(Sorry for the delays....the system refused to let me post the text. Something wrong in one of the lines of typing...still have no clue what it was that upset it so)
I have to assume you mean the VECTRIC post-processors for the Shark, correct?
The capability you're after would actually have to be part of the Vectric tools. Say, "Maximum toolpath size = X Kb" or similar.
Sadly, there is no such capability in the Vectric Software that I'm aware of.
If you want to manually split the files, that can be done, with a little preparation.
You'll first need to choose the base post-processor you want to use. Once you have one that works correctly,
make a copy of it, and call it something like "Splittable-Shark...." or something you'll recognize.
Now, use a text editor like notepad, (I prefer notepad++, a free download) and edit your custom post-processor.
Find the sections that start with "begin HEADER", "begin NEW_SEGMENT" and "begin FOOTER".
In the first two (HEADER and NEW-SEGMENT) add a comment line like below as the LAST line in those sections.
Use something like this, and be sure to include the quote marks:
"( ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ )"
In the last one (FOOTER), add a comment line like below as the FIRST line in those sections.
"( -------------------------------------------------- )"
Save the post processor file and maybe restart Vectric, though usually it's not needed.
Now, design your toolpaths as normal, but when you save those ginormous 3D carves that you want to cut up, use your
Next edit the tap file it produces. Because it's a big file, that's why I recommend you download and install
), because it can easily handle really big files.
Now, locate the section at the top of the file that ENDS with the ( +++++ ) line and copy that. That part is called
the preamble, or opening.
Go down through the file, adding those copied lines in to make new chunks. You'll later save those as your new files.
Add a few blank lines into the file ABOVE where you put the preambles. When I'm doing this, I often try and find where
it's moving to a new Z-level, but pretty much anywhere will do.
Then, go all the way to the bottom of the file, and copy from the (----) line to the end of the file. That's called the closing.
Now scan UPWARD in the file, and everywhere you placed the preambles, paste that closing section BEFORE the preambles you
pasted in a moment ago. Of course, don't past the closing at the very top of the file
Now the work is to just save those chunks into separate files. There are a few different ways to do that based on which
text editor you use:
If you're using notepad++, you can type Ctrl-N and open a new window, then copy each chunk into a separate window, and
then save each chunk as a uniquely named file. For example, step01-MyAmazingDesign.tap, step02-..., and so on.
If you're using plain old Windows notepad, open a second instance of the editor, and then copy each chunk into there, and
do a File...Save As to save it as those unique file names. Clear out the contents of the second notepad each time you get
ready to copy in another chunk (Ctrl-A, then Delete).
That will do it, and you'll have a bunch of "step" files.
Now, when you want to run them, there's one important thing to do: after you get your X0Y0Z0, jog the router/spindle
well up above the carving and in the general center of it. Do NOT start at Z0, as it's entirely possible it will go directly
down into the carving and completely f*ck up what's been done in the earlier steps. Start above and in the middle, so it
can gracefully angle down into the carving to do the next chunk. Please note, I am NOT saying your X0Y0Z0 needs to be
up the air....that needs to be where it normally is!
Got it? Once you've done it a couple times it will be pretty easy.
For extra credit, you can save the preamble and closing chunks as separate files, and you can just add them in.
Hope that helps. For me, I wrote some software that does a similar thing, for a different CAD/CAM system, but that's
to separate out toolpaths that are using different bits and setups, so sorry, it won't work for you