Need testers: TabGen (Fusion 360 Plug-in) improvements

Kerf adjustments can be made when exporting profiles using plugins like DXF for Laser, or even the CAM module native to F360. I did a YouTube video last year to describe the CAM option.

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Here’s an example of using the plugin to create a fully-parametric simple finger-jointed box in a few minutes:

Create some parameters that will be referenced later

Draw a sketch for the bottom panel of the box

You’ll be prompted to save if the document is new.

Create tabs along one axis

Create tabs along the second axis

Draw the back panel

Draw the left side panel

Add fingers to the back panel
TabGen-backfingers

Use the F360 Combine option to cut the bottom fingers of the back panel
TabGen-backbottomfingers

Copy the back panel to the front
TabGen-copyfront

Use the F360 Combine option to cut the opposing fingers on the left panel

Copy the left panel to the right side

Change the width of the box

Change the length of the box

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Sketches created by TabGen will be named based on the name of the bodies being cut, and it will attempt to align the names to the axis the fingers are being cut on–this will not be accurate if used on bodies that are at angles to the X,Y,Z planes.

Operations will be grouped on the F360 timeline, to make it easy to see which operations belong together, and if necessary, F360 will remove the operations together when the undo operation is performed.

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Oh, this is gonna be handy! :smile:


In case anyone needs it…location of the F360 Add-Ins folder for Windows:

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Outstanding! Wish I’d had this a couple weeks ago when I was setting up all those organizers! (Would have been a lot quicker!) :grinning:

I’m running into one small issue when trying to duplicate the notches across two faces…it’s not quite removing all of the material at the second edge. Do you think it might be a rounding error? (I’m using 3 decimal places. To thousandths of a mm.)

Problem happens when the DXF is exported for that face to AI (using DXF export for Fusion plugin) …it doesn’t actually close the shape. It’s going to cut the same way, but it might make adjustments tricky.

BUT…Even if we only use this to make the first row of cuts and then mirror the feature around the center plane, it’s still a fantastic time saver!
I’m impressed! :squid::hedgehog: :elephant: :zebra: :rabbit2: :boom: :dizzy: :partying_face:

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I just found this problem myself. I’m not quite sure what’s going on; it doesn’t happen consistently. I found another issue with cutting small tabs that I also need to adjust. I’ll probably have an update out tomorrow.

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Okay, what I got from above is cool but I think I have an older version as it does not show all the new options?! the zip says 0.31-alpha but the dialog looks like this:

2019-04-30_1-29-48

That’s a weird one. Of course you—of the plugin challenged—would find something like this :slight_smile:

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You definitely have an old version somehow. I’m working on a couple of fixes, in between conference calls, today. I’ll post another version later this afternoon.

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I have OpenSCAD code to create matching finger joints and sometimes similar things happen in 2D export. Changing the dimensions will make it appear and disappear. I’ve always blamed rounding error in the underlying libraries, but have never confirmed.

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Just an update for the curious: I was resolving issues that both @jules and @markevans36301 identified and realized that I had made the parameter portion unnecessarily complex. I’m resolving that before I post an update; and my wife has me sidetracked at a burlesque parody of The Empire Strikes Back tonight, so it will most likely be tomorrow.

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Sometimes a parenthetical statement will pop right off the screen. This is one of those times. :crazy_face:

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I was going to post a picture, but thought better of it.

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I successfully used it here:

Some notes:

  1. I kept running into “plane not vertical” errors. No idea why as seemingly doing the same operation a second time would work.

  2. I frequently saw error dialog boxes but the operation worked anyway

  3. When doing the “left” vs. “right” tabs on the walls where they connect to the backpiece, the tabs are at different positions on the two. I.e. the left and right pieces are different and, if you look really close, the tabs aren’t symmetrical! I believe this is because it started the tab calculation from the “bottom” of one piece and the “top” of the other. More of a surprise than a bug and, frankly, if I knew how to actually use F360 properly, it’d never be an issue.

Super cool plugin. Saved me a ton of time. Actually, it didn’t just save me time, it enabled me to make tabbed stuff in F360 whereas I wouldn’t bother prior because it was such a pain.

THANK YOU!!

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Let us know when the latest version is out. I’ve removed it so I can have a fresh install when the next version comes out.

Even using that old version that somehow got installed I can see this has a lot of potential!

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This is a testing message that somehow I missed removing.

Any chance that you got a screen capture of any of these errors?

This actually is a bug that I noticed the other day. It will be fixed in the next version.

I’m glad it was useful, even though you experienced some issues with it.

Because of the problems you and @jules had, I started digging into the code quite a bit. I’ve spent a bunch of time trying to better understand the Fusion 360 API, and have been able to reorganize and simplify the code in a few areas, and make it easier to extend in the future; I have started identifying additional features to add. I’m trying to get another update out as quickly as I can, with at least the existing functionality and known bugs fixed.

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So, I just ran through the design from scratch again, fully parameterizing it.

Not a single error ever. It might be because my original design started with a fundamental mis-assumption as to what the hell I was doing (safe bet) and that led to geometry errors. Or F360 might have updated.

In any case, I now have a fully parameterized model.

On that front, there are too many parameters that are favorited and, because of poor planning on my part, not enough sharing of parameters between. But that may be, quite likely, because I have no idea what I’m doing and did no planning ahead. :). That and F360 does deserve just a tad bit of blame here; it does a horrible job of managing variables, their names, and their units.

So, I’ll keep futzing.

This is absolutely fantastic, btw. If you had a “donate” button on your GitHub, I would. Of course, having long been in the open source world, I fully understand how “donate” can mean “obligated” to some and that may not be what you’re looking for. Instead, if you’re ever in the SF Bay Area, hit me up and there’ll be a plate of sushi or a beer or something in your future on me. :slight_smile:

I’m simplifying the parameter model in the next version.

I’ll actually be out there for a few weeks in June/July, working with a client.

Not sure how I missed this post, but… thank you! I’m diving in to Fusion 360 and it’s slow going. This will be a great help!

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Glad to see another convert,get in and learn enough to teach me something! Not that hard really.

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