anal and quite unnecessary to protect the software. It is Vectric’s own 3D file, which was specifically assigned the purpose of being a downloadable, carvable sample!

Without wishing to seem impudent, I don’t want or need opinions to confirm my own biases. I want to generate my own observable facts. I will leave you with a quote which was ascribed to Walter Lipmann: ** Where all think alike, no one thinks very much**

It is not helpful to me to know who likes the software, especially among users who like it and use it regularly. I am struggling with an OS about which I know absolutely nothing other than its name. It is overlaid with a software that looks like it may well serve my purposes. However, it blocks every effort I have made to show me the software in a working condition (on my own desktop) driving my own CNC machine.

My question to the much vaunted Vectric support department was not that helpfully answered. As a potential user at the not inconsiderable cost of $747.03 for the price of entry, I can say that being the case, it may be easier to find a software vendor who can at least give me the impression that they are open to facilitating new customers.

@neilferreri - I’ve attached, if that helps?

Shapeoko_inch_TC.pp.zip (2.0 KB)

Yup. Wondered if they had an official one yet. That’s one I did.

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As you mentioned, your inability to cut the provided file is a limitation that you currently have (no 10x10 bit of wood to test with). Your machine should be able to cut that size if you did, no? So one way out is to get a bit of wood, or put a smaller bit of wood on the machine and cut some air but still cut something.

Also, there were offers from two people take any .CRV file you save and generate the GCode. Perhaps you missed those? That gcode generation step is boring and generic and it won’t suddenly change if you were to purchase VCarve and do it yourself.

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Thanks for your response, Gerry. I have communicated again with software support at Vectric and I have been told how I can adjust the size of the sample file. (has to be done from the job setup rather than elsewhere… doh!)

Will try it when I next have an opportunity. Busy day today and tomorrow so no working on the CNC. I am interested in how the code for the SO3 post processor works. I also have an opportunity to try the tool change facility in @neilferreri’s post processor.

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Understood, Jeff!

With respect to the post-processor, poste-haste here’s a post of my post-processor I put together based on a Nomad post-processor posted in a post on a wiki discovered post-purchase of VCarve.

I used it both on my Nomad and my Shapeoko-with-spindle.

It is essentially a macro specification. You probably don’t need a degree in Computer Science to understand it, but then again it’s possible I can’t tell if that’s the case since I have one of those. Mine is based on the supplied Grbl_mm post-processor, and looks like this:

POST_NAME = "Carbide3D Nomad mm (*.nc)"

POST_BASE = "Grbl_mm.pp"

FILE_EXTENSION = "nc"

UNITS = "MM"

LINE_ENDING = "[13][10]"

+
+    Formatting for variables
+

LINE_NUMBER_START     = 1
LINE_NUMBER_INCREMENT = 1
LINE_NUMBER_MAXIMUM = 9999999

VAR LINE_NUMBER = [N|A|N|1.0]
VAR SPINDLE_SPEED = [S|A|S|1.0]
VAR FEED_RATE = [F|A|F|1.1]
VAR X_POSITION = [X|A|X|1.4]
VAR Y_POSITION = [Y|A|Y|1.4]
VAR Z_POSITION = [Z|A|Z|1.4]
VAR ARC_CENTRE_I_INC_POSITION = [I|A|I|1.4]
VAR ARC_CENTRE_J_INC_POSITION = [J|A|J|1.4]

begin HEADER

"%"
"G17"
"G21"
"G90"
"M6 T[T]"
"M3 [S]"

begin TOOLCHANGE

"M6 T[T]"

begin NEW_SEGMENT

"M3 [S]"

begin FOOTER

"M5"
"M30"

Maybe this will demystify them?

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Great that you were able to post this posting concerning your post processor; post hoc :grin:

Methinks that the gentleman doth assume far too much. :thinking:

… Yep, that is as clear as the proverbial mud to me. :rofl: No doubt you will be able to assist me to understand how it is to be used. Please don’t tell me to get a degree in Computer Science (or anything else) at this late stage in the proceedings. :wink:

Ah… I see… I was heading towards trying to help you with this:

I am interested in how the code for the SO3 post processor works.

and not this somewhat revised query:

No doubt you will be able to assist me to understand how it is to be used.

To use a post processor, you need to pick it from this list when saving a toolpath. It remembers the latest one you used:

To add a post processor, you need to have the post processor stored in a file, with a suffixed of .pp, on disk. You can either:

  1. use the Toolpaths/Install Post Processor menu option
  2. use the File/Open Application Data Folder and drag the file into the PostP directory

with one of these options I think you need to restart VCarve for it to pick up the new post processor.

