NUM (UK) Ltd – Highly Intuitive Drafting Software Simplifies 2D Path Design for CNC Cutting Machine Users


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September 15, 2021

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 control 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 creation and modification.

Simple drawing tools are provided for functions such as Line, Polyline, Arc 2P, and Arc Center-Radius; and they’re backed by a suite of editing tools like Meet Two Lines, Shrink or Extend – and even Insert Micro-joint – that make it easy for users to customize and edit shapes.

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

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

Using NUMcad, each segment of a cut can be set to fast, mark, 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. Standard and custom cut-on-the-fly features are available, and associated features include the ability to control cut side placement (kerf compensation) and the tilt angle of the machine’s cutting nozzle. Nesting gives the user the ability to create complex paths containing the same pattern. With parameters like nesting type, number of parts, sheet size, and scaling, the user can create a dimensioned and optimized path as desired. Added alignment settings allow shapes to be rotated and offset to minimize and optimize uncut space – which could turn into scrap.

Much of the application development work behind NUMcad has been 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 machine cutting industry and wanted to create a software tool that would benefit as many people as possible. NUMcad fulfills this goal: it provides an exceptionally easy way to design or modify G-code files for 2D cutting applications.


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