Author: chris

Notes for Updating to 4.5.371 from Earlier Versions

It is recommended to run our Clientupdater program if available to ensure all components are correctly installed.  This update introduces dependencies on new DLL libraries and the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Runtime

 

A common cause of startup error immediately after users have upgraded to these new versions is either:

  • No VC14 installed.  Solution, download from Microsoft here and install.
  • Missing the OpenCascade32 (or OpenCascade64 for the 64bit client) folder containing necessary DLLs.  Contact Kinetic to get them, the folder should exist under the folder where you are running Primecut from, for example:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Primecut4\Opencascade32

Additionally , the dwgconvert.dll is now dcdll32.dll (dcdll64.dll for the 64 bit client), you may be warned on opening a DWG or DXF that your file is older, however the import should still work.

3D Native CAD Import Plugins

Primecut can now import solid models from native CAD files, however an extra cost plugin is required for each format required.

Formats Supported

The following formats and CAD programs can be supported, and each is licensed separately:

  • Unigraphics NX 3D (.prt)
  • SOLIDWORKS 3D (.sldprt)
  • ACIS (.sat)
  • CATIA V4 3D (.model)
  • CATIA V5 3D (.CATpart)
  • CATIA V6 3D (.3dxm)
  • Autocad Inventor (.ipt)
  • JT (.JT)
  • Parasolid (.x_t, .x_b)
  • ProE / Creo Parametric 3D (.prt)
  • Solid Edge 3D (.par)

3D STEP Files can be loaded without need for an additional plugin, ie at no extra cost. 

Requirements and Limitations

  • The parts must be rendered flat, ie already developed/flattened/unrolled/unfolded. (at this time)
  • The parts should be single entities (at this time), not assemblies of multiple parts.
  • Only “profilable” parts are recognized, ie parts with a constant thickness, with no side holes or features on the sides beyond bevels.
  • Knife, V, and Y/K bevels can be recognized.
  • drilled holes, including blind holes are recognized.
  • Counterboring is recognized.
  • Countersinking is recognized but depth may need to be manually adjusted deeper.
  • Tapping is NOT recognized
  • Transition bevels cannot be read (at this time)
  • Any embedded Material/Grade metadata is not recognized (at this time)

Obtaining or Evaluating a native 3D plugin

Please contact Chris in Kinetic’s software team directly to discuss pricing and applicability to your application.

Note carefully the restrictions above, not all 3D files can be successfully processed.

It is suggested as a first test, that you may want to export your 3D parts using your CAD program as STEP files and see how Primecut handles them.

 

PrimecutNE Version 4.5.371 Release Notes

This rolls up the new features added since Version 4.5.365 up to version 4.5.371.

Some Notes on updating to the version can be found here.

New Application Icons

 

Primecut icon 256

 

Moving with the times, we have introduced a new cleaner looking main application icon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally with our new 64bit Client, we have given it its own new icon to distinguish the two products.primecut 64 icon 256

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Native 3D CAD Import

Primecut can now import solid models from native CAD files, however an extra cost plugin is required for each format required.

The following formats and CAD programs can be supported:

  • Unigraphics NX 3D (.prt)
  • SOLIDWORKS 3D (.sldprt)
  • ACIS (.sat)
  • CATIA V4 3D (.model)
  • CATIA V5 3D (.CATpart)
  • CATIA V6 3D (.3dxm)
  • Autocad Inventor (.ipt)
  • JT (.JT)
  • Parasolid (.x_t, .x_b)
  • ProE / Creo Parametric 3D (.prt)
  • Solid Edge 3D (.par)

3D STEP Files can be loaded natively as before, at no extra cost. 

See 3D Native CAD Import Plugins for more information.

NOTE This version of PrimecutNE introduces a new OpenCascade based 3D import engine for STEP files, and for the new Native 3D CAD Import facility (below).  A requirement for this to work is that the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable (also know as VC14, and based around msvcr14.dll) libraries are installed.  See here for more information.

