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Cutting panels longer than the table

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bowtievega72 View Drop Down
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Joined: 14 January 2016
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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    Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 14 January 2016 at 6:06pm
Hi Everyone,  new to EnRoute and have a question.  We recently aquired a MultiCam router with a 5' x 10' bed.  I need to cut a sign face that is 142" long from a 12 ft sheet of material.  What is the best way to set up cut files and aligning material to cut oversize shapes?  Couldn't find anything about this in the manual.  I would like to cut 10 ft of the shape than shift the material and re-align to cut the remaining portion.  Should i create a open contour shape for the outside shape and just align by hand for the second cut?  Thanks for the replies!
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paloalto_17 View Drop Down
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Joined: 29 October 2012
Location: United States
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paloalto_17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 14 January 2016 at 6:51pm
Yes there is a way to do that using the clip to plate feature. Here is a video that shows how to do it on Enroute's Youtube channel. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqtrhbKkb1g&index=17&list=PL1ZIF1PEiPY7uAEb3rRZYJy74E0XKkAKK

Best Regards,
Aaron
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Stewey View Drop Down
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Joined: 07 May 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stewey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 15 January 2016 at 3:51am
I haven't watched that video - our internet is too slow - but the way I do it, is  to rout what you want eg the first 10 feet - use the clip to plate if you like, BUT you need to have a precise and accurate set of origin blocks set up - i.e. an X axis that is always there, and a Y that you can butt up to, before starting.

Then... in the software, flip/mirror the  vectors, flipping left to right, or if you don't want to do that, then rotate 180 degrees.
Then export the remainder of the tool paths - if you're clipping to plate, you might need to reset the plate size to the 2 ft that's left.

Then take the substrate, and either rotate it 180 degrees, and butt it hard up to the origin (or flip it end to end, in which case the up side is now the underneath side.)

Then run the remaining tool paths.
If you're using the rotate method, you need to measure the size of the substrate absolutely accurately and set the plate at that size because if you assume it's 48" high, and in fact it's 48-1/8", your second  rout will be 1/8" offset from where you expected it to be. etc etc

The other way I'd also done it is to have a far-end-of-the-bed stop block, and simply slide the substrate along the X axis 2 ft to the left, and run the remainder of the paths - but you need to do some accurate setting up beforehand, with a stop block at the far end, and I find it's safer to trust just the same one origin for a single job. You need to alter the file in Enroute to allow for this - and do the little 2 ft end part first.

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Stewey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stewey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 15 January 2016 at 7:01am
I managed to watch that video on the mobile phone - and it's all very well if you have a substrate you're prepared to go drilling locator holes into.
My methods work when you have a substrate that is important to have left intact with no extraneous homes- which is all the time, for us.
So we have a permanent set of X axis locator blocks, and a couple of generally permanent Y axis ones, so that origin is always perfectly repeatable or findable.
To get a known back end set of blocks, just drop an 8 x 4 ft ACM or acrylic sheet down on the bed, and screw down ACM offcuts flush with the right hand end.  You now will have a known 8 ft or 2440 stopper 'origin' that you can use at the back end for the last 2 ft.
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bowtievega72 View Drop Down
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Joined: 14 January 2016
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bowtievega72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 15 January 2016 at 9:50am
Thanks for the replys guys.  Watched the video, looks like a cool feature.  Just need to figure out what method of material registration i want to use.  I tried setting up a quick file in EnRoute to see how the clip to panel function works but i can't get it work.  The cut file extends past my plate, the clip to plate function is enabled in the preferences menu, but when i simulate the cut it just keeps right on cutting past the end of the plate lol.  My old machine cut files a little different, wherever you positioned the bit on the table was where the corner of the file would start.  A little easier to position the start point for you second half file.  We typically overcut into our spoilboard more than usual so you could see where the edge of the panel was cut on the first half, than slide the sheet down and use the spoilboard cut to make sure you aligned the sheet properly.  We could than position the bit right back along the X axis to the end of the first cut and start the second, physically lining up the bit with the previous cut in the material.  Hope that makes sense lol. 
Stewey:  I guess i am confused how you are realigning your material when you flip it.  Obviously you can have blocks along the X axis to keep your sheet parallel with machine but how do you use blocks on the end of the table?  When you flip, and butt up the other factory end of your material to your stop block, how do you reference where your start point needs to be to cut the second half of the panel?  Am I over thinking this lol?
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Stewey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stewey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 15 January 2016 at 7:53pm
Haha... so we're each a bit confused about the other's approach!

Firstly, I've not had 'clip to plate' fail to work. So I can't solve that part of your problem. It does not make sense.

I do a bit of long routing - 12 ft  and sometimes 4 metre sheets, and currently our machine can handle 11 ft in length.
Some jobs require the letters routed out, eg for  along lightbox, so it does not matter if the routing is done right-way-up, or upside down, as long as the holes are aligned and properly spaced..
Other jobs, well I made a plotter-blade holder, and I will sometimes plot through the plastic cover sheet of AVM, and peel the letters off and paint then, then peel the background, and you have a finished sign. IN this case you can't turn the ACM over and plot on the back. You need to rotate or slide it, before continuing from where you stopped (and hope like mad that they line up neatly)

If I flip the substrate, well you just push the flipped far end up to the X/Y (0,0 origin) stop blocks that you used to register the sheet for the long part of the piece.
If I rotate it, without end-for-end flipping it, which can be useful if you're afraid of breaking or kinking it when you lift it up,  well again you push the far end upside down against the origin blocks.

If I'm doing the 'slide along and continue' method, then I work with the right end pushed up against stop blocks that I've beforehand put in a precise known place than I can replicate in the software.  The X axis doesn't change, but it has a known end-point.

All this is tricky if you don;t have the ability to 'clip to plate', because otherwise the toolpaths will keep going...

(Hope that makes sense)
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