DXF and pocketing

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Ian Richardson
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DXF and pocketing

Postby Ian Richardson » Sat, Feb 08 2014, 4:44PM

Just touching on DXF files with our Thermwood 43. I've attached a pic. As you can see, some areas were not pocketed? Not sure if my settings for tools are correct. It used 1/2", 3/8", 1/4" and 1/8 tools to create. We have just purchased Artcam but haven't had time to use it yet. Any ideas about why these random areas would not be cleared? Also a few of the letters have been cut wrong?
Any tricks or tips are appreciated

Thanks
Ian
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hd1.jpg

Will Williamson
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Will Williamson » Mon, Feb 10 2014, 8:43AM

Check this out. there is currently a post open at viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13736 discussing this same thing
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Brad McIntosh
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Brad McIntosh » Mon, Feb 10 2014, 10:49AM

Will... the link you refereed to is not really discussing the same issue with Layered DXFs (the link is discussing linearization of polylines and data from external sources)...

The issue that Ian is having is due to the fact that Control Nesting does not support pockets with islands (that's when you want to leave areas within a pocketed area alone). It appears that Ian has tried to work around this by creating multiple pocketed areas that butt up against one another in order to avoid certain "islands" when clearing out around them. The problem with that is that you can't overlap the regions so you are then left with "corner radius" artifacts.

I am not sure why some areas did not get pocketed in Ian's image - I would have to look at the DXF itself.

I think that most people would state that Control Nesting - and what it can do with simple Layered DXF files - is great. I also believe that some people have done AMAZING things manipulating the tools available in the DXF/Control Nesting feature set.

I would also like to point out that - and I hope that I am not out of line on this - what Control Nesting does with Part Editor operations, Profile Modeler and via Layered DXF files was never intended to do EVERYTHING a full CAD/CAM package can do. It can do some things they can do and even some things they CAN'T do, but it is not able to do everything a whateverCAM can do. Perhaps one day, but for now the more complex tasks or areas where one wants more specific control over the machining parameters may require a 3rd party CAD/CAM program. Luckily a Thermwood can work with the majority of them.

Just my 5 cents...

Will Williamson
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Will Williamson » Mon, Feb 10 2014, 1:41PM

Thanks Brad for clarifying things I agree with your comments. Although this is not the same specific problem as the post I referred to. The solution is the same. quit wasting your time on a system that was never intended to accomplish these sort of projects. Thermwood needs to offer a better solution. It must cost them thousands of dollars every year supporting this antiquated method.
Part of the problem is that Thermwood's tech support, yourself included is the very best and as a result can almost always solve the problem or suggest a work around. So you think to yourself Ok I'm on the right track I just need more experience and I will eventually master the technique. Only to find that you are calling tech support on every project. Just like today you are going to help Ian solve this problem. In the future he thinks he's heading in the right direction.

I have done some amazing projects with the part editor and profile modeler. but at the cost of spending hundreds and thousands of frustrating hours because I did not have $10,000.00 to spend for AC. or $12,000 for MasterCam the whole time thinking that was the only solution.
And it sort of bums me out to see others going down that same hard road.
There are other solutions available for as little as 6 or 7 hundred dollars that are easy to learn and could toolpath this logo in about 2 minutes. I have held back on criticizing Thermwood for this, but after 7 years. I am going to start speaking up.
If you reviewed my posts over the last 7 years you will find that I have brought these same problems to the forum looking for solutions. But not one time did someone take the time to point me in the right direction.
As I move forward, I know it is just a matter of time before I will be at the show, standing in front of the owners of thermwood corporation and I will pickup this conversation up.
Will

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Forrest Chapman
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Forrest Chapman » Mon, Feb 10 2014, 5:08PM

Will, I know what you mean about wasted time trying to bend part editor or control nesting to your will. And I also held out for a long time before spending money on cad-cam because I was daunted by what top shelf products cost. I know that Thermwood is taking a look at an entry level package that I and many other Thermwood owners are using and hope they will become a dealer soon. It cost about 25% of what mastercam does and does about anything you can throw at it. It's also much easier to learn and use.

Maybe Thermwood can shed some light if they are offering anything else yet?

Forrest

Brent East
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Brent East » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 4:09PM

At this time Thermwood is not looking at expanding their Cad/Cam offering that I am aware of. There are a lot of different software packages available for the router market today. We have found it best to pick a solution that is tried and true and stay that course. This is the only way to refine our training and support of that product for the long term. This is the solution we have found with Mastercam, ArtCAM and Panelmetrix. All great products who we have invested a lot of time and money in being a total source solution for. The problem is we can't do that for every software available today. Will those other software packages work with your machine? Yes, most if not all are already operating Thermwood machines at some facility.

Control Nesting and the DXF layering have been used well above and beyond initial thoughts of what they could do. It is just another tool in the toolbox that in certain instances will outdo your stand alone Cad/Cam package, and at other times the Cad/Cam program just makes more sense. As with every software package and option I have been introduced to over my years here with Thermwood, no one package does everything perfectly. Our goal is to offer the tools to get the job done, we don't force anyone to use our solutions so we keep the control running standard code format to allow you to decide what package solution best fits your needs and budget. Our end goal is that you are happy and successful with your Thermwood machine.

Scott Marshburn
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Scott Marshburn » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 4:30PM

Brent East wrote: Our end goal is that you are happy and successful with your Thermwood machine.

Just curious. But if some one should purchase one of these "other programs that has stock Post Processors that come with the program" would or could you guys help with the fine tuning of those Post Processors?
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Brent East
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Brent East » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 4:53PM

Scott,

Although we wouldn't be able to directly help with the fine tuning we have worked hand in hand with many different Cad/Cam software packages in the past to provide the help and guidance we could for them to fine tune it. Without knowing their software and their format the post is created in, we cannot do it ourselves. Although it is rare any more to find a package that doesn't already have a good working post for our equipment, I do get requests from time to time from them needing a little assistance.

Scott Marshburn
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Re: DXF and pocketing

Postby Scott Marshburn » Tue, Feb 11 2014, 5:15PM

Thanks Brent That is good to know
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