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SoenkeD

Arrangement of objects on a flat plane for production

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Hello,
sorry for asking so many questions here. But before buying the pro Version i need to know if this is really the app that fits my needs for furniture production.
I created a simple wall cabinet for tools in a workshop.
In the Introduction video part 2 of Formz there is an option displayed to arrange all objects flat on the xy plane. See: https://youtu.be/bBuSkTdxgpg?t=1809
I want to do the same kind of "explosion drawing" with the cabinets parts and later want to add dimensions so the carpenter can simply feed his tablesaw.
I searched the manual but did not know the name of this function and where to find its description.
Is there really such an fuction in FormZ or has it all to be done manually?
I have only 22 days left with the trail version to find things out if and how they work.... ;-)
So please give a hint...

Thank you very much!

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SoenkeD,

 

The contour tool options will allow this.

 

It's in the modify tool palette (11th row, left column)

 

Left click the tool and select manual.

 

But it only works with this tool.

 

 

 

Hope this helps,

 

Joe

Edited by jsiggia

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Thank you for help.
But unfortunately it slices my cabinett like a loaf of toast...
So i think i have to arrange  the parts manually on the xy plane. Its not comfortable but can be done...

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Hey Z,

 

 

Perhaps this "tool option" can be made into its' own tool that could work on selected objects, or selected faces of desired object (for more control).

 

Joe

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Yes i misunderstood the function watched in the video. I thought it is a kind of nesting function for seperating all parts of an model to a kind of "puzzle" to make it ready for lasercutting, sawing wood panels etc...

Edit:
By the way it would be a great option in FormZ if parts could be nested on predefined sheets like plywood or sheetmetal...
But the contour-function is very interestent for me. I think it is a good way to create bulwarks from ship hulls..

Edited by SoenkeD

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Joe, thank you!
I bookmark this.That will help for special projects that may come. Models for exhibitions etc.

For my cabinet and other furniture i intend to model, i need a software that does not change the parts/geometry but separate the existing parts and arrange them on a flat nesting form.
May be there is some additional software for that needs?
I once had seen this on a rhino workstation. But Rhino ist not so intuitive for me. It has a steep learning curve. I do not like the constructions with commands. I grew up with adobe photoshop and Illustrator.
And Formz seems not to be so different in his user interface.
I hope my english is not too bad an you understand my writing. ;-)
Sönke

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Hi Sönke,

 

formZ will arrange the parts on the plane in general, but it currently does not try to optimize the layout of the parts as best as possible.  We will see if such a feature can be added in the future, but for now you may need to move a few parts to get an optimal layout on a sheet... ;)

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Hi, thank you for answer.
I have no Problems to arrange some parts manually. ;-) I just misunderstood the contour function viewed in the video.
i thought there is a function that arrange all objects of my model on the xy plane and does NOT cut it.
So i will rotate them if neccessary and arrange them  by hand.

 

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What tool does this?

 

 

Hi Sönke,

 

formZ will arrange the parts on the plane in general, but it currently does not try to optimize the layout of the parts as best as possible.  We will see if such a feature can be added in the future, but for now you may need to move a few parts to get an optimal layout on a sheet... ;)

 

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Hi Evan,

 

The Contour Section can lay parts flat on XY (and of course Projection or Unfold will too).

 

Does that answer your question?

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I did it by hand.
First i pull all boards of the cabinet away from each other.
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Then tryed unfold. But it unfolds all sides of the boards of course.
It will be a tedious job to sort all small board sides out..
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So unfold is no good option.
I rotated all vertical boards to horizontal.
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then i use the dist. align. tool twice to rearrange the boards.
I arrange them finally by hand and start to dimension them.
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Any suggestions for easier workflow are wellcome....

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I'm looking for more of a tool that takes solid parts and places them onto a plane flat, as SoenkeD is asking for as well. This is for CNC cutting of parts. This is not for unfolding solids. I thought you were saying there was a tool that accomplished the former.

 

 

Hi Evan,

 

The Contour Section can lay parts flat on XY (and of course Projection or Unfold will too).

