Any senders that will array multiples?

I upgraded to the latest version of Cut2D Desktop thinking it would do array copies of cutting paths. That is a new feature and only available in Pro (+ $300).

So I got to wondering if there are any alternative senders that could produce an array of the same part.

I’m thinking something that would allow me to specify the source file, and the array size (like 2x3) and the gap to leave between parts for x and y.

So then the software would send the file, and then jog the specified amount and send the file again. Rinse. Repeat.

Anything out there to do something like that? I actually drive my machine with an older version of UGS (Ultimate Gcode Sender) and I don’t think it can do it, but I could be wrong.

I previously used an older version of Carbide Motion , don’t think it could do it, either.

Ideas? Other suggestions?

I use VCarve Desktop and it will do arrays of vectors, but you have to reselect those to add them to a toolpath, which isn’t usually a big deal. I forget if there’s an upgrade path from Cut2D to Vcarve. I know this isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, you’ve asking if you can array a toolpath via sender, and I don’t know of one that does that, but it may exist? Me personally I think with a tool such as that I’d probably destroy a bunch of work by accident, but that’s me :wink:

Dan

You can do array’d jobs, sort of, with work offsets and some by-hand modification of your gcode.
In grbl-panel for instance, you’d move your machine to each of your “array item” positions in turn, and zero each at a different offset (G54, G55, etc). Then take your gcode file, copy the contents and paste it multiple times, each block with a new G54/55/56 header. That should cause your machine to reference G54, run your job, then ref G55 and run your job, and so on.

Make sense?

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One can do arrays (patterns) in Fusion 360 too.

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Thanks for all the feedback, guys.

Dan: I can do the same thing in Cut2D, just hoping to find an easier way. My ultimate workflow, seeing as I’m trying to make things to fairly tight tolerances, would be to cut pieces/test/measure until I have it just right, then tell the sending software (UGS or Carbide Motion or whatever) to make an array of them, without having to modify my file any more.

Next best I suppose would be getting the Pro version of Cut2D, which would allow me to modify the file to add the array.

Adam: Yep, when researching I did come upon that option. I was sort of hoping someone had written a small app to do it all for me, but didn’t find anything. Nonetheless, I’ll keep it in mind though it is probably more than I want to go through.

Heathenx: I looked into Fusion360, I know a lot of people have the free copy but you have to be a student or educator and I’m not technically either. The funny thing is, I consider much of what I’m doing to be self-teaching, it is unfortunate they don’t make more allowances for people such as myself.

I have thought of looking into the UGS project and seeing if the developer wants to add my array feature, or if the source is available and if I can add it myself.

Once of the reasons I think having it in UGS makes a lot of sense is, you often don’t know what size array you’re going to want, it depends a little on the size of the material you have mounted and how many test pieces you’ve had to make. As a self-taught C programmer, I think this is something I could add to an app I’d created fairly easily. OTOH, for me to learn the ins/outs of someone else’s app and modify it, maybe not so easy.

There are some utilities which will do this sort of thing:

https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/G-Code_Utilities

but I’ve always preferred to lay the multiples out by hand and then work up CAM so as to cut them more efficiently — see the file at:

After I’ve got the prototype done, I’ll probably work up a file which will allow cutting one half set of the parts in one go.

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Phil, Fusion 360 is free to “enthusiasts and companies making less then $100 k per year”.

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Thanks Will and Griff.

Will, I’ll investigate the utilities.

Griff, I was obviously unaware of that. I had Googled and it took me to an educators/students offer. I just downloaded the trial, thanks to you.

There is an especial mention of the licensing at: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Commercial_Software#3D_CAD

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Cool.

I’d probably still be using Carbide Create but it was in beta when I got my SO3. I decided then that if I have to learn new software (bleh) I might as well go big or go home…still learning :smiley:

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Just to get it listed here where it might be easier to find for others…

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Just wanted to post a follow-up. I went over to the Ultimate G-Code Sender forum and posted a feature request to send arrays and the original developer said that was a plugin he was already planning on developing.

I think it could be extremely handy!

I’ll update if/when it comes to be.

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I wasn’t planning on implementing this so quickly, but I’ve been making ornaments recently and really wanted this feature (copy/pasting in the CAD/CAM software was getting tedius). There is still a little more tweaking to do, but the hard part is done:


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I’m pretty excited about this.

Much of the time I’m making very small parts, and test fitting them (trying to get interference fits). So once I have it “just right,” I’d like to make several more and how they’re arranged will depend on how much material I have left, mounted in the machine.

This is ready to go with the latest nightly build of UGS Platform. If you don’t want to use UGS to control your machine, no problem – you can export the gcode and run it with your preferred tool. Please be careful, this is a brand new feature and there might be bugs. Let me know how it goes! Here’s a quick demo video:

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