CNC Simulator Pro

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12.2.15. More about contours

In addition to tracking guides, you can create contour rectangles or click [Follow mouse] to create contours.
 
 
These methods won't create arcs, but you can modify the contour later, such as adding arcs to corners.
 
 
Two contours: the upper one created with [Follow mouse] and the bottom one with [Rectangle].
 
Clicking a contour reveals a popup menu with modification functions:
 
 
Let's start from the top going down.
 

Delete

 
 
The Delete function offers three options: delete the whole contour, remove the last object, or delete only an unconnected segment. To delete the first object in the contour, use the [Reverse contour] function, which reverses the contour's order. Selecting [Segment only] allows you to delete an unconnected part of the contour, referred to as a segment. Segments may appear after importing DXF files or merging layers, and they are not connected to the rest of the contour.
 

Move

 
You can move a contour. First, click the point you want to move from, and then where you want to move to.
 
Holding SHIFT while clicking creates a copy. Alternatively, input new coordinates at the bottom of the SimCam screen.
 
 

Rotate

 
Rotate the contour around any point.
 
 
Hold SHIFT to create a rotated copy. Enter the angle at the bottom of the SimCam screen.
 
 

Mirror

 
Create a mirrored contour using a guide line as the "mirror."
 
 
Hold SHIFT for a mirrored copy.
 

Scale

 
Used to scale up or down a contour. If you want to make the contour double the size, enter 2 in the scale value input box shown. If you want to make it half the size, put 0.5 in the box. The scaling will be done around the contour origin (see Origin below).
 

Origin

 
The default origin is X0 Y0 (X0 Z0 for Lathe machines). This function allows you to move the origin. It is shown as a small green/orange dot when hovering over the contour.
 
 

Fillet

 
Click near a corner where you want to add a fillet radius. Select [Modify] - [Fillet] and enter the radius in the Radius input box at the bottom of the SimCam screen, and press Enter.
 
 

Chamfer

 
Click near a corner where you want to add a chamfer. Select [Modify] - [Chamfer] and enter the chamfer distance in the input box at the bottom of the SimCam screen and press Enter.
 
 

Optimize

 
For imported DXF files or merged layers, this function reorders lines and arcs in a contour layer, finding the contour's start and arranging objects in sequence.
 

Break apart

 
Separate non-connected contour segments into standalone contours, useful after DXF imports or layer merges.
 

Append

 
Extend an existing contour by following existing guide lines and circles or following the mouse.
 
 
There is a shortcut menu available for quickly creating contour, engraving, and pocket milling operations. This menu is particularly useful when working with well-defined contours made up of drawing objects, like those in a conventional CAD drawing.
 
 
Please note that while drawing style projects might take slightly longer to create, they are generally easier to use as a base for toolpath generation. Users can choose to work with guide or drawing objects, or even a combination of both. For convenience, it is recommended to place dimensions, guide objects, and drawing objects in separate layers.
 
When you click on an object within a drawing contour, you will see a [CAM] menu appear.
 
 
The menu offers the following options:
 
[Pocket]: This option appears only when the contour is closed. As the name suggests, it creates a pocket milling operation using the contour as its boundaries.
 
[Contour]: This option generates a contour milling operation. If the contour is closed, the tool will travel all the way around it. For open contours, the operation will stop at the last object (or at an intersection).
 
[Engrave]: This option automatically creates toolpaths for all objects on the layer. It is particularly useful when you want to engrave everything on the layer using the same tool and parameters.
 
Let us click on [Contour] and see what happens.
 
First, a dialog window appears asking for basic parameters related to the operation. Specify the desired tool diameter, the Z level of the cut, and the Z level for transport movements. Click OK to continue. Remember, you can edit these and other parameters in the layer settings at any time.
 
 
Following this, a window allows you to choose the toolside and direction around the contour. As you click on the buttons, the changes will be previewed instantly. Once satisfied with your selections, click OK to complete the process.