Features I wish I had.

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Features I wish I had.

Postby Gundawg » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:23 am

I cut a lot of 2D parts even though I have Aspire and maybe this is not the right place for this?? I will explain my process maybe I could do it better or maybe the software could use some updates. It is possible the software does what I want and I don't know how to use it.

I design my parts on master drawings and import them all to a template drawing that has all the layers on it. I put each tool path on a separate layer for example all inside profile cuts that cut to the same depth or pockets Etc that use the same tool. I turn the layers on and off to easily choose that set of vectors for that sheet. I also save all the toolpaths as templates and use them over and over these things save me time. The problem is I make a lot of different parts and will machine 3 to 5 sheets of material with 15-20 layers. Not all the sheets will use each layer or tool path. It is hard to keep track of the tool paths for each sheet as the list gets really long. Using the recalculate for each sheet I don't think will work because not all tool paths are repeated for each sheet depending on the nesting plus recalculating loses the original sheet if I need to make a change. I am not sure I explained this very well. It would be nice if the software kept track of each sheet separate with that set of tool paths so you could toggle back and forth between sheets with corresponding tool paths to make changes and check my work. If I am doing 5 sheets of small parts I may have 80 or more tool paths. I have a tool changer so I need to really be careful to get it all straight. The material is expensive and man is it easy to make a mistake.

Mike
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Re: Features I wish I had.

Postby Adrian » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:31 am

With V9 if the toolpaths aren't used on that sheet then they are automatically de-selected when doing a recalculate all so you only have "active" toolpaths visible for saving.

The Apply Templates to Sheet gadget will create separate toolpaths for each sheet (it adds the sheet number on) and optionally save them. That might help.

Finally you could try experimenting with the "Select sheets when edit toolpath" setting in Options. That will make Aspire switch to the sheet last associated with the toolpath. That might help but I'm not sure with your workflow.

Really you're trying to use nesting for something it's not really meant for. The sheets aren't meant to be separate workplaces they are not just virtual pages of a bigger physical one in one sense.
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Re: Features I wish I had.

Postby Gundawg » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:07 pm

Thanks Adrian I am trying to digest everything in your response I will need to experiment some and refer back to your thoughtful post.

I use the nesting feature a lot I manufacture my own line of products so I make the same things over and over but in different quantities and the sheets are never the same from one job to the next. I usually copy and paste all the parts I need to make and play with the quantities to fill how ever many sheets it takes to make the minimum of parts I need. I then order the material needed. I will try and take some screen shots of what I am talking about.

I have been using your software since 2008 before I had nesting what a huge difference things are now from back then. I did just update to version 9 and need to do some training on the new features and actually I was still getting used to 8.5 after upgrading from 3.5 in March.

Mike
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Re: Features I wish I had.

Postby 4DThinker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:34 am

I'd like to be able to use system variables (Z/T for example) as one dimension of a drawn object (polyline, rectangle, etc.). Much the same way that you can use Z or T as part of your depth setting when creating tool paths so that if the Thickness gets changed and you recalculate all the tool paths using the variable are also changed.

Example: When drawing up parts to be assembled, slots are created in some parts to accept tabs drawn up on other parts, The width of the slot is drawn to match the thickness of the material for a good fit. But if the files is used/shared and the new material thickness differs from what is drawn, all those rectangles need to be resized to match the new thickness. Normally this is a very tedious editing job.

If T or Z could be set as a dimension when drawing those slots, then a refresh of the drawing after changing the material thickness could smartly change those slot widths. Update the rectangle drawing tool to make it create smart rectangles, basically. Create more opportunities for system variables to dynamically change the drawing when a variable's value is changed.

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Re: Features I wish I had.

Postby Adrian » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:00 am

In that example it wouldn't just be the slots that increase in size though would it? I would have though the whole drawing would have to increase proportionally to allow for the thickness of parts. In that case the percentage option of the size tool can scale the whole drawing in one go using the formula "(new thickness/old thickness) * 100=" in the percentage box. That's certainly always how I've done it scaling from imperial to metric.

Parametric vectors would be a fantastic addition though but I can imagine it would be a lot of work to integrate it to that sort of level.
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Re: Features I wish I had.

Postby 4DThinker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:09 am

Adrian wrote:Parametric vectors would be a fantastic addition though but I can imagine it would be a lot of work to integrate it to that sort of level.
Yes, a lot of work. Not something everybody needs. Even just the occasional project for those that would use it. In my situation (college furniture design professor) every project is different. A few already take a great deal of tedious contemplation and drawing time. I've encountered many instances where a little parametric programming as I draw would have save me considerable time though. Every plywood project I draw up at home then has to be edited before actually cutting it out at work, because all the student knew about their BB plywood was that it was 3/4" thick ;).

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Re: Features I wish I had.

Postby tim mck » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:23 am

I use the nesting tool path a lot of the time..... I find it works well.. we have a 3m x 2m bed size with a x 10 tool changer and machine full sheet sizes every day..... although I may have many tool paths on several layers, there are only few machining types. For example, cut out layer,, 8mm drill layer ,, pocket layer,, 5mm drill etc. From these I may only use 5 tools, as one cutter may have a number of layers to cut.
There are many more for all different assemblies that we may do and endless drawings, But providing you draw with the same layers,, and then importing your saved tool paths it will delete the tools you don't need from your saved toolpath... If one does get through, and when you calc all the toolpaths it normally will give you a error, just go down the listings of toolpaths and delete the unticked boxes.
Before I start drawing I have a saved template drawing, I copy into a new drawing, with that all the named and coloured layers are copied with it. Then I just draw.
I do find the template gadget very useful also.
Example..... if I draw a 10mm pocket x 5mm deep on a green coloured layer and I have a toolpath that is designated to see's the green layer.......therefore I can draw 18mm .... or 30mm pocket on the drawing and the toolpath will cut them all at 5mm.......... If for example there are a few pockets I need cutting at 10mm deep, I duplicate the original toolpath by right clicking and highlight the amended pockets and change the depth of cut.....far quicker than making a new toolpath from scratch.
Is there anyway to simplify your drawing????
There are a few things I would like to make drawing faster..... but that's for another day....
Anyway......just on another note... See the way I threw a few metric measurements in there just to confuse everyone..........Ooooo! don't get me started!!

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