Novice Attempting Belt Buckle Design...have ?'s.

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 From:  ViperTX
2349.1 
Is there any way to see the steps of how I got to this point in the design. History doesn't seem to work.

Also, when I extruded the 3 letters, it seems that they would always start on the plane when working on the Front window and I'm afraid if I attempt to cut them there won't be any material holding them to the base of the belt buckle.

Belt buckle should be about 1/4 inch and the letters should be even with the top of the buckle and be 1/8 inch tall (below the surface).

Is there any way to probe the surfaces to see their height from another surface.

This is my first attempt at 3D modeling and I'm sure my methods not correct.

Also, I see a bunch of terms...any book recommendations that would help?

Thanks from a novice,

Paul

A file should be attached.
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.2 In reply to 2349.1 
A good go through of the MoI Documentation is a good tool.

I went through your file and it is as you state. THe buckle is .25 deep with a cutout of .125. The letters are .25 deep with .125 sticking out of the buckle and .125 inside of the buckle.

On the upper right corner if you click on the sizeing text, it opens a dialog that tells you the size and allows you to change it.

Limited info in your post though. If you post more details we can answer with more detail.
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.3 In reply to 2349.1 
The History mechanism works by keeping a surface you create with a curve "Attached" or "bound" to that curve. After the surface has been created, you can edit the curve and the surface will "Updtae" to the new shape. YOu can see this happen in the Video tutorial "Six Legged Pod" done by
Michael.

When you use extrude, it will go in the direction you point starting from the object you are extruding. The dialogue provides a means to set direction and a path also. Your letters actually start from the base of the buckle and go up through the top of the surface. If you Boolean Union them together they will become one piece. and the Letters will be .125 tall off the surfase they sit on.

There is an add-on script that can tell you distances that I like to use for "Probing".

If you go to the MoI home page, look at the resources tab, then follow the link to Petr's MoI page, you'll find a script called "Custom Distance". THere should be good instructions on how to install and use it. Post back if you need help with that.
Burr
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2349.4 In reply to 2349.1 
Hi Paul, welcome to the forum!

Burr gave you some great advice, I will just fill in a few links.


> Is there any way to see the steps of how I got to this point
> in the design. History doesn't seem to work.

Yeah like Burr mentions History in MoI is currently mostly focused on tweaking the result of a surfacing command. Like if you do a Loft or Revolve you can edit the curves that were input into the Revolve and see the revolved result surface update with your edits.

That Pod video that shows the history in action is available on this page:
http://moi3d.com/1.0/docs/tutorials.htm

The history makes some records that are attached to objects that you create, but it is kind of an internal record currently, there isn't any way right now to view the sequence of actions like it sounds like you are looking for. But I do want to add something like that in the future though.

There are some other modeling systems called "Parameteric solid modelers" (for example SollidWorks and Alibre are a couple of these) which are much more focused on that kind of history list stuff than MoI currently is. You may be interested in checking them out if you want to focus on history editing type methods of work.


> Also, when I extruded the 3 letters, it seems that they would
> always start on the plane when working on the Front window

Basically the extrude works off of a curve, and the extruded surface will begin from where your curve is currently placed. If you want it to start from a different location you can move the source curve to that location first before extruding it.


> and I'm afraid if I attempt to cut them there won't be any
> material holding them to the base of the belt buckle.

I'm not really following this part, sorry - I may need some additional explanation of what you were worried about here.


> Is there any way to probe the surfaces to see
> their height from another surface.

There is a Distance plug-in that Burr mentioned that you can get, and also another way is to draw a line. When you draw a line, as you move the second point of the line around, the length of the line will be displayed in this area on the bottom area of the window:



Also in the v2 beta release there is a new size readout which gives the bounding dimensions of the currently selected object, which may be useful for this:



But generally if you want something of a very specific size it is easiest to type in that value when initially creating it to make sure that you have it specified exactly right from the start.

So for instance if you want something to be 1/4 inch tall, then make sure to enter 0.25 as the extrusion height and it will be created at that specific height. In the v2 beta you can also use feet and inches units and type in 1/4" instead 0.25 .


> Also, I see a bunch of terms...any book recommendations that would help?

Like Burr mentions, probably the best thing is the help file documentation, you can browse that online here:
http://moi3d.com/1.0/docs/moi_help.htm
or if you want to make a printout there is a PDF version here:
http://moi3d.com/1.0/docs/moi_help.pdf

If you go through the reference section there are usually some images shown for the result of a particular command so that can make it easier to see what some specific terms like "Sweep" or "Fillet" will do.

If there are some particular terms that you still find confusing, just ask about them here and I will try to explain them.

But actually with your buckle is looking pretty good, so it looks like you are off to a good start already!

- Michael

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 From:  ViperTX
2349.5 In reply to 2349.4 
> and I'm afraid if I attempt to cut them there won't be any
> material holding them to the base of the belt buckle.

I'm not really following this part, sorry - I may need some additional explanation of what you were worried about here.

Oh, what I referring to in the cutting has to do with putting a piece of 1/4 inch brass on the table of my CNC Mill and running the program and the Mill mills out the letters to the point they are attached instead of just 1/8 inch below the top surface.

Thanks for all the help.

Paul
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.6 In reply to 2349.5 
Viper,
When you boolean the objects together, That will become your surface (the part inside of the buckle goes away) Your new surface is what you see. If you dont boolean them together, then when you bring it into your cam package there will be multiple objects and your letters would be .25 inches all the way to the bottom of the part. You could choose to control this with the cam package though, and since you have fairly flat surfaces, wouldnt want to do it in 3d anyway. You'de want to do it with profiles and pockets and control your depth from there.

