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May 25, 2018, 07:50:59 am


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Author Topic: .stp STEP File Implementation  (Read 183 times)
Bob La Londe
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« on: May 05, 2018, 17:12:26 pm »

I see some issues, but some of it may be my own inexperience with it since I had held off testing until an announcement that it had been fully implemented.  (No, I have seen no such announcement.)

1.  It seems .stp files must be opened, not imported.  This may not be a huge issue since .stp files will tend to be near fully fleshed out design.

2.  There is no option to tell CB if the source geometry is in imperial or metric units or the scale.  in/mm or in/ft etc.  Fortunately there is a resize tool built in that I use all the time to rescale from mm to in.  

3.  The resolution of the mesh surface created is quite low.  This virtually renders .stp file usage useless for me.  I did not see a place to change the resolution.  

(3b.)  It might be useful to use the lines and arcs from the .stp file in conjunction with an approximately identical .stl file.  A "select all meshes/lines/arcs/polylines" feature might make this useful for separating out geometry.

4.  There seems to still be some precision errors as there are when doing fine 3D work in imperial units with regular stl meshes.  As we know these can create bad tool paths or simply suppress generation of g-code.  I found going to a larger cutter size to do a job often cured the problem. For obvious reasons this is not an option for a lot of work.  It seems to be much more of an issue with waterline than with horizontal or vertical 3d operations, but I suspect it will show up with some scanline methods as well as it does from time to time with regular imported STL meshes.  

5.  I found that the shape area on some mesh surfaces was indicated as much larger than the actual mesh.  This resulted in tool paths outside of the actual mesh unless using a selected shape boundary.  

One thing I found to be quite interesting and will help immensely is the ability to select individual feature meshes.  While not an ideal solution it will go a long way towards allowing for finishing individual small feature details.  It may make for a sort of stop gap between brute force machining and rest detail machining.  

I suspect I might use this tool with two copies of the .stp layer.  One for individual feature machining, and one for joined mesh area machining.  

« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 15:09:31 pm by Bob La Londe » Logged

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Bob La Londe
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 02:35:43 am »

I might suggest that the .stp file is opened in two layers.  One with the mesh surfaces, and one with all the other geometry.  It might make detail work a little easier.  Another thing might be the ability to highlight and select all lines, arcs, etc adjacent to a selected mesh. 
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Getting started on CNC?  In or passing through my area?
If I have the time I'll be glad to show you a little in my shop. 

Some Stuff I Make with CamBam
http://www.CNCMOLDS.com
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