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IndustryArena Forum > CAM Software > Vectric > PhotoVCarve and VCarve Pro > Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?
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  1. #1

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    Apr 2019
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    Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?

    Hi
    A newbie here got may machine finally up and running and have chosen Vcarve Pro as my CAM software. I often will create 3D models in CAD (SolidEdge) but it appears STL is only file format that can be used. This is fine for rapid proto's, SLS/SLA etc but I'm finding the tessellated nature of the model causes a fair bit of erratic "jittering" tool movement, as it tries to follow the "roughness" of the surfaces. For example a circular part boundary. Where as a vector generated path of course is nice and smooth.

    I'm exporting STL with fine mesh and using the highest setting in VCarve. Also where possible I've been running additional clean up tool paths driven off 2D vectors overlaid on the model, either by DXF import off my CAD or by drawing in VCarve.
    What would be great is to be able to import a true solid/surface model by STEP, IGES etc and create tool paths off true edges and surfaces.
    I've looked at the smoothing function, but that worries me that it is compromising the accuracy of the part as it modifies the mesh model.

    Or am I missing something?

  2. #2
    Member
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    Re: Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?

    Hi 9D - You have covered the bases with Vcarve, it's not meant for engineering type solids its a "carver". Need to use CAM software that accepts iges or step to work with solids. Cheers Peter

  3. #3
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?

    Or am I missing something?
    V Carve Pro (and Aspire) are not your typical CAD programs.

    3D models are basically a 2D grid of "pixels", with each pixel having a specific height. It doesn't support faces, edges, or surfaces.
    This might better explain it.

    http://support.vectric.com/images/FA...tructureV8.pdf
    Gerry

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  4. #4

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    Apr 2019
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    Re: Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?

    Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it didn't do it, and the link explains how I guess it won't change in the future. Also I can see the advantage of keeping the work size to minimum over the component size and the way to access higher resolutions at the start.
    Will experiment to see if it has any affect. Have no issue with processing power or ram. I have also been looking at SharpCam which I believe does support 3D CAD Models.
    Thanks, Steve

  5. #5
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    Re: Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?

    Nothing beats Fusion, but I would strongly suggest DolphinCAM Pro is not only cheaper, it's way more advanced.

    In relation to Vectric, pull the vectors of in your cad, Save them to dwg/dwf file and import them as a layer over your model. Then use this for your machining boundaries.

  6. #6
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    Re: Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?

    I can't imagine Vectric adding such capabilities to Vcarve as it would just demolish the reasons for buying their more comprehensive offerings.If you are feeling bold,you might try Freecad as it will import a range of file types,but the 3D aspect of things is not quite the all round solution it will soon be and sometimes needs a non-intuitive approach-but the price is right.

  7. #7
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    Re: Any chance STEP and Surface/Solid models will be supported?

    As Gerry said, it's pixel based so that will never change. I have played with resolutions etc and on machining steel 200mm x 200mm you are more likely to get error from your machine than the software. For bigger work you probably shouldn't be anywhere near Vectric anyway...

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