View Full Version : Nesting toolpaths

02-25-2010, 09:58 AM
Has anyone attempted to nest MadCAM toolpaths? I'm looking at using RhinoNest. It would be cool if I could have several different parts and toolpath each part, then use RhinoNest to nest the toolpaths.

Joakim, is this possible?

This would be a valuable tool. Right now, we are gearing up to manufacture 100 chairs. The chairs incorporate a lot of joinery and everything is milled on the cnc. We glue up panels and we nest the parts on the panels for maximum yield. This means that no two sheets are identical. It is far simpler to tool path each part and then nest those operations versus toolpathing each sheet individually. This also reduces the chance for error.

Mastercam has this capability and for efficiency, drives us to use MC but we'd prefer to stay in Rhino/Madcam.

Any thoughts?
Chris Robinson

Dan B
02-25-2010, 02:26 PM
Hi Chris,

I don't see why that wouldn't work. Have you seen the video where Joakim creates a 5-axis toolpath by rotating and moving the paths onto the side of a block? I would think that what you are trying to do would be similar. I have done some 5-axis details where I rotate the part, use 3x paths, then rotate it back. It worked great.

I guess the big unknown here is whether you can copy toolpaths (if I understand correctly, you want to program one part, then nest the toolpaths in the sheet of material, which means copying, moving and rotating.)

I'll run a test and see. In hindsight, it's hard to believe that copying paths hasn't come up for me before.


Dan B
02-25-2010, 03:20 PM
It doesn't appear like the toolpaths can be copied and posted. However, if you nest your paths you may be able to use the "Along curves" toolpath to accomplish what you are after. I just tried it with a simple curve and it worked. So to summarize:

1) create your toolpath on the "master" part
2) nest the toolpath in your stock
3) Using the same tool, apply an "Along curves" toolpath to the existing nested paths
4) Hide the layer with the original toolpath
5) Post process the new toolpath.

Hope this helps. At the very least, it might be worth a try.


02-25-2010, 04:51 PM
It doesn't appear like the toolpaths can be copied and posted.

You mean, like copy/paste?
That works, at least on my setup.

Dan B
02-25-2010, 08:05 PM
No, I mean copied and posted, as in post-processed. The post-processor ignores the copies from what I am seeing.


02-26-2010, 10:20 AM
I'll go look at Joakim's 5axis videos. After creating the master toolpath, using RhinoNest, tried to select the master toolpath to nest but it wouldn't copy.

I'll look at your procedure but I think it will be very difficult. The parts I'm processing will require 3 passes to outline, bottom layer to have tabs and areas that require pocketing. Then there's the flip ops. (You can see why we need to nest the toolpaths!)


Dan B
02-26-2010, 10:28 AM
Hi Chris,

I don't have RhinoNest to try, but it seems odd that you can't select and copy a toolpath. Maybe RhinoNest is doing something other than a simple copy and rotate?? In my testing that's all I did and it worked (as long as you re-ran the "along curves" algorithm)

Sorry I can't be of any real help.