Is anyone here using autocad 3D with a CNC? I'm just starting to use it myself (I've been using 2D for the past 3 years) and I'm really impressed.
The problem is the workflow I'm using isn't very efficient.
At the moment I'm taking a 2D drawing (Front elevation, plan etc) then making 2D CNC parts THEN making those parts 3D. This gives me an accurate 3D model of what I'll be making but the process is backwards.
Preferably I'd like to make a 3D model with all machining data in it then extract the parts (making them 2D) then apply toolpaths in our CAM software. This part is key and its the main part that is holding me back, the CNC parts MUST be 2D for our CAM software. It simply will not use 3D.
So does anyone know an automated way of taking a 3D solid, lay it flat (World UCS X-Y plane) then make 2D lines for the CAM software.
I know one way but its time consuming and doesn't always work - Take 3D solid, '3DRotate / move' to X-Y plane, use 'Flatshot' to make 2D block, 'Explode', 'Overkill' to remove duplicated lines and finally use 'Pedit-Join' to connect lines. Of course after all this you would have to extend dados and add corner drilling etc...
The software Pat mentions is a product that I made with the help of many people.
Pat has a few bugs in his software from me. I thought it was user error, but it's not. Repairs are hopefully coming, somehow, for complex compound mitered shapes that produce and error when trying be laid flat. This had not been an issue for a long time, but with Autodesk's changes to the AutoCAD kernel this problem has appeared. I need to look at that code with the test files others have sent me and see what I can do.
I don't actively sell software these days. I work a job similar to yours.
I hear RouterCim has a few automated things that could also work and it wouldn't surprise me of CADcode didn't have something that could fit your needs. AutoCAD could be overkill for what you do or really not the best fit.
Whereas AutoCAD might work for you, other things might work better, but that's another topic.
Keep an open mind, but stay focused on how it is you get paid and what particulars your company must meet.
Done, done, on to the next one.
When your parts blow out fast, it's cool, but you still have to know how to toolpath by hand for special items, so it's a good thing you do know how.
You might try SketchUp, its great for geometric modeling, fun and easy to learn and use. The free version works like the pro version for 30 days. Difference is pro can import and export dwg & dxf files. After the 30 day trial that option goes away until you pay (or find another computer to install it on). There are a lot of tutorials on "how to's". Its ideal for modeling joinery as well. The link is to a plug-in to create cut lists. Basically you'll model the parts - the trick is to make the parts into components (simple, select the part, rt click, create component, name it) as parts that are not in groups or components will WELD themselves together. The Cut List plug-in will help manage components. Good luck, let me know if this work out for you, Cheers, Jim E
Sounds like they are to Sketchup what Smartlister is to Auto Cad.
I don't believe that it will export parts the way Smartlister will though. As Smartlister lays the part parallel to all of the axises with the correct side for machining up.
If you have to do this by hand it would be a real PIA.
Yes Jim, they do have a cut list ruby script for Sketchup. I did a 1 second edit of their source code, after spending 2 mins. reading it, to make it work. They were sorting the correct values returned of the bounding box from biggest to smallest as always being length, bigger than width and width bigger than thickness, which is, incorrect. The whole purpose of using the software in the first place is the correct cut list at the end. lol. If you code still has the bubble sort routine of the returned bounding box values in it, just comment that bubble sort out in the source. :)
Keep in mind that the parts hold their orientation based on the direction they are drawn originally. Gaming engines always stamp everything with a 3D matrix.
AutoCAD has to have that added with third party code. It is quite involved going back after the fact and adding them.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.