CNC and factory built panels


EmpireDrafting
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I don't see a thread on this regarding panel construction.  We are in initial discussion with a Muni's Housing Authority to design a 640 sf cottage that will be replicated 9 times initially, and many more later.  The housing authority wants to build the units in a factory, ship to site...  If there is a way to export Chief to a CNC type software, this would allow pre-cutting and installing fenestration and penetrations where needed.  We did discover the framing schedule for the cut list.  Ideas?  Thanks! Michael Payne

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You can export to .DWG or .DXF or straight to .STL so it would just be a mater of proper preparation of the model and compatible software for the CNC tooling.

 

Hopefully someone can comment that has actually done it but in theory it should be possible.

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Thanks, Chopsaw.  Seems pretty quiet. non this front. Like you mentioned, exporting a DXF file, but then needs to be converted to gcode.  And in connection to this, with the wall detail, we get a framing diagram, but if we were wanting the OSB layout is there a way to pull layer 2? or for siding, layer 1?  and adding sheet insulation to the mix, at cross angles to the sheathing...  With roof slope, how do you manage to figure the cut angle, or height of a rafter tail.  I know math works.  Anyway exploring new territory here.

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You may need to give it a little more time for the right person to respond but I would not hesitate to contact tech support or one of the users that has a really good grasp of the software.  You will need to use your elevation and section views along with cad detail from view to analyze roof details.  There is a new feature called "Convert Selected to Symbol" in X11 that may be quite useful in breaking down assembly pieces.  Some of the automatic features in the software that make it faster to draw a structure may actually cause issues with what you need to accomplish but it is really surprising what can be done with the rest of the tools when there is a clear end goal.

 

Keep us informed of your progress as I am sure there are others that aspire to do the same.

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I have done several panelized jobs where I designed project and panels. Trick is to break wall at each panel location then it will frame independently. It is very time consuming but panel company was very happy. 

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My experience is somewhat similar to Shane's in regards to setting up individual wall panels for each unit of a multi-story Hotel building.  The panels were manufactured off site using metal framing and other various materials..

 

Each floor had special requirements regarding the gauge of the metal being used and shear bracing requirements.

 

We had no need for CNC on this particular project, but the design challenges we encountered I believe would be similar regardless of the size of the buildings.  All of the shop drawings, floor plans, installations drawings and Submittals were accomplished using Chief Architect alone.

 

Good luck

 

 

 

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As one who owns a business where CNC's are used and we draw for these machines.  I think that you will need to look at other programs to do what your asking for.

 

Will Chief help with panels yes, but if your talking about true CNC work where one might be cutting windows / doors out, electrical and plumbing holes out, and many more things you are starting with the wrong program. For the most part Chief draws a facade of a part. For instance a 2 x 4 is not a solid object but line components made up of several lines representing a solid object not a solid. Cabinets would be another example where lines represent a part not the individual part components as solid objects. A CNC needs either a mesh representation or a solids/nurbs style objects to be able to process through the Cam program to generate tool paths and then produce the G-code which is a text file that the CNC machine can read by the various machine callings.

 

Might recommend that you look at sites like Aspire or Rhinocam to get a better understanding of what a CAM program will and want do. Drawing/CAM programs such as Solidworks, Fusion360, Rhinoceros, FormZ, Inventor, Mastercam are all programs that would typically be used for making parts pieces for the toolpathing for a CNC. I'm sure there are specific programs for producing CNC house panelized products but I personally haven't a clue. Hope this steers you towards the right direction.

 

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KevinWaldron -   Thanks for the input. Chief is where we are.  And so the hope is that we can export it to a product that will not require much tweeking of the data for conversion to gcode.  We could learn solid works or similar.  But for the most part what we would be doing is cutting holes, which of course can easily be represented as a 2D object since the z axis will not change from one side of a panel to the other.  And of course exporting to CAD, and building a wire frame object is possible as well, but once again, that is a representation of a 3D object.  Still thinking...

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  • 1 year later...

This Topic Caught my eye, I am trying to figure out if we purchase a cnc machine, can we use Chief Architect to operate the CNC machine, or do we need to learn a new software, and I saw KevinWaldren you said you own a cnc machine and chief architect and was wondering your opinion. We own a cabinet business, so the cnc machine would be cutting the plywood pieces for the boxes. Has anyone done that? If not, what software do you use?

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7 hours ago, ashlylynn21 said:

This Topic Caught my eye, I am trying to figure out if we purchase a cnc machine, can we use Chief Architect to operate the CNC machine, or do we need to learn a new software, and I saw KevinWaldren you said you own a cnc machine and chief architect and was wondering your opinion. We own a cabinet business, so the cnc machine would be cutting the plywood pieces for the boxes. Has anyone done that? If not, what software do you use?

 

AFAIAA Chief cannot produce cutlists for Cabinet Shops easily (whether they use CNC or not) though Custom Macros can likely do it.

 

Most use programs like E-Cabinet ..see this old thread here :

 

 

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