This review is for the free DXF files CNC Cookbook offers on their website. CNC Cookbook's main product is a software called G-Wizard Calculator. You use the software to calculate fast, easy, reliable feeds and speeds for your CNC machine.
Software like this helps improve your CNC machine's productivity and extend your router bits' life. These are both significant issues if you're doing anything more than hobbyist activities.
This review is NOT about the G-Wizard software. From what I've heard, it's good and what led me to his site. But then, I've never used it. So this review is ONLY about his site's DXF files offered for free.
Following my link takes you to his Free DXF Files and CNC Patterns Your CNC Can Cut Today page, where you can see the categories of DXF files offered.
I clicked on the Animals category bringing me to a page with animal sub-categories. So far, everything makes sense.
At this point, clicking on the sub-category links did not work correctly. I clicked on the fish icon, and a couple of others brought me to a page about Fitting a Quick Change Tool Post to your Lathe [QCTP]. This subject is not related to the DXF files.
The Bad Boys Deers DXF file download icon displayed a DXF filename when I clicked on it, but nothing downloaded.
At this point, I gave up on downloading any of the individual DXF files and opted for his Giant DXF File Collection lead opt-in.
I had to enter my email address to continue, but everything worked predictably going forward. After entering my email, the page to a screen where I could download the DXF collection.
The DXF files collection download started as a single ZIP file which I saved to my local hard drive.
Once saved, I unzipped the compressed file. Again, an excellent collection of DXF files was available to select. I chose the ButterflyScene DXF file and the Got-Dirt file.
The Bufferfly Scene DXF File
I created a new file in Vectric Aspire and imported the DXF file. Unfortunately, it was larger than my material, which I expected, so I resized it to fit.
Looking at the node editor for these Vectors, we again find a large amount of them. This large quantity of node points is consistent with the DXF file format. These many node points may or may not affect the CNC machine milling process quality.
There are many different videos on YouTube on how to clean these up. If it carves ok for you and is not a problem, then I'll leave them as is.
Validating the Butterfly vectors does not reveal any problems. No zero-length spans, overlaps, or intersections.
One additional vector validation I did this time was looking for "open" vectors. Generating CNC tool paths requires closed vectors. Typically, creating tool paths ignores the "open" vectors. This fact may or may not affect the quality of your project.
Vectric software provides a menu option to select all "open" vectors. This feature will help to reveal any potential problems.
This option did reveal one tiny open vector on the second butterfly. The vector error was so small I had to zoom in to see it. I'm just going to ignore it.
I used a 60-degree V-bit to generate a tool path using the selected vectors. Then, I clicked on the calculate button to create the tool path.
Vectric immediately found the "open" vector and displayed a message that it would ignore it. You can also cancel at this point so you can fix it first.
After clicking the Ok button, Vectric generates the tool path and displays it.
I executed the tool path using the Vectric simulator, and the result looks good.
The Got-Dirt Biker DXF File
I loaded the biker DXK file into the Vectric software. It's a drawing of a dirt-bike rider.
After enabling the node editor for these vectors, you find once again a lot of node points. Again, this is common with DXF files and may or may cause you problems.
Using the vector validator option, you can see it found two different locations in the drawings where the vectors overlapped each other. It's the exact location only on two different pictures.
You can see on the drawings the symbol for the overlap location, a small red square.
zoomed in on the bottom drawing location, and you can see the problem. The vector crosses over itself. That's likely to cause issues with the CNC tool path, but I will leave it alone.
I next selected the "open" vectors. There are quite a few in the first drawing, and they are pink-colored vectors.
The reason for the two pictures is that the second design is for V-Carving and the other was not. The second drawing looks fine, with no "open" vectors.
It's time now to generate the tool path. Again, I used the 60-degree V-bit. I also set the flat depth to .1, expecting the "open" vectors on the first drawing to keep the V-carve tool path from going too deep.
As expected, the generation displayed two error messages for the tool path creation. One for the vectors overlapped, and the other for the "open" vectors.
Executing the new too path using the Vectric Simulator works fine. You can see the difference between the first and second drawings because of the "open" vectors in the first.
VCarve Pro Download Files
You must verify all tool path settings, especially the bit settings, to ensure they are compatible with your CNC machine. Every CNC machine operates differently!
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