Sign up Latest Topics

  Author   Comment  
Woody Allan

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #1 
I use Inkscape when converting the .pdf files to .svg and I find that no matter how careful I 'break apart' the selected pieces that I will be machining and then import then into the Inventables Easel software I find that there are multiple 'hidden' parts within the drawings. It is not a problem  because you can just highlight the extra pieces and then delete them.
Could it be that these parts were in a previous .pdf drawing that John has done and does not realise that these parts were hidden when he has started a new design? 
Any suggestions would be very helpful.

Posts: 103
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Allan,
            After you have cleaned up John's files, save only the parts you want to a new file. The hidden junk will be left behind. I use Inkscape and Easel also. They are soon going to be charging a monthly fee to use Easel and only letting you have 20 files, so you should export your files to your computer. Under the heading Machine, then click on the Advanced heading, then click on the Generate g-code heading, then click on the Export g-code and save all the files in a file on your computer.

Cheers Raymond.
Woody Allan

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Raymond
Thanks for your reply and what I normally do is highlight the item I want to it then using Document Properties reduces the page to that size but for some unknown reason it still keeps picking up the hidden items. I have even tried using an A3 page size to import the drawings and I also I click the ‘imbed images’ when importing to try to see if they are visible. It always shows only one layer so not really sure. I currently have the Easel Pro, which I pay for so hopefully they will allow a bigger cache for my jobs.

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,626
Reply with quote  #4 
I don't have a CNC, but I do use Inkscape on almost every project. I have seen this sort of thing occur. Since the patterns I have worked with are not in SVG format inside the PDF. I load the pattern into Gimp, edit out the parts I don't want, copy the parts I want to Inkscape and trace the bit map. My PDF reader allows me to copy images and paste them into Gimp so I don't need to import PDFs. I don't use anything Adobe or Microsoft Windows so know if that will work with it.

We are 100% Linux here. Currently Fedora 31.

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.


Posts: 283
Reply with quote  #5 
Woody Allen,
It is not possible for "leftover" bits of a .pdf file to be incorporated in a new design.
When you start a new design in a CAD program, you start with a blank file. You add lines like a draftsman to create a new design.
A .pdf file is effectively a printed screen image of  a view of that design, formatted to work on any known printer ( PDF stands for Portable Document Format).

 The plans that we buy have many pages, each one being an image of a particular page from a slew of different programs, some being text with pictures in them, others being the outputted flat plan templates we need to use to cut out parts, all then linked (joined) into a single pdf document.  So you get art-program pages bundled with text program pages and vector based pages from the cad design program.   Some programs create their pages as a collection of layers, so when you mix pages from several programs, it may be possible for an object from one program's page to be on the same nominal layer as that of another page.
 Hence you get an "artefact" appear in your templates.

It appears to me that these template pages are already in a vector-base format within the pdf file. 
Transferring them to bitmaps to clean them up then trying to convert them back to vector formats seems convoluted to me.

Those who want to use the plans for CNC purposes, really only need to upload the template pages. Importing the whole document loads up everything, so you have to spend ages to filter out the crud to get what you need.

I have found that if I open the whole plan-set pdf document in my Mac computer, I can Print-to-pdf only the selected template pages ( eg pp16-19) and save them as a new file name.
This can also be done with pdf-editing programs, sort of "un-picking" the original document assembly process.
The sub-set file I can then import directly to my CNC software, where each page is saved on a separate "layer" within the program, like any CAD software.  Much less crud to ignore, and when the unwanted vectors like page numbers and text notes are cleared out, it's ready to use.

 I am fortunate enough to have Vectrix V-Carve software. I can import the saved selected pages directly into this program, select and sort the various template images into their appropriate timber thicknesses, align them on a workpiece sized to suit the available timber, save each as a separate new file, ( eg 1/4" fenders etc., 1/2" body parts) apply tool-pathing info, and generate  G-Code specific to my machine directly from within the same program.
If I wanted to create a whole one square foot sheet of the same fender, I can click a few buttons and copy an array.  Another button click and they are all nested for minimum material use. Heady stuff, but I have used it for years. 

