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View Full Version : LHR, Is a Demo version of DXF importer an option?



jgowrie
05-09-2010, 11:25 AM
I ask this because I spent $200 on Font editing software at the end of 2009 because I was under the impression CW software would not be supporting the direct import of vector files. Now that this has actually come to be true with the DXF importer, I've read some of the manual but I'm not convinced it will do much better job at importing vector line art into Designer when compared to using Centerline and font images.

I'm specifically wondering about the ability, or lack of it, for DXF importer to "import some native DXF shapes" and how this will affect the images I am currently importing using the Centerline plug-in.

I've also seen the carve time of projects rise substantially when splitting an image across two boards. I'm wondering if this issue would go away if using the DXF importer. I think it may because when working with vector images that I have created with Designers drawing tools, and then splitting this across two boards, there have been no issues. If you need to see what I'm talking about search " curious machine behavior ". There is a full thread which documents these issues of the machine moving around "off the board".

A 30 day trial which allows me to fully utilize the DXF importer would be nice. It would certainly help justify spending another $200 on a proprietary package that I hope would do the job right. It's an expensive upgrade, for me at least. I don't mind making the purchase if it makes my life easier when importing vector line art into designer, but if it doesn't I certainly don't want to have to spend $200 to learn it won't.

So what do you think, LHR?

wizer
05-09-2010, 11:30 AM
I support this motion fully. How can you expect someone to invest in a $200, only to find it's not suitable? The software is non transferable, so you're stuck with it. I find it really quite unfair of LHR to offer these expensive upgrades without demos. There are plenty of limitations that could be implemented to protect the license. In a sense I'm glad the DXF importer has been launched, as I nearly bought the STL importer to try to do what I wanted. It's only since the DXF importer came out that I have realised buting the STL importer would have been a big fat waste of cash.

Please respond

jgowrie
05-11-2010, 07:42 AM
*bump*

I don't want to be a pest but I have one particular project coming up very soon that would be difficult to work with as a dingbat imported using Centerline text. The new DXF importer might work for me but I'm concerned with buying the license only to find out it won't suit my needs.

IF there is a chance LHR would allow a demo version of the software so I ( and others that have expressed interest but concern over the license requirement/price ) can experiment to see if it would serve my needs, it would be real nice to know.

thx
John

jaroot
05-11-2010, 08:57 AM
Me Too! :-D

JMD
05-11-2010, 09:39 AM
I too would like to see a demo version. To me 200.00 is a lot of money. I bought the CW sight unseen and was a little shocked by the some of the things about it.:)

twiceretired
05-11-2010, 11:10 AM
If a Demo is not in the future, why not make the program available at the Demo locations. My wife has a very expensive computerized sewing machine, and when an upgrade program is issued we can see it and use it at the dealer. My two bits.

Jcpb321
05-11-2010, 02:10 PM
A demo sounds like a reasonable request, after all what got me hooked on buying the cw in the first place was the 30 day demo of Designer.
John

jgowrie
05-11-2010, 03:14 PM
A demo sounds like a reasonable request, after all what got me hooked on buying the cw in the first place was the 30 day demo of Designer.
John

Good point. The original demo I had of the software is also what hooked me on eventually plunking down money for the machine. This new DXF export feature could really promote additional machines sales since it performs a function that is needed.

Again, many of us always wanted this feature for sign carving or engraving line art but ended up having to find alternative ways of getting vector images to work through importing dingbats. This required purchases of FONT editing software to make up for this shortcoming. A demo, to prove to these customers that the purchase is worth the money, would be appreciated!

If there is no chance of offering a demo, please say so and I'll just continue working the way I have been with other external software and I'll stop pestering and holding out for a chance to dry the DXF importer. At least until the economy gets better and I have extra money to take the leap of faith.

buffybuttons
05-11-2010, 05:05 PM
I bought the dxf importer about 2 weeks ago. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
Pluses - You can import highly precise vectors from autocad dxf files. There is very precise control of depth of cuts. The click and drag selection box allows for fast selection of hundreds of lines. Vectors can be edited. This will be great for signmaking and making precise mechanical model parts. Carvewright has some really cool country store and ranch sign dxf importer demo videos on their website.This will really make the Carvewright a great pocket cnc machine.
Minuses - Cost. You have to vectorize your artwork BEFORE it can be opened by the dxf importer. It really needs the ability to vectorize png files. If you dont have png to dxf software a free downloadable program called wintopo will convert png lines into dxf vector lines. It Doesnt support text imports or certain vector lines that may be too detailed. It sometimes crashes designer while importing dxf files in windows 7.

Icutone2
05-11-2010, 05:23 PM
I would really like to demo it also. I see a great need for it but $200 is a bit to swallow if it is not what I need.
Lee

dbfletcher
05-11-2010, 05:29 PM
It seems many of us are baulking at the $200 price tag... as an informal survey. how many of us would plunk down $100 without the need for a demo? I would.

Doug Fletcher

Icutone2
05-11-2010, 05:39 PM
same here!
Lee

PCW
05-11-2010, 05:41 PM
I'm in for $100.00.:mrgreen:

chebytrk
05-11-2010, 05:47 PM
yup..............

lawrence
05-11-2010, 08:13 PM
$100, yes... $200... I'll find a work-around for a while... but knowing me I'll eventually pony up the $200 bones (or wait for a 10% off month and pony up $180... thanks for doing that from time to time LHR!)

