Generating a milling program

  1. Locate the product to depanelize. Select the product in the Macaos product browser and then click on the Depanel button to open the Depanelization module.

  2. Locate the break-off tabs. Click on the Auto-tab button. This should automatically create a depanelization segment for each break-off tab in the panel. This operation looks for all gaps between slots in the panel that are less than specified Tab width. If necessary, you may need to adjust the tab width and try again. Note: Gaps that are smaller than 1.5 mm less than the specified tab width are ignored.

    If tabs are placed at the corners of a rectangular board, they may be removed by drilling rather than by milling. The main advantage to drilled corner tab removal is improved stability during tab removal, since there is no horizontal pressure on the boards as they are loosened from the panel. Drilling also removes a tiny (<0.2mm) bit of the corner, which improves handling by removing sharp corners from the boards. To specify that corner tabs should be drilled, set a check mark by Corners|Drilled.

    Note: For purposes of depanelization, the tab width is the width of the narrowest point on the tab.

  3. Make corrections, if necessary. If tabs are placed too close to the corners of the boards, then the program may not be able to differentiate between actual tabs and other small gaps between the ends of slots.

    If you need to add a tab that was not automatically created, click on the Tab button (so that it is down). Click near the point where the tab begins, and move the mouse pointer near the point where the tab ends. The selection line will automatically snap to the nearest slot segment endpoint. Release the mouse button to create a depanelization segment.
    Note: If the panel slot is defined by its outline rather than its centerline, press and hold Ctrl before you click, so that the slot endpoint is located at the center of the arc which defines the end of the slot. To ignore slot endpoints, press Ctrl and Alt.

    If you need to delete a depanelization line or drill hole, click on the Delete tab button (so that it is down). Draw a selection rectangle around any portion of the object(s) you wish to delete.

  4. Add drill holes (optional). Click on the Drill button (so that it is down). Click on any drill hole in the panel to add a drill hole to the milling file. Drill holes are used for registration pins. Registration holes are drilled separately from tab removal slots/holes (either in a separate file, or followed by an M00 compulsory stop).

  5. Save the milling file. Click on the Save button to save the milling file. The default file format is G-Code, but the file may also be saved in Gerber format. After specifying a file name, the Milling program setup dialog box is used to specify the necessary parameters to generate an output file with the correct coordinates and operating commands for the target milling machine.