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Enhancing CNC workflow with multiple post processors

PolyBoard’s multiple post processor feature empowers users with expanded capabilities for managing data sent to CNC machines.

It offers a diverse array of options for handling data across multiple CNC machines, with the added benefit of conditional validation based on tooling types, panel characteristics, and dimensions.

This article explores several key functionalities of this feature.

PolyBoard’s Quick Design libraries include two types of multiple post processors.

Excluding tooling types

Horizontal tooling isn’t typically involved in nesting manufacturing.

However, there may be instances where horizontal tooling is applied using traditional methods like lamellos, dowels, or cams.

The multiple post processor feature provides a filtering mechanism to prevent these horizontal toolings from being sent to the nesting CNC machine.

To set up this configuration, go to the File menu > Multiple post processor options.

Create a new multiple post processor by clicking the + sign.

polyboard multiple post processor

Assign a name and select the appropriate post processor, for example the DXF post processor.

multiple post processor set dxf post

Utilise the Filter section to edit Tooling types and deselect Horizontal toolings.

Confirm these changes.

filter multiple post processor by tooling type

The resulting post processor can then be employed to export DXF files free of horizontal toolings.

Below is a visual representation of a cabinet displaying horizontal toolings on the left side (edge tooling).

polyboard cabinet with edge tooling

Subsequent exports will show the removal of the horizontal tooling, ensuring correct CNC machining.

dxf file showing no edge tooling

In the PolyBoard manufacturing documents, the horizontal toolings are still included for manual application.

polyboard plans showing tooling

Routing specific tooling types to a secondary CNC

Expanding on the previous example, the multiple post processor feature enables the routing of specific tooling types to a secondary CNC machine.

Let’s return to the previously configured post processor in the multiple post processor options.

Now select a secondary post processor, for example woodWOP, for which we’ll associate with specific tooling requirements.

multiple post processor split between different CNCs

PolyBoard creates separate folders for DXF and MPR files upon output, streamlining workflow efficiency.

post processor report showing output separated for each CNC machine

Here is the DXF file for the left side view, where the horizontal toolings have been excluded.

dxf file showing horizontal toolings excluded

The view of the left side sent to the woodWOP post processor only includes the horizontal toolings in the generated MPR file.

woodwop file showing horizontal machining

Optimizing two face machining

In this scenario, the first face toolings, excluding the horizontal ones, are processed on the nesting CNC, while the second face toolings along with the horizontal ones, are directed to the second CNC.

We’ve incorporated an upright into our cabinet design featuring a fixed shelf on one side and a mobile shelf on the other.

This configuration results in toolings on both sides of the upright as well as horizontal toolings.

cabinet with upright showing toolings on both faces

Now we’ll revisit the multiple post processor settings and adjust the filtering to process only the first face toolings.

multiple post processor filtered for first and second face

The outcome now will be that all toolings on the first face, except for the horizontal ones, will be sent to the nesting CNC machine. Toolings on the second face, along with the horizontal ones, will be directed to the second CNC machine.

PolyBoard generates two output folders, each designated for a specific post processor.

post processor report with output split by face

The visual representation of the DXF file of the upright shows the first face toolings.

dxf file showing first face toolings

Here is the visual representation of the second face toolings + horizontal toolings sent to the second post processor.

woodwop mpr file showing second face toolings and edge toolings

Additional selection criteria, such as panel type or size, can be applied to further refine the machining process.

multiple post processor by panel type

To consider a specific application, certain components such as fillers, plinths, or upper strips may need to be assigned oversized dimensions, necessitating a tailored post processor setting during export. By applying this filter, these components can be isolated and processed using a customised post processor to ensure accurate output.

The last option is to select panels according to size.

In the example below, panels exceeding 600 mm will be processed, while those below this threshold will be excluded or passed on to the next post processor.

multiple post processor filtered by part size

Note that the height and width are defined by the post processor orientation output, not exclusively by the cutting list orientation.

In summary, PolyBoard’s multiple post processor functionality offers a comprehensive solution for optimising CNC workflows and streamlining production.

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