Just an idea:
When starting simulation/animation from the tool path preview with some subset less than all path layers displayed, I think it would be helpful to have something like an “animate selection” function.
Understood that it could start deep in uncut stock. The benefit would be to see how the cutting would at some point in the middle of the job without watching for a potentially long time with vigilance to catch the interesting part when it happens.
It would probably be necessary and may be sufficient to scan the gcode backwards from the start point for the most recent tool change.
Animation is generated from the paths that are used to generate gcode. So it’s likely not as difficult as that. I’ll add it to the todo list.
Another thought: allow to select an XYZ volume to animate. I’m guessing that simply parsing gcode goes very quickly. Then animate only when the tool is within the selected region (expanded X&Y by tool radius).
It seems like that and the first idea to animate the selected range of gcode could complement each other to help with more efficiently simulating how some feature of interest will get cut.
Sure. This might work. It will require the ability to select an arbitrary volume and some additional checks in the renderer.
Yeah, not trivial UI. At first blush, I imagine either two XYZ triads to drag for opposite corners, or one triad and three linear handles. Or variations of distinguishing 2d XY selection and Z selection – because the physicality of target machines/materials/jobs almost always has that asymmetry. But shrug – I much prefer when other people have better UI ideas!