This articles covers the basics of moving and rotating units to optimize material usage and properly adjust unit orientation for calculating jobs. Related articles list here or available in the knowledgebase have more detail such as how to setup specific unit types or using the various tools in the tools button menu to modify the unit.
The standard Millbox configuration will auto-nest and auto-sprue the units once a material is selected in reusable blanks such as 98mm discs. Adding additional units after selecting the material will require you to adjust the unit positions.
For positional fixtures, Millbox will typically auto-add one sprue towards the fixture position location and auto-nest the unit toward the end of the block.
The auto-nesting function tool is located the Tools view menu. Clicking the nesting button will perform a best fit analysis of all the units in the job to try and maximize disc usage while attempting keep enough material structure to sprue to. It typically gives a good fit and typically does not need adjustments unless you want tighter packing of units or it's a complex design with multiple divergent drill holes.
CAP recommends uses the auto-nesting for nesting jobs such as disc full of single units typically as the amount of material saved is not worth the additional risk and time. The risk of units potentially falling out due to unseen material fractures or improper sprue placement for unit-to-unit nesting. CAP does review and adjust the sprues placements with minor nesting position adjustments.
CAP also recommend small batch sizes to minimize the risk of any issues with a mill job and to enable discs to move in and out of a machine faster to get more work downstream. A typical unit count per batch for us is about 6 - 8 units. You can load one disc with multiple small batches so in the case of a tool break or machine failure in the middle of a job, you minimize the risk of losing an entire disc of units while keeping production moving forward.
Move and rotation handles overview for unit location adjustment
These are the XYZ movement handles will manually shift the unit by holding and dragging the icons in that direction.
This is the manual angle rotation handle. This will move the unit in the direction plane it is located on around the zero point of the unit by left clicking and moving the mouse in the direction required.
Here is an overview of all the movement handles visible along with the rotation handles. The black axis lines and the blue rectangular plane were added to the image below to help visualize how the handles move or what plane the unit will rotate around.
These handles will appear and disappear depending on what view angle you are viewing the from in the machine view.
When rotating with the angular handles, the handles will not rotate with the unit relative to the angular change.
After STL load and material selected
After an importing an STL or after materials have been selected, you can left click directly on a unit and start rotating and moving the unit around the disc as needed.
If you need to go back to load more units, you will have to click the currently open view button first then the "Import STL" button next if you need to switch from a view already open. Regardless, you can still manage the units in the interface.
The clip below shows how you can move and rotate the unit using the arrow handles and rotation handle from the bottom view. In this view you will only see the X and Y arrow handles and only one angular rotation handle.
Looking at the units from another angle, you can see the different angular handles appear in the clip below. There are angle stats in the movement view and can see the current rotation applied.
The Angle A and B values are to check the rotation of the unit is beyond the limits of the machine. Many machines have a limit in how much it can rotate before being unable to mill the area out as designed. This is helpful when attempting to angle a unit in a disc to fit into it. If there are multiple cavities or drill axis, the Angle A and B values displayed will be the maximum value of all the angles required to adjust the tool to mill the entire unit.
Unit colors and/or sprues will change to various colors if there are detectable issues. Millbox may not detect everything but will give you some basic warnings. Here is the article on unit color legends to read more on what the colors identify.
When spruing and nesting is completed, you are ready to start the calculation process.