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Exporting tubes as STP files

These days it's possible to have tubes CNC laser cut, which opens up some neat options for semi-handmade bikes (tubes mitred by a machine, brazed/welded by a human). From a data point of view it would be handy if Bikecad could export tubes as individual STP files. The program obviously already calculates all the dimensions and the mitre contours so it doesn't seem like it would be an impossible thing to integrate but I don't really know what's involved!

Usually the machines 'cut to normal' ie at right angles to the tube, so the mitre would have to be cut along whichever of the inside or outside wall lines removes the most material. Some can make 3D cuts, ie with the head at an angle with the resulting cut being much like that done with a file or holesaw. 

This process is only an option with straight, untapered tubes so accurate modelling of chain and seat stays (and other curved or shaped tubes) isn't a problem. 

What do you think, Brent?

By the way, the tube cutting

By the way, the tube cutting firms I've been looking at request a STP file by preference, but I also think they can work with a 2D DXF file of the whole tube, unwrapped along its long axis. This is more similar to what Bikecad already exports as a mitre template, only with all the middle section of the tube included as well.

Exporting as STEP file

The next update of BikeCAD will include an export to FreeCAD option. This will allow you to export your design to FreeCAD which is a free 3D CAD tool from which you can export STEP (.stp) files from. To isolate individual tubes, you could perform a boolean operation to cut the ends of the top and down tube with the head tube and seat tube.

Wow, a feature beyond my

Wow, a feature beyond my wildest dreams! Looking forward to trying it out.

That's cool Brent. Be

That's cool Brent. Be interesting to see a BikeCAD plug-in for something like OnShape. Thanks as always, JF

 

Ooh! I need this! Awesome! 

Ooh! I need this! Awesome! 

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