Create an array of 3D parts?

As the title says…is there a way to create an array of identical parts to machine at one time, so as to maximize machining time between tool changes? These parts are created in Fusion 360.

In printing this would be step and repeat.

There should be utilities for this, or one could use shifted co-ordinate systems to re-send.

If the Work Coordinate System (WCS) was working again in Carbide motion, you could have easily set up and run 6 parts G54 - G59. Rob says he’s working on it for a future release. I know it doesn’t help you, but maybe it’ll light a fire under Rob so he will start working on it again.

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Maybe I misunderstand… but why not just duplicate the part in fusion360 or whatever cam software you use?

Well, there is a right way, a wrong way and a really long way of doing things. That would be the latter. Meaning an edit or revision would take forever to fix, compared to a single model design.

In Openscad you can just make the part a module, then translate and repeat it as many times as you like either manually or with a “for” loop. That is one of the strengths of parametric / programmatic design.

But do you have to apply tool paths to each part? To me, this is not ideal. Seems the best method is to be able to create an array in the final machining software, such as Carbide Motion, bCNC or similar so all you are doing is repeating the GRBL commands across the desired array of parts. I guess I thought this would be standard fare and I was just missing it somewhere.

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I don’t think you are familiar with work offsets. CNC machines have many memory locations that can be used to machine additional parts, and the Shapeoko3> had 6 WCS locations with earlier releases of CM, but were removed with later releases (Preset Home button was added)

With WCS you only program one part, and then machine it at 6 different home locations (well up to 6 locations). You do need to set the XYZ for each home location G54, G55, G56, etc. I’m sure it sounds confusing to a newbie, but this is one way to machine more than one part without purchasing nesting software.

Yes, notionally I understand how this would work. As I’ve mentioned in other threads, I have been on the 3D design end of things for many years, just have not been on the end of the making side of the CNC until just now.

Anyone know why this feature was removed from Carbide Motion and if it is planned to be added back in?

As I stated in my reply…it was removed at the request of adding the Rapid to the Preset Home X & Y.

If the WSC was active, it wouldn’t know WHICH home you wanted (G54, G55, etc., right?).

OF course that could be fixed by a radio style button for G54- G59 preselect IF it ever gets added. As far as I remember, I think I was the ONLY user of WSC at the time.

You will need to do all of this in Fusion 360 first, there might be something where you can duplicate the model and the CAM but I can’t think of anything at the moment.

Scalable production would be nice but probably underutilized and the only program I can think of that would even be close to doing anything like this would be chilipeppr but you would have to code a widget yourself.

I definitely understand your idea though and I can see how it would be useful.

I have figured out how to do this from within Fusion 360 (they call it a “pattern”), but the process is a bit long-winded and certainly not user friendly if you want to change the number of parts or spacing between them. Just seems like this would be a common feature of a post processor that many folks would have a need of.

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I agree. I’ll have to look into the pattern option in Fusion