View Full Version : Programming a variable array ?

08-31-2001, 01:22 AM
I'd like to know how to program a array where you would answer as to how many parts you want cut. For example, cutting one or as many as you want of a circle in a row, or array. How would this type of part file be constructed.



08-31-2001, 11:08 AM
If you use the Stack function in Vector, it will allow you to create rows and columns of Vector Objects. The objects can be any collected tool paths or shapes, grouped into an Object with Change-Make Object. The strategy has 2 methods, in that it can fit your objects to a given sheet size, or it can calculate the needed sheet size from your specified rows and columns. There is also a margin and X & Y spacing parameters, and a number of selection orders that can be specified.

It will create a sbp file then for the entire sheet. It does not automatically create absolute positioning moves with relative cuts of a repeated object, but rather the entire file is developed with Absolute moves.

There is also an option to create just the reference points. You can use this to create a master program with subroutine callouts to repeat the object at each of the points.

08-31-2001, 05:25 PM
You can already array in ShopBot using the new S_nest.sbp program. If you install the new version of ShopBot software (2.24/2.25) you will find the S_nest.sbp program in the SBPARTS directory. When you run the nest program you can either specify how many parts you want to cut or you can specify cuttable size of material available and let the program calculate how many will fit. If it doesn't do exactly what you want, you should be able to use it as an example to modify as you see fit.
Check our downloads webpage in the very near future for an updated version. When I wrote the program I assumed that the individual part file being arrayed would return to zero, but that's not always the case. Also, it would be nice if you could save the part array as a separate file to be run again and again. I hope to incorporate both changes into an updated version coming very soon.
As Fred points out, stacking objects is straightforward in Vector if you want to always cut the same number of parts on the same size sheet. My intention in writing the nest program is that you can specify the size of the array at the ShopBot without having to create a new file each time the material size changes. That's especially handy if, for example, you have a file to cut one part, and you want to be able to quickly cut as many parts as possible on different size pieces of scrap material without having to create a separate file for each size.

David Nadeau
Technical Support
ShopBot Tools

09-01-2001, 11:47 AM
Thanks Fred and Dave,

I'll check those out. I always forget about those sample files because I have them and my part files different locations.


11-13-2001, 12:54 AM
As I was reading this thread it dawned on me that I also have a question regarding arrays. I plan on cutting out various numbers, letters (about 3" wide) and profiles with 1/4" holes drilled every 2 3/4" along a center line. These cut objects are going to vary in size, but the spacing on the 1/4" holes has got to remain constant at 2 3/4".
How can I accomplish this? (a "Drill Part Program" maybe and how would someone write this into a program?