Intuitive Drawing Software Simplifies 2D Path Design for Users of CNC Cutting Machines

User interface mimics popular CAD packages.

User interface mimics popular CAD packages.

NUMcad is a 2D drawing tool that simplifies the design and creation of executable G-code files for CNC cutting machines. Image courtesy of NUM.


CNC specialist NUM has launched a unique 2D drawing tool that simplifies the design and creation of executable G-code files for CNC cutting machines.

Known as NUMcad, the new drawing software runs directly from the machine’s operator panel and also under Windows on any standard PC. Its user interface mimics that of many popular CAD packages and is intuitive.

NUMcad is suitable for design origination and design modification.

Simple drawing tools are provided for functions such as Line, Polyline, Arc 2P and Arc Center-Radius; and they are backed by a suite of editing tools such as Meet Two Lines, Shrink or Extend—and even Insert Micro-joint—which enables users to very easily customize and modify shapes.

If a user already has a CAD file and wishes to modify it, NUMcad allows AutoCad DXF files to be imported. And in the event that the user does not have a DXF file, but has created the shape on the CNC cutting machine itself, NUMcad also allows this shape to be imported from their customizable parametric shapes library.

The NUMcad software package includes a post-processor; shapes or patterns that have been drawn or imported can be automatically converted into an executable G-code file for the CNC cutting machine.

Using NUMcad, each segment of a cut can be set to rapid, marking, rough, medium or fine-cut qualities, to achieve the user’s desired finish; the properties associated with the cut type are pulled from a Technology Table. Both standard shape and custom fly cutting functionalities are available, and associated functions include the ability to control the cut-side placement (kerf compensation) and tilt angle of the machine’s cutting nozzle. Nesting gives the user the option to create complex paths containing the same pattern. With settings like nesting type, number of pieces, sheet size, and scaling, the user can create a path that is sized and optimized to their liking. The added alignment settings allows the shapes to be rotated and offset for the minimization and optimization of uncut space—that could turn into scrap.

Much of the application development work behind NUMcad was carried out by the North American branch of NUM, which is based in Naperville, IL.

“We serve a large number of customers in the machine cutting industry, and wanted to create a software tool that would benefit as many people as possible,” saysSteven Schilling, general manager of NUM Corporation. “NUMcad meets this objective—it provides an exceptionally easy way to design or modify G-code files for 2D cutting applications.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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