Hypertherm's CAM software team is ready to give you an insider's look at some of the more popular features and technologies found in our software products.
Common line cutting (often abbreviated as CLC) is when two or more shapes / parts share a cutting path on a sheet or plate. It is often advantageous, in terms of sheet utilization and program runtime, to common line cut parts, particularly if they are placed on the sheet in arrays (grids) or if a slow cutting feedrate is being used.
This week we’re sharing six easy ways to common line cut the same or different parts. These six methods showcase how ProNest makes things easy to use, but not at the expense of power and flexibility.
- Perhaps the most obvious way of common line cutting is simply dropping a part onto your sheet and clicking the ‘CLC’ button on the ribbon menu - an instant common line cut pair is created!
- You may also notice the “Quad” and “CLC Array” menu buttons. “Quad” common line cutting will place four copies of the part in a 2 x 2 grid. It is useful for square or rectangular shapes.
- CLC Array is an exceptionally powerful tool that lets you create a grid of common line cut parts in rows and columns. Not only is this powerful, it is exceptionally easy to set up and use. Simply select a part and click CLC Array – as easy as that! If you want to change any settings, just select the drop down arrow, then click Set Up then Start. Once in the dialog, you can change the array to your liking, including number of rows or columns, column height, length, etc.
- Automatic CLC is useful if you know in advance that you want to CLC a part prior to or during automatic nesting. In the Edit Part List, set any part’s Common Line Cutting property to Pair, Quad, or Both – the part will be automatically common line cut in a pair or group of four and then nested. Likewise, you can have ProNest try to automatically create CLC arrays during automatic nesting by selecting the Allow CLC Array property for a part. ProNest will analyze the part’s shape and create CLC array grids during automatic nesting (when possible).
If you use the “OneClick” job automation feature, you can set all this up to be done ahead of time, click a single button and let ProNest do all the work.
- Advanced CLC is a powerful tool that allows common line cutting of different parts. Despite the name, Advanced CLC, the feature is really easy to use. Simply drag part edges on top of one another and they’ll automatically snap together. Once aligned, right-click and select “Common Line Cut.” The parts can be further positioned to your liking by holding CTRL and performing a “geometric bump” to the desired location.
- Plate / Sheet Edge CLC enables you to easily position a part so that it shares a common line with the plate edge. This portion of the part will not be cut at all. Simply drag the part edge over the edge of the plate, let it snap together, and click Common Line Cut.
ProNest makes common line cutting simple and easy. Kerf, feedrate, cut direction, and lead-in / out properties including style, location, and length are all pre-configured for the user. Whatever you need to accomplish, it isn’t difficult.