Multiple copies on a single stock

How would I setup a job where I run multiple copies of a part with a single stock in mesh cam?

Draw multiples in your cad program.

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Or, run the part, move the X/Y zero point in Carbide Motion, run the part again, repeat as needed.

dr_g is correct that MeshCAM can only load one STL at a time, but it can be a multiple-component STL.

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Another option is to concatenate multiple copies of the file interspersed w/ commands to:

  • clear G92
  • move over by part dimension + safety margin
  • set G92 for new temporary origin
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sounds like setting it up in cad is the best bet

@WillAdams, that is what I do in Mach3, but G92 isn’t on the list of gcodes that Carbide Motion accepts. That is why the moving the origin and rerunning needs to be done manually on the Nomad.

@designxtek, yes or no. Depending on how many copies you are putting in the CAD, MeshCAM might or might not be happy with the multiple parts. 5 or 10, yes, 50 or 100 maybe not…

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OIC. Well, then I guess one would add:

  • use a comm / control program which supports G92

Thanks for that link. Hadn’t seen it before, and need to at least link it from the Shapeoko wiki…

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5-10 parts max will be for 1 stock.

I’d suggest not going to the multiple parts on the cad program. Two reasons:

  1. It generates more positioning moves between parts, and overall time increases;
  2. If your run fails, you’ll have to go all over again, for all of them.

If you can, cut your stock and do one at a time. Otherwise, mark origin points in the stock and set zeros at them, one at a time as suggested earlier. The caveat is you’ll have to interact with the machine more often - i.e. tool changes and next part resets.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

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what do they normally do in the industry when running multi copies? i sent one of my parts out and they ran 8 copies max per stock. i like the idea of less interaction :slight_smile:

I think that’s what they want, right? Less interaction. But that means, their machines are more powerful, and they have more experience. I’m not saying Nomad doesn’t have the capabilities of doing multiple parts, but if I would have to make multiple parts (i.e. less than 4), I’d do one at a time, depending on its complexity.
Another approach is: try to make one, and if you get everything machined smoothly, then I think it’s worth trying to make multiple of them.
Every time I tried to machine multiple pieces (or 3d print them) without proof, I got failed results. And it is very frustrating if you’re waiting for 4+ hours multiple parts to fail at 90% - of course you can fix it, but it takes more and more time.
Hope this helps.

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my part is about 4min roughing a side. i am gonna put it on my shapeoko first for rough pass then take it to the nomad for finishing.

I think you can still do it how @WillAdams says, but instead of G92, use G10 to directly modify the work coordinate system or use different work coordinate systems for each part (if the Nomad allows you to use G55-G59 that is). You’ll have to keep track of where everything is though.

This is an old school way of directly modifying g-code programs for production runs. This can be a pain to set up right and tricky to do, but it can be worth it depending on the situation. And possibly faster than re-CADing multiple parts.

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less interaction is the ultimate goal. there will be a learning curve but once you get the multi jobs down they are the only way to go. you don’t want the machine stopping if you can help it. otherwise you’ll spend your days babysitting it.

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I think there’s a way to do this just using MeshCAM and a text editor, but it’ll take a little bit of figuring, and a longish time to set up. The advantage, though, is that once you do it you could be making 10 parts one after the other, with no machine interaction, so the initial time investment might be worthwhile. Especially if you need to make the same 10 parts more than once.

Here’s what I’d do:

  1. determine the minimum amount of stock I need to cut the individual part, plus any supports, etc. And draw out a little map on paper to tell me what the offset for each of the parts would need to be.
  2. In MeshCAM, in the Define Stock dialog, I’d lock my stock size, and then use the XY Position fields to set the offset for the first piece.
  3. Set zeros etc, and create the g-code. Save the file as Part 01-Row01.
  4. Without changing anything else, go back to the Define Stock dialog in MeshCAM and change the XY Position fields to account for the space the previous part is going to occupy.
  5. Create g-code for THAT job. Save as Part 02-Row01
  6. Repeat process until I had a g-code file for each part.
  7. Use the text editor to cut and paste the files together.
  8. MOST IMPORTANT STEP: go to Home Depot (not Lowes, their insulation foam sucks), and get a piece of that rigid pink insulation foam. Cut it into the same size as your stock. Run your job on it. If you are using a Roughing pass in MeshCAM, you can make a copy of your G-Code file where you delete everything except the first couple “Roughing Level Depth: X” bits for each of the parts, which will cause the Nomad to just carve a nice little outline of everything it’s going to do, so you can verify you didn’t make any mistakes.

Now you can sit back and listen to your machine happily chug away making you 10 parts at a time. Probably…

NOTE: I don’t know how much g-code you know, but I personally know almost none. However, I DO know how to read English, and since the g-code that MeshCAM makes has lots of comments in that language, it’s surprisingly easy to figure out. And I’m sure you can get good help here with that process, should you need it.

I hope my idea is clear. Let me know if it’s not!


great idea! esp trying it out on foam. less worry about wasted cost.

I had this same idea since I plan on making multiple parts at once. I read a previous post from Apollo that it wasn’t possible. Copying and pasting the g codes on the same size stock made sense to me. Hope it works. Don’t know anything about gcode myself but plan on learning as I go with my nomad as soon as I receive it. This was good information, thanks. I lurk the forum lol.

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