I only answer this question to put my voice out there-- because I don't actually think that $200 is an unreasonable amount when you compare it with the price other CNC machines cost for programming... I appreciate that LHR gives us the choice as to what upgrade options we get.

No matter what they do, someone will be unhappy. I'm not saying people are complaining unnecessarially but that it is just the nature of doing business.

I would also appreciate demos of the upgrades... perhaps even a "free trial month" when the upgrades first arrive on scene for all that register at that time? This would encourage active participation on the forum by many members and would probably result in a much higher initial (if not final) number of sales.
Lawrence

jgowrie
05-11-2010, 10:32 PM
$100 would make me feel much better buying it without getting to test drive it. And, I know I'm being vocal about the price and wanting a demo but I do agree with Lawrence and the comments about the asking price probably being worth the function. Problem is, when I asked LHR before Xmas about importing vectors directly and future support, they said no support was planned. I understand the person I talked to maybe wasn't in the loop or just couldn't say anything. But that answer led me to spend a fair amount of money on completely unrelated software so I could jump through hoops to get vector images to carve with a CNC machine.

That said, I would consider spending another $200 but the economy sucks and I think many of us that make our living as professional tradesman ( finish carpenter is my day gig ) just can't take that plunge for a $200 upgrade that may not be worth it at this point in time. A demo is a perfect way to show me and others it's a worthwhile investment in this great machine.

So, LHR thank you for finally giving us the missing piece for the Carvewright machine. Let us play with it before licensing it at $200, even if it's a restricted demo similar to the pattern demo that let's me edit and use the software but just not send it out to the machine.

dbfletcher
05-11-2010, 11:08 PM
My take is that there are probably a small portion of us that actually have software capable of even creating DXF files now. Just think of the shock many will have when they shell out $200 for this "importer", only to find out now they have to shell out a few more hundred for a program capable of creating the dxfs. Sure.. some may have Adobe Illustrator or Autocad already.. but I'm betting many don't. I STILL FEEL sometype of vector import should be supported directly in the designer be it WMF, EMF, CGM, HPGL, CDRW... something.. ANY vector import. Designer will always feel 1/2 finished until there are built in functions for import/export of other formats.

If this did something more than import... I might see the $199 tag.. the stl importer allows us to slice, rotate, change planes.. ect so it does do a little more than just import.. but from what i have heard/read.. dxf import is simply that... an import filter.

Just imagine what corel or adobe or microsoft could make if they charged for every import/export filter they provide with their software

Doug Fletcher

Jcpb321
05-12-2010, 06:26 AM
Doug,
Very well said, I do have an older version of Corel on my other puter but have not used it a lot since I did not have a need to prior to this, somewhere I have Fireworks that I used alot when building websites in my prior life, but I was thinking along the same lines as you, what if I didn't have the other software and plunked down the $ only to find out I needed that too, I think the Mrs would get a little upset as well as myself.

Right now as a newbie to the CW I am looking at several things that are going to cost me $, Centerline? new chuck? STL? DFX Importer? don't add it up cause I don't think the Mrs wants to hear it! Do you hear me LHR???

Give me a break and let the Mrs see why I need it!

John

spalted
05-12-2010, 07:33 AM
Doug,
Very well said, I do have an older version of Corel on my other puter but have not used it a lot since I did not have a need to prior to this, somewhere I have Fireworks that I used alot when building websites in my prior life, but I was thinking along the same lines as you, what if I didn't have the other software and plunked down the $ only to find out I needed that too, I think the Mrs would get a little upset as well as myself.

Right now as a newbie to the CW I am looking at several things that are going to cost me $, Centerline? new chuck? STL? DFX Importer? don't add it up cause I don't think the Mrs wants to hear it! Do you hear me LHR???

Give me a break and let the Mrs see why I need it!

John

Always remember John................ It's easier to beg for forgiveness than plead for permission. :mrgreen:

I think all software should have a demo option.

jgowrie
05-12-2010, 07:55 AM
I bought the dxf importer about 2 weeks ago. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
Pluses - You can import highly precise vectors from autocad dxf files. There is very precise control of depth of cuts. The click and drag selection box allows for fast selection of hundreds of lines. Vectors can be edited. This will be great for signmaking and making precise mechanical model parts. Carvewright has some really cool country store and ranch sign dxf importer demo videos on their website.This will really make the Carvewright a great pocket cnc machine.
Minuses - Cost. You have to vectorize your artwork BEFORE it can be opened by the dxf importer. It really needs the ability to vectorize png files. If you dont have png to dxf software a free downloadable program called wintopo will convert png lines into dxf vector lines. It Doesnt support text imports or certain vector lines that may be too detailed. It sometimes crashes designer while importing dxf files in windows 7.

Thanks for the review Buffybuttons. What programs do you use to create your vector files? I'm using the open-source competitor to Illustrator, Inkscape. It does output DXF files.



My take is that there are probably a small portion of us that actually have software capable of even creating DXF files now. Just think of the shock many will have when they shell out $200 for this "importer", only to find out now they have to shell out a few more hundred for a program capable of creating the dxfs. Sure.. some may have Adobe Illustrator or Autocad already.. but I'm betting many don't. I STILL FEEL sometype of vector import should be supported directly in the designer be it WMF, EMF, CGM, HPGL, CDRW... something.. ANY vector import. Designer will always feel 1/2 finished until there are built in functions for import/export of other formats.

