NUM (UK) Ltd – Highly intuitive drawing software simplifies 2D path design for CNC cutting machine users
September 15, 2021
NUM has launched a unique 2D drawing tool that simplifies the design and creation of G-code executable files for CNC cutting machines.
Called 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 software packages and is very intuitive, making it ideal for people with minimal design experience.
NUMcad is suitable for both design origination and design modification.
Simple drawing tools are provided for features such as Line, Polyline, 2P Arc, and Center-Radius Arc; and they are backed by a suite of editing tools such as Meet Two Lines, Shrink or Extend – and even Insert Micro-Joint – which allows users to customize and modify shapes very easily.
If a user already has a CAD file and wishes to modify it, NUMcad allows importing DXF AutoCad files. And in case 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 its library of customizable parametric shapes.
The NUMcad software package includes a post-processor; shapes or patterns that have been drawn or imported can be automatically converted into a G-code executable file for the CNC cutting machine.
Using NUMcad, each segment of a cut can be set to fast, marking, coarse, medium or fine cut qualities, to achieve the finish desired by the user; the properties associated with the type of cut are extracted from a technological table. Both standard shape and custom fly-cut capabilities are available, and related features include the ability to control the placement of the cut side (kerf compensation) and the tilt angle of the cutting nozzle from the machine. Nesting gives the user the ability to create complex paths containing the same pattern. With parameters such as nesting type, number of parts, sheet size and scaling, the user can create a path sized and optimized as desired. Added alignment parameters allow shapes to be rotated and offset for minimization and optimization of uncut space – which could turn into scrap.
Much of the application development work behind NUMcad was done by NUM’s North American branch, based in Naperville, Illinois. According to Steven Schilling, Managing Director of NUM Corporation, “We serve a large number of customers in the mechanical cutting industry and we wanted to create a software tool that would benefit as many people as possible. NUMcad fulfills this purpose – it provides an exceptionally easy way to design or modify G-code files for 2D cutting applications.