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Sharing tabs on adjacent parts?

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:21 pm
by Chelmite
Hi. If I am going to cut a part with a 1/4" endmill, I cut a 1/4" path around the outside, but place tabs strategically around the perimeter so that the part doesn't jamb the endmill and the cut-out part doesn't move or go careening across my shop once it's free.

If I have two adjacent parts, I've been placing the 3/4" apart-- 1/4" around the perimeter of each part (with tabs) and a 1/4" spline that the tabs will attach to.

That works, but it uses 3 times the area for cutout as I would like.

Is there a way to align the tabs on two adjacent parts so that cutting out one part doesn't cut the tab on the adjacent part? Tab placement doesn't seem to snap to anything (not grid, nor guidelines, nor geometry) besides the toolpath, so trying to align tabs doesn't work reliably.

Re: Sharing tabs on adjacent parts?

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:57 pm
by jfederer
I just did a job this morning where I aligned the tabs in adjacent cut-outs. There is no automated way (that I know of) to do it. You will have to place the tabs manually.

Re: Sharing tabs on adjacent parts?

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:38 pm
by dealguy11
You're right, the tabs don't snap. When I've had to do this, I've drawn construction lines on the sheet to help in the placement of the tabs. Since the tabs are little arrows, it's not hard to align them to the lines.

Also, if you have a lot of the same part, create the tabs first on that part, using construction lines to make sure the left to right and top to bottom tabs are aligned, then just copy and paste that part. The tabs are copied and pasted as well, so you only have to create them once. This works with nesting, too.