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DXF Import filter
Video on DXF Import
The DXF import filter allows you to convert drawing data which is in dxf format, according to DIN G Code for KinetiC-NC software. The import filter reads files in DXF ASCII format. The following elements from DXF files are read and recognised:
Layer (Name of the layer is displayed)
Line (Lines with 2 vectors in 2D or 3D)
Circle (Circle with midpoint vector in 2D or 3D and radius)
Polyline (As open or closed line)
Vertex (2D or 3D, points for polyline)
Point (2D or 3D)
What is to be imported?
B-Splines (Bezier splines) are not supported, nor is 3D solid data. However, all supported elements are supported in 3D, with Z values.
If the element point or polyline (with only one vertex) are included, they will be interpreted as drilling points. Lines, polylines and arcs will be collected in segments where they have the same start and end points. The tolerance catches of these points can be set in the software and are set at 0.001mm as standard.
The direction of milling
The direction of the individual elements will thereby be adjusted and possibly changed. The direction of milling of one individual segment conforms to the direction of the first detected element drawn. There is also the possibility of deleting individual segments, or to enter Z depths, laser power or feeds for individual segments.
How to import
You can select the data to be imported by selecting Menu/Import Drawing and opening it. If the file contains correct, readable data, the following dialogue box will be opened:
The layer with data is displayed in the upper field. Layers in the file which do not contain evaluable data will not be represented. Layers can be individually activated / deactivated. Only active layers will then be imported. The size of the data to be imported will always be updated and related only to active layers/segments. By clicking on the tab on the left, the following, additional settings will appear.
Tab: Standard layer value
DXF Standard layer value
Here you will see which data from the individual layers is to be pulled up for conversion.
1) The Z depths as set in the Global Settings fields for Milling/Drilling will be used for all layers. 2) Every layer has its own individual settings 3) (which are only activated when it contains 3D data) The Z values from the layer data is used.
1) The values as set in the Global Settings field are used for all layers. 2) Each layer has its individual feed values
Zero point feed
1) The zero point will not be changed; it remains as it is in the file. 2) The zero point is set in the lower left corner of the piece. 3) The zero point is set in the middle of the piece.
1) The values as set in the Global Settings field are used for all layers. 2) Every layer has its own tool.
Tab: global settings
Here you can apply the settings which are used as proposal values to change the individual values of a layer as well as the global values, if no individual value is assigned. Differences for milling data and drilling data will be set (only available if the file includes at least one layer of drilling data).
DXF Global Settings
Value: the depth of material to which should be milled/drilled.
Value: the speed of the milling spindle
Value: the G1 feed in mm/min
The tools to be used from the tool list
G1 feed to be used for dipping into the material.
This data can be set separately from the milling data.
G81/G82/G83/no cycle: Here you can select whether a drilling cycle should be used. If no cycle is selected, then code will be displayed which behaves as if G81 was selected.
Z Depth: Drill hole depth in mm
Retract R: The retraction plane (level) to which the drill will be retracted before a new hole is drilled, or lowered into the material again.
DWELL: Pause time at the base (G82)
Cleaning: Depth to which this should be set (G83)
All the general data on the machine and the piece/material should be entered into this field.
DXF Import Settings
Z values for materials and machines
Upper surface of the material: The highest point of the material which is to be milled/drilled
Z safety height: The height at which the rapid feed (G0) can be used without risk of colliding with the clamping device.
Save the parameters If this option is selected, all the settings will be saved and recalled on the next import. The resetting of all the values to the factor settings is achieved by pressing the „Standard Values“ button.
CV Mode If this is selected, the Constant Velocity mode is activated rather than the Exact Stop mode.
Create row numbers If selected, the row numbers will be issued in G-code.
Files in standard inches If this field is marked, then the coordinates in the file will be interpreted as the dimensions in inches.