 

Grade Override allowed when nesting

Sometimes, it is convenient/necessary to nest a part (or parts) onto a plate of a different material grade; usually this happens when the part is need from a “low” grade material, but may fit nicely in a nest of a “higher” grade, and there may be no engineering reason why it should not be cut from this typically more expensive material.

Primecut now allows Grade Override when nesting, allowing you to drag parts of differing grade to the plate onto the plate, though you will be warned that the grade differs.  Note that the thickness (at this time) must match exactly.  Autonesting will not make use of grade override, aurtonested parts must have a compatible grade. Compatible means either the part grade exactly matches the plate grade OR the part grade is a material family that includes the plate grade as one of its members.

There is now also a Grade Check button in the nesting toolbar, that scans a nest for grade override parts and allows them to be selectively removed or kept.

Edge Align Feature added to manual nesting tools

The edges of any two parts can now be made parallel, “aligning” them.  Any oblique edge on a part can also be aligned with the plate major axes (X and Y).  Shortcut key to activate align mode is Alt-A.

SQL Filter added to Nesting Mode Plate Selector

This provides more power to advanced users to select exactly the plates they want.  eg “show all imported remnants” , “show all plates loaded into stock on a certain date”, “show all plates scheduled by Bob this year”

Part Labeling now supported on a single Part, not just on Nests

Parts can now have name or other labels automatically placed on them in the processing editor.  This is similar functionality to what was provided in the nest editor for labeling all parts in a nest automatically, but these labels stay with the part.  An option will be provided in a future update to apply this automatically on part import.

Manual Lead Placement Auto Adjusts Leads Based on Context

In the Processing editor leads can be manually repositioned via the Place Leads toolbar button, or by selecting a cutting process and dragging the leadin attachment point handle around.  In the past, dragging a set of leads from a corner to a flat edge would result in leads that typically needed further manual intervention to make them “right”, eg to prevent the leadin piercing on the edge.  Similarly the leadin might be moved to a position where it interferes with another cut. The program now looks at the current “placement context” and automatically sets a new leadin to suit, including corner/tangency conditions and collision checks. The old behavior where the lead set is moved unchanged can be preserved by holding down the SHIFT key as the leads are placed or as the lead placement handle is released.

UPDATE In version 4.5.378 this behavior was reversed following customer feedback: Hold down SHIFT when placing or dragging leads to have them auto-adapt to their immediate new environment; normal placement or dragging without SHIFT pressed leaves the lead style unchanged.

 

Numerous Other Minor Fixes and Ehancements

  • Speed improvements
  • Reporting bugfixes
  • Further improved corner leadin placement – leadouts inhibited, kerf shortening only happens if there is no leadout
  • Improved kerf sausage rendering
  • Improved leadin, leadout, pierce allowance and prepierce collision detection during lead placement.
  • Improved XLeads display: Xleadins and Xleadouts (leads that could not be placed) are now visually distinguished being colored red and orange respectively.
  • Improved Theme support

PrimecutNE Version 4.5.365 Release Notes

Kerf Awareness

PrimecutNE is now more kerf aware, allowing visualization of the cut width, better leadin placement, kerf-offset prepiercing, and kerf-offset pierce allowance.  A utility has been added to allow updating of kerf data in our SmartHPR costings automatically from Hypertherm provided kerf data.  Please contact Kinetic support to obtain the kerf import data.

kerf-support

Improved Leadin Placement on Internal Cuts

Internal leads used to prefer corners to attach to.  This default has now been changed to prefer flats (to avoid burnout in corners), and a setting has been added to cutting tools Lead Placement,  Leadin at Internal Corners to revert to the old behaviour if required.

When leads are placed at internal corners (whether manually or by activating the setting above and having the lead placer place them there), we now shorten the cut path slightly using the now available kerf data to reduce or eliminate the corner overburn.

