CNC specialist NUM has launched a unique 2D drawing tool that simplifies the design and creation of executable G-code files for CNC cutting machines.
- User interface mimics popular CAD packages
- Runs at the machine’s HMI panel or off-line on a programming PC
Known as NUMcad, the new drawing software runs directly from the machine’s operator panel and also under Windows on any standard PC. Its user interface mimics that of many popular CAD packages and is highly intuitive, making it ideal for people with minimal design experience.
NUMcad is suitable for both design origination and design modification. Simple drawing tools are provided for functions such as Line, Polyline, Arc 2P and Arc Center-Radius; and they are backed by a suite of editing tools such as Meet Two Lines, Shrink or Extend – and even Insert Micro-joint – which enables users to very easily customise and modify shapes.
If a user already has a CAD file and wishes to modify it, NUMcad allows AutoCad DXF files to be imported. And in the event that the user does not have a DXF file, but has created the shape on the CNC cutting machine itself, NUMcad also allows this shape to be imported from their customisable parametric shapes library.
The NUMcad software package includes a post processor; shapes or patterns that have been drawn or imported can be automatically converted into an executable G-code file for the CNC cutting machine.
Using NUMcad, each segment of a cut can be set to rapid, marking, rough, medium or fine cut qualities, to achieve the user’s desired finish; the properties associated with the cut type are pulled from a Technology Table. Both standard shape and custom fly cutting functionalities are available, and associated functions include the ability to control the cut-side placement (kerf compensation) and tilt angle of the machine’s cutting nozzle. Nesting gives the user the option to create complex paths containing the same pattern. With settings like nesting type, number of pieces, sheet size, and scaling, the user can create a path that is sized and optimised to their liking. The added alignment settings allows the shapes to be rotated and offset for the minimisation and optimisation of uncut space – that could turn into scrap.
Much of the application development work behind NUMcad was carried out by the North American branch of NUM, which is based in Naperville, Illinois. According to Steven Schilling, General Manager of NUM Corporation, “We serve a large number of customers in the machine cutting industry, and wanted to create a software tool that would benefit as many people as possible. NUMcad meets this objective – it provides an exceptionally easy way to design or modify G-code files for 2D cutting applications.”