View Full Version : Running wire/string with RhinoCAM

06-09-2015, 12:19 AM
I'm just testing out RhinoCAM, but I'm familiar with other CAM software. I have a good starter project because I think it's easy, but of course I'm doing something weird with my machine.

I'm trying to automatically wind a wire through a printed circuit board. I'm doing this by essentially running it through a needle (hollow chamfered tube) with one end screwed down to a terminal and the other to a spool of very thin wire.

Basically just making some figure-8 type patterns, one with a 3d helical feature to do a few wraps.

All that describes the end objective. From a CNC perspective, what I've done is create a 3D drawing in solidworks that traces the path I want and export a dxf file (as polylines or spline curves) to pull into RhinoCAM.

When I hit the go button, I want the tip of the tool to simply follow that line from start to finish. We're not cutting anything, just drawing a wire (or string) along with the tip of the tool.

So that should be easy, right?


**Tried to use the Vee mill at 0 radius, pencil, engrave... I dunno, am I getting closer?

06-09-2015, 05:08 PM
For doing that, I'd generate the G-code as a "Pencil Tracing" machine op, On Condition (down the middle). Once you have the code for one figure-8, just repeat it as many times as you want wraps. This operation is only available in the Pro and higher versions, though. If you have to do it with the Standard version, generating the code as a flat figure-8 and adding a Z move by hand-coding might be the way to make this work.

06-09-2015, 05:24 PM
Hey, thanks for the reply! I'm surprised that your description suggests its that difficult. I would think that line following would be a pretty elementary process? I actually have what could be a working toolpath by using the engrave feature. I haven't tried to run it yet to see what it does. It will be the 1st time running rhinoCAM code so I'm not sure what it will do but it looks like it might work from the simulation. Still learning about rhino. Also, although I'm exporting as "high res" dxf, it gets really jagged in rhino... might work regardless but that seems odd.
Here's a screenshot of the path and the rhino results so far. (http://imgur.com/aGWHM1X)

06-10-2015, 05:03 PM
It's not especially difficult, but it's also not the usual thing that people use this program for, so the features that make it work are not included in the basic Standard package. I wouldn't worry about the appearance of the DXF rendering; things like that are often rendered crudely to save system resources.