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Sending files out to the shop floor

Question asked by Michael Closson on Aug 21, 2008
Latest reply on Aug 25, 2008 by Tony Hayes
I've been reading previous posts regarding how files are sent to wire EDM programmers, i.e. dxf, 3D solid or something else. My company has long been an AutoCAD user and we have a system in place using AC where any CAD data sent to the wire was "color-coded" (actually layer-coded) so that the programmer knew what and how to program his cuts. We have specific layers in AC for "one-shot", "skimmed" or "land-and-taper" holes or profiles. This system cut out a lot of verbal communication that could possibly be confused or forgotten by the time he gets around to programming. Mind you, there are still instructions about pick-ups or whatever. The CAD info he receives is geometry only, no dimensions, centerlines, hatching, etc. This system works for us very well. Is there a way in a drw file to change the layer property of specific edges? I wouldn't want all edges in a view to be on a certain layer and there could be multiple layers in one view. If I save my drw file in a dwg or dxf format, he would get all the dims, titleblock and other stuff he doesn't need. So I guess I would just create another drw of just the model and nothing else before sending it to the shop. This would be if I send a drawing and not the model. If I send a model, then I couldn't "color-code" the edges like we do now. Is that correct?

One reply that caught my eye was from Anna Wood in which she included a sample model for machining. Anna, I noticed in your sample that you have a feature for start holes but they are cut out when you add the die profile. How does the programmer know where the start hole is? Our 2D drawings would show where the start hole is located.

Anna, another thing I noticed in your sample (I'm not picking on you) is how you modeled a hole with land and taper. You cut a blind profile to the depth of your land and then created a second cut from there on thru with taper. I usually create a plane offset from the top surface at the depth of my land and cut extrude from that plane in 2 directions, one straight and the other tapered. I guess either method adds 2 features. Does anyone have any thoughts on either method?