Plate Attachments

Attachments may now be stored with plates in the database.  A common use for this might be attaching test certificates to plates. See File Attachments .  This functionality will soon be extended to other object types within the PrimecutNE database (in particular parts, workorders and quotes).

Modern UI Enhancements: DPI Awareness

PrimecutNE now properly supports font-scaling, and as a result will run at high resolutions on 4k and 5k monitors.

Known issues:

  • At this time we have not yet scaled all the button icons, so on a high DPI monitor these may look small but should still be readable.
  • Users with multiple monitors with different DPI scaling may experience some display inconsistencies.  In particular, primecut uses the DPI of Window’s “primary monitor’ for rendering its title bars and some system dialogs, thus these may appear larger or smaller than expected on a secondary monitor.
  • Dragging windows between monitors having different DPIs may lead to scaling issues with rendering of lists; we are awaiting an update form a component supplier to resolve this.

Modern UI Enhancements: Theming

PrimecutNE now better supports “themes” allowing its interface to be customized to suit the user, and allowing for a more modern look and feel.  The “Windows 10” theme will be the default, you can revert to a native theme to your operating system by choosing plain “Windows” as the theme.

Many of the themes are “dark’ (ie light fonts on a dark background) and there may be some cases where the theming is as yet incomplete, resulting in some visual inconsistencies if dark themes are chosen.

Some examples:

Windows
Windows
Tablet Light
Tablet Light
Windows 10
Windows 10
Metropolis Black
Metropolis Black
Tablet Dark
Tablet Dark
Glow
Glow

 

64 Bit Support

We now have a native 64bit version of the client that promises better memory management and in some cases better speed.  This is currently in Beta, contact Kinetic’s software team if you wish to participate.

Speed Enhancements

Performance has been improved in general through code optimizations

 

 

Using QFJ (Quote from Job)

      A special type of (usually nested) quote can be generated from a (usually cut, or at least nested) job.  This is useful when a job has been processed without first quoting it and invoicing is to be performed.  If the job parts were nested together with parts from other jobs, while the nett charge is accurately calculated some imbalance in how the cut based costing is applied can result in parts from one job being more expensive than expected, while parts from another job are cheaper, especially in terms of the material charge.
      A function has been added to “retrospectively” quote the job, called Quote From Job or QFJ.  Right click on the active quote in the quote expliorer at top left of the screen and select “Quote From Job”.  This copies the job into a quote 9with extra processing , charges and discounts) and then copies all the nests onto duplicate dummy plates; but only the parts from the job under consideration are included on these duplicate nests; other parts are ignored/excluded.  It will often be necessary to renest some of these copied plates to obtain a fair price as the excluded “other-job” parts will leave holes in the quote nests which will result in excessive material being charged.  Croplines may need to be removed or modified as well.

Always check the QFJ nests visually for gaps before generating the quote!

EXAMPLE

      Consider the following nest of 8 rings (500OD, 400ID) for one customer, and a single disk for (Diameter 300) for another customer.  In this case all the parts happen to have the same ship weight , though each ring clearly uses more plate than the disk.  Being nested together, the material allocated is the expanded rectangle around the rings, and this allocated area is distributed based on part ship weight among all the parts, so each ring and the disk recieve 1/9 of the total allocated area/weight.  The end result is that the disk has 19kg allocated to it for charging.  If this disk was nested by itself (or a part based costing performed) the disk would only be allocated 7.5kg, ie the cut based allocation has “overcharged’ material to the disk by around 150%.  The situation would be worse still if we decided to charge the full plate: the disk customer would be charged for 25kg of plate (ie 1/9 of the total plate weight), ie a 230% “overcharge”.
      The overall charges are still fair however the allocation of those charges between different parts and thus jobs is based on ship weight of the parts, and in some cases this distribution can be “unfair”

      Similarly the rings customer gets a reduced material allocation due to the other part being nested inside.  The allocation of material to a job can depend strongly on the other parts it is nested with.
      In this case it would be wise at least for the disk customer to generate a QFJ to charge from, if the customer is to be given a fair price.  The ring customer can probably be charged as per the cutting analysis (ie slightly discounted as some material was recovered for another job), or could have a QFJ generated which will charge them as though no ther parts were able to be nested.