If this did something more than import... I might see the $199 tag.. the stl importer allows us to slice, rotate, change planes.. ect so it does do a little more than just import.. but from what i have heard/read.. dxf import is simply that... an import filter.

Just imagine what corel or adobe or microsoft could make if they charged for every import/export filter they provide with their software

Doug Fletcher

I agree that maybe a more full featured, artistic piece of software would have been a better answer, but I don't think LHR could produce something that would be as good at drawing as a vector drawing program is.

I imagine that if they wanted to, they could create an straight up importer that would turn PNG files into vector lines. As evidence, there are many people on the forum which are using ai2mpc which does exactly that ( with some limitations on the files it will work with ), and it's FREE. I am on a Mac and I looked around at some of the DOS emulators and while it sounds possible, it just sounds like jumping through more hoops to try and get that option to work for me. I'm normally pretty good at adapting to computers but when you have to get into the nuts and bolts of working with DOS or Terminal on the MAC - no patience :roll:

If someone doesn't have AI, BB did mention a windows program which takes normal image files and converts them directly to vector files - DFX is one of them. The link to it is http://www.wintopo.com/. Then, as a direct alternative to the expensive AI, I use the open-source program - Inkscape. It is a full featured drawing program which will import common formats and convert them to vector files - DFX included. It will also let you start an image from scratch in the native vector format SVG. Oh, IT'S FREE. http://www.inkscape.org

jgowrie
05-12-2010, 08:23 AM
Watching the tutorial videos there are a few things that I want to test. They show the import of a vector file in the first video but they don't show what that image looked like in the vector drawing program ahead of import. They show the line thickness is determined by the profile depth tool within designer. Is this the only way to determine the depth and profile of a line? I don't want to have to do that as it would not accurately translate to the original drawing I create in a vector drawing program. Why wouldn't it work the same as the Centerline importer which uses the thickness of the line to determine the profile of the cut?

Like Spalted, I have always believed a demo version of software should be common practice. The creator can put limits on the software so they are not giving it away. Especially when you get into niche software like this that does only one thing you should allow users to see if it does what they need it to do before plunking down the dough.

buffybuttons
05-12-2010, 10:51 AM
I mostly use autocad to create precise linework into dxf files. I use paint shop pro 9 to create png files since some jpeg looses detail when saved.Paint shop pro 9 can be bought on ebay for about $10.00. I use win topo freeware to turn png into dxf vectors . 99% of the vector editing has to be done outside of the carvewright dxf importer.Dxf importer is a pretty basic program more suited to importing than editing. It looks like line thickness can be controlled only by changing the depth of the v bit or copying an identical line and manually placing it beside the original. I attached a link below on where to get the win topo freeware for making png into dxf vectors for import into the dxf importer.



http://www.wintopo.com/dl-wintopo.htm

Metalhead781
05-12-2010, 02:46 PM
The whole point is that this is just a filter to bring in lines from dxf format. This should be an included feature. All other cam programs included this. Vectric's Cut 2D has this option along with the ability to draw in the program. That program itself although limited is only $200. If you consider the cost of the software included in the machine and my experience with the machine. I believe about 25% of the cost of the machine is for the designer software. That's about $500 worth. For $500 this program should already have Centerline Text and Dxf import. From Vectric, $600 gets you all of the above in their Vcarve Pro Program along with the ability to import images for V carving and milling. It however doesn't have the raster carvings or options like the slt importer. Vectric's Cut 3d imports 3d objects in a much broader range then the SLT importer at a cost of $300. There are other options available. The biggest thing here is that LHR wants this machine to be 100% Proprietary. They will only give what they think they can make the most money on. If i felt like playing. I would see what the machine's port really is for. If Emc2 or Mach3 can indeed control this machine it might be a worthwhile adventure. Take Slt imp. Centerline and Dxf importer you get a total of $500. Add the aprox cost on top of the machine for designer that's $1000 worth of software. That's $500 short of Vectric's aspire package and $50 more then a package including Vcarve pro Cut 3d and their Photo Vcarve programs.

Just my two cents.
MH

wizer
05-25-2010, 04:11 PM
So LHR are just going to ignore this?

dbfletcher
05-25-2010, 04:17 PM
I have virtually bought everything LHR came out with as soon as it was available... with the recent exceptions of the carvtight and dxf importer. Most of the add on's I feel have been way over priced for the functionalitly they provide. I've decided to wait on the dxf and hope they lower the price like they have on many of the other upgrades after time.. or I will continue to just use ai2mpc for conversion of vector objects to mpc elements.

Doug Fletcher

jgowrie
05-25-2010, 09:34 PM
So LHR are just going to ignore this?

They were probably hoping this thread was dead. My guess is they will continue to stay quiet and not respond. Eventually the thread will go quiet. I gave up hoping for a demo.

This is copied from vectric's web page and I wish LHR would do the same so people can try the upgrades/add-ons to make sure they will do what the user requires them to do.


Welcome to Vectric.com

The home of affordable, innovative software solutions for your CNC machine including Aspire, VCarve Pro, Cut3D, Cut2D and PhotoVCarve.

