CN Small Part Ideas

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David Hall
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CN Small Part Ideas

Postby David Hall » Tue, Aug 15 2006, 2:24PM

Here are a couple of features I'd like to see added to CN that would help prevent small parts from moving.

Double pass minimum dimension:
I ususally run with a 150 to 200 square inch double pass setting and this works well except for really long 4\" wide pieces. It would be great if in addition to the square inch setting, we could have a setting where double pass would kick in if the width or length of a part was less than a specified dimension, regardless of the square inches.

Web (additional part clearance)
For certain parts, nothing but additional part clearance and double pass will keep a part from moving. (and turn the DC off too) If would be helpful if additional part clearance could be added automatically for just the parts that need it. (rather than a whole nest)

This might work the same as the double pass settings where additional part clearance would be added around parts less than a specified number of square inches and/or parts less than a minimum width or length.

Regards,
Dave
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Bill Rutherford
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Postby Bill Rutherford » Tue, Aug 15 2006, 2:27PM

I'll definetly second both of those ideas, they would be a big help
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Michael Kowalczyk
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Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Tue, Aug 15 2006, 3:22PM

Hey David,

I'm glad you put this post up after we talked about it. It is always a great benefit to us all when we can share and bounce ideas off each other.

I would add one more for now. I can change the part cut order in 2 other programs we use. If there was a way that the screen would show a nested sheet with the # on each part with the order in which it would be cut and the ability to change the number. This does not have to change the order of operation since drilling/boring, dadoes and other secondary operations won't make the part move. Only for the OUTLINE CUT OUT. Even if we get the extra part clearence on selected small or narrow parts, if they are cut last or in the middle they still may move. If they are cut first with the above additional choices I think it would be very hard to move the part(s) and a great asset for RN.

Thanks,
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Postby Dave Burtchell » Tue, Aug 15 2006, 4:24PM

These are all great ideas. As long as I'm dreaming, how about replacing the \"nest\" button with \"nest X\" and \"nest Y\" buttons. How about using the mouse to move parts around on the screen to place them where I want them to be. How about being able to \"mirror\" a part on the screen. How about just a field on the \"tooling\" page where you type in the difference between the nominal tool diameter and the actual diameter, like just \"3\" or \"10\" or whatever. We already know it's thousandths, not inches or feet.

Speaking of inches, I had a part the other day that generated a \"X axis out of bounds\" message. I checked the code and found an X value of 29,000,000. That's over 450 miles! Take a while to cut at 800 ipm. Ha!

Let's keep this idea thread going. Anything that will take the frustration factor out of CN will help us all.

Dave

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Postby David Hall » Tue, Aug 15 2006, 5:55PM

Well now that you mention it there are a few more things on my list.

In no particular order.

Fix chain compin.

Dados could be sped up and be less damaging to tooling if they had a ramp in length and used that ramp in length the long direction of the dado. Currently dados start at the \"middle\" of the dado and best I can decipher are assumed to run in the Y direction along a part. So a 24\" deep cabinet side with a dado running front to back has a 12\" long ramp in. If you use a 3\" ramp in setting like I do, the 12 ramp-in results in an exta 9\" of machining per dado. (We cut a LOT of dados and tenons to match them)

Dado's running the X direction on a part have a ramp in that is 1/2 the width of the dado. This is basically a plunge and although very quick, are very rough on the tooling. (I use DC spirals for dados)

Bring back automatic double pass part size recognition for chain compout and chain compin. This worked at one time and would be very useful for manually nested DXF files.

Chain compout appears to use the outline tools \"plunge depth before ramping setting\" but if this plunge setting is deeper than the chain compout cut, It plunges to that depth first anyhow and ramps back up to the proper cutting depth. (firewood) All plunge before cutting settings should be overridden by the depth of cut requested.

Fuzz factor for true shape nesting. (ecabinets parts)
Sorry about the title, not sure how to explain this but here goes. We have some parts that end up with tenons for blind dados on three sides. When true shape nesting gets a hold of these it sees the short section of the part outline, without a tenon, as the best place to align to parts already nested. This often results in a very wasteful nest. Something like treat rectangles as rectangles or fuzz factor = 3/8\" would improve yield. Some systems use a part shape layer for nesting that is a bounding box along the perimeter (but outside the joinery) of the part.

DXF files: Make the outline cut optional. Again useful for those manually nested sheets.

Fix Nest to edge of sheet. If I'm \"nesting to the edge\" of the sheet, a 48 x 96 part should fit on a 48 x 96 sheet and not give me an error.

