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FritzW

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Because this is becoming an issue I thought I'd post a little "how to" on taking CAD models or DXF's and making cutting files out of them.

There are lots of ways to go from a CAD model to a finished part. The easiest way is to just be patient and let someone else make them ;) I use SolidWorks and CamBam. CamBam looks a little old school but it's very powerful, it's what I was raised on and the price is right.

A lot of guys would argue that a CAM addon like HSMWorks is the way to go. Yeah, maybe, but not for this kind of a job.

R2G NC1.jpg
R2G NC1a.jpg
First: Pull the part you want to make out of the model. You can do this in SW or any of the free CAD viewers.
R2G NC2.jpg
R2G NC3.jpg
Either edit the drawing for the part or create another drawing in a separate sketch.

R2G NC4.jpg
Draw a little slot where you want the cut (see above).

R2G NC5.jpg
Hide all the drawings you don't want to cut and save it to a DXF file.

*****R2G NC6.jpg
SIDE NOTE: You can skip all of the above by just copying the part directly from the assembly DXF. ...but I guess some folks were uncomfortable going that route. (try that with HSMWorks<lol>)

R2G NC7.jpg
Open the part and add two simple tool paths, one to cut the ends to the right size and shape and one to drill the holes. These have to be tailored to the specific machine. ie. a light machine with a small router wants different settings than a heavy machine with big spindle.


Clamp a stick in the fixture and hit start. (this is the front pylon diagonal on the Ranger, it's pretty long and has more holes than most of the sticks so It took 3 minutes to cut)

 

Jay Kempf

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2d is so fast. We have found that for 2D stuff that you can just touch the surface you want, right click and export to DXF directly. No building of drawings or anything like that. Just part to DXF to program in a simple procedure. Deep 3D parts are another animal altogether :)

Oh and HSMWorks is what is in the educational version of Fusion360. The price of that is really right.
 

FritzW

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2d is so fast. We have found that for 2D stuff that you can just touch the surface you want, right click and export to DXF directly. No building of drawings or anything like that. Just part to DXF to program in a simple procedure. Deep 3D parts are another animal altogether :)
My SW won't do that but I have a pretty old version (or I'm missing some simple trick). I can edit an individual part sketch in an assembly but I can't export a surface straight to DXF. I'll try it on the 2019 SW student (EAA) version.

Oh and HSMWorks is what is in the educational version of Fusion360. The price of that is really right.
Is it HSMWorks or HSMExpress? Typically (at least with SW) the "Express" version is free but the real "Works" version is very pricey.

The problem is (and the point of my long winded rant in post #1) Is it's easy to cut a part like this out of a big slab of wood. ie. cut all 4 sides but if you just want to cut the ends of a stick it takes a few more steps.

It would be easy enough to just screw a 1x4 to the table and cut several "sticks" out of it, and with most CAM software it'd only take a few mouse clicks. But if you want to put pre-dimentioned stock in a fixture and just cut the ends there's a little more (not much) to it.
 

FritzW

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My 2014 doesn't have the Export to DXF option.
menu.jpg


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

EDIT: Mystery solved. The Export to DXF only works on parts not assemblies. You still need to pull the part out of the assembly. And unless your software lets you draw new cut areas (like CamBam) it doesn't buy you anything if you just need to cut the ends of the sticks, not all 4 sides. You still need to draw the seperate cut areas and export them to DXF.

menu2.jpg
 
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