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There is also a neat setting in Vectric (can help with this if wanted, but it’s not complex) to only show your desired Post-Processor(s), rather than the somewhat daunting full list that Vectric supply with the software.
Carrying on the word play: I found that visually processing the post-processor list took too much processing by me (grey cells).

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Thank you Gerry. That is very clear. I am indebted to you for your patience.

Thanks Andy, I think it will be a useful thing to do. I am still struggling with trying to make the trial version work. I thought I must have upset by adjusting workpiece file sizes. I spent a bit of time creating an appropriate sized workpiece (in inches, no less!) The file was unmodified by me. I left everything as per the tutorial file. The toolpaths refuse to save and produced this inexplicable error message yet again.

I have sent yet another support request to Vectric. If I cannot get the machine to talk to the SO3 using the prescribed method, I wont be wasting any more time or money on this.

Tutorial unmodified example file to be cut:

tutorial unmodified example file save toolpath error message

@Jepho If I remember correctly, not altering any aspect of the file is the requirement from Vectric for their trials. A bit frustrating, I agree. Do you want me to send you a file, in which I will create toolpaths and output the resulting gcode files? That would allow you to see the file in the editor, tinker etc, but still have access to a gcode file to see if your CM or other sender software is happy with it? (it should be, I use CM and have dabbled with UGCS but haven’t found good purpose for machine facing macros etc so haven’t committed the time to learning it better).
Either way, let me know and I am more than willing to help. I may be biased, but from my own evaluations of various packages I didn’t find a more natural, approachable, effective or productive software tool for CAD and CAM than VCut2D where I started. VCarve takes the same strengths up a level with the 2.5D/3D capabilities it introduces. Not cheap, but I feel it has been worth it.

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Just to add some noise to the discussion…

WRT the cost of the software, since Vectric allows the use of PayPal/PayPalCredit as a funding source one has the option to pay off over time, same as cash.

Be aware though, that with all such schemes, if you somehow goof up and don’t get it paid off in the 6 month window you are hit with the back interest.

This method does help with cash flow, especially if you can set up multiple automatic payments from a bank account back into PPC and are using the software/equipment as a revenue source yourself.

But again, this method is NOT for everyone either by their nature or preferences.

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I understand that software developers want to protect their ability to earn money from their output. I have no problem with paying for the software I want to use. Furthermore, when we are supporting a hobby, it has been my own experience that cost is often subsidiary to following the pursuit. In this case, I have obtained and specified the material at the size it was required. I have left the file untouched, other than producing the roughing and finishing toolpaths. I may have missed the generic Vectric toolpath hidden away somewhere exclusively for use with the tutorial file.

That would be fantastically helpful, Andy. I would appreciate that kindness very much. What follows are the tool bit specifications of the cutters which I was hoping to use. I could manage the roughing cut with either of the two ¼" cutters and the finishing cut with either of the ball end cutters.

Four Flutes:
Niagara Cutter N85730 Carbide Square Nose End Mill
TiAlN Finish
Roughing and Finishing Cut
30° Helix,
4 Flutes
LOC 1⅛"
Overall Length 3"
Cutting Diameter ¼"
Shank Diameter ¼"

Straight Cut:
Amana Tool 43824 Solid Carbide Straight Plunge
Diameter ¼"
Cutting Height 1"
Shank ¼"
Overall length 2½"

1mm Ball End:
Spetool Tapered Angle Ball Nose End Mill
¼" Shank Diameter
2 Flutes
TiAIN Coated
Ball Radius 1.0mm
Flute Length 1¼"
Overall Length 3"
Single Side Angle 3.92°

2mm Ball End:
Spetool Tapered Angle Ball Nose End Mill
¼" Shank Diameter
2 Flutes
TiAIN Coated
Ball Radius 2.0mm
Flute Length 1¼"
Overall Length 3"
Single Side Angle 2.2°

Please create the files for me, Andy. To press, I have only sampled the design language of the tool. I agree that it is both natural and approachable. The assessment of the tool for effectiveness and productivity will have to wait until I can see it hooked up to the SO3 and driving it appropriately. I have high hopes for inlay carving amongst other things. The software price, while not especially cheap, would be fair if one can get the software to do what it promises.

I am still a bit at sixes and sevens with Windows… I have been constantly falling over omitting saves and close commands before moving on. This is definitely in contradistinction to the Mac method of doing things. Much of the Mac software assumes that if you click on something then you meant to process it, it does not ask if you are sure either. The specific stopping to accept a process in Windows is a bit weird. I guess this is mainly because the Mac methods are derived from the Unix back end.

jepho {at} protonmail [dot] com