Laser Cut And Fill

Laser Cut - Fill is used for cutting out shapes or marking areas.

Cut-outs can take into account the kerf, or width, of the laser beam to maintain the precise internal or external size the selected vector shapes. Shapes can also be filled with stripes or hatching to create simple shading effects.

Tool Selection

Select Tool

This button opens your database of previously stored laser settings for different jobs and materials. When a setting is selected fromt the database it will be used to populate the key fields in this section. You can subsequenlty modify these values when calculating the laser toolpath. Modifying the settings on this form will not alter the original stored settings within your database.

Power

This value sets what proportion of your machines maximum laser power will be used for this toolpath.

Move Speed

This specifies the maximum speed that your machine will move during cutting or engraving moves. The units are determined by the database setting that was originally selected.

No. Passes

The machine can repeat a toolpath a number of times to cut through thicker material. This value sets the number of repeats.

Strategy

Based on the selected vector shapes in your drawing, this toolpath offers four distinct strategies

Cut Outside / Right

Selecting this option will run the laser around the outside of your selected vector shapes (or along their right-hand edge, if they are open vectors). The actual path of the laser is automatically offset from the orginal shape according to the kerf width of the laser. As a result, the external dimensions of the resulting physical part precisely match the size of the original vector drawing. This strategy should be used for cutting out shapes to precisely the correct dimensions.

Cut Inside / Left

This option will run the laser around the inside (or left-hand edge) of your selected vector shapes, allowing for the kerf of the laser. This strategy is typically used for cutting holes, slots or sockets where the remaining recess has precisely the same dimensions as the original selected vector drawing.

Cut On

This option will runs the center of the laser beam along the selected vector. No offsetting or kerf compensation is required.

Hatch Fill

This is a marking or 'shading' strategy which profiles along the selected vectors and then fills-in the shapes with stripes. When this option is selected the additional Stepover, Hatch Angle and Cross Hatch options will also become enabled - see below for more information on these.

Allowance

This setting allows you to add an additional offset for the Cut Outside, Cut Inside strategies without adjusting the laser kerf settings and can be useful for easing or tightening the fit of shapes resulting from these cuts.

Note

This option is not applicable to the Cut On or Hatch Fill strategies and will be disabled if they are selected.

Stepover

When creating hatch fills, this option determines the spacing between the hatch lines. It is only available when the Hatch Fill strategy is selected.

Hatch Angle

When the Hatch Fill strategy is selected, this option determines the angle of the hatching lines used.

Cross Hatch

Checking this option will create a cross hatch fill instead of a single set of lines.

Position and Selection Properties

Safe Z

The height above the job at which it is safe to move the cutter at rapid / max feed rate. This dimension can be changed by opening the Material Setup form.

Home Position

Position from and to that the tool will travel before and after machining. This dimension can be changed by opening the Material Setup form.

Project toolpath onto 3D Model

This option is only available if a 3D model has been defined. If this option is checked, ✓ after the toolpath has been calculated, it will be projected (or 'dropped') down in Z onto the surface of the 3D model. The depth of the original toolpath below the surface of the material will be used as the projected depth below the surface of the model.

Vector Selection

This area of the toolpath page allows you to automatically select vectors to machine using the vector's properties or position. It is also the method by which you can create Toolpath Templates to re-use your toolpath settings on similar projects in the future. For more information, see the sections Vector Selector and Advanced Toolpath Templates.

Name

The name of the toolpath can be entered or the default name can be used.

Immediate Output

Once calculated, your toolpath is stored in the central Toolpath Tree and can be saved, edited or output to your machine at anytime using the command. In addition though, this form also includes a convenient Immediate Output section that allows you to save or send the most recently calculated toolpath directly from this form without having to close it.

Post Processor

Use this drop-down list to select the post-processor for your machine.

Add side to toolpath name

If you are creating aligned toolpaths for a two-sided part, this option automatically adds the side name to the toolpath name as it is saved or exported to help keep your toolpaths organised.

Output direct to machine

If your post-processor supports direct access to your cnc machine (including machines supported by VTransfer), this option will be available. Selecting this option will bypass saving the toolpath to disk and instead send it straight to the direct output driver.