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Issues cutting open contour shapes

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bowtievega72 View Drop Down
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Joined: 14 January 2016
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bowtievega72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Issues cutting open contour shapes
    Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 19 January 2016 at 9:45am
hello,  had another issue pop up.  Having trouble getting my machine to properly cut an open contour toolpath.  Refuses to cut the correct depth.  Tried cutting a simple three sided open contour shape (3 sides of a rectangle) and it would only cut 3/4 of the way thru the material.  I then drew a simple rectangle on the same file and applied a router offset toolpath to the shape and it cut perfectly.  same bit, same cut parameters.  If i try to cut a single line with an open contour toolpath the bit only plunges down to the surface and cuts, won't drop into the material.  We have had no problems cutting standard router offset shape and drill centers.  I have all of my machine setup parameters correct, otherwise it wouldn't cut standard shapes properly either.  Does anyone have any ideas that are EnRoute related i could look at (settings or options or something)??  I am also working with my machine rep to see what they think as well.  Thanks!
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PlastecProfiles11 View Drop Down
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Joined: 04 May 2015
Location: United States
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PlastecProfiles11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Software: OtherEnRoute 5 and Flexi 12  Level: FlexiDESIGNER
    Posted: 19 January 2016 at 10:42am
Do you happen to have follow contour selected?
Learn to automate Enroute by seeing an example at https://github.com/PlastecProfiles/EnrouteAddin

Download a working program at:http://www.plastecprofiles.com/enroute.html
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paloalto_17 View Drop Down
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Joined: 29 October 2012
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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: 22 January 2016 at 10:09am
You definately want to make sure that the Follow contour is unchecked. That will cause the bit to ride on the surface of your material. 
Regarding the open contour triangle I would output the triangle and make sure and check the output file. If you open the output file with notepad and you notice that the depths are wrong then you might have something in Enroute is the issue, but if the depths are what you set them to then your machine is doing something to ignore those depths. 

Best regards,
Aaron
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Todd Zuercher View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 January 2016 at 11:02am
There are times when checking the follow contour button is useful.  If your contour is a 3 dimensional line with x, y, and z movement that you want the tool to follow.  But if you are just wanting to cut through or at a certain depth along that line, then yes you definitely don't want to check that box.
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Stewey View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 January 2016 at 7:52pm
I know that 'follow contour' stops the tool from dropping down into the material - but WHY?
I figured out that limitation a long time ago, and trick the machine by setting a new plate thickness at the router itself, so you can get depth n the cut, but I just wonder 'why' it is set to skim the surface instead of just 'follow the contour' at whatever cut definition depth is chosen...?

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N Sign View Drop Down
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Joined: 22 December 2015
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    Posted: 25 January 2016 at 9:30am
I believe it is to follow a 3D surface in this case the "contour" is the contour of your 3D object but I could be wrong.
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paloalto_17 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 January 2016 at 10:01am
Follow contour is only for cutting a line that varies in its Z depth. That would be the only use for it, and a perfect example would be rapid texture, where the line may not have a consistent Z depth. 

Best Regards,
Aaron
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Todd Zuercher View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 January 2016 at 10:59am
Originally posted by Stewey Stewey wrote:

I know that 'follow contour' stops the tool from dropping down into the material - but WHY?
I figured out that limitation a long time ago, and trick the machine by setting a new plate thickness at the router itself, so you can get depth n the cut, but I just wonder 'why' it is set to skim the surface instead of just 'follow the contour' at whatever cut definition depth is chosen...?



The problem is that it "is" cutting at the depth specified by your line in the drawing.  I think Enroute automatically places any contours drawn at the top of the plate, regardless of whether or not you've specified the surface as the top or bottom.  So unless you move them to a different depth in the drawing, a follow contour tool path is always going to skim along at the surface.

A good example of a time when you would use the follow contour option, would be if you import an old g-code file (that you don't have an Enroute file of) using the G-Code Wizard and wanted to generate that tool path to use on another machine.  The contours created by the wizard would be 3-dimensional lines with the depths used in the g-code file and following those lines precisely would be what you want.
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