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About 4DThinker

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  1. I make samples of the joinery I come up with that can be cut on our CNCs. They are left out where anyone coming through the college shop can have a look at them. Most are together but not glued so they can be taken apart and inspected. The strongest joints are usually invisible when assembled, and will surprise most who take them apart. The most often comment I hear is "That joint should be visible when assembled! Much more interesting that way." One example: http://4dfurniture.blogspot.com/2016/11/original-cnc-cut-3-way-interlocking.html. Yep, it is far more interesting to see opened up. Only problem I have with that is that it has no structural value when not glued together. 4D
  2. Decorative, not designed for strength. The more angled away from the grain direction the greater chance the pins would break/split off under stress.
  3. I bought their smaller x-carve less controller to play with. I already have a CNC Shark and a probotix Meteor. IMO the belt drive strategy of the X-carve and smallish aluminum extrusions used leave it a less-than-useful CNC to get serious work done on. When it first came out Inventables offered them free to many youtube woodworkers. Many said "YES!", and did at least one video of themselves putting it together and making something with it. I've seen very few videos from those same youtubers featuring their X-carve since then. 4D
  4. When a simple hole is needed and you don't have the right Forstner bit or hole saw or paddle bit to cut the hole, the CNC can be used as a drill press. Your CNC cuts what you want relative to the 0,0,0 home point you have set both in your drawing used to create the tool paths and on the board where they will be cut. The standard strategy when laying out cuts is to set the home/origin point at one corner or the center of your project board. Shapes are assigned coordinate points relative to that 0,0,0 origin. In your CAD software draw a circle the size of the hole you want, being sure it is centered around 0,0,0 on your drawing. The size of the holes can be precisely measured down to the precision your CNC is capable of, usually .001" or ,002". Create and save the profile or pocket tool path to cut it out. Now at the CNC, simply move the bit to any center mark where you want that hole. Zero (set to 0,0,0) the machine at that point. Run that hole tool path file. You can move , re-zero, then cut the same hole as many times as you need it now without going back to lay each out on the overall board. Cut the same hole at different centers, on different boards. Router end mill bits are commonly available down to 1/16" in diameter and 1/4" to 5/16" in cutting length. Good for through holes so long as you have a long enough router bit. Great for flat bottomed holes with no center divot that Forstner or paddle bits usually leave. Great for dowel holes no matter how much your dowels have swollen or are out of round. Some CNC controllers have geometric primitive shapes (circles, squares, etc.,) built into them for easy/quick cutting without using any CAD software. If you have a way to clamp your boards/project at any angle/compound angle underneath your 3-axis CNC then any size of a hole can be "drilled" at nearly any angle through them. The limiting factors are Z axis travel and spindle/chuck angle clearance above the bit. Perfect Wood Plugs. You can buy plug cutters in a variety of fixed sizes. But when you've accidently picked up a 11/64th drill bit for your counterbore instead of the 3/8" bit you intended to use you most likely won't find a plug cutter for the resulting hole. With a CNC and a scrap of wood to match or intentionally contrast your background wood just draw a circle the size of the plug you want and then use 1/8" end mill to profile cut it outside the line. Don't go much deeper than you want your plug to be in length, then you can pop the plug free with a screw driver. To ensure a tight fit you could even taper cut these plugs. See Tapered Holes below. Tapered Holes. The hose attached to most shop vacuums has a tapered end on it. When making jigs or connecting adapters to attach that hose to, a straight hole makes an imperfect (loose) opening for that tapered plastic end. The fluting tool path in Aspire and VCarve Pro can be used to taper the perimeter of any hole. Match the tapered hole in your jig/adapter to the taper of the hose end and you'll have a snug fit that won't vibrate loose or pull out easily. You can even use the CNC with a circular array of short vectors and the fluting toolpath to make perfect tapered holes for small tapered alignment pins. Making a chair composed of spindles and planes? Consider tapering all the spindle ends and holes they plug into. Done right the joints will continually wedge together under normal loads. 4D
  5. At this moment 3 of the 4 CNCs I oversee are in storage awaiting final inspection of the new shop building they'll be moving into. My personal Probotix CNC controller and associated linux PC are on the bench opened up for cleaning out. After finding that closet winPC dead I figured these other two boxes could need a cleaning. I had thin air-filter material taped over their inputs, It got thrown out. I'll have to get some more filter material to replace it as I'm out here at home. 4D
