Hi there, totally new to CNC and programing. I will in the future, once I get a Longmill, need to cut patterns in two pieces that will need to be a mirror image of each other and will need to use locating pins so that they line up perfectly when they are glued together. if it makes any difference to anyone this is for making steel rule dies. Gerber Profile Die Board router system. https://acesteelruledies.com/blog/2017/03/25/steel-rule-die-router-bits/ is this an easy task with most software or will I be needing to get specialized software to do this?
@El_Cheapo Welcome back,Neil. What material do you intend to cut the dies out of? The link that you provided is for used bits that Ace is selling. I found one of their videos on that page, but really didn’t get much from it in terms of how it relates to what you want to do with a Long Mill. They are into precision dies if I read their site correctly.
The material would be plywood, likely baltic birch or something similar. In the past steel rule dies were made with a special jigsaw, with the advent of lasers and CNC routers the jigsaw is not as popular. The main manufacturer of the jigsaw has gone out of business. Essentially a pattern is cut in the plywood and then a steel rule which is sharpened on one side is bent in the same shape as the pattern and then inserted into the slot. The die is then used in a 20 ton or 25 ton hydraulic clicker press with a large platten ( lets say 24" X 24" ) and with a piece of UHMW plastic underneath you can cut parts out of leather, rubber or other materials. because the slot is so thin .042" and the thickness of plywood of 5/8" they cam up with the tapered bits to cut the slot because obviously it would be difficult to cut through What you need to do is cut two pieces of plywood in a mirror image with locating pins so that when you glue them together there is the .042 slot on the top and bottom and inside there will be a slight V top and bottom inside the wood. I do not know if this is totally clear or not. There is a good video of the installing of the steel cutting rule into a wood die on this site. Custom Tool and Die Making & Gasket Die Cutting * NeSeal.com * Precision Jigged Steel Rule Dies
If i got this right, there should be several ways to achieve this. At least, mirroring is a common CAD operation, though there is no need for some special CAM software.
@El_Cheapo I watched the video, Neil, and I still don’t quite understand the need for mirror imaging. That said, my ignorance is not an issue. As @JHahn - Jannik said, mirror imaging in CAD software is quite common. In VCarve, for example, it’s one mouse click. If your CAD software doesn’t accommodate it, pretty much any graphic software will.
Maybe I’m missing something??