View Full Version : Large Area

12-05-2008, 06:18 PM
I have a large curved reception desk that will be cut from multiple sheets of plywood. Is my best bet to draw it in CAD, then bring it into PW section by section to cut, or to bring the whole file into PW and adjust how it lays over the material(not quite sure how I'd go about that). Looking for any advice/tips/suggestions.

12-06-2008, 12:19 AM
I do it in my CAD program. Draw a 96 x 48 rectangle and fit the part over it as best you can. I then draw a line say 1/4" in from the edge of the sheet or wherever I want the break to be. (It doesn't have to be a straight line - check out Rob's column ( about puzzle joints.)

I then make a copy of the entire part including the line representing the joint and locate it in an empty area of the drawing. Then delete the section of the original part that extends past the joint. On the copy delete the section that was just placed on the first sheet. Now you have the remainder ready to be placed on the next sheet.

Once I complete nesting all my sheets I import each one into VCarve/PartWorks for toolpathing.
This could all be done in VCarve but for me it's faster to use the CAD program.

12-06-2008, 10:12 AM
Nat: We do this on a regular basis. I draw my overall shape, decide where the joins are going to be and add lines there and split the parts. Sometimes we do it in cad as David and sometimes in Artcam (or PW). When I do it in Artcam I just copy the vectors created in my master which has a field large enough for the whole part and paste them to a new file that has a 48 x 96 field.
So I will have (for eg) Reception desk master, reception desk 1, reception desk 2, etc.
Since many desks have to go through elevators, etc and the desk wall as well as the top must be built in multi-parts, I plan my part sizes for the wall caps and base plates and counter and transaction tops to have the field join locations come right off the part sizing.

12-06-2008, 04:16 PM
Just what I was after, thanks.

On a very obscure note and altogether different topic I'll go out on a limb and ask the next question:

I may (or may not) machine dadoes in the top and bottom curve plates for the studs (double 3/4"x 3 1/2" plywood). Any thoughts on how I could go about layng them out in CAD?

12-06-2008, 05:48 PM
If you are going to do that then you should find the center point of the arc that defines the curve and draw radii that land at your spacing centers. Clip them to the plates, offset both sides half the width of the dado and connect the ends. We cut the studs on the bot too since they nearly always need wire chases and often toe kick notches. After I have my plate pieces nested I fit the studs as best I can to minimize scrap.

I forgot to mention above that my control field is done in factors of 48 x 96 and I draw rectangles to predivide my plywood areas. Nice to do this in another color.

If you do all this in CAD and then bring it into PW make sure your Origin is where it needs to be when you import the lines.