Getting Started With Sheetcam
Open Sheetcam. If you are using one of our Xmotion Controls, you will find an icon that's labeled "Sheetcam TNG" on the desktop.
- Step by Step outline to go from drawing to plasma cutting tool paths.
1. Setup your Job Options. On the file menu (File, Edit, etc) there is a drop-down menu labeled "Job Options". Click that and a window will appear. If you are plasma cutting the only two things that need to be set are the origin and the material size. There are radio buttons that can be clicked to indicate where you want to set your WCS origin. This relationship will be matched on the machine.
2. To Import a drawing into the parts viewer. Right click on the white space inside the viewer boundary and click "New Part". A file browse window will open and allow you to select the drawing file you want. *Note* Make sure you select the proper file filter or it may look like your files are not there. If the filter is set to SVG, and you want to open a DXF, your file will not show up in the browser until the filter is set to DXF.
3. Switch to the contour tool (See illustration above). These icons are located just below the File menu). Right click on the outside contour of the part and click "Move to" -> New Layer. Name the new layer "outside". Leave all the inside cuts on layer "0" (The default layer they where imported on). *Note* it doesn't really matter what you name the layers, but it makes sense to name it "outside" so you don't get confused later.
4. Switch to the nesting tool, the icon just to the right of the contour tool. Now you can move your part anywhere on your material (The red area on the canvas, see illustration below) by clicking and dragging on the part. You can rotate your parts by left clicking them once to select them, then use the "<" key to rotate CCW and the ">" key to rotate CW.
5. If you want multiple parts, right click on the part and click duplicate. Then repeat step 4 to orient and place it. Repeat that process as many times as you need or use the array function that can also be accessed via the right click menu.
6. To create your cutting operations, switch back to the contour tool and make sure your part is selected by clicking on the master part either in the parts tree or on the canvas. Now navigate to your Operations Viewer and click the Jet Cutting Icon (See illustration below). *Note* You will not have access to the operations or new operation buttons unless you have the "contour" tool engaged.
7. The first operation is to cut all the inside details. If you cut the outside details first, your part could move before all the cutting is finished. The operations are posted out in order of top to bottom in the operations viewer. *Note* The order of operations can be changed by clicking and dragging them to a different position up or down. The first step is to choose to cut with an inside offset on layer "0". Remember we left all the inside details on layer 0. Select your tool from the tool library (If your using an Xmotion Control, you will have 2 tools. T1 for FineCut consumables and T2 for standard consumables). Set your feed rate, this varies and you should consult your plasma cutters operators manual for baselines. Also set your lead-in and lead-out values. *Note* Lead-in and Lead-out values can't be negative and I'm not sure why they are negative in the illustration.
8. Outside operation, repeat step 7 except you need to select outside offset and layer "outside:
9. Now you should see your parts with green lines where the tool paths will be. You can simulate your tool paths by clicking on the the simulate tool which looks like a blue end mill. If everything looks right you can now go to File->Run Post Processor. A file browser will open and ask you where to save your Gcode file.
See our video here for a Sheetcam Walk-through