Originally Posted by LTD02
"If anyone is in the SoCal area let me know. I have a CNC and would be more than happy to let it slice and dice for a while."
that is really cool. what kind of machine? just out of curiousity, is it difficult to program a cut plan? for example, if somebody uses a panel optimizer, then sends a file with the panel layout, is it a great big pain to program a cut plan or is it relatively trivial? and last annoying question, is it 2d or can edges of panels be cut on an angle?
i've been thinking that with all the cnc machines around having a portable cut plan file that folks can share around for complex builds like this one makes a ton of sense.
The machine is a home-built 60"x100" CNC Router. Load the whole sheet, clamp it down and away you go. It is great at 2d, and does a good job (albeit slow) for 3d. Basically, you create the individual parts in one file and then let it lay them out as it sees fit. The programming on this seems fairly straight forward. Example, all the interior panels are simple 2d cuts that I would let the cnc cut out, and then I would put the angles on them at teh table saw. The big side panels would need the dado's cut and that would take a while to program, but if you think about it, it is just one pocket cut after another all at different angles. It is not rocket science. Edges can be done...slowly... . I am still learning and practicing which is why I am willing to do this for basically free + materials/consumables.
Many CNC's do use a DXF file format as a starting point. Think of it as an autocad file...one that is accurate in terms of dimensions. That part is fairly universal. Taking that DXF and then converting it into tool language can be handled multiple ways. Think of a cnc as a big, unforgiving, etch-a-sketch.
I dont want to hijack this anymore that I already have so if anyone is interested...PM me. ~ Joel