Preparation of CNC cutting files and file translation

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines cut out profile parts from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file quickly and accurately. CNC machines may use router, waterjet or laser cutters. I use a combination of 3D and 2D software to generate and detail these parts before they are nested into the available size of stock and sent to the cutter. Parts can be as simple or as complex as the customer requires. Depending on the material, different machines and cutting techniques are chosen. Timber, plywood, plastics and composites can be cut with a router head and can incorporate differing depths of cut, slotting, drilling and marking. Metals, on the other hand, tend to be cut using an abrasive waterjet or using a laser and are generally limited to two dimensional profiles. In preparing the cutting files, I can incorporate a range of useful features, which might include:

  • Tabs and slots to facilitate butt joints
  • Scribe marks to register mating components
  • Alignment notches
  • Panel joints to remove the need for scarphing
  • Scribed bevel marks so that e.g. frames can be bevelled before putting up
  • Part marking to assist with construction

There are many different CAD packages available now and a wide variety of associated file types. I am able to translate and provide output in most of these file types. If you have a file that needs reworking or have a model that you require converting or preparing for CNC cutting, please contact me. I can also work from a wide variety of image types, paper drawings and sketches and have recently been generating scan data from physical objects.

I can assist at any stage of a design or build, up to and including the cutting path file to drive the machine head. I have also worked on projects in which CNC files have been retrofitted to existing designs in order to streamline production.

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