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Author Topic: Planning my first cutting project  (Read 2728 times)

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Offline MarkR

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Planning my first cutting project
« on: May 18, 2006, 12:16:53 AM »
Hi All:

I am just finishing a scratch built 3 axis mill, and I am preping for my first cutting job.

I want to make several iterations of the same part on a sheet of ABS plastic. I am making control horns to be used on a model airplane I sell. I am looking for advice and a possible explanation of what I should do to set this file up for cutting in Mach 3/4.

I plan to make a set of 4 of these parts for each kit. Each part is identical, so I just need to cut them in such a way as to hold all 4 of them together in a tree. My table is 18" x 33" cutting area, so I can make several trees per run.

So my question is: To set this kind of part up in Mach 3 or 4, would I make a DXF file of all of the parts on one sheet, set up as I want the sheet to look after all of the sets of parts are cut;


Do I make a DXF of one tree, and have that duplicated via some offset mechanism in Mach 3 that allows multiple cuts of the same file in rows and columns?

After watching the training videos, this program is so comprehensive that I feel I must get some direction from the experts before I attempt to re-create the wheel. I can see myself duplicating trees of 4 control horns on one DXF file, and finding out later there was a faster, more elegant way of doing this. So.... I ask for directions BEFORE getting lost  ;)


Re: Planning my first cutting project
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2006, 07:08:58 AM »
At this point I would draw the 4 parts and have Lcam make the program. There are ways to make the Gcode cut the same part with an offset... But I find that to be a little slower because I have to hand code part of the program.

Hope that helps
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)


Offline MarkR

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Re: Planning my first cutting project
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2006, 12:03:17 PM »
Thanks Brian.

I will need to take one step at a time before I learn to run, but I wanted to see if the program had some built in functionality for multiple cuts that I had not seen.

My first thought was to draw the tree in the CAD program, copy and paste it several times in the CAD program-- say 5 to a row, and 8 rows deep-- so that I would have an entire drawing of the completed set of 40 trees of control horns.

If I did this, imported the file into LCam and let it work it's magic, do you think that would be the best way to go for a  project like this?

Also, since I have the Mach 3 trial download, is LCam available for trial testing as well, or only after registering?

I see it is not available as a separate download.

Thanks for the advice!