  6. CNCs can be dangerously noisy. They can produce copious amounts of potentially toxic chips and dust, Best to leave the room and let them finish on their own, except for the inevitable calamity that will happen while you are gone. I do my design, drawing and tool path creation in a room far away from the CNC. The files are either saved to a network drive I can access from the Linux PC by the CNC, or saved to a thumb drive which I carry down to the CNC room. I also occasionally open a file in my linuxCNC controller software to realize something is wrong about it. Knowing this I've kept a Windows PC in a closet of the CNC room which I can use to quickly edit a file. This PC is only used for quick edits, being hooked up to the network for access to my source files. The poor thing is only a few feet from the CNC though, and suffers like any human does. I found this closet PC dead yesterday. Overwhelmed no doubt by the noise and dust. The second black box I've killed with a CNC. The point of this post is that the closer a thing (human or hardware) is to a CNC the more abuse and assault it suffers. We protect ourselves with dust masks and hearing protectors and safety glasses and such because we can't be too far away from our running CNC. The PC and controller that run your CNC must also be protected with filters over their intakes, and periodic, thorough cleaning. I failed to protect my poor closet windows PC. 4D
  7. I found where they are saved, and among all the clipart there are several dated 7/5/2017 which I assume are the new ones added. Number of new files in the following subfolders: The names of new files in each folder:3D tabs:_Circular_Rectangular_TruncatedAnimals:Winged_Lion-50611-AHorse_Head_6-50472-AHorse_Head_4-50440-ABorders:Ornamental_Border_15-57691-AOval_Burst-50426-ASplat_Frame-50516-ADecorative:Round_Flourish_2A-58031-AScroll_2-57983-ASimple_Fleur_1-57647-AHorizontal_Flourish_11-57574-ASwag_2-57471-AStaff-57458-AFloral_Drop_2A-57438-AFloral_Drop_and_Bow-50379-ACrown_and_Shells_2-50318-ARoman_Fasches-50299-AObjects and People:Cherub_4-57238-ADance_Paire-57161-AJewelers_Graphic-50484-ASkull_3-50165-ASkull_2-50130-APlants and Fruit:Stylized_Thistle-58464-AStylized_Shamrock-58463-APanel_of_Roses-58193-AFiddleheads_2-50241-A 4D
  8. Very true, John. Since we added CNCs to our furniture design shop there has been no end to the creative work our students have created and produced with the help of a CNC.
  9. Yes, but only for Aspire owners/updaters. I can't tell you exactly what is included (yet) because I haven't been able to figure out where they are saved to after unzipping the file on my laptop. 4D
  10. Spindles (not routers) are designed to run continuously and are what should be used if doing a lot of time consuming 3D carving. They are generally brushless so won't suffer the wear down of brushes that happens with routers. The tiny amount of wood removed using a 1/32" ball nose doesn't put much stress on the spindle, it just has to keep cutting for a looooooong time.
  11. Looks like it was probably part of the 3D file to me. My general rule for what the CNC should do is anything that can't be done more efficiently using any other tool in my shop. Not sure that internal bevel could be done any other way than using a CNC. I've gotten to the point (when helping my students) that most profile outlines of furniture parts are easier to do using some other shop tool, or a combination of tools. Detail carving, 3D contoured shapes, and most joinery are almost always better done using the CNC. 4D
  12. Beautiful! A bear in the woods ON bare wood. What could be better!
  13. Not yet, David. They add a numbered periodic save feature during the 8.5 update. Not the same. You do have a few export options to output what you have selected though including: .DXF, ,PDF, .EPS, .AI. .SVG. You can Save Aspire file (.CRV3D) as simpler VCarve files (.CRV) if your Aspire file doesn't have any Aspire specific features in it. 4D
  14. True. But that has been true for every previous upgrade except for some of the minor bug fixes. To me it doesn't matter. Having the latest version ensures I can open a file from any previous version AND the same latest version. If my vectors are needed by someone who doesn't have V9 then I can export as .DXF which can be opened in most CAD programs. 4D
  15. What I do when I'm opening an existing 8.5 file is save-as and add V9 to the end of the file name. That leaves my older file intact and since V9 doesn't overwrite 8.5 I can still open those files using 8.5. So far I'm a fan of the single or double sided file choices, the very much enhanced drafting/smart snap features, the 2 sided (at a time) rendering engine (which also seems much faster), the added spin/turning modeling feature, and the dimension entry while you are drawing a line or shape, etc.. There is more yet that I haven't played with. Array copy toolpaths for example. When 8.5 came out the single feature that made it worth the upgrade price to me was the moulding toolpath. V9 has much more in it than 8.5 does, but if 8.5 does all you need it to then that $400 may be better saved for something else. 4D

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