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CNC/Laser Cutters & VWA

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Is anyone using mac based VW with a laser cutter? We are considering one, but are not sure if this will work or not.

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Hi Richard,

We have used VW with several different cutters for years. Just make sure the cutter reads dxf og dwg files; usually they do. Only challenge with a new cutter is to find the correct dxf/dwg version to export to.

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Some cutting software does not read Bezier or Spline curves and needs all (linked) arc curves.

Compare the orig VW path with export in some software where dwg/dwx is native - maybe one of the AutoDesk readers or the cutter software?

Too bad the export is needed. I think there are some direct VW to CAM available.

-B

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Beware of using VW output for precision CNC use. Look through the archives and see the probelms I had in the past on an output issue. VW is for drawing 'pretty' pictures and cannot be trusted for machinery output files wanting any precision. Maybe things have changed since v12.5 but I still think that even in VW2008 some of the problems still carried over. Try creating a simple bullnose with the fillet tool and you see that you will have to change the fillet size to smaller than 1/2 of the bullnose size in order for it to work.

Look up the archives and se where we scrapped $5K of machine parts due to the output from VW.

We only use it now for the most rudimentary of tasks.

Can the newer versions even dimension in 3D yet??

Past fool time user...

Tom in PA

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We don't own CNC, but I output dxf/dwg for stone counter-tops and also for some of the more complicated millwork parts when it makes sense. Haven't had any trouble at all. Mostly curved stuff but only since upgrading to 2009.

Sorry to hear about Tom's trouble. So far it's been very accurate for us.

Of course, we're a millwork shop so it's not like we're building space shuttles or anything, but I've scrutinized the work very closely in case we need something really critical in the future.

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If you have to change the fillet size smaller than 1/2, your drawing is not accurate to begin with.

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My experience is only with 2d objects. I find that PIOs such as fillets, ovals, etc are not "safe" objects for cutting. The oval tool, for example, reads as a faceted figure in the dwg export. One can draw and orient an oval with the oval tool, then trace it with a series of linked arcs and delete the underlying oval. Perhaps the parasolid engine changes this. I use only lines and arcs, usually drawn with the polyline tool toggling between straight segment and one of the arc modes.

If the cutting is not in house, get a good relationship with the cutter. It's like press checks with printing - look at every object on screen together.

Always check the cutting path in the cutting software to see if it is same as the orig drawing.

I have done tons of work this way and it is very successful.

-B

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Hi Benson

I here what you are saying.

But dont blame V/works solely for the problem,its with double translation with autocrap. The file transfer data dont you think.

Its like converting English to Spanish to French.

You have to blame the in between language as well.

I was a cnc operator in a past computer life( a cnc operator for a joinery company ) , it feels like you are really in the groove.

Problem is the whole cad system from start has been built on cards

That is auto-cad(because they were first)

There is your delema really.

What we really need is a really good cad data transfer system.

Not smashing V/works

Please note I am yet to relieve a backhander

Cheers Brendan

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If you have to change the fillet size smaller than 1/2 your drawing is not accurate to begin with.

Indeed!

but things did change with the start of the Parasolids implementation including filletting, (2D and 3D), export integrity etc.

Note: the limitation of exporting only arc/ corner vertex polys for lasercutting etc is more a limitation of the ancient CNC software still widely in use rather than anything else.

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