All of our software is available as a Free Trial Version to Download allowing you to cut sample files on your own CNC router or engraving machine.

Ropdoc
05-26-2010, 09:45 AM
I have post asking the same thing. I am frustrating with this entire business world right now. Between taxes and things like this, it is getting ridiculous. Just give us a bone every once in a while. It is not like we are asking for all the software be free. Just this package. I use AutoCAD and Solidworks. There are allot of converts free in those programs. Just humor us or lose us. It is LHR's choice.


So LHR are just going to ignore this?

Ropdoc
05-26-2010, 09:48 AM
They were probably hoping this thread was dead. My guess is they will continue to stay quiet and not respond. Eventually the thread will go quiet.

That sounds like a challenge. I have time to monitor this website and keep this thread on top or at least active EVERY day until we at least get a response. Am I alone on this? Do I need to keep this going alone ??

wizer
05-26-2010, 09:51 AM
I think that to get LHR to listen, we need more people to offer their opinion.

Icutone2
05-26-2010, 09:53 AM
I have used autocad and copy the image on screen, and then import from clipboard. That worked for me.
Lee

Ropdoc
05-26-2010, 09:56 AM
I think that to get LHR to listen, we need more people to offer their opinion.

Agreed. Kind of like how this couintry looks at the Illegal problem. Not looking for a challenge on that just commenting. Bussinesses today think it is all about sucking money out of our pockets. I am on the verge of loosing everything I own. And it is because of Politician/ government greed.

Look all I am asking is that LHR consider giving us just one thing. The publicity that they are getting from just this website is building there machines pupolarity 10 fold. Why not try and keep us, the user, HAPPY.

liquidguitars
05-26-2010, 10:50 AM
Most of the add on's I feel have been way over priced for the functionality they provide.

I not sure what your talking about, like what? if you do not have the DXF or the new spindle, that means your talking about the STL plug in. If you can't seem to justify it your probably not using it much and thats not anyone fault right?

Regarding a DFX demo that would be cool, but you can see from the videos it will work as described. A lot of people have been asking for three years for this software LHR has provided. As a side note importing the DXF standard is a rugged job the development team worked hard a long.

My hope is the economy will get stronger and more work orders will be the norm soon.



LG

Ropdoc
05-26-2010, 11:15 AM
Well .... others are saying otherwise. That is why I chimed in.

dbfletcher
05-26-2010, 11:19 AM
I not sure what your talking about, like what? if you do not have the DXF or the new spindle, that means your talking about the STL plug in. If you can't seem to justify it your probably not using it much and thats not anyone fault right?

Regarding a DFX demo that would be cool, but you can see from the videos it will work as described. A lot of people have been asking for three years for this software LHR has provided. As a side note importing the DXF standard is a rugged job the development team worked hard a long.



LG

LG, I have tremendous respect for your work and your opinions.. but why is it that anyone has a different opinion than yours you feel you must try to invalidate their opinion? I was mostly refering to the stl importer. My main disappointment with that is most of the stl models i have created (or downloaded) dont seem to import directly using the stl importer. I nearly always have to load the stl into meshlab first.. then save it, then LHR's stl importer can generally read it. Now it just strikes me as odd that a piece of software that I paid $300 for gets tripped up on little variances in the format of stl files that free software has no problem with. Apparnetly you dont have an issue with your lightwave models (which i think you mentioned in other post as mostly what you use). I use to use lightwave 3d from my amiga days, but that is close to 15-20 years ago. I'm betting that if you had to jump through hoops for every model you tried to bring in to stl importer, you would be slightly disappointed as well.

In the mid 90's I wrote a dxf to iges translator for the company I was working for at the time. We are talking about well defined formats here.. was it an overnight project for LHR.. of course not.. but lets not try and say a simply file importer is an extremely complex peice of software, because it just isnt.

The other additions I have purchased as soon as they were announced were the bit set, probe, and heavy duty traction belts, and centerline.

You absolutely have the right to your opinion... but so do I.

Doug Fletcher

liquidguitars
05-26-2010, 12:41 PM
regarding the DXF format its not simple I bet i could stump your program in about 3 mins.. not all programs save the same way, DXF is probably the better cross platform format and its worlds better than 3DS. I am not tring to be rude to you.


I respect your thoughts however I feel they are not based on real world experience.

As a 3D artist for over 20 " starting with a AMIGA" years i have a good idea how well LHR's STL importer works. I also have first hand experience working with the co. that invented the STL format and the machines, the reason why your models are not importing correctly or look choppy is your lack of understanding of a solid model period.

Please review the format requirements of STL on the Internet then get back to me if you wish.


I use to use lightwave 3d from my amiga days, but that is close to 15-20 years ago. I'm betting that if you had to jump through hoops for every model you tried to bring in to stl importer, you would be slightly disappointed as well.

I use a free LW plugin its fast, I would not work with slow software. Before that i came up with a gray scale rendering system in LW as well, the STL importer is way better, but if i was shy the $$$ i still be using it and not complaining.

regarding value, you complain about sandpaper belts and carbide cutters? :confused:

dbfletcher
05-26-2010, 02:06 PM
regarding the DXF format its not simple I bet i could stump your program in about 3 mins.. not all programs save the same way, DXF is probably the better cross platform format and its worlds better than 3DS. I am not tring to be rude to you.


