Andrew Hall

Extracting Profiles for Laser cutting

Discussion created by Andrew Hall on Jun 3, 2010
Latest reply on Jun 4, 2010 by Michael Duncan

I am looking to improve my work flow and am interested in what others are doing in terms of extracting bulk flat patterns for laser cutting and adding required details.


We manufacture machines (conveyors, wash units, bin fillers and the likes) that vary in terms of overall length, width, height, and a number of predefined parameters. At present we do allot of laser cutting (around 80% of each machine is laser cut then folded) and every time we do a new machine we are extracting all of the profiles for laser cutting by flicking between an assembly file and drawing file, inserting each flat pattern individually then manually entering the quantity and using a pre defined text block displaying the part number and material type as extracted from the parts custom properties, when done we save as dxf and e-mail off to our laser cutting contractor.


My current workflow for generating a new variant of a machine is:


-determine size and configuration of new machine variant


-save as on a base unit using the references dialogue (in my file names of parts that will vary i have the hight width and length of the part in the file name to prevent having files with the same name whilst keeping the link between parts that perform the same job).


-edit a couple of dimensions in my driving sketch and equations, all hole spacing and panel size and quantities adjust to suit.


-add or remove parts (things like drive arrangements transfer conveyors, drying fans ect) (this step cannot be automated as there are to many possible variants)


-Do drawings for assembly department


-print off drawings for standard parts for fab + folding + machining


-knock out 2d drawings for non standard parts


-extract all profiles for laser cutting, mark up with material, thickness and quantity



Is there an easier way to do this, i'm particularly interested in finding a more efficient way to extract the laser profiles as this is pretty tedious, and an area where errors can slip in.


The unit pictured below has 1850 parts, 163 unique part documents... (there are no fasteners in the model)


Brush unit.JPG