The Design Procedure

Laser cutting takes direct input in the form of electronic data from a CAD drawing to produce flat form parts of great complexity. Our facilities incorporate this through a drawing department to facilitate in the design and development of components as well as to reduce the time from concept to cut component. We are able to work off rudimentary dimensioned sketches, sample components, blue prints, as well as reverse enigineering. However hard-copy or electronic format drawings reduce turnaround times. Unlike blanking, piercing, and forming, the normal design rules regarding minimum wall thicknesses, minimum hole size (as a percent of stock thickness) do not apply. The minimum hole sizes are related to stock thickness and can be as low as 50% of the stock thickness. As in blanking and piercing, considerable economies can be obtained by nesting parts, and cutting along common lines. In addition, secondary deburring operations can be reduced or eliminated. Please feel free to ask for our recommendations at the design stage. We utilize 2 CAD/CAM stations, along with the Trutops nesting software where we bring the design and Laser technology together, ensuring maximum utilization of plate with minimal waste as well as reducing machine times where possible.

How drawings are saved and sent to the CNC software

The CNC software requires that each component be saved individually in DXF format in order to nest them. The following points are very important when saving the DXF file.

  • Drawing to be saved in DXF format.
  • Ensure correct layers are used, white and yellow only.
  • Avoid using polylines and splines, lines and arcs are preferred.
  • All part numbers for etching must be exploded.
  • Ensure drawing is scaled 1:1, this is an area where very costly mistakes can occur.
  • All the individual DXF files can then be zipped and sent to the laser cutters.

For orders that require many different components, a cutting list in a spreadsheet format with the part numbers, quantity and material thickness will help considerably when processing an order.


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