Splines are convenient drawing elements to represent non-circular, non-elliptical curves. Unfortunately, when drawings are further processed for example through CAM (G-Code or similar), splines often need to be broken down into simpler elements. Since most CNC machines do not support splines, splines are often automatically converted into tiny line segments which has the potential to slow down the machine substantially.
To prevent this, you can convert splines in QCAD before handing the file to the CNC processor. QCAD can convert splines into polylines with tangentially connected arc segments (fewer nodes, guaranteed smoothness, i.e. no "kinks").
First, please check your preferences under:
Edit > Application Preferences > Modify > Explode
Make sure that Explode splines to polylines with line segments is unchecked as shows in this screenshot:
Adjust the spline approximation tolerance (maximum error). The larger this value, the fewer nodes you will get. Try a value of 0.01, 0.1 or 1.0 and check the different results.
To convert splines into polylines with arc segments, simply select the splines and choose Modify > Explode.
Original spline (top) and exploded spline with 14 nodes (bottom).
Tips and tricks you want to share with other users. Tutorials, user submitted documentation, etc.
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