Aeronaut's industry-leading cutter driver and nesting software, Tangent, is at the cutting edge of machine control software in the industrial, recreational and technical textiles field.
Tangent closes the gap between CAD drawings and the plotted output making just-in-time and one-off cutting faster, easier and more profitable.
Unlike other nesting and plotting software, Tangent has been designed from the beginning for industrial textile users. It does not matter if you are cutting upholstery fabric, tension membrane structures, leather, or carbon fibre, Tangent is the most flexible, easy to use and powerful program around.
Tangent is the closest thing to actually plotting from your CAD program. A large format flat bed plotter is not a printer Its a CNC machine. Cutting speed, acceleration, tool up and down delays need to be controlled for each tool But we want it to work like a printer. When you click on the button to start a plot, you expect the plotter plot exactly what you draw on screen.
In the past, plotting CAD files has been a hit-and-miss affair requiring the preparation of special plot files in your CAD program, export file formats which are different to your drawing format, specialised translators to convert CAD data to the plot file format, and different tool settings for every file.
Tangent uses a CAD file format as its own file format so that drawings appear in Tangent exactly as they appear in your CAD program. When nested and saved by Tangent they can be opened back in your CAD program for editing with no data loss at all.
Tangent supports many more drawing entities than most nesting software. Lines, polygons, rectangles, rounded rectangles, polylines, arcs, arcs in polylines, and circles to allow files to be plotted without compromising the quality of the original drawing. Tangent reads Vectorworks, DXF-AAMA, Illustrator EPSF, SMSW NTV, HPGL and Gerber NC files.
Tangent is a modern program, written from the ground up in a modern programming language. Its a multi window program which supports drag and drop from one queue window to another. Tangent supports manual, semi-automatic and automatic nesting even into irregular outlines for working with leather, off cuts and when re nesting patterns on patterns. Tangents splitting routines allow you to accurately split patterns and add seam allowances much faster than in CAD software. Designs can be drawn full size and split to match the fabric you have on hand, minimising waste.
Tangent has a powerful array of cutter control features to allow the widest range of work to be handled. Cutting tools can be easily assigned to shapes in CAD drawings so a shape intended to be cut with a rotary blade can be interchanged to a drag or reciprocating blade at a mouse click. Complete tool setups including cut pressures, speed, acceleration etc. can be saved with the job and re-imported for new work. Plot order and tool setup are all on the plotter control palette and can be rapidly changed by dragging the tools.
Tangents output supports optional cubic spline smoothing and arc fitting to give the best results from all files. Plotted output can be previewed in Tangent to avoid plotting mistakes.
Tangent supports the control of a lot of external equipment. This might be simple devices such as digital pressure control for precise cutting, laser alignment pointers for stripe matching, or ink-jet pens. More complex equipment such as overhead camera/projector rigs can be used for leather work, allowing hides to be traced and patterns to be nested while texture and grain are checked. The system can also be used for pattern matching on any fabric.
Tangent is being used in many applications including sail making, blind making, canvas & PVC, short run box production and carbon fibre cutting. Contact Aeronaut for prices and competitive upgrades.
These are the headline features of Tangent.
- SiliconEye Machine Vision
- Cyclops Machine Vision
- Software virtual joystick
- Alignment and Registration Marks
- Scaling patterns to registation marks
- Angled Grids and guides
- Built-in Swatch Making
- Fault Line fabric defect tools
- Tangent Automatic Data Entry
- Additional DXF Compatibility
- Current Vectorworks Compatibility
SiliconEye Machine Vision. Tangent headline feature is SiliconEye Machine Vision. SiliconEye gives your cutting system a wide range of new, exciting but most of all, useful features to help solve numerous daily cutting problems. For more information on SilionEye, see SiliconEye Machine Vision.
Cyclops Machine Vision extends SiliconEye's capabilities. Cyclops can be used in conjunction with siliconEye or by itself for rapidly and accurately performing a range of functions from pattern alignment, grid development, fabric fault location as well as pattern and stripe matching.
Tangent's software virtual joystick gives you the ability to move the cutter around the table, set alignment and registration marks, locate faults, set grids and fabric feed parameters without leaving the computer. Unlike some competitive machine vision systems, where the operator has to continually move between the computer and a joystick fixed to the cutting table or to the gantry, Tangent's software joystick lets you control all machine features directly from the computer.
Alignment and Registration Marks. Tangent has an extended set of tools for aligning cut profiles to printed and patterned material, grids and registration marks. If you cut anything more complicated than rectangles on plain material, then Tangent's alignment and registration mark tools will make your life easier.
Registration marks can be easily set in a queue using a pointer, the cutter and a joystick or with SiliconEye.
Scaling patterns to registration marks. If you are working with patterned or digitally printed materials then you'll know that it's common for cut profiles not to fit exactly because the material has shrunk or expanded compared with the cut profile. Tangent give you the option of centring the cut profile between registration marks or scaling the profile to fit the pattern. Fitting cut profiles to registration marks is a simple two-click process.
Angled Grids and guides. It's not always easy to put material square on the cutting table and it can be a lot quicker to rotate a pattern on a computer screen than to move the fabric. With Tangent, grids no longer have to be lined up with a machine axis, they can be skewed to the fabric on the table or any angle you want, so you can easily rotate patterns to suit the fabric.
Built-in Swatch Making. You can now create matrixes of swatches, complete with punch-holes directly in Tangent. If you've got a queue of nested patterns with some wasted space, you can now generate a set of swatches in an instant to fill the gap and avoid throwing out good fabric.
Fault Line fabric defect tools. Faults in fabric can make life difficult when cutting. Now, with Tangent's Fault Line feature, you can add a range of different fault markings to a queue and nest patterns to avoid the fault. Pulled threads can be entered with a single click and rectangles, ovals and polygonal faults to mark defects and marks can be accurately entered by drawing in the queue.
Faults marks can be position in the queue in a number of ways… the cutter can be jogged to the fault with the joystick, the position can be measured with a tape or most easily, you can use SiliconEye.
Tangent Automatic Data Entry Tangent Automatic Data Entry (ADE) provides a quick and easy way to get pattern data into Tangent without using a CAD or design program. Data can be generated by most order management software, spreadsheets and even word processors. For more on this see Tangent ADE.
Additional DXF Compatibility. Every year the goal posts move slightly with DXF files and each year, Tangent's DXF import feature changes to read more entity types.
Vectorworks Compatibility. Tangent now reads all of the new entity types in Vectorworks and Vectorscript files including native reading of bezier files.