Tiling Workflow and software


(Jim Amos) #1

I know there are folks here that have run “tiling” based workflows and operations. I’d love to see your wasteboard configurations and how you manage any fencing and stock registration.

In addition, what CAM tools you’re using for tiling support would be of worthy mention. I believe Fusion360, the Vectric offerings, and possibly “Easel” support this?

I’m really wanting to get equipped for larger work and designs, hence if anyone has stuff to share it would be most appreciated.


(Matt Freivald) #2

I’ve used tiling with Vectric, which makes it super easy to generate tiled toolpaths. It is limited to setting XY zero to the bottom left corner with Z zero at the top of stock when you are tiling. I reset XY by milling holes in the stock itself at each tiling stage: the “previous” tile carves the XY zero point for the “next” tile. Z zero is easy of course. Works well for “woodworking resolution” projects, I haven’t used it for anything too persnickety.


(mikep) #3

Fusion360 doesn’t seem to do it all on it’s own, but you can certainly use it to do so. The real trick is to have an identifiable place on each “tile” that you can align as zero after every move. That also turns into needing something to align against so the angle of the work doesn’t change. I do that with shoulder bolts screwed into a threaded plate on my nomad, and a couple nylon pins in milled holes in my SO3.

You can go here: Meshcam Rotation to see the setup I’m using on the nomad, the same general thing works on SO3, but there’s obviously a way to slide the material through instead of only being able to turn it around.


(Jim Amos) #4

Thanks @mikep
Curious as to how you spec a section of a toolpath in your overall project?
I understand this venue might not be reasonable to illustrate this.


(mikep) #5

With meshcam there is a way to set “keep out” and “keep in” areas. If each progressive area you select has a common feature you can set zero on, everything will stay aligned section to section. I really should write up a tuorial on this or something. There are a few threads in the forum about this, some with better pictures of the software. I’ll try and pull some of that into this one later today.


(Jim Amos) #6

Very familiar with keep out zones in pcb layout work, hence it sounds like these in-out sections can be indexed and control the cutter/cam path extents. Meshcam magic to make this work then. I keep wondering when there will be a shapeoko bundle/discount with meshcam?


(mikep) #7

You can do it with other tools, really comes down to how you specify the paths. I’ve done it with meshcam, but I think you can do it with Fusion360 too, I’m just not as familiar with the CAM parts of fusion360 yet.


(Jim Amos) #8

I’ve watched Vectric video on how this is done, and now I know this is doable thru Meshcam via keep in/out operations… I’d like to know what other potential options are available that don’t cost hundred’s of dollars?


(mikep) #9

Fusion360’s free for hobbyists… The wiki has a list of lots… http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAD#3D


(Jim Amos) #10

Yes indeed, as I mentioned in my introductory post I was under the impression one could “tile” with Fusion360. It’s my understanding that even small business up to 100K$ annually can still use this for free.

I also know there’s a large number of F360 users who hang out in these forums, so I’ll ask an “import” question… Can one import DXF into F360 for subsequent CAM and toolpath generation?


(mikep) #11

Yes, you can. It comes in as a 2d “sketch” and you can then extrude it into a component. Then you send the now 3 dimensional component to CAM.


(Jim Amos) #12

Thanks, Mike - I’m going to have to take the F360 plunge… drat, yet another toolchain to get my arms around.