 

PrimecutNE Version 4.5.359 Release Notes

Drag and Drop Support

Part drawings can now be dragged into Primecut workorders and quotes. Files can be dragged from explorer or from Outlook. Supported files include any currently readable drawing format or BOM, including  DXF, DWG, STEP, NC1.

Dispatch

Primecut can now track part shipments to customers, and to and from service suppliers; for example if parts are shipped to an external supplier to receive extra processing. Tracking numbers and packing information is tracked, and packing slips can be generated. Partial fulfillment of workorders, as well as shipping of multiple workorders within a single shipment is supported.

See also Enabling Primecut’s Dispatch Functionality to Track Part ShipmentsUsing Primecut’s Dispatch Functionality to Track Part Shipments

Tool Sequencing Improved, especially for bevels

This update improves support for tool sequencing. In particular the preferred tool order is now set in the Machines section via the Sequence Rating, and in the the machines section the tools are now grouped by sequence rating, and bevels are now correctly automatically sequence bottom to top.

See also Controlling Tool Priority for Auto Sequence Optimization

Small Part Tip-Up Mitigation

See Avoiding part tip-up on small parts.

Miscellaneous Improvements

Other improvements have been implemented since version 4.5.348 include:

  • Part name recognition improved – scale factors are detected and ignored
  • Part quantity recognition improved – x7, 7x etc recognized.
  • Geographic sort of labels for recognition allows better association of related text, other recognition judgement improvements.
  • Interpart gap used to expand rectangular extents when doing part based quoting was fixed at 10mm, is now adjustable (Global settings, Quote tab, “Expand Part Width and Height by Gap when calculating RectArea”.
  • Reporting: CSV, PDF, XLS, XML report export buttons reinstated, Auto Open behavior corrected.
  • Reporting: XLS output now properly handles unit display types (length, mass etc).
  • Improved support for Platedragger machines
  • DXF/DWG Import: REGION entities are now read, MULTILEADER entities now read multileader text (multileader arrows are not supported).
  • DSTV Import: Null lines are filtered out, improved error messages for unsupported DSTV kinds (Channel etc).
  • Quote Value and Quote Number columns added to the workorder explorer.

 

Auto Breakup of Skeletons

A new feature introduced in version 4.5.348 is the ability to automatically insert skeleton crops into a nest to break the skeleton up along grid lines.

When Optimize Order is activated in the Sequencing editor, there is now a checkbox called.  If checked, a additional tab entitled Skeleton Breakup appears with the following options:

Auto Skeleton Breakup Options
Auto Skeleton Breakup Options

 

Section Width and Section Max Height define the grid size to be used.  Section Width should be less than the trapdoor aperture on Passthrough machines if the skeletons are to be trapdoored away.

Section Variability is how much the skeleton crops are allowed to moved (horizontally only at this point) to minimize crop length.  For example the exact grip positioning of the crop may cause it to run exactly between two adjacent parts; it would generally be preferable to shift the cut so that it crosses the parts and is then trimmed to the skeleton, making it overall shorter and reducing the chance of it cutting where little or no metal still remains.  A typical value for this is around 25mm or 1″.

Skeleton Crop Tool selects which cutting tool is applied to the automatically generated skeleton crops.  If set to <AUTO SELECT> it will look for the last used cutting tool in the existing nest processing; if none is found the skeleton crops will remain unprocessed and must be processed manually using the processing editor.

