Chop

Chop

Win32 and 64, English

A>V>C>
Chop a 3D - solid into many pieces. Make ribs and stair-step.

General Usage Instructions

Using command Chop (Ch):

The first thing the command asks is to specify the base plane. The cutting of the solid will be made from this plane.  Cuts are made by planes parallel to the base, evenly spaced. The easiest way is to select the base plane as a face of a cutting solid. The surface (solid face) should be flat. Autodesk® AutoCAD® can be wrong, and considers the clearly flat faces are not flat. In this case, you need to select another face or select plane by three points.

During the selection of the face, you will see the same options like Slice command: Selection of one of the planes of the current coordinate system or select plane by 3 points. You can assign a user coordinate system (UCS) before the CHOP command and the program will use this coordinate system.  In any case, the solid will be completely sliced in both sides of the base plane.

Next the program prompts you to select the solid for cutting. If you have chosen the base plane like solid face, then the program will use this solid and the request will be ignored.

Next you will need to specify the thickness of the pieces (step of cutting planes). This request contains option Settings. Settings Dialog shared with ChopEdge command. In it, you can configure:

Thickness: the thickness of the cut pieces. Step of cutting planes.

Start from: Default chop begins with zero deviation from the base plane. But sometimes it is uncomfortable. For example, if the base plane is set as one of the planes of the coordinate system, and the solid is located somewhere away from zero, you can move the starting plane at the bottom or top of the solid or on its middle. You can play around with this setting for stubs optimization.

Stair-step: option will be useful to anyone who manufactures frameworks or “chumps” for bending from sheet materials on CNC milling machines. When you enable this option, the program will substitute pieces or ribs on the flat parts with rectified orthogonal ends. All the inclined ends are cut, and they cut off so that the new solid will not just appear anywhere outside the source. All recesses in the pieces show through and the end holes disappear. This is not a failure, so the rectification ends the algorithm works.

Save source: the default sliced solid will remain in the drawing. Pieces will be inside it. If it is inconvenient - disable this option.

Save stubs: chop command may leave in the drawing residues the size less than the specified thickness. They can be used for cutting thinner slices.

Save gaps: if the gap is greater than zero, the program can save the solid remaining in the gaps. In any case, Stair-step function is not applicable on these pieces and the layer is the same as the source solid.

Gap: thickness of the gap between the pieces. You can use the gap to accommodate the thickness of the blade or to form a carcass with gaps between the ribs. If this gap is greater than zero, the cutting step will be equal to the thickness plus gap.

Piece Layer: the program can assign a layer to a piece or rib. If this field is left blank the layer is the same as that of the original solid. The program creates a layer if necessary.

Stub Layer: the program can assign a layer to stub. If this field is left blank the layer is the same as that of the original solid. The program creates a layer if necessary.

Numbering: for the product assembly convenience, you can give names to all the cut pieces with the numbers in order of cutting. In contrast to the Numbering plug, the number in the name does not depend on the solid size, only by the cutting sequence. Identical segments will have the same name. Stubs and gaps are not numbered. If one cut will give several pieces (the solid is divided into separate bodies), then they, too, are different numbers in a random order. You can only see the name of the solid if you have installed the plug-in Names. Names are available in all of my plugins: Lay, Sawing Table and Smart Leader.

Numbering format: string of solid name. Must contain symbol # like the place where the substitute number is. Read more about numbering formats in Numbering plugin description.

Show dialog: the settings dialog will appear every time you invoke the command CHOP and CHOPEdge, without the need to specify options in the console. It is possible to enter the thickness and piece count.  To set the thickness by mouse, click in the drawing.

Read about further features on my site here.

Screenshots

Commands

Ribbon/Toolbar Icon Command Command Description

ChE

Chop Edge. Cut a solid into same length pieces along edge

StSt

Stair-step. Make stair-step from a flat solid. Orthogonal side-faces

Ch

Chop. Cut 3D details into flat pieces

AVCMessage

Auxiliary command for setting output messages about the progress of the program. In the trial mode it shows the activation window.

Installation/Uninstallation

The installer that ran when you downloaded this app/plug-in from Autodesk App Store will start installing the app/plug-in. OR, simply double-click the downloaded installer to install the app/plugin. You may need to restart the Autodesk product to activate the app/plug-in. To uninstall this plug-in, exit the Autodesk product if you are currently running it, simply rerun the installer, and select the "Uninstall" button. OR, click Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features (Windows 7/8/8.1/10) and uninstall as you would any other application from your system. 

Updates

Follow my news on Facebook and new version are available here.

Updates are free. Reactivation not need.

Additional Information

Using command Stair-Step (StSt):

The command should only be used for parts of the sheet materials. In these parts, there are always 2 large flat parallel surfaces - those are left over from a raw material sheet. Often such details are made on CNC milling machines and are not able to tilt the cutter. Therefore, the ends of the parts must be perpendicular to the main plane. This command is just for modeling these parts. It works like this:

  • Find the main (largest) plane.
  • Lay the solid in XY plane (so the part will be on the machine).
  • Make two sections - one at the origin on the Z, the second most to solid top (in fact, the program deliberately shifts the section at 0.00001 inside the body, but it is almost not noticeable)
  • Extrude two sections in the new solids towards each other.
  • We find the intersection of these solids.
  • Voila! We got a brand new solid that can be made on the milling machine. It all ends perpendicular to the main plane. And it never put out the original solid. Is that, in the middle of its thickness at baseline solid could have concave ends.
  • Expand the new solid back to the old place.
  • Removed old solid.

Now you can understand some of the oddities in this command.

Command takes on the job is not one detail, but all that you have chosen. You can select the details before calling the STST command. Initial solid will be always removed.

Known Issues

does not process imported solids.

CHOP: The first piece disappears. 

Stair-Step: Holes removes the insides of piece.

Stair-Step: Slots have become cross-cutting.

Stair-Step: Result solid may go beyond the dimensions of the source solid, if the solid indentation is between the planes of the cut.

ChopEdge: Unfinished sections, extra cuts, extra ribs.

ChopEdge: Do not cut the whole ellipses and closed splines 

Read more on my site here.

Contact

Company Name: A>V>C>
Support Contact: avc_news@mail.ru

Author/Company Information

A>V>C>

Support Information

Please write your questions and concerns in comments to the program on this site. I will reply as soon as possible.

I'll be glad to hear from you any suggestions and comments to further improve program.

Be sure to send me drawings with solids that my program could not handle. Without your help, I cannot improve on the work program. 

avc.programming@gmail.com

Version History

Version Number Version Description

2019.3.4

Compatible with AutoCAD 2020 New activation system

2018.3

Compatible with AutoCAD 2019 Fixed: StSt error (from tolerance)

2017.3.0

Compatible with Autodesk® AutoCAD® 2019

1.3

Initial release
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