How do I export a flat (2D) part consisting of complex curves (splines) out of Pro/E Wildfire 3 or Creo 2 that a laser cutter can in Aluminum?
My sheet metal fabricator is complaining that the files I send suffer from one or more of these problems:
and sometimes the shape itself whacks out (imagine a fish looking like something MC Escher would draw)
I have tried both Wildfire 3 and Creo 2. Creating a drawing and exporting both DXF and IGES. I have tried filtering the files through Autocad LT and Autocad 14. All with the same baffling results.
Wildfire 3 produces thousands of short spline segments (about .007 long) and/or or the shape loses its shape, and/or has double lines (the same path twice right on top of the other)
Creo 2 does a much better job outputting less segments, but the ends of different segments are not joined.
I have tried this with the part as a 3D model and as a Sheet Metal part, creating a drawing and exporting. I believe the double path problem is because the drawing module in Pro/E essentially draws both sides of a part if it is a 3D part whereas it only draws one path if it is a sheet metal part - not sure about this but it makes some sense.
These problems cause a laser machine to double cut or stop cutting altogether. This assumes the file makes it through the software running the laser - usually the thousands of segments just crashes their computer. The only way my vendor has had any success is to essentially redraw or merge the segments making sure there are no double lines, open ends or overlapping ends. This takes many hours to fix.
I have many shapes that need to be laser cut in Aluminum.
Can someone please advise me as to the best way to export files that work or what I am doing wrong?