I'll concede that point. I did not write/implement the full grammar for the dxf specs at the time. My lexical analyser and parser only covered the elements of the dxf we were interested in. It would have taken longer to include the entire dxf spec, but it didnt have added value for us at the time.

But doesn't your comment about "you could stump my program in 3 mins", kinda of support what I am saying?? I seem to be able to stump their stl program more often than not just using downloaded stl files from the web, but the free meshlab has no trouble with the same files?? So did the meshlab developer do a better job or did LHR just follow the strict letter of the law for the stl format and meshlab handles slight variants better? I really dont know or care... just I wish I didn't need that extra step.

Im not complaining about the sandpaper belts or bits. In hindsight I probably wouldn't have got the full bit set because like many other, I mainly use the carving, cutting, v-bits, and sometimes the 3/8 straight bit. But I got the bit set at the same time as the probe and machine. To be fair, LHR has always said the vast majority of times you only need the carving and cutting bit.... so the purchase of the full bit set is entirely my fault.

I think center line is definitely worth it's cost... but i was only disappointed with it when i found out it USED to be included in designer (many of the beta testers had comments early on about how the feature was there.. then gone before they released it as a separate add-on). I'm sure you remember all the fiery threads back when they first released centerline.

In any case, I was merely saying that my experience with the stl importer has not been as seamless and pleasant as yours.

Doug Fletcher

liquidguitars
05-26-2010, 02:38 PM
But doesn't your comment about "you could stump my program in 3 mins", kinda of support what I am saying?? I seem to be able to stump their stl program more often than not just using downloaded stl files from the web, but the free meshlab has no trouble with the same files?? So did the meshlab developer do a better job or did LHR just follow the strict letter of the law for the stl format and meshlab handles slight variants better? I really don't know or care... just I wish I didn't need that extra step.

I think you are missing the point about STL , STL is a solid "water tight" format it's not a translator per say. think about a 3d model the you could pour water in without leaks, LHR did not invent STL it needs to be this way to be organically smooth or it just be a " OBJ importer". you can not run just any model in tha STL machine it will not work, we are able to load non STL models into Designer but if they look odd its the model fault not the software.

Phong shading is a way to visually smooth the surface when rendering. Cad Cam has no smoothing except the Polly surface with requires a dense
model that is tessellated to a high degree, Most 3DS models off the Internet will likely not be able to tessellate in the way needed and the surface will separate.

Please review the STL format when you can.

BTW this is one reason i do not recommend Rhino as a STL modeler as the 3D splines constructs have the same smoothing issues. I hope this helps a little.
I see the same issues with the CAD Cam forums and a lot of smart people do not understand this requirement.


but i was only disappointed with it when i found out it USED to be included in designer (many of the beta testers had comments early on about how the feature was there..

The first demo i ran was the same, i think at the time not all the program was stable. But LHR also added new things like the Boolean cutting and a lighting fast GUI.

Ropdoc
05-27-2010, 09:44 AM
bump to top

eelamb
05-27-2010, 08:04 PM
I am with Doug on the STL importer. I have used quite a few 3d demo programs (price between 500-1000each), each with the ability to save as STL. None of them so far can be read using the STL importer. I have to use meshlab to convert to STL before importing. To test the water tight verbage, I created a box, all sides closed, no gaps (water tight) saved it as STL and the importer would not read it. Yet mesh lab did read the stl and saved it out. Meshlab used thenon-native right hand rule, and will read/calculate the 3 zeros, which many 3d programs use.

I am not going to argue with the experts here, just giving my experience to date.

Edit: point I am making here is if not for meshlab, I would have wasted my money on STL importer, since I could not justify purchasing the high dollar software that might meet the imports specifications for STL importing.

STL format:
The native STL format has to fulfill the following specifications: (i) The normal and each vertex of every facet are specified by three coordinates each, so there is a total of 12 numbers stored for each facet. (ii) Each facet is part of the boundary between the interior and the exterior of the object. The orientation of the facets (which way is ``out'' and which way is ``in'') is specified redundantly in two ways which must be consistent. First, the direction of the normal is outward. Second, the vertices are listed in counterclockwise order when looking at the object from the outside (right-hand rule). (iii) Each triangle must share two vertices with each of its adjacent triangles. This is known as vertex-to-vertex rule. (iv) The object represented must be located in the all-positive octant (all vertex coordinates must be positive).

However, for non-native STL applications, the STL format can be generalized. The normal, if not specified (three zeros might be used instead), can be easily computed from the coordinates of the vertices using the right-hand rule. Moreover, the vertices can be located in any octant. And finally, the facet can even be on the interface between two objects (or two parts of the same object). This makes the generalized STL format suitable for modelling of 3D non-manifolds objects.

liquidguitars
05-27-2010, 08:42 PM
I am with Doug on the STL importer. I have used quite a few 3d demo programs (price between 500-each), each with the ability to save as STL. None of them so far can be read using the STL importer.

Thanks for letting us know and welcome to my world for years we could not even get Maya to read Lightwave without loading a OBJ format. Now we have the FBX standard.

Every programmer thinks that their translation is the best. The end result is problematic this is a industry issue.

