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Nesting Plugin/Tool Idea

Discussion in 'General Talk Forum' started by iGull, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. iGull

    iGull Member

    Trophy Points:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Hi All

    I've been giving the subject of automatic nesting a look at for some time (the ability to sort all the component parts of your object to use the minimum amount of material), but have eventually given up as being far too complex for my meagre mind. Some of the algorithms are truly horrendous !! Perhaps this is why the commercial nesting software is so expensive and why there is a dearth of useable code on the net.

    However, I have a plugin idea that might be worth progressing - it works a bit like Tetris in essence :lol:
    You create your component parts as normal using SU then use sketchucam to produce the toolpaths. At this point, you select all the components and apply an exclusion/bumper zone around them (effectively a secondary toolpath) - the zone being the minimum distance you want between components - the components will not overlap their bumper zones, so can be safely pushed and rotated to fit within the material outline in the knowledge that there will be no interference.

    The human brain is acutely adept at shuffling objects around (my wife is constantly moving wardrobes and cupboards within room outlines :p ), so applying a little help in the shape of a bumper zone and a move/rotate tool should enable maximum use to be made of the material.

    Once the components have been nested successfully, the gcode can be exported.

    I won't be doing any coding for a while as it's summer (sort of !) here, but feel free to comment or add any 'features'. If anyone feels like picking up the torch in the interim, feel free!

    BTW Mark - Good luck with the 3D lithography - I've been following the diy 3d printing and fabrication forum for a long time - recent results have certainly moved on apace from the powder printing days!



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