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2D drawing from 3D sketch
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* November 20, 2016, 04:40:11 AM
I have drawn a 3D sketch of a sheet steel fabrication which I want to produce from laser cut pieces. My problem is taking the 3D parts and laying them out as a 2D part which can be sent to the laser cutter. I have tried overlaying a polyline on the 3D parts then deleting the 3D part. This gives me the 2D shape I need but laying  out all the various shapes produced this way on an XY workplane is beyond me.  Am I on the right track or is a different approach required? Help will be much appreciated.

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* November 20, 2016, 06:56:29 AM
#1
Any chance of a picture of the part/s (use the attach option available below the message box when posting), also what TC version is being used and is it deluxe/pro/plationium.

It probably depends on the object/s, for example if there are bends as one gets in folding cardboard into a box, with pro one can sometimes 'unbend' to get a  flat pattern, but with deluxe it has to be manually done,  positioning multiple parts for cutting from a sheet on laser would really be a manual job whatever version.

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November 20, 2016, 04:35:28 PM
#2
I'm not certain I am following what you want to do.

Is your 3D object anything like folded sheet metal?  It might be possible to Unbend everything into one flat panel that could be saved as a DXF file to be used as a template for cutting, with the result being bent into position for final use.


Jeff

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November 20, 2016, 05:37:52 PM
#3
I have drawn a 3D sketch of a sheet steel fabrication which I want to produce from laser cut pieces. My problem is taking the 3D parts and laying them out as a 2D part which can be sent to the laser cutter. I have tried overlaying a polyline on the 3D parts then deleting the 3D part. This gives me the 2D shape I need but laying  out all the various shapes produced this way on an XY workplane is beyond me.  Am I on the right track or is a different approach required? Help will be much appreciated.

Sounds to me like you just want to place all the 2D objects on the World Workplane.  Select them in totality, invoke "Workplane by World", then-- with them still selected-- "Place on Workplane".
Go to the World Plan View and move and rotate the 2D objects so that they are optimally laid out for the laser cutting.

I've never been involved in laser cutting-- producing drawings for that, nor otherwise-- but I would suggest, rather than deleting the 3D objects, copy/paste the newly created 2D objects into a new drawing.  Then use that new drawing for the laser cutting.  It's a shame to delete your 3D objects, in case you need to slightly modify them or something.

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Alvin Gregorio
(mostly Residential Architectural 2D; no formal CAD Training; intermittent TurboCAD user since yr. 2000 [ver6.5])
---TurboCAD: V21PP; V20.2PP; V19DL; V11.2Pro; Windows-7-Pro/64-bit; Intel-Core-i3 CPU; 2.27ghz; 4GB RAM; Intel HD Graphics (CPU based)


* November 21, 2016, 05:49:10 AM
#4
 Thanks for the response. I am using Turbocad 2015 Pro version22.1 Platinum edition. I have attached a TCW file of the assembly. As you can see it consists of 5 flat plates which fit together with tabs and slots. There are no bends. I want to disassemble the parts and lay them together on a workplane then create a 2D image of the profiles which can be used by the laser cutter. I usually join the parts together with tabs to create a fret rather like a plastic model kit. This keeps all the parts together after cutting. I have tried the "place on workplane " command but this returns the parts to the workplane on which they were created. Hope this makes my problem clearer to you. Regards.

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* November 21, 2016, 06:24:23 AM
#5
A couple of ways comes to mind.

You could have a look at the drafting palette, http://www3.turbocadcommunity.com/tiki-index.php?page=Drafting+Palette but one thing to remember, as one of your parts is angled, you need to change the workplane to the face of the angled part and alter the drafting palette coordinate system, (see above link),  you can explode a drafting palette object to get the lines and arcs..

Alternatively, you could make a copy of the whole item move it to the side, and manually rotate each part, but then you would need to trace the parts with 2D.

I've never used a laser so don't know what method will work best.   

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* November 21, 2016, 07:12:07 AM
#6
I opened your file and it doesn't have the 2D profiles used to create the 3D entities, and looking at the part tree it seems that you never had 2D profiles. Unfortunately, 2015 doesn't have the "Extract Entity" tool which is new in 2016 Pro-Plat. As Andy states, you will probably have to trace each part manually to create a 2D object. Just be sure to set 'work plane by facet' for each object before tracing so that all the 2D entities for that object will be on the same plane. After the 2D trace is done, you can place that on the world plane.
 IMO, his drafting palette method can get a little complicated and the object scaling could accidently get altered. Plus, the 2D profile should be in model space, not paper space when sent to the cutter. You should make it as easy as possible for the laser cutter, as you don't want to incur additional expense in reworking your drawings. I suggest that each 2D profile be saved in its own individual file, with the center of the object at the origin (X=0, Y=0). Save it as a DXF file with only the 2D profile (no mark ups), with nothing in paper space. Then go back to your 2D profile, mark it up with measurements and pertinent info and save that as a PDF for the operator to use as a reference.

FYI, I don't often use laser cutting but I do run a plasma cutter and often send out for water jet cutting. I have seen your method of tab and slot on many parts large and small. In those instances it was to facilitate assembly and welding making it easier to align the parts correctly.

EDIT:  I should have mentioned the most important suggestion, that is, contact whoever will be doing the cutting and ask what they require as different shops have different requirements.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 07:19:08 AM by Jason B »

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* November 21, 2016, 07:44:36 AM
#7
"Unfold Face" works just fine on flat plates. The result of unfolding is a 2D Group which does respond to the Place on Workplane command. Activate the tool, click on a face, click the Finish flag, press F7 to select it, press Alt+Shift+W.

BTW, you're going to need a little clearance between mating tabs/slots to assure that they really will to together. Ask your cutter representative just how much clearance is recommended.

Henry H
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 07:54:25 AM by Henry Hubich »

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* December 06, 2016, 02:21:42 AM
#8
I have managed to produce a 2D sketch of the ashpan parts laid out for laser cutting by setting the workplane to World  and using Place on workplane as advised. I think I failed in the past by not paying sufficient attention to how the 2D/3D selector was set. Thanks for your help. I'ts much appreciated. See attached file for the result.

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