You should email the software co that you are testing and let them know their STL saver is not working. Designer is possibly not responsible for this. It can be a very common problem even Doug will agree to that. However please do not confuse a water tight model construction with a saving problem.


The results loading a STL into LHR's STL program. Feel free to add your programs..

3DCoat = yes.
Lightwave with free plugin = yes.
Maya= no native STL saver will need plugin.
Zbrush no native STL saver.
Visualmill = no.
Aspire = saver is disabled in demo.
Rhino = yes.
Meshlab = yes.
Modo= no native STL saver.
Right Hemisphere Deep Exploration = yes.

eelamb
05-27-2010, 10:41 PM
I wish I could give the list, but I did not take notes. I downloaded them tried them, and decided it was not what I wanted. The fact that they did not save STL in a format readable to importer was not the criteria for the software. It would have been nice if they or importer were compatible. The only ones left on my computer are the last 4 I tried. Of these I have settled on Silo, and it saves and is readable in meshlab, it also does DXF imports (seems it looses the edges but looking at that closer, may be my fault). Silo fits my needs better than the other 3d software. Price (I am not doing this for a living), functionality, tuturals, and ease of use, this is what I was looking for.

STL importer does not state it only reads STL files from certain 3d software. Thus it is user beware, if meshlab was not available importer is useless to most on this forum. I also wonder about the DXF importer, what is its limitation?

since I too am a programmer, I know the problems of converting different software formats, and software does not always meet standards, yet the standards are only a guideline and contain some flexability.

I am not complaining about STL importer, just stating facts as I see them. I do believe they need to state in their documentation what software if works with. If I had not found meshlab I would not have been very happy with STL importer.

wizer
05-28-2010, 04:14 AM
Guys I think we might be going of track here. The purpose of this thread is to stress the need to have a demo available for these software addons. All the literature in the world will not help you know for certain whether it will work the way you expect it to and if you can 'get on' with it. If the softwatre ware transferable or refundable, then it wouldn't be so much of an issue. But to lay down 200 bucks to find it's not what you expected is a lot down the drain.

If nothing else, I'd like LHR to at least acknowledge this thread and tell us if this is even a possibility.

Ropdoc
05-28-2010, 09:41 AM
Thank you wizer,

But it is more than just that. I use AutoCAD and Solidworks, and with that software comes DXF converts built in. Included in the price of the package. Everyone has talked about buying the other packages without issue. But we are asking (or telling) LHR to give us a bone and make the DXF a part of the Designer package. Now I can see the guys here that have bussiness thinking it is OK to keep paying for stuff like this. But someone like me that each day goes home thing this is the day the house is gone. Would like something back from Bussiness. Here in California we pay the highest taxes in the NATION. And that is largly to bail out bussiness from their bad dealing. So again I ask just give us a bone. If you have a bussiness and want to pay ... THEN PAY.


Guys I think we might be going of track here. The purpose of this thread is to stress the need to have a demo available for these software addons. All the literature in the world will not help you know for certain whether it will work the way you expect it to and if you can 'get on' with it. If the softwatre ware transferable or refundable, then it wouldn't be so much of an issue. But to lay down 200 bucks to find it's not what you expected is a lot down the drain.

If nothing else, I'd like LHR to at least acknowledge this thread and tell us if this is even a possibility.

wizer
05-28-2010, 09:45 AM
Well I think you're being unrealistic if you think they are going to make the DXF Importer free. However much I agre with you. For now, I'd just like to know if it's going to work the way I want it to. By seeing it with my own eyes, on my own project.

Router-Jim
05-28-2010, 09:57 AM
I can feel for anyone in these economic times including LHR. I certainly wouldn't expect them to give the program away because there are no doubt alot of expenses in the development.

I do think the idea of a "try it before you buy it" would be a win-win for everyone and I hope the folks at LHR give the idea some serious consideration.

Jim

dbfletcher
05-28-2010, 09:59 AM
Well I think you're being unrealistic if you think they are going to make the DXF Importer free. However much I agre with you. For now, I'd just like to know if it's going to work the way I want it to. By seeing it with my own eyes, on my own project.

True... but am I really the only one who thinks there should be at LEAST 1 vector format the can be imported included with in designer? Of course, export functionality should also exist.

Doug Fletcher

PCW
05-28-2010, 10:03 AM
Yes it would be nice to have a 30 day demo or to be able to transfer the optional software if you decide it wasn't what you where looking for. The pattern editor should be able to follow the probe to a new owner if it is resold as well.:mrgreen:

jgowrie
06-02-2010, 09:34 PM
I've been reading on Vectrics website some of the plugins they have developed and they offer everything for a demo period, free. Not free of cost and I don't think you can expect that, but a free demo period seems extremely reasonable as a request.

You can read back to see my reasons for wanting a demo but I'm sure they are ultimately similar to everyone's. Does the software do what "we" want it to in a way that justifies the upgrade cost. There are questions that just can't be answered by watching 3 demo videos. Is it $200 better than AI2MPC? Is it worth spending an additional $200 to get the machine to do a simple vector image that can be brought in via a Font Glyph? Does it accurately translate the width of lines to a depth on the project board or do I need to assign profiles to the lines? Demo offerings can answer all the above and most likely translate into purchases once someone feels that their hard-earned money isn't wasted when there isn't much spare income to go around.