Change the default sort order on the load screen to Cabinet number. The change to sorting by cabinet name was a big improvement over no sort at all, but when I'm looking to recut one of those parts that moved, finding the part by cabinet number would be much easier.

Put the shelf, partition, door, drawer, and now stretcher number (as used in the on the load screen) on the label, and the nest diagram Again, finding a part to recut is next to impossible without a tape measure and in some cases (shelves the same size but cut from different materials) it's trial and error and trial and error and...

Sort the off-fall listing. For those that only use a handful of materials or have a bar code reader on your router this may not be an issue. I use lot's of different materials, have no bar code reader, and finding a piece of off-fall in an unsorted list makes the feature unuseable for me.

Fix the nesting display and print-out. When I rotate off fall it would be very helpful if the display and print-out of the nesting diagram were actually oriented the same as they will cut.

Enough for now. Coming up on the next episode of Hall's CN rant...
More control over off-fall shape.
Automatic Filler parts vs off-fall.
Ignore material setting.
Changing material size.
Changing material used for a part.
Part top edge orientation.
One sided material nested as two materials.

Thanks for listening.

Regards,
Dave
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Postby Thom Davies » Tue, Aug 15 2006, 11:28PM

Hey Dave hows it going?

Yeah i also agree with your about 2nd pass idea!
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Bill Rutherford
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Postby Bill Rutherford » Wed, Aug 16 2006, 5:55AM

Dave,
Two things. One: Manually nested sheets? Am I correct in assuming you are putting multiple parts on one sheet and then forcing CN to cut them using the chain comp out command instead of the outline command? If so how does that work? What are you doing for the outlines? I have a bunch of doors that I need to group on specific sheets in specific ways. I was figuring on full out proamming in Mcam, but cutting full sheets as a DXF has possibilities. Please fill me in a bit on how you are doing this.

Now for the free advice, regarding a bar code scanner, BUY ONE. I can't imagine doing the cutting we do without one. Jobs with 30-40 flips go so much quicker if you just scan in the flips, and it eliminates the possibility of error, not to mention reusing off-fall. From where I am sitting, the bar code scanner is as indispensable as the tool length sensor. Just my two cents
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North Woods Manufacturing

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David Hall
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Postby David Hall » Wed, Aug 16 2006, 8:20AM

Bill,
You've got it right with the manually nested sheets. Draw a rectangle the size of your material on the outline layer. Place your parts inside the rectangle using the chain layer for the part's \"outlines.\" (you're responsible for part to part clearance) Set-up the material 1/2\" larger in both directions than it actually is and check the nest to edge of sheet box. (or make your outline rectangle 1/2\" smaller than the sheet size and use the real sheet size)

CN will still insert the code for cutting the outline layer. I either edit this out, or block stop and skip over it when it get's to that part.

Chain compout will not use the outline tool so you'll need to set-up a tool for routing operations that you want used for the chain layers. It does however use the \"outline plunge before ramping\" and usually the outline ramp in length settings.

Chain does not do automatic double pass on small parts so you'll need to program these yourself. Make the first pass chain a few thousands outside the second pass chain. CN doesn't tolerate multiple entities sharing the same verticies.

Don't use this technique with a double pass setting larger than the entire sheet. CN will program the first pass (not full depth) for all your chain parts but not insert the code for the second pass. (expensive lesson shared)

We have an occasional problem with missing pockets and centerline cuts when using this technique so watch your nests closely for any missing operations.

I guess I'll check the price of a scanner with Thermwood again, didn't seem like a good value last time I looked. Has anyone looked into a third party bar code scanner for their controller?

Regards,
Dave
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Bill Rutherford
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Postby Bill Rutherford » Wed, Aug 16 2006, 8:23AM

Thanks David, I will give it a try and let you know the results.
Bill Rutherford

North Woods Manufacturing

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Postby Rob Davis » Thu, Aug 17 2006, 11:29AM

1) To add to CN improvements regarding small parts, can CN nest them to the inside of the sheet, over the vacuum hole versus putting them on the outside where the suction is less?

2) For you operators, we have greatly reduced our part movement on small parts by adding a second opening in the exhaust piping so that when the machine goes back over to make the final cut, we open the door and the exhaust suction is greatly reduced. This still keeps the table clean but the part isn't wanting to get sucked off the table and mostly stays put. Obviously a maual operation but it works for us on many parts.


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