Slit Quality Tutorial: Introduction

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ProtoMAX Master
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:48 pm

Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:48 pm

I use the slit command an awful lot. My everyday work has me doing things a little more advance then just cutting out shapes. Most users don't even know where to find it or what it does. So I wanted to explain to all of you how important using slits can be and show some of the amazing things you can do with them.

The ProtoMAX Help page has a brief explanation its function and where to find it.
It can be found in help under LAYOUT > Toolbar Command > Quality

Slit Quality

Several Qualities also have a corresponding Quality of "Slit," which cuts at the same speed, but does not use a tool offset. The Slit Quality can be applied to Qualities 1 to 5.

To choose the Slit Quality, you right-click the desired Quality button and select it from the menu that appears.

Lets venture into what "but does not use a tool offset" can actually do for you! This is a quick explanation of many things slits can be used for. I will explain in depth on each of these subjects in separate tutorials for each slit function mentioned below.

#1 Simplifying a cutting path.
Every once in a while a complicated part will cause problems for you after you click post. The reason is usually because the Slit quality was needed in place of the cut quality. The path will be on the wrong side or just look ugly. The slit quality is telling the machine to center on the cutting entity you just made and not the offset side.

#2 Cutting a slit in the middle of material.
Lets say you would like to cut the smile out of the have a nice day smiley face. The slit quality would help with the OMX file creation after clicking post. Additionally the Happy face would have less cutting entities which would save time, abrasive, and wear and tear on your ProtoMAX's nozzle.

#3 Sawing complicated material
Sometimes you my find yourself needing to separate material, but the need is a little more complicated then the Saw function (odd shaped material, cutting around fixtures etc.). Hand drawing a slit based path around these complications might be a better way to go, especially if you have to do this multiple times. Another use is to add a Slit cut across your material at the end of a part nest to save time. This acts just like the Saw but doesn't require you to manually click the saw button.

#4 Quick Cutting
On occasions a part will be simple enough to cut multiples side by side. A good example of this would be a checker board or possibly some type of material overlay. Instead of cutting each part out, you can just add a slit in the middle and cut two at the same time.

#5 Weakening material that needs to be bent.
If you ever need to bend a part for some reason. The slit quality can be used to add small lines in a thin piece of material. By adding enough of these in a line, aluminum and even steel can easily be bent by hand.

#6 Scales, gauges and notches.
Many times working in a machine shop, I have needed faster ways to measure parts, tubes or check gauges. I used the slit quality to make a simplified version of each type of measuring device. Instead of measuring each of the pipes I was working on, I just made a ruler that was divisible by .25" and bolted it to the table. Many gauges I used also needed to be simplified to just pass or fail. Using the slit quality for notches worked perfectly.

#7 Cutting wedges or slots out of a pre-existing part.
Rev changes happen quite often in the manufacturing world and even in personal projects you may forget a feature. What if you designed a part and forgot to cut out a slot or radius on the side of it? It is easy to just change the drawing and cut a new one, but the part is cut and costs money. You can easily add the feature using a crescent or radius shaped slit to slice the slot out that was needed, saving the old part in the process.

#8 3D Parts in a 2D fixture
This was the primary use of slit quality in the shop I worked at. Lets say you want to make a pair of pliers. The base part of them are done and you have them flipped side ways in the fixture ready for a 90 degree cut so they can be assembled. The correct quality to use is always a slit, the reason being is "does not use a tool offset". You need to know exactly where that beam of water is going every time so the fixture may be used over and over again.

#9 Depth cutting
On special occasions I would have to make a metal cap and rubber gasket that was water tight. To do this, you can cut a depth cut ring in the metal cap so when you tighten the rubber gasket into it water cannot escape. Bet you all would like to know how to do that! Stay tuned :D

#10 You decide.
I have just given you many things you may or may not use the slit quality for. What if you can come up with something that I haven't done or thought of? Add comments below if you have, I would like to learn from you as well.
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