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How to Use Vectric Cut3D to Create Stunning 3D Models for CNC Machining
Vectric Cut3D is a powerful software that allows you to design, slice and generate toolpaths for 3D models that can be machined on a CNC router or mill. Whether you want to create artistic sculptures, decorative panels, signs, prototypes or any other 3D project, Vectric Cut3D can help you turn your ideas into reality.
In this article, we will show you how to use Vectric Cut3D to create a 3D model of a dragon from a mesh file, and how to prepare it for CNC machining. We will also give you some tips and tricks to optimize your workflow and get the best results.
Step 1: Importing and Sizing the 3D Model
The first step is to import the 3D model file into Vectric Cut3D. You can use any of the supported file formats, such as STL, 3DS, DXF, OBJ, WRL or V3M[^1^]. For this example, we will use a STL file of a dragon that we downloaded from the internet.
After opening Vectric Cut3D, click on the \"Open\" button and browse to the location of your file. You will see a preview of the model in the 3D view window. You can use the mouse to rotate, pan and zoom the model.
Next, you need to set the size and orientation of the model. You can use the \"Set Size\" button to enter the dimensions of the model in millimeters or inches. You can also use the \"Scale\" button to adjust the size proportionally. You can use the \"Rotate\" button to change the angle of the model along any axis. You can use the \"Flip\" button to mirror the model horizontally or vertically.
For this example, we will set the size of the model to 200 mm x 200 mm x 50 mm (8\" x 8\" x 2\"). We will also rotate it by 90 degrees around the X axis so that it faces upwards.
Step 2: Placing Tabs and Setting Z Zero
The next step is to place tabs on the model. Tabs are small bridges of material that hold the model in place during machining. They prevent the model from moving or breaking when it is cut out from the material block.
To place tabs, click on the \"Tabs\" button and then click on any edge of the model where you want a tab. You can adjust the size and shape of the tabs using the sliders or by typing in values. You can also delete tabs by right-clicking on them.
For this example, we will place four tabs on each side of the model, with a length of 10 mm (0.4\") and a thickness of 2 mm (0.08\").
The next step is to set the Z zero position. This is the point where the tool will touch the material surface before starting to cut. You can choose between three options: top of block, bottom of block or model position.
For this example, we will choose \"top of block\" as our Z zero position. This means that we will set our material thickness to match the height of our model (50 mm or 2\").
Step 3: Calculating Toolpaths
The next step is to calculate toolpaths for roughing and finishing. Toolpaths are paths that tell the CNC machine how to move and cut the material. Roughing toolpaths remove most of the excess material around the model using a large tool. Finishing toolpaths create finer details using a smaller tool.
To calculate toolpaths, click on the \"Calculate Toolpaths\" button and then select either \"Roughing\" or \"Finishing\". You will see a dialog box where you can choose various parameters for each toolpath.
For roughing toolpaths, you need to select a tool from your tool database or create a new one. You also need to set values for feed rate, plunge rate, spindle speed and stepover. Feed rate is how fast 061ffe29dd