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Author Topic: Release May 1 / 2018  (Read 630 times)
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« on: May 03, 2018, 04:40:03 PM »

Hi All:

   A release was uploaded yesterday for a new Vexx version which adds a couple of tools
such as Grey scale from STL's as requested here in the last month or so. I have not yet
made a video to explain how the tools work, it may be a week or so till I do, so Ill add
a quick explanati on here.

STL's , and photo imports are not really a function of a 2d cad program, but can be usefull
so they can now be loaded for specific reasons. Grey scale is one of the reasons.P hotos may be loaded for tracing or auto segmentat ion, which Ill explain in the video shortly.

  If you import an STL, it will be displayed in a dialog where you can set its orientati on.
Once the orientati on is set , you may reset it anytime by selecting the STL and using the
STL Scaleing tool now on the tools panel. Once loaded, selecting an STL by clicking on it
will allow you to use 2 new STL buttons. One is grey scale. If you simply press for a greyscale
the entire STL will be put out as a grey scale photo at a resolutio n equal to your current
screen size of the program. The scale will be 255 levels from the STL's minimum to its maximum Z range.
   You may , however, wish to have a smaller section of the STL and a smaller range stretched
to the 255 levels. This may be done by simply drawing a box over any part of the stl of a smaller size.
The photo will then use only that section ( ratio'ed to a proper aspect so no distortio n occurs)
and will give a 255 level range of only that sections Z range.

  For example, using the compass.s tl which is in the Gearotic folder, youll find taking a
grey scale shot will give you 255 levels of grey over the entire face. Drawing a box
over the eye will give you instead 255 levels of grey of only the Z range of the eye itself
which is a much smaller Z range.

  For image segmentat ion, play with it a bit and youll find its usefull for creating an
artistic expressio n of a photo of a person, building or scene. Color range is used to limit
the number of contours you will get as a result. Spatial range is more complex to explain
but is generally used to set the general size of the contours expressed . If youve seen my
video on the galvo laser for example, the lighthous e picture being engraved was done
with this tool from a photo of a lighthous e by the ocean. This tool is also usefull for tracing
logos and such to create toolpathi ng contours for editing locally. It is an implement ation of
something called K-Means Clusterin g and is a slow process involving millions of operation s. I havent figured yet a way to speed it up, so be patient as you test it. Smiley

  There is also a "FastPath" button added which is not meant to replace a CNC output
such as the workbench in Gearotic, but is meant to provide a quick way to get GCode snippets
for various small CNC tasks where complexit y is low and you just need a quick engraving or cut.  The lighthous e in the galvo video for example was FastPathe d from the image segmenter output. In Fastpath you can specify if Z motions should occur, or feedrates should be added.

 All of these are very new, so use caution, always do test runs if Gcode is made as bugs may
yet remain. When playing with image segmentat ions, try a few previews, when you like the looks of the color segmentat ion, press the Full Process to see the contours which will be generated, and use OK to capture the contours as  a selection of contours.  Lower the
transpare ncy to see the contours better. Transpare ncy makes photos as well as STLs
go transpare nt for tracing or better viewing segmented or sliced outputs.

  Finally, you will now see a slicing button, probably not usefull to most, but Im doing
some experimen tation with using a laser for 3d printing so I needed sliced output. The
output is saved in the .CLI format, an ascii file storing the layers. Cylindric al slicing
is a test format for creating slices of 3d objects in cylindric al format for wrapping 3d
objects around a round object. Useless likely for anyone other than myself in these tests,
but I always leave such things in just in case anyone needs such a weird output. Ill display
why its done that way in the eventual video, its the only slicer Ive seen that doesnt have to work on only flat planes. Auggie will be updated soon to load CLI files from sliced objects. The
only other program I know of that uses .cli files is Netfab which I dont use personall y, so
the cli files are only lightly tested as of yet. The theory Im workign on is to have auggie burn
contours into material for wrapping onto a cylinder to created 3d textures or objects.

 Anyhow, hope your spring is starting to bring you around from hibernati on as it is for me,
lets hope its a great summer.  Smiley



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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 10:41:47 AM »

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