DXF woes... any ideas?

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Jeremy Schiffer
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DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Fri, Apr 25 2014, 12:33PM

A customer of mine who uses Cabinet Planner is wanting to send me the DXF output of that program to be cut on my machine. Has anyone had any success in doing so?

Specifically, the shelf holes are giving me fits. Cabinet Planner draws them as four 90-degree arcs to make a circle. As you know, Control Nesting will NOT use that for a drill operation. The only other option is for Cabinet Planner to mark each shelf hole as a point instead of a circle, but as far as I can tell, Control Nesting will ignore points as well.

So I'm left with the option of opening up each DXF (could be hundreds) and manually selecting and replacing each shelf hole with an unbroken circle (could be thousands) so Control Nesting will see them as drill operations. Obviously I'd rather not go that route...

Does anyone have any clever ideas, either from the Cabinet Planner side or the Control Nesting side? I'm pretty well stuck. :?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Josh Rayburn » Fri, Apr 25 2014, 12:40PM

Jeremy,
You could try to rename the layer as a pocket layer, and just choose a tool slightly smaller to pocket with. The machining would take a hair longer, but it would work.
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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Fri, Apr 25 2014, 12:54PM

Great suggestion, Josh, thanks! Unfortunately I already tried that... that introduces a new problem: the "pocket" layer name has to specify a diameter, and that seems to be causing problems because the DXF is in imperial, and my machine is set up in metric. I believe I can work around that though, but even so, I end up basically interpolating every single shelf hole. Not very elegant, to say the least. If only the "drill" layer name would recognize and utilize points...
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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Will Williamson » Fri, Apr 25 2014, 2:07PM

Hook your client up with e free copy of ecabinets and pay for his first month of training support.
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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Fri, Apr 25 2014, 3:43PM

Trust me, Will, that's my goal! He has eCabs already, but is frightened by the "learning curve." I think he'll come around eventually though.

However, for the time being I have (more or less) SUCCEEDED! I renamed the drill layer to a "chaincompin" and have pretty much gotten it working, probably as well as it will be able to. I was also having lots of issues because my machine is set up in metric, and the DXFs are imperial. Got that licked, finally, though.

So, if anyone needs help getting Cabinet Planner DXFs to work in Control Nesting, holla. I consider myself an expert now. LOL :joker:
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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Daniel Odom » Sat, Apr 26 2014, 9:21AM

I haven't tried this yet, but if you have autocad there seems to be a lisp routine that can do this.

http://autocadtips.wordpress.com/2011/0 ... to-circle/

Other than that I wouldn't want to have to manually fix that many geometries.

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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Josh Rayburn » Mon, Apr 28 2014, 7:30AM

Jeremy,
Pockets only need to have the depth specified, it is not necessary (in fact it will cause an error) to specify the diameter of the pocket.
For example, four arcs could be named "pocket z0p5" and then you would have to set up a pocketing tool in control nesting that is smaller than the diameter of the pocket.
jnr
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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Mon, Apr 28 2014, 10:32AM

Thanks for the help, fellas. A script to automatically convert the holes would be perfect, unfortunately I don't have Autocad. As for the pockets, I think the "chaincompin" will work better, because that will make it plunge, go in a circle, and pull out. It nests much faster. The pocket routine (when I finally got the tooling sizes set right) was VERY slow to nest. I guess there's a lot more math involved in treating a hole as a pocket, as opposed to just saying "follow that line and be done." I haven't actually tried cutting yet, but I'm fairly sure it's going to work now... long enough to get him to switch over to eCabs! :wink:
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Re: DXF woes... any ideas?

Postby Josh Rayburn » Mon, Apr 28 2014, 4:27PM

Glad you're up and running Jeremy.
The only reason I didn't mention a chain compin is because if the radius of one of the arcs in the chain matches the radius of the bit then you would likely get a comp failure, or the bit could cut on the wrong side of the line. On an older controller, you might produce code successfully but get a failure while cutting. Just something to look out for. Maybe you could have your script check for that.
jnr
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