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Laser, water jet, maybe milling....

joe_dunnejoe_dunne Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 149
Who has need to cut flat parts? It would be very helpful for me to get a few (or a lot) of users looking to solve this problem for production use.  I may be lumping several different things here into one catagory. 

Cutting the nested parts....

If we can show the market demand. I likely can supply a very good solution. :)  (third party app)

Feel free to make any comments you want here. But in addition if you are interested in giving your thoughts more directly.  Please feel free to contact me. 

Joe Dunne
[email protected]

Joe Dunne / Onshape, Inc.


  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 1,312 PRO
    I use waterjet guys all the time. I'll have some of them chime in.
  • terry_pipkinterry_pipkin Member Posts: 45 PRO
    We cut laser and waterjet parts here everyday and have nesting software for those machines. I could really use nesting software for CNC routers(2.5 axis). We use so many different tools for the routers during a single program I'm not even sure a nesting software is able to be used for that.
  • Cris_BowersCris_Bowers Member Posts: 281 PRO
    I use a router to cut most of the parts I design. Currently using Enroute for nesting and creating router programs.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,105 PRO
    We laser/plasma a majority of our work (if we can help it) but every CAM package we have used has always had a nesting function that was really good. Not sure why you would want it outside of the CAM package to be honest. Typically you are burning/machining many parts from a number of open projects that all come out of the same sheet thickness.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding your post. Are you trying to make a CAM app for the app store?
  • bryan_lagrangebryan_lagrange Member Posts: 258 ✭✭✭
    laser, waterjet, plasma, and maybe punch CAM would be nice. Nesting is a must with this type of CAM.  

    Thank you for setting me up with MecSoft @joe_dunne.

    I am trying to collect some information to send to them to see if they can offer a solution.
    Bryan Lagrange
    Twitter: @BryanLAGdesign

  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,436 PRO
    Hi @joe_dunne. I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you're asking for?
    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • glen_dewsburyglen_dewsbury Member, OS Professional Posts: 119 PRO
    Would need to accommodate parts selected from multiple documents.
  • bryan_lagrangebryan_lagrange Member Posts: 258 ✭✭✭
    Pressbrake CAM is another one on the wish list.
    Bryan Lagrange
    Twitter: @BryanLAGdesign

  • joe_dunnejoe_dunne Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 149
    edited May 25
    I did not mean to be cryptic. 

    My role at Onshape puts me at the front lines of third party developer interactions. I have met with 100s of companies who build software products. Very often they want to gage the level of opportunity and need in the Onshape community for what they have to offer.

    In addition, software developers might think they know what the market wants. But until real word customers start using it. They could be wildly off base. So we are looking for specific insights as to what would be necessary for production usage?  I listed a few bullet items. But really those are my guesses. What is needed to take an Onshape flat part and cut it using laser, waterjet?  optimum workflow?  Must have capabilities? Maybe the scope is 2D machining. Since maybe milling is also used? 

    This is information a 3rd party developer is looking for. They want to understand exactly what is needed for production usage. There are lots of various freeware tools. What is required for a profession solution? One designed for Onshape users

    This is a chance to think out of the box. What can the cloud offer better than some of the legacy installed desktop apps?


    Joe Dunne / Onshape, Inc.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,105 PRO
    Be connected to a version of a part across multiple documents, if its sheet-metal have it import both the bent and flattened parts.
  • bryan_lagrangebryan_lagrange Member Posts: 258 ✭✭✭

    I could enter a lot of wants here but here are a few for laser/waterjet/plasma/punch/router 2D cutting CAM:

    1) Nesting of parts:

    Optimize for best sheet yield set by parameters of the type of cutting you are doing.

    Store remnants of nests and drop created from nest for re use of sheets later on.

    2) Direct link to CAD model:

    Read and use parameters set in CAD model such as material thickness and material type.

    When CAD model changes and updates CAM changes and updates.

    When Onshape adds the ability to set orientation and face of flat pattern it could read that for proper orientation and grain direction when programming.

    3) Import assembly into CAM software and it reads the parts in the assembly for material type, material thickness, and quantity and separates automatically. User then inputs number of assemblies to cut and possible grain direction of parts.

    4) Information from CAM can be sent to ERP system and vice versa to keep both up to date.

    Full stock sheet inventory (or customer supplied material) in ERP sent to CAM with bidirectional functionality to keep both systems updated. Material added to ERP adds to CAM, material used and subtracted from inventory in CAM is subtracted from inventory in ERP.

    If drop pieces is created from CAM this information sent to ERP inventory as well.

    If remnant sheets stored in inventory in CAM and sent to ERP inventory

    5) Common edge cutting, etching/scribe, ability to adjust lead in and lead outs,set webbing between parts, ability to control tabs that hold parts and cutouts to avoid tip ups, and kerf width cuts just to name a few.

    Bryan Lagrange
    Twitter: @BryanLAGdesign

  • bryan_lagrangebryan_lagrange Member Posts: 258 ✭✭✭
    I forgot one more item, The CAM software would be an integrated cloud app that would be located on a tab in the Onshape document.
    Bryan Lagrange
    Twitter: @BryanLAGdesign

  • don_williams909don_williams909 Member Posts: 69 PRO

    Our company is planning on getting a laser in the near future, and we would love to be able to nest parts without having to do it manually.
    Please let me know if there's any actual interest from 3rd party vendors to work with Onshape to make this happen.

  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,105 PRO
    edited September 26
    Most CAM software comes with good nesting features. (sometimes an up charge)  We find it better to nest at the CAM level because you can mix parts from other jobs and utilize your materials and uptime much easier. Some packages will even keep track of your drops and let you hold a material inventory so to speak.

    I believe MecSoft VisualCAMc (which integrates into Onshape tabs) has some nesting.. I know the desktop version does.

    I know Mastercam does, but the Onshape app is useless. Better to export step files.

    We just picked up Radan, that is a little harder to get used to, but is much more drag and drop automatic once you set everything up right, just like mastercam, you will need to step out your parts. (I prefer the export method anyway to make it easier on the CAM programmers, who aren't exactly computer savvy and are likely to not even check what version or branch you want them to pull a part from..)
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,436 PRO
    edited September 26
    john_mcclary said:...to make it easier on the CAM programmers, who aren't exactly computer savvy and are likely to not even check what version or branch you want them to pull a part from..)
    We really, really, really, need to be able to "share" just the release/main branch to a sub-set of our free yet still private read-only users... 
    You don't pay a license for a PDF viewer...

    Owen S
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 2,105 PRO
    Right it's off topic but I end up 'share'ing a read only link for the shop and my boss.  Every time they go to onshape and have to login (in the conf room) my boss moans a deep sigh
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 189 PRO
    We have a CNC router that we use for some prototyping. I've done some 3D stuff with it as wall as 2D cuts using a drag knife similar to this: https://donektools.com/

    So, a 2D CAM package that could create accurate dragknife tool paths would be great. 
  • MecSoft_SupportMecSoft_Support Member Posts: 10
    NESTING as well as 2-Axis Drag Knife operation and Drag Knife tool definition are currently available in MecSoft's desktop product VisualCAD/CAM.
    Feel free to visit our website https://mecsoft.com/ or contact us directly for additional information: https://mecsoft.com/contactus/
  • raquel_del_mundoraquel_del_mundo Member Posts: 2
    NESTING as well as 2-Axis Drag Knife operation and Drag Knife tool definition are currently available in MecSoft's desktop product VisualCAD/CAM.
    Feel free to visit our website https://mecsoft.com/ or contact us directly for additional information: https://mecsoft.com/contactus/
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