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Multi body part export macro - orientate body for CNC bed

Question asked by Tom Rawlings on Mar 25, 2020
Latest reply on Mar 30, 2020 by Tom Rawlings

Hi, hoping someone can be of assistance on something which would really help solve an issue with my CNC team.


I was wondering if there could be a convenient way to export Solidworks multi-body parts to use for CNC programming to achieve 2 things:


1. Export all bodies so that they saved out as separate individual STEP files, but at the same time, also...

2. Re-orientate each exported body so that it is not saved out relative to the X,Y,Z axis of the solidworks part,  instead the body is aligned to a specific axis relative to its largest surface area face as if the individual panel were a physical item laid flat on a CNC bed.


To be specific, we produce furniture from a series of flat panels, so there is always a 'face' to the body and then thickness edges. In the context of something like a cupboard, some panels within the multi body part context are at 90 degrees to each other.

We produce other complex designs where panels are designed to be at all sort of various angles and alignments to one another. 

Some sort of macro or shortcut to output each separate body as if they were individual panels laid flat would be fantastic as it will save a vast amount of time having to rotate and re-orientate panels in other software once imported (we use bSolid). Obviously we are aware that Solidworks axis orientation is already different to most packages, what we are looking for is a fix to automate this regardless of the body orientation plane.


The attachments may help explain further:

bSolid image 1: How a STEP file imports into bSolid from Solidworks (when at an angle within a model due to its relevance to the design), please notice datum.

bSolid image 2a & 2b: these images show how we would like the step file to import into bSolid.


Can anyone advise me if this achievable? 

Many thanks in advance.