The Maslow Stool is my second project to cut after the fold flat chair. (And after changing the bungees for pulleys and weights.)
My workflow of importing the svg into easel, creating tabs, generating gcode, was pessimal (optimally bad) – it took 12 hours to cut a simple stool!
Here is what I did:
I imported the Maslow Stool SVG into Easel. I noticed, but thought nothing of it, that the imported SVG had been deconstructed into segments. I went through and added tabs, generated gcode, and pressed go! And it took four hours to cut the first piece of the stool! I didn’t realize that because the simple SVG had been deconstructed into many tiny segments, that the gcode cuts were going to be based on these many tiny segments. As a result, one arc of the Maslow logo which visually looks like one arc, and which actually was composed of five sub-arcs inside of Easel, turned out to be a bazillion gcode instructions. The bazillion gcode instructions were from each arc having four passes (first at depth .2 inches, second at .4 inches, third at .6 inches, and so on). The problem of course is that each of these Z-axis movements is incredibly expensive in time. So the maslow would cut 1" of a 6" arc at a time, with the eight Z-axis time penalties of each cut (eight because the tool starts at one end, sets it height, cuts, goes back to the safety height, and then goes back to the beginning and cuts again).
Here is a picture of selecting the bottom left of the “M” inside of Easel. The black line has blue segments of lines in it.
Just so we are clear about the blue lines I am talking about, here is a picture highlighting the blue arc segments and where there are joints.
This setup generates ridiculous gcode. I have highlighted the sections of gcode in alternating colors (orange, green, orange, green) for each little tool cut. Each of these cuts requires 8 different Z-axis seeks (4 cutting depths times a Z-axis motion at each end).
I was expecting Easel to “realize” that the tool path could continue down the blue line segments. I’ve highlighted the picture where I expected Easel to connect the lines (I connected them with green lines). If Easle had done this, it would have eliminated tons of time because there would be dramatically less Z-axis motion.
My question is, how do I take an SVG file and generate sensible gcode? For example, is there a way to automagically connect the lines in Easel? Is there a way to connect the lines manually in Easel? Should I be using a different program to import SVGs and generate gcode?
I had a similar problem with a DXF file import. Should I be using DXF or SVG?
I am 70% of the way through the Fusion 360 tutorial so maybe I will find out how to deal with these issues when I get to the end of the course. But maybe not…
Any help would be greatly appreciated!