I do not doubt that LHR has done their homework and created what they feel is an adequate answer to a request that has been posted for years. It would really be a win-win if they posted a demo. Until they do, there is no way I'm spending money on it

jgowrie
06-02-2010, 09:37 PM
Guys I think we might be going of track here. The purpose of this thread is to stress the need to have a demo available for these software addons. All the literature in the world will not help you know for certain whether it will work the way you expect it to and if you can 'get on' with it. If the softwatre ware transferable or refundable, then it wouldn't be so much of an issue. But to lay down 200 bucks to find it's not what you expected is a lot down the drain.

If nothing else, I'd like LHR to at least acknowledge this thread and tell us if this is even a possibility.

Pretty simple request that I've been waiting to hear some sort of answer to for weeks.

spalted
06-02-2010, 09:43 PM
Well I can't speak for LHR......... but I will anyway.

I'm sure from their point of view it's simple, DXF and STL importer do just that, import DXF and STL files, period, thats it nothing more nothing less. And it really is just that simple.

But I still think there should be a trial period option available for them as well as Pattern editor. I can find trials for 20 dollar software so for 200 bucks I should get to take it for a little spin.

c6craig
06-02-2010, 10:46 PM
Pretty simple request that I've been waiting to hear some sort of answer to for weeks.

If you haven't heard anything for weeks maybe you should try giving them a call. It's possible they haven't seen this post.

Craig

Rocky
06-13-2010, 11:22 AM
This DXF thing is intriguing, but I haven't a clue as to what I'd be buying or how to use it. Is there any "dumbed down" explanation around? I'm not about to spend $200 at this point.

dbfletcher
06-17-2010, 12:34 PM
Wouldn't a 4th of July Sale at $100 be a geat idea?

Doug Fletcher

lynnfrwd
06-17-2010, 01:38 PM
My goodness! I'm almost scared to respond at this point. I actually hadn't seen this post until today, I guess most of it took place during the three weeks that I was out last month.

I know there are the videos that show how they work. I don't know of any plans to make a trial version available, but I will ask and get back to you when I have an answer...hopefully today!

Maybe we can include it in a future sale, but I don't think FREE DXF is a doable option.

jgowrie
06-17-2010, 02:22 PM
Lynn,



I was actually just going to call today to ask a few questions. I am not one of the ones that is looking for a freebie but I have reservations about spending $200 on software that won't sufficiently improve my workflow and final product output.

A demo would address all of this but here are my specific concerns which I would have asked if I called.

1. I see you can split DXF files into sections and place them onto a virtual designer board. My main use of the carvewright is spanning my engraving/carvings across cabinet doors. Up to know this has caused some erratic machine behavior with the cutting bit moving around a lot just off to the side of a project board. If the bit is large enough and the machine moves the bit deep enough it damages the side of the board ( or at least causes me to have to make manual changes to the board once it is removed from the CW. I am seriously hoping that running a project using the DXF add-on would eliminate this problem. This is a bit of a complicated issue and there is a whole thread on this issue ( curious machine behavior ) is the post title.

2. Can I mix centerline and DXF elements even if they are layered ?

3. From the videos, it sounded like the bit profile ( depth of cut ) is manually entered and not determined by the thickness of a line within a vector image. Is this indeed the case?

4. How complicated of an image will the DXF importer handle? I do a lot of family crest engravings and some of them can get pretty detailed with many lines and curves which need to translate accurately.

I'm sure there are more questions that I have and many others probably have their own individual concerns. A demo/trial version would be the ideal way to have all these concerns answered and would probably sell some DXF licenses that would otherwise not be bought.

Thanks for responding!

John - the O.P. that started this mess 8)

lynnfrwd
06-17-2010, 02:35 PM
John, I have forwarded your questions and am awaiting the answers, which I will post.

As far as a trial version or trial period goes, there have been no plans to do this. It was decided that we would do the videos instead. Please send us any questions you have about DXF or STL Importers and we will try to get them answered in a timely manner.

Send questions regarding products to sales@carvewright.com or marketing@carvewright.com

spalted
06-17-2010, 03:14 PM
John,

I have the DXF Importer but I have not had it long, I have been messing with it but not carved anything yet, so I will share what I know (or think I know).

I can't see any reason centerline text would not work with imported elements.

You do need to manually assign a bit, cut path or a depth profile to your imported design.

I have imported designs that have thousands of node points, it take a little while for it to load but I have not been able to find a design that it could not handle yet.

I have not split any designs yet so I'm no help on that point.

I'm sure the staff and/or someone with more experience than me will jump in, but for now..... I guess your stuck with me.:p

jgowrie
06-17-2010, 04:37 PM
John,

.

You do need to manually assign a bit, cut path or a depth profile to your imported design.

t.

I'm sure the staff and/or someone with more experience than me will jump in, but for now..... I guess your stuck with me.:p

Hey Spalted,

Thanks for the reply. Let me make sure I understand you here because this is a prime reason I didn't jump on the DXF plugin. If I import an image which has lines which go from thin sections to wider sections what I am getting from your post and the videos, is that it doesn't matter to the DXF program - it only sees a line. I then need to assign a depth profile to each line to somehow match it up with the original artwork, correct?

John

spalted
06-17-2010, 05:01 PM
I hope this helps.

