View Full Version : PartWizard

01-16-2004, 01:18 PM
I have a problem cutting out shapes w/ Partwizard. I use the cut along vector and my shape comes out just fine in the preview mode. I need an offset but when I use cut profiles I get a bunch of nonsense in the preview mode. I haven't been able to find anything on previous posts to fit my situation. Anyone know what's up?


Brady Watson
01-16-2004, 03:46 PM
Charles...What do you mean exactly by 'non-sense'?


01-16-2004, 04:27 PM
It jogs to approximately x3.5 & y3, then moves back and forth at a slight angle for about and inch for 4 passes. It has no resemblance of the dxf file I imported.

Brady Watson
01-16-2004, 06:50 PM
You want to make sure that there aren't any stray vectors that are hidden...To do this bring it up in PW and select all (ctrl + A) Be sure to get a good look at EVERYTHING on the page & delete as needed.

Also, after you have selected all, group the vectors. PW will tell you if they are overlapping and in some cases open if they are not supposed to be.

CAD files notoriously add junk to files and often cause these problems. Let me know if this helps.


robtown (Unregistered Guest)
01-17-2004, 08:05 AM
sounds like you got a little loop in there. Did you generate this file out of a drawing program like Corel? Did you resize it after importing into parts wizard? Sometimes I get little loops at the corners when I make .ai files or .eps files and then resize the shape. Also sometimes I get duplicate shapes on top of one another using .eps files.

01-17-2004, 08:35 AM
Charles, we talked once about using Design CAD. Are you exporting Design CAD files as .dxf and then importing into Part Wizard? I don't have any problems doing this, but if you want to send me a sample Design CAD file, I'll try the steps for you and see what I get.


Harold Weber

01-17-2004, 11:51 AM
I reopened my file in Designcad and traced over my file w/ one continuous line deleted all the old lines. Resaved it to a dxf and it seems to work now. I had some points set for alignment that may have been causing the problem. I need to figure out how to put some alignment marks on to my pieces so I know where to drill to assemble my pieces. (It's rocking horse I want align the body with the leg's and have the corrert angle to attach the rocker assembly)

Thanks guys for sharing your experience. The people on this forum are great.


04-08-2004, 02:30 PM
i can't get it to load into the shop bot program from the parts wizard it say that it is the wrong type of file and wont load so i can put it through the mechine ! can anyone help me?

04-08-2004, 02:51 PM
does it have an sbp extension or a txt extension.
Be sure that it has ansbp extension example: dog.sbp

04-25-2004, 04:11 PM
Can somebody give me advice on making a cut path for cutting a 45* angle on the edge of a sheet of plywood. I can send you a drawing I you email me. Thanks for the help, I am a new user.

08-02-2004, 02:55 PM
I've been cutting an angle and I've made steps with line segments a certain distance apart. I've used the profile cutting tool for each line segment giving each new path a new depth.

After playing around I'm not sure what I did I had some of my tool paths have multiple tool entries under it. And after selecting each one to show up in 3d mode I found them connected to other line segments in my drawing. Is there a way to do this? I thought after seeing it it would be nice to have one path with multiple tools under it each attaced to a different line segment for. Seems like it would be simpler. I can't figure out how I got this to happen by acident and would like to replicate it but can't. Hope this makes sence.

Brady Watson
08-02-2004, 05:57 PM
It sounds to me like you should be using the 'Machine Along Vector' toolpath for a straight line, opposed to a profile toolpath.

I don't fully understand what you are trying to do. Are the steps a profile like a side view of stairs, or do they step down the Z axis like a stepped scarf joint?


08-02-2004, 07:38 PM
I think I may have figured out what you are trying to do. You say you are cutting an angle using steps, in other words you are tapering the end or edge of a workpiece; each step cuts a little deeper than the last, to approximate a ramp, or beveled edge.
If this is the case, Brady, I guess using the profile tool is a way to trick the software into doing an area clear with the line being at the center of the step, as long as the bit diameter works with the step width.
To answer what I think the original question is (correct me if I am wrong), you must select each line (or multiple lines that you want to machine at the same depth), create a toolpath for that selection, then select the next depth, and repeat as many times as needed. You must create a separate toolpath for each depth. (You can select multiple lines by holding the SHIFT key while making your selections)
Then, when you save the toolpaths to a ShopBot file, just select all the toolpaths that you want to be in the same file (as long as they all use the same tool, PartWizard will let you group the toolpaths in one file) and save them the same way you would save a single toolpath.
Am I right about the question? If so, is my answer understandable?
Hope this helps,
David B

08-03-2004, 11:03 AM
Brady, I guess it is stepped angle like a scaf joint. After I cut them I touch them lightly to a sander and it cleans them up taking most of the steps off. I have been able to use the profiling function, I didn't think it would work because I'm not using a closed polyline, but it did work.
At each line end I change the starting point, so that when its machining it will go back and forth as it descends with each pass. (I have to edit the sbp file to remove all the moves to zero)

David what you described is exactly what I've been doing. What I'm confused about is that in the process I did something to cause some tool paths come together under the same tool path heading. If I could reproduce it I could reduce the number of tool paths that I have when I'm generating the shopbot parts files. I'm guessing I did something to confuse the parts wizard and it tried to do something maybe only its more acomplished cousin artcam can do. Soo. . . maybe one day I'll make the same mistake and figure out how I did it.

05-21-2005, 01:43 AM
I have been watching the forum for a couple of years. I am impressed with the support that all of the users provide to us new guys. I purchased a used PR updated to a PRT in January. I am using PW2.
I am having problems understanding how to group the vectors, so that I can generate the tool path. I get the message that there are open and closed vectors. I looked thru the manuel but could not figure how to get the grouping to work. All of the lines are the same color (blue) If I go ahead and generate the path, part of it is on the inside and part is on the outside with some gaps in places. I'm missing how to finalize the grouping.