Skeleton Crop When provides 3 options:

  • After All Cutting This places all the skeleton breakup crops at the end of the sequence, but before any offcut producing crops.
  • Before All Cutting This will perform all skeleton crops before the cutting of parts commences.  It can be more tolerant to plate movement, but caries the additional risk that the entire plate will be covered in the skeleton breakup cuts before any parts are actually cut- any option to change the nest at this point is removed.
  • Progressive This particularly suits passthrough machines, and allows the skeleton breakup cuts to be executed one Section Width at a time, once all part cutting within the section has been completed.

 

After Vertical Skeleton Crop determines special actions that may be executed following the last vertical cuts in a skeleton crop group.

  • Continue just continues with the program
  • Pause To Manually Unload inserts a pause whereby the machine operator can be prompted to remove the skeleton or severed portions thereof.
  • Trapdoor Drop Skeleton inserts a trapdoor drop (so long as the section width is less than the trapdoor aperture) to drop the skeleton section.

For Passthrough machines, particularly those with no outfeed conveyor, the following settings are typical:

Passthrough machine settings for trapdooring skeleton fragments progressively
Passthrough machine settings for trapdooring skeleton fragments progressively

Lead Snaps Determines Trimming of Skeleton Crops

The Lead Snaps setting on the top of the processing editor determines how much the skeleton crops are trimmed short of the parts they will cross, and also short of other skeleton crops.  it is typically set to the kerf Diameter or just under.

Example

The following example hows a portion of the plate where skeleton crops have been inserted automatically- part processing has been removed for clarity.  Note the crops are trimmed short of the parts, by the Lead Snap distance.  Also note the particular cutting tool used has Edge Finish handling set, stopping just short of the top edge and then adding a leadin crossing the edge, during which loss of arc errors are ignore; this is to cope with variable plate widths where the actual plate width  is often greater than and occasionally slightly less than the specified nominal width.

Example Skeleton crops
Example Skeleton crops

PrimecutNE Version 4.5.348 Release Notes

Summary

  • Automatic Skeleton Breakup
  • Automatic Trapdooring of Parts
  • More consistent Color coding of Notes (Plate, Part, Job, Item) – see Guide to Notes
  • “Geometry Defines top Path” is now supported for simple and ESAB bevel types
  • Open Cuts can now be shortened at either end

Automatic Skeleton Breakup

Skeletons can now be cropped automatically. Note that plate movement due to heat and/or release of internal plate stress during cutting may render automatic or programmed skeleton breakup ineffective.

This is applied during sequencing and a number of options are available to help control it.

See Auto Breakup of Skeletons in PrimeCut NE Usage Notes for more details.

Automatic Trapdooring of Parts

In the sequencing editor, Optimize Order now has the ability to automatically insert trapdoor drops into the sequence as appropriate.  On the main tab of the Optimize options dialog there is now a checkbox called Auto Trapdoor Parts, and if checked an additional Trapdoor options tab appears with the following settings:

Trapdoor Frequency
  • Trapdoor Every Drop This adds trapdoors after every cut, whether internal or external, if they are big enough- see Min Droppable Width below.
  • Trapdoor Each Part This drops after each part completes, ie usually after each closed external cut. If clusters have been used, a single trapdoor is placed at the end of the cluster. Trapdoor drops are only placed if the parts fit within the trapdoor aperture.
  • Trapdoor Each Group/Zone Trapdoors are placed at the end of each group or zone, if there are parts completed within the zone and if all these parts fit within the trapdoor aperture.
Min Droppable Width

This affects Trapdoor Every Drop only, and sets the minimum width of an internal cutout for which a trapdoor drop will be inserted.

A Show Trapdoors option as been added to show/hide trapdoors from the graphical display.

Shortening of Open Cuts

Open cuts (those with distinct start and end points) can now be shortened using the Shrink Start By and Shrink End By properties. This can be particularly useful when tagging parts into the plate, if the tags were created too small, then can be effectively increased by shrinking the ends of the adjacent cut sections.