Contributed by Wayne Cathers (November 2017, Updated December 2019)
The Auto NC window is where you set parameters that will be used when SigmaNEST automatically applies toolpath. These settings are stored by machine, material, and thickness, so whenever you set your parameters as default, they will be loaded again for the next task of the same machine, material, and thickness.
This article will go over some of the major parameters used in the Auto NC window. For more information on a specific parameter, or anything that's not covered here, check out the SigmaNEST Help Center.
Applying Auto NC
Once you create a task and nest your parts, go to the Nesting NC tab and click Auto NC. The Auto NC window opens, where you can set the parameters mentioned in this article (and more).
Whenever you have finished modifying the parameters, click Set as Default if you want to save your settings for future use. Then click OK to automatically apply toolpath to your nest layout(s).
Cutting order settings can be found on the General tab.
- Min Move 1-3 determine whether the machine will make more vertical or more horizontal movements. 1= more vertical processing, 2 = more horizontal processing, 3 = balanced processing in both directions.
- Min Heat and Skip Cutting both provide heat reducing cutting patterns that are helpful when cutting thick material.
- Block Cut splits the nest into segmented blocks so the machine will cut everything in each block before moving to the next block.
- Spiral Inwards is often used by routers to retain as much vacuum on the center of the sheet as possible.
- Stability Sequencing is often used for punch machines and causes the machine to cut parts farther away from the clamps first.
Process preference vs. part preference
The process and part preference options can also be found on the General tab.
- Choose Part Preference if you want the machine to complete all processes for each part before moving on to the next. For example, if you have a nest of parts which each have etching, the machine will both etch and cut each part before starting the next.
- Choose Process Preference if you want the machine to complete all contours of a single process before switching to a different process. So in the above example, the machine would complete all etching on all parts before cutting the parts.
Kerf settings can be found on the Parameters tab.
- Select Kerf in Computer if you want SigmaNEST to use the kerf values set in the TEC table when compensating for kerf.
- Select Kerf in Control if you want kerf compensation to be dependent on the kerf tables at the machine controller.
Machine optimization settings can be found on the Advanced NC tab.
- Part Avoidance – Allows automatic movement of leadins for more head-down movement. This saves both time and wear and tear on the machine.
- Move Around Hazards – Adds extra traverse lines around previously cut parts to keep the machine head down and prevent unnecessary head-up movements.
- Auto Bridge – Creates bridges from one part to another (or between multiple parts) to save pierce time and head-up/down moves.
- Auto Chain – Cuts through the skeleton from the leadout of one part to the leadin of another part, saving flame off/flame on time.
- Common Cut – Cuts the edges of two different parts with a single pass (if they were common line nested).
- iPierce – Creates a small eyelet with a single pierce, then use that eyelet as the location to start the leadin for other parts. This allows multiple parts to be cut using only a single pierce, which prevents wear and tear on certain machine nozzles.
Material usage and handling optimization
- Edge No-NC (found on the Advanced NC tab) – Uses the edge of the sheet as the edge of a part. If the part is nested along the edge of the sheet (within the tolerance) then SigmaNEST will not apply NC along the edge of the sheet.
- Laser Destruct (found on the Laser Destruct tab) – Allows SigmaNEST to automatically cut internal dropouts into smaller, more manageable sizes. This can make scrap removal easier or make dropouts small enough to fall through slats.
- Crop Sheet (found on the Crop Sheet tab) – Determines when crop lines will be used and sets the crop size. You can also have SigmaNEST automatically save remnants (if you have the Inventory Control module) and add them to your inventory.
- Remnant Marking (found on the Remnant Marking tab) – Adds marking/etching to each remnant that is created for tracking and storing purposes.
- NC Fillets (found on the NC Fillets tab) – Rounds off some corners by creating fillets in the cutting path rather than editing the geometry of parts.
- Tabbing (found on the Auto Tabbing/Tab Definition tabs) – Determines if/how parts will be tabbed to the skeleton. Useful for preventing parts from tipping or falling through slats.
These tabs will be grayed out if your machine post is not configured to support them.
- Multi Drop – Optimizes NC for part removal on sheet dragging machines. This can only be used if you have already nested your parts with the Multi Drop nesting engine.
- Router – Controls how SigmaNEST should handle certain advanced router processes such as destruct and multipass.
- Waterjet – Contains parameters specific to waterjet machines such as nozzle size, orifice size, pressure, and abrasive factor.
- Common Line Punching – Allows your punch machine to cut edges of two different parts with a single hit.