 

Does that answer your question?

 

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Hi Evan,

 

The Projection tool will project objects -- so perhaps if you Derive the desired faces first and then project them, that will help with what you need?

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Hi Tech this is interesting. i try this soon.
So  i have to arrange all boards flat next to another on a flat plane i think?
Won´t the projection be distorted?

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To reduce the time spent rotating parts try this:

 

1. Duplicate your entire object and hide the original.

 

2. Use the Derive Faces tool and click on one side of each board until all boards are converted from solids to surfaces. You can either preselect the faces while holding shift and choose "join" in the options, or click one board at a time until all the solids have been converted to surfaces.

 

3. Select all surfaces and Join them into a single object with the Join Tool.

 

4. Use the Unfold Tool and click once on the joined object.  FZ takes care of rotating all the patterns to a single workplane for you.

 

5. Manually move the boards into arrangement to fit on manufacturer's sheets. I draw 48"x96" rectangles on a separate locked layer to represent plywood.

 

 

I join surfaces of panels in groups of similar thickness to help in organizing. One joined object will be for ½" material, one joined object  for ¾" material, etc, etc.

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SonekeD, are you sure you need FormZ to layout each part visibly?

I make furniture as well and use a secondary program to lay out the parts on the various board materials, and it is that other program [cutlist plus FX] which has been fine tuned over the years precisely to do just that, with optimization, adjustable settings and you can even drag a part from one board onto another if you disagree with the automatic layout, maybe to avoid a defect for example.

I appreciate I am only talking about the rectangular extents of a part here.

You will need FormZ Pro for this: the Information Management can be set up to produce a bill of materials and output the information as a csv file, which CutlistPlus FX can import.

I think about the order in which a piece of furniture will be assembled and the first assembly I call group 1, second group 2 etc etc. There is a free extension from FormZ Labs in the Lab Object section called 'Rename Objects' That plugin can be used not only to rename objects and remove unwanted words and numbers, but also to add a serial number in sequence to selected parts, so if the objects in say group 2 are selected you can sequencially get the plugin to add serial numbers sequencially, to the name starting from the group number, eg 2001,2002 etc. I find this invaluable because I use a macro in my spreadsheet to pick out the last 4 digits so all my parts are numbered logically according to the assembly group.

 

I think you may be taking a lengthly approach, trying to get FormZ to do something which can be achieved in a more efficient manner, with the use of another program specifically designed for laying out parts efficiently for cutting.

It would be nice if FormZ had a more direct integration with CutlistPlus FX but maybe that will happen in the future. For now, as long as you are prepared to mess about a little with a spreadsheet, I would recommend you use the export to csv in Info Management. I have written about this before. If I can find it I will post the link.

Edited by Alan Cooper

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http://forums.formz.com/index.php?/topic/659-formz-information-management-output-to-cutlistplus-for-woodworkers/

 

If I had time I would update this to include the adding of serial numbers [using the 'rename objects' labs extension] for assembly groups and using the =RIGHT(cell ref;4) command in open office calc to extract the serial number from name with serial number, eg to extract 2004 from a cell which contains 'table top 2004'

 

Hope this makes sense and helps.

Edited by Alan Cooper

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Setz and Alan Cooper, interesting what you wrote! 
i will try this later.
When i have a little bit more routine with FormZ i look at the cutlist software....
 

EDIT: i see it is only for windows :-( 
But i do not build so complex furniture.
The way Setz descibed is OK for me.....

Edited by SoenkeD

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Cutlist looks like great software for minimizing waste in laying out patterns on sheets.  Helpful if you do this kind of work regularly.

 

My patterns are often weird shapes, and I need to generate these types of cutting files, typically for CNC routing or Plasma or Laser Cutting only occasionally, so I have been laying out manually.  I use FZ's great tools and my method to get everything on a flat plane quickly, accurately and easily.

 

Unfold is a very useful tool. It does more than just Unfolding.  I use it often to send faces from odd angles in a model to the XY plane.  It would be Really Great to have the 3 Point Align script functioning again to replace them back into their original weird orientation and position.

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