I attached 3 screen shots of a triangle line shape, not a fancy design, but I hope it clears it up.

The only thing I did when I imported it was auto connect it in the DXF importer.

The first photo is from Inkscape, my vector program.

The second is with a 60 degree bit assigned to the path.

The third is how it imported

jgowrie
06-17-2010, 05:41 PM
I hope this helps.

I attached 3 screen shots of a triangle line shape, not a fancy design, but I hope it clears it up.

The only thing I did when I imported it was auto connect it in the DXF importer.

The first photo is from Inkscape, my vector program.

The second is with a 60 degree bit assigned to the path.

The third is how it imported

Spalted,

That does clear things up. It's unfortunate LHR couldn't just get an importer that would take artwork and turn it into a duplicate on a project board. This works nothing like importing dingbats from a font file so I am very happy I didn't waste my $200 on the DXF importer.

IMHO, they missed the mark on this one.

Thanks for the info!

spalted
06-17-2010, 05:53 PM
Spalted,

That does clear things up. It's unfortunate LHR couldn't just get an importer that would take artwork and turn it into a duplicate on a project board. This works nothing like importing dingbats from a font file so I am very happy I didn't waste my $200 on the DXF importer.

IMHO, they missed the mark on this one.

Thanks for the info!

I'm glad you found out it wasn't what you were looking for before you bought it.

I think the thing to remember though is; there really is no z information or depth to import from a vector drawing. It's just lines.

lynnfrwd
06-17-2010, 06:48 PM
1. I see you can split DXF files into sections and place them onto a virtual designer board. My main use of the carvewright is spanning my engraving/carvings across cabinet doors. Up to know this has caused some erratic machine behavior with the cutting bit moving around a lot just off to the side of a project board. If the bit is large enough and the machine moves the bit deep enough it damages the side of the board ( or at least causes me to have to make manual changes to the board once it is removed from the CW. I am seriously hoping that running a project using the DXF add-on would eliminate this problem. This is a bit of a complicated issue and there is a whole thread on this issue ( curious machine behavior ) is the post title.

This shouldn't happen. Send a copy of your file and explanation of the issue to support@carvewright.com so we can see if the issue is with the project.

2. Can I mix centerline and DXF elements even if they are layered ?
Yes, you can mix centerline text and DXF elements. Tutorial #1 on the CarveWright website does exactly that. You may overlap line's all you want and achieve some "layering" effects by adjusting cut depths on the imported DXF file.

3. From the videos, it sounded like the bit profile ( depth of cut ) is manually entered and not determined by the thickness of a line within a vector image. Is this indeed the case?
There is no thickness to lines. All effects and depths will be set manually in designer.

4. How complicated of an image will the DXF importer handle? I do a lot of family crest engravings and some of them can get pretty detailed with many lines and curves which need to translate accurately.

The DXF will import whatever dxf file you need it too no matter how complicated, and it will do it very accurately.

John: The DXF Importer may or may not be what you thought it was or do what you hoped it would. Customers that understand and use 2d &/or 3d graphics software, plus know how much the software could cost, think we ROCK!

jgowrie
06-23-2010, 08:41 PM
Lynn,

Thank you for all the answers. It seems that on all accounts minus the manual setting of bit profile/depth the software would meet my needs. I am not well versed in 2d/3d drawing programs so maybe I have a simplistic view of what I expected such a plug-in to perform. I think that myself and probably several others were hoping this plug-in would eliminate the need to import artwork for engraving, first as a font and then into Designer using Centerline. It takes a fair amount of effort to get that to work and my disappointment is that this requested ability is still not fully addressed.

Again, maybe I'm just hoping for something that is a little too complicated but it works with Centerline text so I just figure it should have been an easy enough task for software engineers to include. Maybe in a future update this feature could be included. I can't download the demo of VECTRIC's V-Carve Pro but from the description it sounds like they have exactly the feature I am looking for but I can't use that software with my Carvewright. Maybe the Carvewright could be opened up to work with other software as an alternative but I presume that would be a big "NO!"

I know that I could manually set all these profiles but with the images I use I'd rather stick toothpicks under my fingernails, lol!

lawrence
01-20-2011, 11:37 PM
I just wanted to post a quick "bump" on this post to thank LHR for making the DXF (and STL) importer demo available. I tried it tonight and then immediately bought it... mostly because I need/want it but also because I want to continue to support companies that try to serve both their bottom line AND their customers. I truly appreciate it and just wanted to chime in.

Thanks again for all you are doing to provide us with a great product at a reasonable price

Lawrence

mtylerfl
01-21-2011, 07:27 AM
I just wanted to post a quick "bump" on this post to thank LHR for making the DXF (and STL) importer demo available. I tried it tonight and then immediately bought it... mostly because I need/want it but also because I want to continue to support companies that try to serve both their bottom line AND their customers. I truly appreciate it and just wanted to chime in.

Thanks again for all you are doing to provide us with a great product at a reasonable price

Lawrence

Good for you, Lawrence! I completely agree with you...I use the DXF and STL importer all the time and each time I do, I appreciate the CarveWright Team even more for developing such handy tools for us!

It can be difficult to explain to "non-graphic-geeks" all the benefits of those features, so some folks don't have the appreciation for them that a lot of us do.

You're going to have tons of fun with your new software tools!