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CAD for Laser Cutting

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Old 12-22-2013, 09:06 AM
  #1
KW_Counter
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Default CAD for Laser Cutting

I am working on some plans to get a short kit laser cut.
I'm having a great time learning as I go.
Are there any guidelines I should be following in this process?
Line type or thickness
Planing for thickness of cuts (kerf width)
Best way to draw curves for most efficient cut
Any information like that to help me and the laser cutter would be helpful.
Any links to this type of information?
Any laser cutters read this forum?

Thanks for all of the help,
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:32 AM
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Chad Veich
 
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Much depends on the laser cutter and the software being used to create the drawing and/or the software being used to run the machine. I've used some machines where line thickness was recognized and others where line thickness was ignored. I've also used some machines where the software could be set up to automatically account for kerf and others where it had to be done manually in the drawing. I think most cutting services provide this sort of information on their web sites and it may vary from one to the next. If the information is not covered specifically then I would suggest an email to the cutter for a direct answer. Some basic suggestions I would offer are these:

- Make sure all your line segments are joined together as much as possible
- Where you have closed shapes make sure they are actually, and accurately, closed. Otherwise some functions, such as offsetting, may not work properly
- Make sure you don't have lines on top of other lines
- Try to avoid using Splines. In fact I would say avoid them at all costs! Maybe it's just me but I've always had issues of some sort when trying to edit Splines.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:25 PM
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here is an example

http://ak-models.com/lasercutservices.htm
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:53 AM
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KW_Counter

Find out from whoever is going to do your laser cutting what they would prefer. It could impact the cost considerably.

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Old 12-27-2013, 08:18 PM
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If the laser cutter doesnt compensate for the kerf, I would just design with 0 clearances throught and the kerf itself is going to be enough that the parts fit well without being too lose or too tight.
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