NC Prepare

AVC_NCPrepare plugin for AutoCAD and BricsCAD
Preparation of drawings of details, contours and dimensions, from 3D-solid. Works with detail through the viewport.




The command NC-Prepare (NCP) automates the creation drawings of parts from solids. First of all, the command is useful to those who make drawings of parts from flat materials. For example, furniture makers. After modeling the assemblage of parts (solids), placing the holes for the fasteners, you will only have to lay out the details in the XY plane, create a viewport with all the details on the layout and call this command. Almost all further work the program will do itself. You will get contours suitable for machining on the CNC milling cutter and designed parts drawings for 1 click. The program can also create cutting lines on the saw and correct contours for drilling in any direction.

Features of the program

  • Itself searches for details (3D Solid) which are visible through the viewport.
  • Ignores objects from auxiliary layers.
  • Make a flatshot of the parts and process the contours with the "Outside Loop" command. The contours will be optimized and spread across layers.
  • Create closed contours for dadoes and pockets
  • Expands contours for dadoes to the width of the cutter to the outside of the part.
  • Make the cutter outputs beyond the side of the part for complete cutting of the dadoes.
  • Handles the corners of the contours with the Inside Corner or Fillet Polyline command.
  • Calculate the depths of dadoes and record them in the name of the layer.
  • On closed contours, you can put down the entry point of the cutter in the part - an additional node polyline in the middle of the longest liner segment.
  • The program can find the dadoes and edges suitable for sawing with a circular saw in 1 or 2 passes and create saw lines in the center of the blade of a given thickness.
  • The program can create a Pseudo-3D image from lines and circles, unfolded in space using the pseudo-3D Thickness property.
  • Can replace the contours of non-vertical drilling with special blocks.
  • Specifies the diameter of the holes in the name of the drilling layer (for holes no larger than the specified cutter).
  • Can designate holes with marks (blocks) or denote their diameter.
  • Put two overall dimensions.
  • Find the inclined ends and places leaders with slop angle.
  • Find the end-holes (horizontal drilling) and put the distance to them from the corner of the part.
  • Places leaders with edge materials (bandings).
  • The number of parts in one viewport is not limited - all will be processed for 1 click.
  • The height of a MTexts in the model space found will be corrected (see the command TextHeightUpdate)
  • The program has flexible settings, all features can be disabled.
  • Tolerances and accuracy of calculations can be adjusted.
  • Layer control can be disabled. The names of all layers are configurable.
  • You can use layers, styles, and mark-blocks from a template file.
  • The default settings automatically adapt to inch or millimeter drawings
To run the plugin, you will have to register account and top up your account balance by making a donation or receiving bonuses.
Then you can activate one of the licenses:
All functions of creating contours and annotations can also be used in the DXF Export  command.

NC Prepare


NC Prepare adaptation for inch drawing

Commands

NCP - NC-Prepare - generate contours from Solids, create layers by milling depth and type, make dimensions and annotations. Works with solids visible through the viewport.


  • NCP_Old - Just in case

Description

To use the command, you need to prepare:
  • Use the drawing file with the required hole mark-blocks, with the layers configured and the desired dimension styles. If the program does not find this, it will try to load all of these objects from the template file.
  • Configure the current Dimension style (_DimStyle). Pay attention to the accuracy of the display of linear and angular dimensions.
  • Adjust the current text style and height of the text (_Style and TextSize). The height of the texts should correspond to the PAPER space, not the MODEL.
  • Call the Settings dialog by AvcOptions command. On the CNC tab, check the cutter diameter, permissible variation and all program settings. Check the NCP command options.
  • Lay solids in the XY plane. It's best to use the LAY command.
  • Customize the layout and the viewport on it so that one or more solid is visible. If you see several solids, then leave enough space between them for dimensions.
  • The command does not work if you did not select a layout, but you can work in the model via the viewport.
Now you can call the NCP command.
  • The command works with only one viewport. If there are several of them on one layout, then there will be a selection request for the viewport.
  • The command maximizes the viewport on the screen and blocks its scale.
  • Milling depths and hole diameters in layer names will be rounded to within the specified permissible variation. The format is configured in the Common options of A>V>C> plug-ins.
  • All annotations will be created in paper space, not in the model.
  • After completing all the work, the command will write to the command line how many solids have been processed.
  • The original solids will be replaced by flat contours.
After the work of this command, check all the results. And you also need:
  • Adjust the position of the leaders and dimensions. The program can not arrange them perfectly.
  • Enter the model and call the Dado Loop (DDL) to close the contours of the dadoes. This is not done automatically yet.
  • Check the contours that have fallen into the Mill Dado layers. Some of them can be handled in reverse, on the outside - your task is to choose the optimal milling algorithm.

Settings

The AVC_Pro AutoCAD plugin will connect additional settings tabs to the AutoCAD settings dialog. See CNC tab. 
In BricsCAD settings can be called with the command +Options. 
All options have a tooltip.
About substitutions allowed in the names of the layers, you can read here.
Keep in mind that if you leave an empty the name of any layer, the program will not create contours of this type at all. For example, if you don't need invisible lines, then delete the Mill Under, Drill Under, Saw Under and Hidden. There is an exception to this rule - the Saw Dado and Saw Under layers. If you delete them, the dado contours will still be preserved in the "Mill Impassable" or "Mill Under" layer.
There are many settings and for your convenience, you can use ready-made sets of settings, which I call CNC-Style. You can create up to 9 styles. The program already has a lot of preset styles for different machines: Milling cutters and lasers, Biesse, Homag, Thermwood. You can switch the current style in the header of the settings window. And during the work of the command, you can call the SwitchStyle option and select the style by its number.

Attention! The current CNC-style affects all contour commands. Switching the style in one command you will work with this style in all other command too.


The operation of the command is affected by all options from this window. A layer management and a layer template can be set on the A>V>C> tab in the Common Options section.

Known Issues

  • Remember that the command is intended for obtaining contours for 2.5D-milling flat parts. It will not be able to draw drawings of complex products.
  • BricsCAD .Net API can not make FlatShot from solids, so I had to create a simplified algorithm that projects the edges of solids. I can not determine the visibility of edges and create silhouettes of surfaces.
  • Expansion contours only works on the edges of the part, bringing the cutter out of the part. Internal dadoes do not expand. Their contours are simply transferred to the "Mill Impassable" layer, and you have to decide what to do with them. This is not a bug, this is a feature. Unfortunately, the program takes into account only simple cases of obstruction. Be careful.
  • Not all impassable contours will fall into the "Mill Impassable" layer. The program easily notices impassable areas in the middle of the dadoes, but does not notice too thin ends. I do not know how to fix it yet. I hope the CAM program itself will not allow you to process an impassable contour.
  • The impassability of the dadoes is determined by the ability to make the contour offset inward to the diameter of the cutter. But AutoCAD often can not make an offset. Just can not. And the contour will fall into the "Mill Impassable" layer. Check all the contours that fall into this layer - maybe some of them can still be milled with a given cutter. In BricsCAD there is no such problem, offset is done whenever it is theoretically possible.
Special thanks: This program is based on the source code writed by Sergey Donskov.

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