I found some stray vectors but when I delete them, it deletes the drawing.

Thanks in advance for any help.


05-21-2005, 08:31 AM
Wayne - can you email a sample file to me that you are having problems with and I will see if I can see the issue. Email address in my profile. Pete

Brady Watson
05-21-2005, 09:56 AM
Wayne...let's see if I can teach you to fish...,
In PW2, there are 2 modes that you can operate in in 2D. There is the standard 'white arrow/cursor' which allows you to select vectors and drag them around and there is a 'black arrow/node editiing cursor' that lets you edit the individual nodes and spans on a given vector. You can only work in node edit mode after you have selected a single ungrouped vector.

You can see if a particular vector is grouped by selecting it and then right clicking on it to view the context-sensitive menu...If 'Ungroup vectors' is a choice, then it is grouped. Click on 'Ungroup' or use the 2nd magenta button under the 'Group Merge Join Vectors' section of the toolbox on the left of the screen. It is possibile, especially when working with text, that there are grouped groups ~ The entire word generated is grouped, but each individual letter is grouped as well. By right-clicking on grouped groups, you can choose 'Ungroup-All' on the menu and it will ungroup every set of grouped vectors.

It is possible to toolpath open vectors by using the 'Machine Along Vector' strategy, which centerline cuts the vector. To do a profile pass however, you must have closed vectors. By clicking on one part of your vector you can hold down the shift key and select the next logical piece of the vector, right-click and choose 'Join'. This will join the 2 vectors together...you can keep doing this around the perimeter of the shape you wish to close/join until the 'Join' or 'Close' options under that right-click menu are no longer available. Alternatively, you can also use the joining/closing tools in the toolbox in the 'Group Merge Join Vectors' section. The 2 tools towards the left are for joining, and the 2 to the right are for closing vectors. You ALWAYS join sections of a vector shape one section at a time to get the results that you want.

Additionally, you want to watch out for red colored vectors ~ These indicate that you have 2 vectors sitting on top of each other, apparent when you group the vectors...which leads me to grouping...

You can use the grouping tool to check & see if the vectors are closed by selecting an individual shape and grouping it. If the vector is closed, it will appear violet when selected. When unselected, it will appear black. Open vectors that are grouped also appear violet when selected, but remain blue when unselelcted. In this case, simply ungroup the blue vector and use the join or close tools to close it (you must ungroup 1st)....then re-group it to check your work. Red vectors when grouped, indicate that you have 2 vectors stacked on top of each other. Ungroup and click-select the top vector and drag it off of the other one.

If when using the Join/Close tools you get an undesired straight line between the vectors (such as you want a curve instead), you can get into Node editing mode (black cursor in the toolbox) and change that straight span to an arc or bezier (French curve) by right clicking on that span and selecting the shape you want. You can then, in Node mode, use the cursor to drag the white span handles (or black point nodes) to modify the shape to your liking. There are different options for spans and points available to you when you right click on each. You can add and delete points, change the start point position (green) and remove and change spans in a shape.

Hope that helps...give it a try. You should be an expert in no time.


05-21-2005, 01:23 PM
I have sent you the file. Thanks for taking the time to review it.


05-21-2005, 01:33 PM

I want to learn how to fish... my brothers are always asking me to go!

Thanks for the detailed instructions. I have tried both the select and node arrows and the image reduces in size.

Here is the sequence I used:

Select all
Select with both the white or black arrow
Hold shift and right click on the next section
the image is reduced.

I must be missing a step!!



Brady Watson
05-21-2005, 02:17 PM
By 'image' do you mean 'vector'?

Send me the .art file and I'll have a look to see what is happening and give you some feedback on how to correct it.


05-21-2005, 02:26 PM
Peter / Brady

I found my problem, I could not follow your instructions! I was able to group all the vectors.

Problem 2
When I tool path to the outside cut, it only does 1 vector. When I change it to the inside cut, it does all of the vectors.

Any help is appreciated

Thanks again,


05-21-2005, 02:30 PM
Wayne - you have some left over vectors (just some odd lines and small circles) in your drawing - but they are not visible until you create a tool path. That is why it is telling you that there are some open (left over stuff) and closed vectors (main item you are trying to cut). I will clean it up and send it back. Not sure why the left over stuff is not showing until you create a toolpath - I will check that out too. Pete

05-21-2005, 07:34 PM
Wayne - I have returned your drawing - check your email. Should be OK now.

05-21-2005, 10:27 PM

Thanks a lot for the help. Once I read your previous post, I started looking for the bits and peices in the image. I went thru and found a ton of them. This is my first attempt to create such a file.

I do not have any experience with cad or CNC so the learning curve is a little longer for me.

Thanks again Peter and Brady


05-21-2005, 11:09 PM
Wayne - Brady provided outstanding instructions that will be valuable for many people I am sure. I think one of the problems with your drawing was that there were many sub-levels of groupings (probably from your many attempts to group) and it does not appear that a single "Ungroup all" was sufficient to go down the layers of groupings. In addition, there were many unneeded tiny segments to get rid of and make one continuous segment. One thing to remember is that you can group many objects in a drawing - but that does not make them one object. There were a lot of unjoined segments and that is what was causing multiple toolpaths - both inside and outside the profile. Pete

05-22-2005, 12:55 AM

After seeing all of the extra vectors on top of one another in the file I sent to you, I agree, I had tried SEVERAL times to group the vectors.

The unjoined vectors was my lack of use with the node feature.

Again, thanks Peter and Brady for your help.