call: (678) WAY-SAW4
email: info@bigbluesaw.com

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FAQ/HELP

How should I format my CAD files for Big Blue Saw?

Our computers try to use the CAD drawing you upload to determine what your part will look like. But they can only do that if the file is formatted correctly. Here are some tips to help you become successful with Big Blue Saw.


Understand what kinds of parts can be made with Big Blue Saw

All of Big Blue Saw's parts are made with an abrasive waterjet. This means that two dimensional designs are cut from sheets of material.

Read the FAQ " What kinds of parts can I make with Big Blue Saw?" or all the FAQs on parts for more information.

Make sure that your CAD file is in the correct format

Currently, Big Blue Saw best supports version 12 DXF files. New version DXF files may work, but Big Blue Saw's online quoting system can't handle certain DXF entities found in the newer specification, ELLIPSE and TEXT in particular.

Read Big Blue Saw's FAQs about files to find out more, and in particular read "Which AutoCad entities does Big Blue Saw support?"

Cutting path and kerf

Design your part at exactly the size you want it, and we will do our best to make it that size. There is no need for you to compensate for the kerf or cutting path.

Outline segments should meet at their endpoints

Bad: lines on sides of area overlap


Good: lines meet correctly at the corners

Holes inside your part shouldn't cross each other


Bad: holes in the center of the part cross over each other


Good: two circular holes are joined together


Good: two circular holes are split apart

Your main outline shouldn't cross over itself


Bad: this outline crosses over itself in the center


Good: no lines cross in this outline

Don't let any two areas cross each other


Bad: the smaller and the larger triangle cross each other


Good: the two triangles are joined together

Make sure that segment endpoints meet correctly


Bad: segments in the center are dangling


Good: areas in the center are completely enclosed



Show only the part outline

Drawing with internal lines
Bad: Lines within the part outline

Drawing is outline of part
Good: Drawing shows only the part outline



Outline areas to be cut


Bad: the letters in the center will not be cut correctly from the rectangular area, as they don't form enclosures


Good: the letters "USA" will be cut from the rectangle. Also note the stencil style letter "A".



Remove the bill of materials, notes, charts, and other non-essentials


Bad: includes chart containing information about the part to be made


Good: includes just the part to be made, in a 1:1 scale

Don't include a scale reference


Bad: includes reference area for drawing's scale


Good: part is scaled 1:1 and formatted in inches or millimeters

Upload only the parts to be made by Big Blue Saw


Bad: complex assembly of many parts. Big Blue Saw can't determine which part you want.


Good: a single part that Big Blue Saw can make. It's outlined in purple in the previous example.

Engraving

You can add engraving to your parts when using a DXF file. Just create a new layer called "Engraving" and add all of the things to be engraved to that layer. Note that we don't yet support the HATCH (filled area) or TEXT entities in DXF files.

For example, in QCad, just click the "+" button in the layers list to add a new layer:
Image

You will be prompted to enter the name of the new layer. Enter "Engraving" (without the quotes). Your layer list will now look like this:
Image

Finally, add any lines, arcs, etc. to be engraved to the Engraving layer by setting their Layer attribute (Modify -> Attributes -> Layer:).

Other CAD or drawing software may operate differently. Consult your software's documentation for more information about layers.

Read the FAQ on what kinds of parts you can make with Big Blue Saw.



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Big Blue Saw
5.0 stars - based on 17 reviews
Waterjet and Laser Cut Custom Parts.
Address for correspondence only:
3522 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE #145
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: (678) WAY-SAW4 (678) 929-7294