What is the gist of how to make a part? (Basic steps)

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I_Make_Stuff
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:35 pm

Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:46 pm

From an idea in my head, to the final product, what are the essential steps to go through?
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Carl O
OMAX Employee
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:43 am
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Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:49 pm

The short answer:

Essentially there are 3 steps that one would go through in order to make a part:

  • 1 - Draw the part
  • 2 - Make a tool path
  • 3 - Cut the part.

Steps 1 and 2 can be done using the provided ProtoMAX LAYOUT software, or many 3rd party CAD/CAM packages. Step 3 is always done using the provided ProtoMAX MAKE software.

The long answer:
  • 1 - Draw the part: There are many ways you can draw your part. You can use the built ProtoMAX LAYOUT utility, or just about any 3rd party CAD system, artistic drawing programs like Coreldraw, Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, etc.
  • 2 - Make a tool path: Again, you can use ProtoMAX LAYOUT to apply tool paths to geometry made in step #1, or you can use one of many 3rd party CAM software packages. ProtoMAX Layout will accept as input .DXF, DWG, AI, SVG, and PDF files, and can also be used to convert bitmap, png, jpg, and other images into vectors for cutting. In some cases 3rd party CAM packages can output OMAX/ProtoMAX compatible tool paths directly (.ORD and .OMX files), and in other cases it is necessary to write a custom post processor to extend the third party CAM system to output OMAX compatible tool paths. (Check your favorite CAM software to see, if they don't already output to the OMAX, we can help them make it so.)
  • 3 - Cut the part: Once you have a tool path, simply load it into ProtoMAX MAKE, which is the control software used to position the machine, convert the tool path into motor motions, and cut your parts. The way this works, is you open your tool path, tell the machine the material you wish to cut, then you move the nozzle to where you want the path to start, and then press "begin" to start it running.
See also: What are some good sources for artwork to cut?
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