InStep Studio


Settings specific to the Slicing Tool

Time to read: ~4 min

The Slicing tool has a few options that are specific to it and are accessed through the Slicing-Setting option:

Slicing Settings
Accessing the Slice Settings

The following options are available:

Clear On Import

If this setting is True, then Slice definitions are deleted when a new body is imported. Keeping this turned off may be useful for cases where multiple bodies are being sequentially sliced for comparison and would be equivalent to performing a Save-Load sequence of Slice Definitions.

DXF Minimum Content

Several applications do not need extensive definition of layers, line styles and similar only to read the line/arc information contained in the DXF files. For those cases and where a small file size is important, writing of a default header for each file may be skipped.

DXF Save Layers to multiple Files

If multiple slices are present, each slice-surface will be converted to a separate layer. If the SaveLayersToFile option is True, then each layer is written to a separate file (with the same file name but a "_layerX" added to it). Otherwise, the file writes all data to a single file with the locations and layers being the only way to separate the data.

Segment Precision

During the slicing process, very small segments may be generated where the slicing plane is close to but not exactly at one of the corner points of a triangle. In this case, the locations may be so close together that they are numerically indistinguishable from each other. The Precision setting allows for differentiation depending on what is important. If the 'Precision' option is chosen, then all segment end locations are considered accurate to within 5 decimal figures (if the work units is set to milli-meters, this would be equivalent to 10 nano-meters precision). With a high precision setting comes the issue that the segments may no longer be continuous as there are now gaps. Using the 'Continuity' option shifts this towards the point where each segment location uses fewer decimal figures to be considered unique and allows for better continuity matching to be performed. The actual intersections are not affected by this but if there are very small segments, it is more likely that they will be removed in order to make the neighboring segments connect. A 'Balanced' value attempts to reach a compromise between these scenarios and tries to keep a higher level of precision except for regions where gaps are generated where it favors continuity.

DXF Rotate

If this option is True, all data is rotated so that the plane aligns with the XY plane (and Z coordinates are ignored). As DXF files are generally considered as planar sketches, this option makes sense, however there may be cases where this is undesirable.

DXF: Arc Tolerance

This setting defines how tolerant the arc detection is to be. The value represents the distance that neighboring sections need to be in terms of their shared center point. If the value is too small, fewer arcs will be detected. If it is too large, arcs may be combined that should not.

DXF: Convert Arcs

Determination of Arcs is generally only successful if the underlying data is clean without any major issues. If it is clear that the arc determination will likely fail, it may be better to disable this search and instead keep arc-segments as simple straight lines and perform arc conversion manually later.

DXF: Merge Straight Lines

If this option is True, the application will attempt to find neighboring segments that are close to colinear. Turning this option off may be useful in cases where the segments show a very gradual slope or where the results are not satisfactory.

DXF: Line Angle Tolerance

Even lines that appear perfectly straight may have a very small angle between them. This value sets the maximum allowed angle between neighboring segments to be considered straight. if the value is too small, it is likely that fewer items are detected as the tolerance needs to also account for numerical inaccuracies introduced during the calculations of the angles.