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Creating 2D / 2.5D toolpaths




Manual shape tracking:

  • The following drawing is ambiguous and may be interpreted in several ways. Often the automatic shape tracking will not produce the desired result. Even though Estlcam recognizes several random shapes depending on where we click, we'll never get the complete, outer shape:


  • To solve this we need to activate manual shape tracking...
  • Then we click at the drawing and follow the red arrows until the desired shape is completed:




Creating a toolpath point by point:

If the methods above fail - e.g. because of gaps in the drawing - or if you intentionally like to deviate from the original shape at some places you can also create the toolpath point by point:


Don't worry - you won't need to click on every single point - even complex shapes can usually be created by a few clicks but first some background information:
  • In Estlcam every shape consists of points connected by straigt lines - even circles and arcs...
  • These points will become visible as small, black circles once the function is active and you zoomed in sufficiently...
  • As soon as the cursor is in close proximity to a point it will snap in so you can precisely follow the shape. It will also snap to other distinct features like centers, intersections and the grid (if active) - however you can also add points at any arbitrary position you like - there are no restrictions...
By cleverly combining left and right clicks you'll be able to complete most toolpaths with just a few clicks:


Left mouse button (cursor is animated blue):
  • Adds exactly one single point...
  • Anything in between will be ignored...
  • The point can be anywhere you like...
Right mouse button (cursor is animated red):
  • Tries to add every point between the last one and the one you just clicked at...
  • For this the point needs to be along an existing drawing shape...
  • If it doesn't work the distance is too long - try again closer to the last point...
So: use the right mouse button as much as possible. The left one is usually only required to bridge large gaps and jumping between different drawing shapes...

Important keys:
  • Back - key: will undo the last action...
  • Shift - key: makes sure the next point is perfectly vertically or horizontally aligned to the last one...
  • Control -key: will create an arc between the last 3 points...

Christian Knüll / Heidelbergerstr. 6 / 74746 Höpfingen / Deutschland / christian@estlcam.de