Cluster Tool Recognition Introduction

Before we consider using cluster recognition to reduce the number of toolhits for image-based perforated pattern, we need to have a look into the available cluster punch tool in the workshop. After that, we also need to consider the available clearance on the cluster punch die and all the geometrical information regarding the selective cluster punch tool that we are going to use. All the information will determine the type and the material thickness that can be safely used to manufacture the image-based perforated metal.

If we already select the material type and thickness based on the existing design, then we need to create the custom cluster punch tool to suit the material if there is no suitable cluster punch in the CNC workshop. There are many existing company that will help you to manufacture custom cluster punch according to particular specification.

To get the information where a custom cluster punch tool can be ordered, you may contact your CNC Turret punch supplier or your CAD/CAM software supplier.


Cluster<br />
Recognition Turret Punch CNC by Image2punch
A typical cluster punch die with 0.16mm clearance and the cluster punch  sleeve.

Up to the third version of Image2Punch, there are 7 cluster pattern types that available in the software. They are:
-    Cluster Pattern 2 X 2
-    Cluster Pattern 3 X 3
-    Cluster Pattern 4 X 4
-    Cluster Pattern 2 X 3
-    Cluster Pattern 3 X 2
-    Cluster Pattern 2 X 3  STAGGERED
-    Cluster Pattern 3 X 2  STAGGERED



Perforate Sheet Metal Design by Image2punch
From left to right-top to bottom: Cluster Pattern 2X2, 3X3, 4X4, 2X3, 3X2, 2X3 STG, 3X2 STG

The first five patterns can only be used for straight perforated pattern and the last two can only be used for angle perforated pattern such as 45 degree or 60 degree angle pattern. All the icons above represent each cluster tool when a particular cluster tool database is open. The dimensions in blue are represent the geometry of a particular cluster tool and the unit measurement can be defined when creating that tool. The information in red is to let the user know about the angle rotation in clockwise direction.

W represents the distance from the centre between two holes in horizontal direction, and H is in vertical direction. R represents the radius of the hole. O represents the offset or the “half distance” between two holes from its centre. The Offset value can be negative or positive. On the last two icons of the staggered cluster pattern, it shows the offcet in a positive direction. 


Perforate Sheet Metal Design by Image2punch
A dialog box of 2X3 STG tool database consisting 3 tool variation


More sub-topics for this tutorial is on the right hand side bar, or if you want to go back to Applying Cluster Recognition tutorial please click here