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Creating a shape nesting design and generating information for production involves the following steps.
In order to create a shape nesting CAM technology, the nesting contour of the part has to be defined. This contour can be created automatically using the Woodwork for Inventor CAM module. The module analyses the geometry of the part and creates a contour. Another option is pre-defining the nesting contour by the user by creating a 2D sketch of the part and declaring it the nesting contour for shape nesting of a part (see Creating Nesting Contour for Shape Nesting of a Part).
The next important step in preparing information for shape nesting is creating Woodwork for Inventor CAM technology for the part, which designs the shape nesting. In other words, CAM technology for an individual part has to be created, which is later aggregated with other programmes in Nesting module into a single nesting program for each sheet of raw material. Technology can be created in CAM module manually or automatically.
Important! Shape nesting technologies may be created only for parts which have the board, laminated board or multilayer board material assigned to them.
The cutting in shape nesting may depend on the material. For example, we will use different processing for a laminated board, chipboard and plexiglass sheet. Each material may require different equipment, different tools and different shape nesting settings. Therefore, Woodwork for Inventor allows the user to create processing configurations for shape nesting. The configuration indicates the CNC machine and spindle for cutting, method of maintaining the position of the cut workpiece on the table (Bridges or Onion Skin) and nesting contour milling settings. These configurations may be adapted to any of the above-mentioned types of materials. If the technology is created automatically, the program looks at the processing configuration assigned to the material and, based on this, decides for which CNC machine and what settings the CNC technology should be created.
Once CAM technologies for every part are created, shape nesting design can be started. Data may be entered into Nesting program by:
|1.||Retrieving model data from Autodesk Inventor environment (nominal mode). The user can specify to include all parts of the model which have CAM technologies prepared for shape nesting or create a custom list of such parts. Creating such a list may be helpful when cutting the faces of adjacent cabinets with matching texture from a single sheet.|
|2.||Inserting or merging BOM files (*.wbom) saved in Woodwork for Inventor.|
|3.||Inserting or merging previously created Nesting files (*.wnest).|
Each insertion in Nesting program is regarded as a product and the user can change the number of such products. This way, the user can design one nesting for multiple products or, in other words, design nesting for a production order.
A product usually consists of more than one material. In Nesting program, parts made of the same material are grouped into desktops, which contain sheets of materials. Piece instances are arranged on such sheets. The parts will be arranged on the same desktop if:
|1.||They have the same material assigned to them.|
|4.||The thickness of material is the same.|
|5.||They have the same processing configuration for nesting assigned to them.|
A Woodwork for Inventor part is understood as a final product with final mechanical processing, including all covers and edges. However, following the shape nesting, in some cases we get the final part and in some cases – a semi-finished part (piece). Therefore, we will use the concept of the piece in the description. A piece in principle is a certain form of a part, which is not finished. For the sake of simplicity, we use the terms part and part instance in the shape nesting editor manual rather than a piece.
However, when speaking of generating BOMs and shape nesting data models, we make a clear distinction between a part and a piece. A part is an information container/object created using the Woodwork for Inventor BOM function and contains all information about a part. Meanwhile a piece is an object containing a collection of instances, which are arranged on a sheet of raw material, and a reference to its part object. A piece instance is a copy of the piece on the sheet of raw material. In the manual it can be also referred to as the part instance. Instances may be transferred from one sheet to another, their position on the sheet may be adjusted. Instances may be copied and deleted. Instances cannot be dragged to the desktop of another material.