Scaling: You can enter any arbitrary value here for scaling the file. 0.5 will, for example, halve the file, i.e. a 100 x 100 mm large template would now be just 50 x 50 mm, whereas an entry of 2.35 would scale a 100 x 100 mm large file up to 235 x 235 mm.
Program extreme values Here the maximum coordinates of the entire programs will be represented. Similarly, the complete size of the piece will be displayed. By activating/deactivating individual layers, this value will automatically be recalculated. That means that only the dimensions of the active layer will be displayed.
Layer Details (layer of lists):
DXF layer details
By right clicking the mouse on a layer in the layer list, the global settings will be assigned, or you can have the set values displayed and change them. That means you can set individual values for each layer for feed, Z depth, tool or drill. The description of the individual values is identical to the above described global values.
Extended processing / Path details:
If you click on the „Path Details“ button, the following window will open up:
In the upper left corner, there is a list of all segments included in this file. Clicking one of these segments will make it turn „light green“. Simultaneously, the fields below this list will be activated. By deactivating the little check-box in „Active“, you can exclude the selected segments from export.
This is helpful if the files contain double lines or elements which are not to be milled or drilled. By activating the little check-box in „Show deleted“, only the elements which have already been deactivated will be displayed.
In the graphic, one can shift the image by pressing the mouse and by right clicking the mouse, you can zoom in. By clicking on the „Reset Pan/Zoom“ button, you can return to the original format.
Optimising the Drawing Files
For files made up of lots of small line segments, it may be advisable to sort the segments once more and line them up next to each other. They can be released by pressing the „Optimise Path“ button. This option cannot unfortunately be reversed. So in the event of an unexpected result, e.g. lines doubled up, the import will have to be done again.
After pressing the Conversion button, the data will be transferred into G code and automatically loaded as a program. The converted data is documented below for clarity:
The code produced will in part be optimised as it is generated. That means that G-commands and F-commands will only be issued if the command changes. Coordinates will only be issued if they differentiate from the current positions. For improved legibility however, the commands and parameters will be separated from each other with blank spaces.
The converted file will be saved with the file ending .nc in the same folder from which the .dxf file was opened. It should therefore be noted that the KinetiC-NC program has write permission of the media from which the dxf file was opened (i.e. not from a CD/DVD).
Things to watch out for when importing elements from DXF files.
Polylines are normally characterised whether these are closed or not. Unfortunately, this does not always work. That’s why it’s important when importing to check whether the first point aligns with the last. If that is the case, then the line will be marked as closed in every case, even when it says it’s open in the DXF file. If the file is saved as closed lines but the end point does not line up, then the line is to be closed.
Note for experienced users
Unfortunately, many programs provide unsatisfactory, inaccurate exports of DXF files. This includes Corel Draw, for example. This will often happen because the lines in a drawing program have a certain thickness. Then the program exports every line side for itself, so you will get doubled up lines. But because it is so often implemented in such an inconsistent and imprecise manner, the result is very irregular segments. These are never 100% consistent, they will always be slightly different to each other.
The import filter does not decide which segment is exported „better“ or „worse“. Neither does it make sense to delete the actually consistent elements and only leave the rest.
Assistance in the event of bad templates
When imported, all associated segments will be numbered and provided with a comment. If, on opening a file, a double line is visible, the best way to proceed is as follows:
Importing files with high feed rates and low Z values for testing.
Test the file WITHOUT the machine in demo mode. Thereby one can easily see which segments are better and which should be deleted. By running a test run, you will be able to identify the incorrect segment numbers. Import the file with the correct feed and Z values.
Open the file with the Editor and remove all previously noted, doubled-up segments. No existing import data or messages like „Error while parsing the DXF files, incorrect version?“ Some programs may dismantle the text into splines during DXF exports. However, KinetiC-NC-Import filter does not read splines. In this case, try to save the file in an old file format which does not support splines, e.g. Autocad DXF R10 or older. It is usually good practice to use the oldest file format available in the event of import errors.