CNC machine are not cheap tools. 
Proper CAD-CAM software is the other side of the CNC machine coin.  
Compared to the cost of the machine, ( or a full licenced suite of AutoCAD)  Vectrix V-Carve Desktop was not that dear. But it IS effective.

john lewman

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 2,873
Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you Wombat for this well-done explanation. I am not knowledgeable on this subject and your input has cleared up some of my own misunderstandings.
Woody Allan

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for your reply and for information I only import the template pages one at a time. I am fully aware of what .pdf means but still cannot understand why I am getting extraneous cut lines when I have broken the pdf drawings down and selected the parts that I need to cut. I then select each part individually and join all the nodes as otherwise Easel will cut each line separately. I then reduce the document size down to the size of the item to be cut and then import it into Easel. When I import the svg file into Easel it says that the file size is larger than my blank size. When I import it it shows lots of various shapes & lines completely to the far left of my import. It’s not a problem as I just highlight the extra bits and delete them. I never have a problem doing that. I do notice that sometimes when joining the nodes to complete a piece I notice that there is an identical piece underneath the top piece which prevents me from joining the nodes. It is then a long and laborious job to move each section a set distance to see if there is a piece underneath that needs deleting before I can join all the nodes.
I am not currently doing enough woodwork to warrant paying out for Vectric or any other CNC software as it would not warrant the cost. Hopefully with today’s announcement that Inkscape have now introduced version 1 this may resolve the issue. It’s not a problem that a cannot cope with but I just thought it strange. I have only really found this problem on the new Peterbilt Construction set.
Thanks for your reply and I’ll keep on plugging away at it.

Posts: 283
Reply with quote  #8 
Hello Allan,
 Forgive me if I offended, for spouting off without knowing the whole picture.

 I re-read this whole post again, and realised your problem was in your methodology described in post#3.
 You describe trying to shrink/fit the "document size" to the object you want within the imported file. This still leaves all the other stuff outside of this "window". It is like looking at a page of a book through a pair of binoculars, if you zoom in to see only one word, the others are still there, just not in your field of view. If you transfer what you see to Easel, you will also get what you can't see, pushed out of sight to the side.

 The only way to keep only what you want, is to do what Raymond said in his initial answer.
Select the item you want and copy it to a completely new file ( with a new name).
All the other stuff is left in the original file, so you can select another part from the page, copy and paste as before, and end up with a bunch of files for the parts from the page.

 As for the issue of "[an identical piece underneath the top piece which prevents me from joining the nodes ]" I have experienced this myself in my past life. This is probably a function of the CAD process. In the CAD programs I have used, to duplicate an item, one would select it, copy it and paste it. It usually went straight on top of the original. One then had to select and Move the copy to its new location. Sometimes, without realising, one can also pick up another item in the original selection, and lo and behold, before you know it, that item now has Two lines on the same layer, and no one will know until you try to edit the shape. Or you accidentally double paste it, and only move one copy.    It is easily done and hard to detect.
I never found an easier solution than moving the selection aside so you can uncover and delete the hidden layer.  
Woody Allan

Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Wombat
Thanks for your reply and no you didn’t offend me at all and I’m sorry if my reply came across that way. I must admit I have never tried to copy & paste into a new page so I will give that a go. I will also see if I can copy & paste directly into Easel from Inkscape. I think there are so many trip hazards when trying to work across so many different platforms with these programs
With regards to having duplicated parts on top of each another, I think this only attends to occur the more complicated the part is, therefore creating so many different sections to build the finished drawing.
I have found that trying to get hold of 1/8” cutter with a cut length of over 40mm is very difficult and the only supply seems to be from China which is currently taking over 4 weeks to arrive. To overcome this i now use 20mm thick boards and in Easel I insert dowel locating holes in one side. I then copy, paste and then flip the copy so when I come to assemble the items I know that they should be a perfect fit. The ability to manipulate drawings make this such a perfect way to ensure your finished items are perfect.
If you don’t mind me asking, whereabouts do you hail from. I’m from the UK and I live in a small town called Tewkesbury which is ion the very picturesque area known as the Cotswold.

Posts: 283
Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Allan
 I will be very interested to hear how those 3.2mm x 40mm cutters work out. The rule of thumb seems to be  length😃ia 4:1 for most of the reputable tooling makers.  Keep your feed and pass depths LOW, and wear a flak jacket!

I had the same idea to use dowels embedded in the parts for perfect alignment, especially looking at the CAT Backhoe and Excavator plans I am waiting to build, which uses several layers of 12mm ( 1/2") timber.  The less sanding I have to do to avoid the toy looking like a row of broken teeth the better. I am so looking forward to getting my machine built and running!

FYI, I am an Aussie ( a Wombat is a native Australian animal,  short, round, myopic and industrious)  and I live in Melbourne.

Regards, Alan   ( with one L )
Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.