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drawing for laser cutting machine


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I need to cut some flat veneer using a laser machine, like making a

jigsaw puzzle. The laser operator needs a drawing in the .dwg format.

I will be drawing a 2d shape using a photograph in the background to copy.

I need to make the shape cut up into sections so I can assign a different bitmap

to each section, at least for the design part of it. Since I'm more familiar

with Max it'd be easier to do the design work there and export the file.

What I need is to make 2 or more closed spline objects that share adjacent

lines so that each section has a surface that can accept an individual bitmap.

I can't figure out how to do this except by using a grid type object which would

be very inefficient. I'd like to build the shape as I go. Hope I've explained

this well enough.





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Not sure I entirely understand what you want to do. Do you have an example you could post?


Thanks for your reply.

To simplify what I was trying to say in the first post -


I have minimal self-taught experience with Auto Cad, but would like to learn how to do one specific thing. I need to create 2-d objects from a photo background that can be used by a laser cutting machine to cut jigsaw puzzle-like objects from a sheet of plastic. It's a pretty common procedure I would guess. The machine operator uses Rhino, which will import .dwg files. Since any explanation of how to do this

would be extremely long-winded, I was thinking that maybe someone could

refer me to an online tutorial...my Max drawing worked fine to assign

textures and colors for hand cutting but is no good for a laser machine.



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If I understand your question, you will need to attach your images as external references. Once you have scaled and arranged them properly, you can trace the boundaries with polylines (or splines as you prefer). I don't believe there is a facility inside vanilla AutoCAD for optimizing space within a group of arbitrary shapes.

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CyberAngel is right, there's no tool that will arrange the objects for you. Once you bring in your photo as he describes and get all your objects drawn, you can then draw a rectangle the size of your sheet of veneer and place the objects inside it. You'll just have to move them around till you get a placement that takes best advantage of the material. Once you have the first group like you want it, you can then do a rectangular array to fill the sheet.

rectangular array.jpg

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Another method is create a rectangle or polygon around the image and use a couple different hatch patterens to get the jigsaw look, scale and rotate them as needed then explode them to individual lines. NOTE: this would be one of the only few times I would explode a hatch.

This might be of help also.

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it sounds like you need to learn how to:

1 insert and scale an image

2 draw with polylines

you should be happy to know this is easy!


step 1 - use commands INSERT and SCALE, then probably MOVE and ROTATE as well

step 2 - add to the above bag of tricks commands POLYLINE, RECTANGLE, TRIM, ARC, FILLET and PEDIT and you will be well on your way. if using a lot of right angles, make sure polar tracking is on. draw what you need and PEDIT them into one continuous polyline.



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Jack: I believe what you are referring to is called "nesting software". It helps maximize output while minimizing waste.




Yes, that's it exactly. Plain old Autocad won't do that for you on it's own. You either have to make a good guess, or find a third party software. ProNest looks very interesting. Would love to have had access to something like that years and years ago when I was trying to figure out best material usage. Worked at a place for a while that cut pieces out of rolled sheet metal with a punch press. Back then, you did the best you could and had a punch and die set made. Folks got it easy these days with lasers. Young whippersnappers anyway....:lol:

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Thanks for the replies. Using the original image as an external reference is it, and I need to brush up on using polylines.

Something is still pulling me toward using 3ds Max though. I should probably post questions about that in the Max forums.



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