View Full Version : Holding tabs....Help!!

Deon Gerber
11-15-2010, 4:51 PM

With holding tabs I mean some small uncut sections in a vector cut to keep the part being cut from falling out of the sheet of card stock.

Question......Is there a adon for automaticaly inserting such tabs in a drawing?

Thanks for any help.

Mike Null
11-15-2010, 4:54 PM

welcome to SMC.

I generally use a tiny white filled rectangle created in Corel. Just drag it and right click where ever you want to put it.

Response to Frank's post, which is next: Thanks for correcting me, that method worked on my old machine where I had "clip art mode" but won't work on this one.

Frank Corker
11-15-2010, 4:54 PM
You are kidding right? Just draw a small square and weld it. All you are doing is breaking the constant cut line on the vector lines.

Dan Hintz
11-15-2010, 5:50 PM
Or change your solid lines to a dashed one (or create your own line type).

Doug Griffith
11-15-2010, 8:16 PM

welcome to SMC.

I generally use a tiny white filled rectangle created in Corel. Just drag it and right click where ever you want to put it.

I thought it was discussed earlier that masking vector cut lines only works for some of us. Does right clicking break the line where masked and remove the hidden section of the line? Being a Mac/Illustrator user myself, I wouldn't know such a thing.

Howard Garner
11-15-2010, 9:11 PM
Another method
Place the square for the tab of the line and do a back minus front in the shape menu.
Only works on lines, not closed figure like other squares.

Howard Garner

Scott Challoner
11-15-2010, 11:39 PM
Or you could set your PPI (frequency) very low so the whole things is perforated. Then you can just tear out the piece when you're done.

Richard Rumancik
11-15-2010, 11:49 PM
There is no automated "routine" if that is what you are looking for. If you just want to eyeball the location of the tabs, I would suggest you try the eraser tool. Take your shape and make sure it is NOT a closed shape. (If it is, break it at one node.) Then select the curve, and use the eraser tool by sweeping across the curve. You can select round or square eraser and the eraser size. For cardstock, you might need only say .005" left holding but your eraser size will have to be larger to account for the fact that the beam diameter overshoots the ends of the drawn lines. Don't use any more tabs than absolutely necessary. You still need a strategy to get the parts out of the sheet without damaging them.

Scott Challoner
11-15-2010, 11:53 PM
You still need a strategy to get the parts out of the sheet without damaging them.
You can draw a different colored line where the tabs are and assign it a low PPI so that the tabs are perforated. I like perforating stuff.:D

Rodne Gold
11-16-2010, 12:43 AM
It's easier to use virtual segment delete than weld or front minus back etc , just select it and click the vector inside the "trim" box you have drawn, move the trim box to where ever else you want a tab and do the same.

Deon Gerber
11-16-2010, 1:56 AM

Thanks for the advice you guys. At the moment I find Richards eraser tool the easy way out.:rolleyes:

Thanks again.


Bob Davis
11-16-2010, 2:00 AM
.. And the prize goes to Scott!
Very elegant solution, cut surface is continuous and does not require additional trimming.
While the other methods will (mostly) work, the card is likely to require a bit of cleanup with an Exacto knife.

Gwendolyn Lee
11-16-2010, 3:02 PM
For an automated solution, this will be contingent on the laser / driver / software you are using. I use Trotec lasers, and their Job Control software has the ability to insert "links" on the vector cut. We are able to vary:
- length of segment
- distance (insert a link every x inches)
- power of cut (to make a stronger/weaker link/perf)

I might recommend checking the advanced settings in the job control - this functionality may already be available.

Richard Rumancik
11-17-2010, 12:47 PM
To each his (or her) own, but I can't imagine an automated system working for the basswood kit parts I used to make. You want to make removing the parts from the sheet the least painful for whoever is doing it (you or the customer).

A pre-defined tab length and pitch would mean random location of the tabs. Perforating the tabs might be a useful option, although it is a bit more complicated to set up. You still have to create the tabs using one of the methods suggested, then close off all the tabs using a different color line. Also means a bit more laser time as it has to hop around the perimeter twice. Same goes to scoring the tabs (unless that laser can change power on-the-fly as it works around the perimeter.) Scoring tabs could be useful though on thicker materials.

Perforating all around might work for some projects, but I can imagine it would look like those fuzzy-edged laser-perforated business cards the stationary stores used to sell. Anything other than rectangular parts would be difficult to pop out of the sheet. With laser perf it is best to fold on the line to break the fibers, but that makes the fuzzy edges.

If you use wood, you have to worry about grain direction so that adds an extra element of complication. Generally tabs need to cross the grain. For kits, I tried to place the tab so that it was hidden in the assembly in case it showed a mark. These tabs were less than .010" long in .062 basswood.

You pretty well need to use a knife to cut the tabs on paper or wood or else you risk damaging the part. Bending, folding, or prying the parts out will often lead to damage.

Rodne Gold
11-17-2010, 2:00 PM
You dont have to use a honeycomb table , using a stainless mesh or or a sheet of anodised aluminum or a sacrificial material will stop parts falling out if the issue is pieces falling thru the honeycomb.