View Full Version : Can I turn a toolpath image preview into a vector?

31-07-2015, 06:26 PM
Hi guys,

I really would appreciate some advice please. I am using aspire 4 with my cnc router and I wondered if its possible to turn a physical profile toolpath preview image into a vector which I can then use on my laser cutter.

For example if I take a profile cut of the letter "A" using a 3mm endmill cutting on an outside profile. The radius of the cutting tool is making my actual finished article different from my original vector. So what I would actually like to do is to be able to get a vector of the actual previewed image..? Is this possible?

It's probably easy when you know how but would love a point in the right direction.. So far I've been machining my wooden piece and then using a flatbed scanner and then trying to make a vector with that..Not very accurate.

Thanks guys :-)
Please see this examplehttp://www.mycncuk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=15736&stc=1

31-07-2015, 07:16 PM
I'm not sure about your software but some CAM programs do allow you to run a simulation and save out the finished job as a solid model, you could then generate paths from the edges.
Worth checking if aspire has this functionality,

31-07-2015, 07:45 PM
Thanks nick, that was a solution I hadn't thought of! Not sure if aspire will do this though?

When you think about it I'm sure it's an issue people must come across quite frequently. Especially when trying to combine machined parts etc.

Do you know of any software that may do this nick?

Thanks Andy

31-07-2015, 08:00 PM
Just offset the vectors by the tool radius, delete the original, and export the vectors as a .dxf.

Much easier than what you're trying to do.

01-08-2015, 07:28 AM
Hi Gerry I've tried the offsetting both inwards and outwards Gerry and it still doesn't seem to work how I would like it to.?

Even with my offsetting the vector by the radius of the 3mm cutter it doesn't actually add a 3mm diameter semi circle into the sharp corners of the letter "a" that's what I need to address. Hope this makes it clearer. really would appreciate a point in the right direction.

Thanks again guys for all your help.

01-08-2015, 09:40 AM
Aspires filleting is poor. It will only do right angles. What other vector programs do you have? If you have autocad you can import the dxf click on the fillet tool, enter the radius you need and then on the two sides of the corner.

In aspire you can offset outwards by you cutter radius and then offset the new vector inwards by the same amount making sure to NOT have the option "sharp corners" active. Thi however will make other corners also rounded.

01-08-2015, 11:34 AM
I think what's making this harder is the assumptions which were incorporated into the original post.
Why create the work in a program which cannot generate useful output and then wonder how to extract a tool path from it?
Why not work in a vector graphic program to start with?

- Nick

01-08-2015, 12:47 PM
If you have autocad you can import the dxf click on the fillet tool, enter the radius you need and then on the two sides of the corner.

Yes, AutoCAD can easily do what you want. You might want to try draftsight, which is a free "clone" of AutoCAD.