I looked at the tutorial which is based on VCarve and they use a quick engrave toolpath. What is the equivalent for Fusion 360 ?
Also, if I configure the laser as an endmill in Fusion 360, I can’t use the engrave toolpath because it’s expecting a chamfer bit.
Does anyone use Fusion 360 with the laser kit provided by Avid ? Any success with it ?
If possible, I would like to avoid learning VCarve unless it really brings additional value compared to Fusion 360. I was used to use Lightburn with my other laser, but I’m not sure it works with the G-code procedure for Mach4.
Thanks for your comments
The workflow for using Fusion is essentially the same. The key to it working is the G Code parser that we built into Mach. It’s designed to take any routing tool path and turn it into a laser toolpath.
Our friend Pete Squared does this all of the time: pete (@petesquared23) • Instagram photos and videos
He’s made some incredible designs out of Fusion this way.
If you want to create a tool path that is directly on a line you can do it by turning tool comp off:
Thanks @Eric !
Yes, I totally understand the G Code converter you built in Mach.
So basically, in Fusion, what you suggest is to use 2D contours and not engraving. I will do that. What about filling an area ? I assume I have to use 2D pockets for that, but then it will engrave 100% of the pocket with a 0.2mm thick line. It will take a lot of time. That’s why I wanted to know if there is an equivalent of the “quick engrave” tool path from VCarve in Fusion. What is the best way to fill an area in Fusion ?
You can use any toolpath you want in Fusion.
To get that quick engrave style fill-in you’re after you might have to do some experimenting in Fusion. A couple of ideas:
Tell Fusion the tool is a larger diameter than the laser beam and then use a sketch to offset the pocket you want to fill in to account for that extra tool diameter. That way you’re fill in will go all the way to the edge. You could then use a 2d contour to outline the pocket.
Another toolpath you might check out is the Facing toolpath. That has the built in ability to “overtravel” a pocket. Using tool containment you might be able to create the same thing.
In my humble opinion:
I think with some hacks you could get Fusion to do what you want. Between the two I find that Vectric/Aspire is far faster and easier for creating these types of toolpaths. If you don’t own it you could even look at a cheap alternative like Vectric Cut2d or some of the desktop variants of the software if you just need it for laser engraving at smaller scale.
If Lightburn can output routing G Code you could try that as well.
Thanks for your comments.
Changing the tool diameter was my first thought, but it’s not very practical as it needs to be changed in the tool library so you need to duplicate the tool. But that’s an option.
I will play with the facing toolpath too.
I just checked and Lightburn is able to export GCode so it could be the best option as I’m used to this software too.
Thanks for all your valuable inputs.
Happy to help! Using sketches might help your situation too… What I was thinking is that you could design a pocket the right size in Fusion, then project a sketch on it, do an offset and that might help…
That’s great news. Just to be clear we didn’t test this because the G Code export feature from Lightburn wasn’t available at the time. I’d be interested to see how it goes for you.
So I’m back after a few tests.
Lightburn : it generates GCode, but it doesn’t offer the ability to configure tools. So I can’t add the Gcode for the tool number, neither than controlling tool speed (which will become laser power). If I have a complex pattern with different power, it will not be very easy to update the GCode manually.
Fusion 360 : Works well and I’m used to it. But it’s not good with complex 2D vectorial files. If I need to engrave a file with a lot of logos and text (with thousands of small areas to fill) I have to click on each area one by one and sometime it doesn’t work as it does not recognize areas inside areas. Lightburn is very good with that (common usecase for engraving).
Vectric Cut2D is perhaps the solution, but I work on Mac and it’s not compatible. I’ll give it a try on my MACH PC controller but I don’t want to use it to design stuff.
Any suggestion on a software that works on MAC, is good at 2D carving and able to manage advanced vectorial files with lots of pockets.
This is an example of what I typically need to engrave (each letter being a pocket to manage in Fusion) :
I run it on my Mac through Parallels
I installed it through Parallel and it works great. It does exactly what I’m looking for and solve what I can’t do in Fusion 360 (it detects all the pockets to engrave automatically in a proper way).
I went for Vetric Cut2D Pro but I can’t install the avid post processor. Is it only available for VCarve?
The post should be included in the posts list… odd that you’re not seeing it there.
If they’re really not in the post list you can download them from here:
Ahhh… I went straight to the download page, and during the installation process, there is an error that said it can’t find Vcarve. But if I go through the online posts list directly from Cut2D, I can find it, you are right. Awesome…