TopSolid Wood allow users to specify the angle of grain direction on each part making it possible to have a high degree of flexibility when assigning grain orientation.
There are essentially three critical steps one must follow to ensure the correct nesting output to Enroute:
Step A. Assign a Material Matter (substrate) with Grain to the part.
Step B. Control the grain direction by defining the part’s axis.
Step C. Lock down the layout of the part in EnRoute through ATP Settings.
Controlling Grain Orientation
- Matter controls grain orientation. Not Coating.
You’re default IJSPlus Material Library should already contain substrate material named MDF_Grain, PB_Grain etc. If not, it is essential to create these as follow:
- Apply a grained-matter to the part.
This step can be done using the Matter Configurator for multiple parts.
- Verify that a grained - matter is controlling the grain orientation.
Go to the Part’s Characteristic > Cutting Up tab. (Make sure you verify the characteristic of the Panel Template and not the Panel Process.)
Notice the greyed out ‘Part has no grain orientation’. This is greyed out. It is not active because the check box ‘Part Grain Orientation’ is not checked-on. The option is here if you want to manually override the Matter’s Grain Orientation. Therefore, you can use the manual override to force a grain orientation on non grained material and vice versa.
If you have automatically defined the part’s axis, then by the default the longest dimension = length = red arrow. The grain direction follows the red arrow, so ensure the red arrow is pointing in direction that you want. If not, redefine the axis (see Appendix 1 for steps to redefine a part’s axis).
- Go to the Machining Tab. The image represents the part as it would be laid out on a CNC flat bed. So, ensure the image of your part is shown the way you want it to be machined on the CNC.
Generally, the red arrow by default is horizontal.
IMPORTANT! If you had redefined the axis, then you will need to reset the Positioning to Identical to sawingup coordinate system and then click back to Optimized.
- Process the part and launch Enroute/Ezynest.
Load the DXT file and pay attention to the Allow Rotate setting.
IMPORTANT! It is vital that Allow Rotate is turned off for any grained part. We do not want the part to rotate when optimizing for nesting.
If you have assigned a grained material to the part or ticked on Part Has Grain in the characteristic box, then automatically Allow Rotate should be unticked.
But, if you have a long list of parts imported in it is still a good habit to double-click on the column header Allow Rotate to make sure all parts have it unticked. (Because, sometimes you may have missed one or two parts).
- Process as per normal now.
By following the steps above we are able to control the grain orientation on all parts but it is still essential to always verify the parts have been optimized correctly on the sheet.
Appendix 1. How To redefine the Part’s Machining Axis:
i. Close the Part’s Characteristic dialog box if it is open.
ii. Use the function Wood > Define Part and then activate the finger (Element Detection)
iii. Select the part on screen and press OK.
iv. Click on the Modify Axis button from the command bar.
TopSolid will now prompt you for the Length Axis (red arrow / grain direction). You can select the edge of the part as your axis or use THROUGH POINTS and select diagonally opposing points.
Continue and select the width axis when prompted.
Note: if the part is drawn in the project then you will need to make the Panel template visible first before being able to select the edge of the part.
v. You have redefined the axis however, it is now critical that you reopen the Part’s Characteristic dialog box and go to the Machining tab and reset the Positioning to Identical to sawing up coordinate system and then click back to Optimized. Press Okay to close the dialog box.