Incorrect layers being sent for CNC cutting

I am fabricating thousands of small parts CNC cut with waterjet, for a large assembly. The file is too large for the fabricator to use, so I take certain parts and copy to a new layer and send that to them. I off course block off the other layers and export as a DWG file. When the fabricator opens the file all the layers are appearing at once. He has figured out a way on his side to block the other layers.
But this makes no sense, and I know a lot of people are getting their parts in Rhino cut with CNC. Is there a setting or an export coding that I need to be using to send the individual layers. This is very frustrating as I have many parts to send out. As always thanks in advance for your help. In this file I am sending "Row D Ribs " on one layer and "Row D Panels on another layer.

Fran Taubman

It says that my file is too large to upload. So I will just hear what you have to say. Maybe you can solve the problem without the file. The waterjet fabricator is using AutoCad. I can send you the AutoCad files.

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Are you using the “Export” command? In Windows it can be found in the Menu>File and there its called “Export Selected”. But anyway, the Export command only exports selected objects - it doesn’t matter what layer they are on if they aren’t selected they should not appear in your exported file.

If that is not working for you then its definitely a bug. To workaround the bug (if that is what it is) I would copy and paste the objects to another Rhino session and export from there.

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On my end with MasterCAM for example, I believe the CAM program is so bad at managing layers that it’s basically inevitable that the CAM doesn’t have the ability to deal with it.

For example, ‘sub-layers’ from Rhino are basically impossible for MasterCAM to interpret since they’re simply incompatible from one program to another.

So, for me I think it’s just always going to be a tedious mess to deal with managing layers in my CAM that will never be as nice as they are in my CAD.

My workflow for now is to avoid using ‘sub-layers’ when doing CAD-to-CAM transfers, and deal with doing redundant naming and changing of layers on the CAM end.

How large is too large…

I’m not sure what “layers are appearing at once” means exactly. But the CAM operator should be expected to deal with whatever it is, cause that’s just part of the job – in my opinion.

Technically all the CAM operator should have to receive from the customer, is the part the customer wants to have made.

Obviously, to a CAM operator, theirs a countless assortment of geometry that may have to be created in order to genrate the toolpaths necessary to machine a particular part/component, but that’s the CAM operators job.

A CAM operator should also be expected to be fluent in CAD, and therefore be able to use your native Rhino formatted files or any format really that’s available.

I am on a Mac and yes I am using the Export command, that gives me a menu of options. I am also exporting the layers as PDF’s which come out fine.

I have heard the same thing you are saying from others, that it is a mess going to CAD from Rhino while fabricating. The file is 51.4MB

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Yeah, the last time I had to convert one format to another that was like parasolid or something, I used CAD Exchanger:

It seems the best way to translate between programs, sometimes, is to use a special program for doing so.

But sometimes, CAM software just doesn’t have what it takes to interpret certain data that comes from CAD’s.

Note on Mac there is Export separately from ExportSelected.


Oh wow Pascal, that is an amazing discovery. Thanks

Pascal the ExportSelected worked beautifully. You might want to share with other Mac users, who are sending files for CNC cutting. Not sure if there are problems on Microsoft or other computers. But this info solved a huge problem I was having. I have to send 48 separate files for cutting for one assembly.