What is the best way to make this v-carved folding enclosure?

This is a way to make enclosures that works very well with plastics. Basically, you just cut 45 degree v-grooves almost through the material. You then fold the sides up and solvent bond the joints.

I wanted to try this to get the method down then work up to adding holes and pockets to make full blown enclosures. But… I don’t know what software to use.

I tried Carbide Create but it will not remember any new tools that I try to save.

I tried MeshCam but it doesn’t have an option for V-bits.

I suppose I could trick MeshCam by making a cutter than is 0.001" wide and make the first cut the full depth of the part. There has to be a better way…

Until I find a better solution I think I’ll just run it manually in Carbide Motion just to see how well it works.

Any thoughts on the best way to do this?

There are MANY packages that can do this. Vectric VCarvePro comes to mind immediately.

SheetCAM, Cambam, SharpCAM… I can even do this in BobCAD-CAM!

I tried Carbide Create but it will not remember any new tools that I try to save.

Report the bug. It’s just a bunch of profiles!

I suppose I could trick MeshCam by making a cutter than is 0.001" wide and make the first cut the full depth of the part. There has to be a better way…

MeshCAM isn’t really suited for this… at least not efficiently. CC should be able to do this… a typical job.

Basically, you just cut 45 degree v-grooves almost through the material. You then fold the sides up and solvent bond the joints.

Makes perfect sense. For thicker sides I would add screws too. YMMV.

mark

C3D doesn’t have time to deal with the bugs that have already been reported. I’m not really interested in piling more on. Carbide Create feels like very early beta. Earlier than is useful for me right now.

I’m not looking for a lot of information. I’m looking for a recommendation for a free (mature) program that someone is actually using that will do this job.

Thanks for any recommendations based on personal use.

T

I’m looking for a recommendation for a free (mature) program that someone is actually using that will do this job.

Free I can’t say. The ones I referenced vary from low cost to full professional - all with good to excellent reputations. I can’t say enough about how good VCarvePro is. As I recall, @Randy uses SheetCam; @twforeman uses Cambam.

@WillAdams and others may know more about what’s out there (free) and works. The last time I looked - quite some time ago - I walk away in disgust. Here’s hoping things have improved.

Carbide Create feels like very early beta. Earlier than is useful for me right now.

That has been my opinion as well. Each update gets a bit closer to truly useful though. I’m still waiting for construction tabs and nested pockets before I take a close look again. YMMV.

mark

@Tshulthise, MeshCAM certainly does v-bits! Specify a flat endmill, the flute diameter will be the tip diameter, generally .005" or so, and a taper angle of 45 degrees (or whatever), which is per side.

But as @mbellon says, MeshCAM is not the program to generate this toolpath.

MeshCAM could do the perimeter as you say, generating waterline+pencil toolpaths as for a 2.5D part using a flat-end cutter of the diameter of the v-bit tip. But MC will not do the interior cuts since it has no provision to follow a line.

Yes, I’d use SheetCAM and do no-offset paths following the lines of the part, with a final depth again just short of the thickness of the stock.

Randy

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An enclosure is a… box. How about a low cost but WAY COOL alternative for making boxes?

Fingermaker! http://www.tailmaker.net/box-joints.html

All one needs is an 0.125" ball end end mill.

One of the nicest methods for assembling said boxes I’ve seen is:

http://www.woodpeck.com/xmat.html

mark

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If you go that route, you can use a plugin on easel.com for free. They also have plugins (Apps) that create puzzles, inlays and a few other cool features.

I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but I gotta say, that is a sweet program right there. I would buy it in a heartbeat but I’m on a Mac, so I can’t run it. I might have to give in and get some sort of cheap Windows machine just for that…

To the subject at hand: @Tshulthise I’ve used Easel, I think it would do what you are trying to do, but I find it just as unfinished feeling as CC. For what it’s worth, CC saves new bits for me without issue. Didn’t you also have trouble with CM not holding on to your zero? I know it’s unlikely, but could those errors be related? Is it possibly a permissions problem of some kind? As I’m sure you can tell I’m not a programmer, thus these are wild stabs in the dark, but if neither Carbide program will save its data properly for you, maybe there’s an underlying issue that might easily save you some headaches?

Virtual machines allow concurrent, entirely isolated running of multiple OSen on the same physical CPUs. Consider VMware Fusion. I run BobCAD-CAM (heavy CAD and CAM), SharpCAM, Tailmaker and other Windows software on my Mac with no issues - no need for an additional machine, just need some disk space, a Windows ISO, and a Windows key.

Self disclosure: I work for VMware and I’m one of the Fusion developers.

mark

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Simple enough to do that in MakerCAM, or by hand-coding G-code.

I worked up a pretty simple box design as well: http://www.shapeoko.com/projects/project.php?id=1

gcodetools in Inkscape ought to be the best option, but I find it confusing, so tend towards simpler tools.

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I’ll check them out.

VirtualBox works well also. I used to run Autodesk Inventor in a Windows 7 virtual machine in VirtualBox on my Linux laptop. It worked surprisingly well.

I use VirtualBox every day on my Mac at work too.

Summarizing suggestions for a free (or low cost) program so far… let me know if I missed anything or got the prices incorrect. Thanks again.

Mark: all too expensive
VCarvePro - $700 http://www.vectric.com/store.html
SharpCAM - $526 http://www.sharpcam.co.uk/Purchase.aspx
Cambam - $150 http://sites.fastspring.com/hexray/product/cambam

Randy: SheetCAM too expensive. I may see what happens with Meshcam and a v-bit
SheetCAM $225 http://www.sheetcam.com/Register/purchase
MeshCam with V-bit maybe but not recommended $250 but I have it

MrHume: I’ll give this a shot
Easel $free http://easel.inventables.com/users/sign_in

Will: I’ll give these a shot
MakerCAM $free http://www.makercam.com/
Inkscape $free https://inkscape.org/en/

well I haven’t actually tested it yet; no machine yet. But I have drawn up a few projects on Fusion 360 (free). You could simple use the trace feature on each line for the groove; just but in a V-Bit and set your depth on Axle Offset. Let me know if it works…ha… before I try it.

***Axial Offset; but I’am a NOOB.

Fusion 360 is free for personal use and v carving was put in place.

It is a little wonky, if you install any custom fonts, it does not tend to work right.

I’m totally going to try your trick if I choose to do this little photo cube again. I cheated and used the table saw for the 45°

Here is the fusion link. http://a360.co/1X5PcOU

The simplest way to make this seamless cube is using the hopskotch box sketch below in Carbide Create.
Choose the Cut on the line option in toolpaths and use a v-cutter.

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I tried CC but it wouldn’t save my cutter. I tried it several times on two computers. I got it to work one time on one computer but that took more time than I expected the whole job to take so I came here looking for alternatives.

Can this be accomplished with a single (Large enough) bit to allow multiple passes to a single depth without moving right and left? (Another way to word that is, is can you put a single V-Bit in a hand router and run it down the same line several times until you reach depth?) If that is the case I could make your program quite easily for a small fee. lol

It would be fairly simple to just increase the Z depth for each path and you choose the size of the square and set all the settings for cut speed, depth etc. But it does get a bit more complex to add the outer top square when you have to go deeper with a smaller bit. That requires calculating the most significant chunck first before diving and decreasing each time.

Yes, could be done on a router table w/ a single pass of a V-bit.

The CNC doesn’t afford the on-the-fly speed adjustment of handwork, so should take multiple passes for best results.