MapBoards Pro Description

What is a map?

MapBoards Pro (MBP) will create a map which is the arrangement of component bodies in a model on one or more targeted boards. The arrangement is done with copies of the bodies leaving the model in tact. Placement of the bodies is based on a tight retangular bounding box for the bodies. This provides quick results and reasonable nesting.

Material List

When MBP starts the length, width, thickness and material type are detemined for each component body in the model. The list of all material and thickness pairings are presented allow the targeted board dimensions to be specified. The initial default dimensions filled in will be a size large enough to fit one component, the largest component for each material type. You will needs to updated these dimensions before you run MBP the first time on a model to match the size of the material you plan to use. The dimensions will persist and be includes the next time you run MBP on this model. Selecting Save as Default on the option tab will save the dimensions entered for each material type and thickness pairing and used as defaults by MBP with other models. In this example the dimensions for materials Walnut and Mahogany are large enough to contain all components of their material type.

Selection Support

By default all component bodies are included in the created map. Alternatively you can select which component bodies that you want included in the map.  The selected components are displayed in a table.

  • Include Entire Model - Include all components in model with the modifications made to the selected items.
  • Quantity - The selected item's number of copies can be increased from the default of one.
  • Grain Direction - When creating the map each component's longest dimension, its length, is placed horizontally matching the targeted board length. This is an attempt to match wood grain direction.  This default is changed by toggling the double-arrowed icon on the selected item, horizontal image or vertical image.
Rearranging Map
Component bodies in the map created can be manually flipped, rotated and moved in three ways.  Select the link for the steps required.
Exporting Map

A flat pattern of the created map can be exported as a DXF or SVG file with a number of options including kerf. You can perform the export as part of the map creation in one step or produce a map first then export the flat pattern with tasks.  Since you can manually rearrange the components on the resulting map you may prefer the stepwise process of creating the map, rearrange the map then export the flat pattern.

The Export DXF and Export SVG tasks provide the same options for export as MBP itself and produce the same results.  The primary advantage of exporting after the creation of a map is that it allows components to be manually rearranged before export.  The Label Map task will relabel components that have been moved within or between boards. The Label Map options allow you to "play around" with the font type, font size and display units.
Printing Map
Steps for printing or creating a PDF of the map.
  • Create the map with bodies
  • Label the map with the Label Map task
  • Export the map with the Export DXF task
  • Print the DXF file using the program eDrawings Viewer which is free and available for both Windows and Mac. It will resize the DXF image for convenient printing.
Using Linked Components and Assemblies
In order to create a relocatable copy of a body found in a linked component or assembly, without breaking the link, a local copy of that linked component is made from its datafile. The following are best practices when using linked components and assemblies with MBP in order to avoid errors.
  • Always ensure the saved assemblies you linked in have MBP created maps removed. Clear the map by invoking MBP and pressing Cancel.
  • Name all component and do NOT use Fusion's automatically created component names, i.e. ComponentX. Instead provide your own unique names.
  • Remember to save any updates you make to the assembly and refresh the model where linked.

There are a number of options available in the options tab. Trying the different arrangement types, the Can Rotate setting and boards dimensions will result in varied results. All options and dimensions will persist and be includes the next time you run MBP on this model. You can save your option selections as default by pressing Save as Default in the Option tab.

View all available options here.  Option Descriptions