There are many ways and it depends on what you want/need or what your cam package is capable of. (Make the solid then extract the edges for the profiling and pocketing)

What are you using to cam the part?

I'll post some examples in a bit!
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.7 In reply to 2349.6 
Hi Paul,
Here's some info. You said your just getting started in 3d, I just wasnt sure how far along the cnc path you were, so dont take offense, I'll post some basics.

If your going to cnc mill a part like this, normally it would just be pocket and profile operations. So you may draw something like this with MoI:



Then in your cam package you would define islands and pockets to create toolpath that looks like this:



When cut it would look like this:



Doing it in 3d allows you to create toolpath over a 3d model. This operation would take much longer:



But it gives an operator many more surfacing choices. Here's your model again with different toolpaths for different area's:



Normally a part like this would be just done with the wires.

I personally do my parts in 3d because of the power for future work. I can always extract the wires from the 3d model AND I can run other ops on my parts also.

MoI's models are very good for CNC work. Clean and workable!

Post back if I overstepped or if you want more info.

Burr

EDITED: 19 Jun 2012 by BURRMAN

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 From:  Anis
2349.8 In reply to 2349.7 
Hi Burr....

What is your CAM Software ?
I want to start learn CAM Software :)
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.9 In reply to 2349.8 
BobCad/CAM V23. Do you have a machine? That is also important to learn how, and get your output to work with your machine controller. We also use a pc based Controller called Mach3. you can demo both these. The BobCad package is Dongle based so you can do whatever you want, just cant post code or save the models. But you can bring in your MoI stuff and practice doing Cam operations with it.
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 From:  Anis
2349.10 In reply to 2349.9 
Hi Burr,

No, I dont have a machine.
But basically, I know how milling and turning machine work.
I have experience to operate semi automatic milling and turning machine.

I will download the BobCad demo version.

Thanks !
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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
2349.11 In reply to 2349.10 
A side track---sorry!

"Akela" has some fun with memories.
(Probably not as mechaniclly sound as it looks though--just a quick play)

Brian
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 From:  Colin
2349.12 In reply to 2349.5 
Hi Paul,

I'm now a retired (eyesight is now shot) Jeweller mostly doing CAD/CAM work for other Jewellers.
Last year I had to do a big Belt Buckle for one of the Motorcycle Clubs over here.
So I did all of the designing for it only using MoI.

While in the process of doing the Buckle, I had to do a couple of prototype bases...that were consequently rejected...
So waste not, want not...here's a Buckle Base...if it's of use then that's great!!

Just so you know this Buckle was designed to be milled on both sides, so it's a bit more involved than what you were previously talking about.
This is why the pin is designed as a straight taper...so it could be milled & then bent to shape after it was all finished.

BTW, I ended up milling the finished Buckle design in wax on my Roland MDX-15 mill...
...the finished wax was cast in metal, cleaned up, rubber moulded & last I heard there was five being made in Bronze.

regards Colin


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 From:  ViperTX
2349.13 In reply to 2349.12 
BurrMan,

I've never used a CAM program, so all help is appreciated.

I was thinking of starting with LazyCAM as it is included with MACH3 which I'm using to control the X3 CNC mill that I just completed. I checked LazyCAM and they support only round and rectangular pocketing, their wasn't any mention of islands. I hear the terms pocketing and islands on CNCzone.com and know what they are.

I'm not sure what other inexpensive CAM programs are available.

Paul


Colin,

Thank you the belt buckle info. Since I'm new at this I was only going to mill one side of the buckle, use a press to dome the belt buckle and do a post operation to add the pin. I like the idea of the integrated belt loop, I was thinking of using one that I could solder to the back of the belt buckle.

I had thought of using wax models, but since I live in an apartment....casting was out of the question.

The set of buckles that I plan on doing will be machined from brass.

You belong to a jewelery design site, I don't recall which one, but that's how I ended up at MOI.

All my past jewelery experience has been using lost-wax casting and fabrication from sheet, etc.

Paul

I have stock of brass, cast aluminum and machineable wax.

Thanks to everyone!
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.14 In reply to 2349.13 
Hi Paul,
>>>> was thinking of starting with LazyCAM as it is included with MACH3 which I'm using to control the X3 CNC mill that I just completed. I checked LazyCAM and they support only round and rectangular pocketing, their wasn't any mention of islands. I hear the terms pocketing and islands on CNCzone.com and know what they are.>>>>

I noticed in lazy cam in the pocket menu there is a checkmark to "create islands". If you have a circle and put a circle inside of it, then your software should be able to designate that as an "Island". Basically means "dont cut this". So in your model I posted a picture earlier of, The inner circle I told to be a pocket and the "GOT" letters I told to be Islands and it cut around them.

Basically the more you pay for your software the more features you'll get. So like doing a basic pocket with some islands with lazycam, its a one shot deal, with little control of the toolpath and how/where it goes. Higher end stuff can allow you to set different heights for different islands and choose different types of entry for the toolpath and control which way it goes.

Lazycam will be a nice free start. after that I'd find some inexpensive stuff to move up to first until you know more of exactly what you need. The higher end stuff gets expensive and no need to pay for features you just dont need.
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 From:  BurrMan
2349.15 In reply to 2349.14 
Oh Yeah,
If you want to practice doing 3d toolpaths also, you could go to mecsoft.com who make visualmill and look for the link to "FreeMill". It will do 3dm files and has a simple wizard driven interface thats a great place to start and generate code to send to your machine. It may be a little buggy as it is a very simple version so if you dont set things up right it crashes. (At least for me) but that is also a great learning tool.

They also have some higher end stuff to move to later. I havnt used it but they have been around they even have a rhino plugin for cam.
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