Part 4 General Introduction

Using the program surface

  • The combined cursor – Keyboard Input
  • Open using file linkage
  • Calculator
  • Customer service
  • Milling data setting
  • Automatic arc creation
  • Export aids
  • Tool input

The combined cursor – keyboard input (Position input).

Positions or displacements can be input graphically using the cursor (Mouse) or analytically using the keyboard. If such a function is activated, then the cursor appears which can be positioned using the Mouse. At the same time the entry line is overlaid (upper area of the display screen). The entry line contains the description of the input followed by a double point ‘:’ and a vertical input mark. As long as nothing it has been entered using the keyboard the graphical cursor input is active. If a symbol is entered via the keyboard then the graphic cursor is inactive. If all entered symbols are once again cancelled (e.g. using ), then the graphic cursor input is again active.



Input via the keyboard is always possible if the entry line is indicated as described. As far as no or invalid values are entered, the point of the cursor cross is always the input. The number of values to be entered with keyboard input results from the display text of the entry line e.g.:


Display: Input via keyboard:
Input zero position (x,y)[mm]: 105,23 45,90
Straight (radius, angle) [Deg.]: 10.1 45
Inner circle – radius [mm]: 23.5
Position 2 (x,y): 200+18,5 100-2*3,5


A position consists, for example, of 2 numerical values X- / Y- value or radius / angle (e.g. 50 60). The individual values are to be separated through a space character ‘ ‘. Decimal places can be separated using a comma ‘,’ or point ‘.’ (e.g. 123,1 210,5 or 123.1 210.5).  


For the input of numbers the symbols ‘0 .. 9’, ‘.’, ‘,’, ‘-‘, ‘+’, ‘*’, ‘x’ are accepted. Repeated numbers must be separated e.g. using space ‘ ‘ or any other symbol which is not admissible as a number. Only if precisely as many values have been entered as the program demands is the input accepted. I.e. the number of figures must correspond with the requirements. If, for example, 2 values (for X and Y) are demanded, then 2 figures must be entered. The input is concluded using  or . The input is aborted using or .


The number input can be combined together with the basic arithmetic operations. Values which are to be calculated must be written coherently. Bracketed operations or several successive arithmetic operators (10*-0.5) are not possible. Processing takes place in the order of the input. All arithmetic operation have the same validity.


Permitted arithmetic operations:

= Addition
 –  = Subtraction
* or x  = Multiplication
/ or :  = Division


Input examples: Result:
123.4+10 133,4
234-3  231
12*4   48
256.4/2   128,2
-10*0.5   -5
100-2*3,5   343
Open using file linkage. [Explorer . Open using…]

Using Windows from Win2000/XP onwards, files with the expansion .SLD, .LG1 and .H2R from Explorer can be linked and directly opened with eSIGN2D. For this select the desired file (.SLD, .LG1.H2R) in Windows – Explorer using double click. If no linkage exists then the window open using… is displayed.


Here select Other and the program eSIGN2D. Select always open this type of file using this program and OK.


The calculator is switched ON from the active numerical input using . The input field OK closes the calculator and transfers the result into the numerical input. The input field Esc closes the calculator and leaves the numerical input unchanged.

Customer service.

If you have questions about the program, about the range of applications etc., please send your questions and your customer data by e-mail to:

AHSoft Ing.-Büro A.Horn


We would request you to understand that we can only offer our customer service for registered program licences.

If an error occurs then send the faulty data and a detailed description of the error, the last operations and relevant program settings to the above given e-mail address.


A transmission of the data per e-mail is recommended. Please send only data packed using WinZip. Please give previous notification of data amounts >1 Mbyte. You will then receive information on the further procedure.



Settings: all inputs and data are saved during the operation of the program and are immediately available with every program start. If there are damaged data sets in the memory, then these can lead to running time errors following program start. Temporary data can be deleted in that you remove ‘*.TMP’ and ‘*.PAR’ files from the directory. The program parameter (*.PAR) can also be deleted using Parameter .Help . Clr Parameter.

Font installation: Character sets (fonts) should be located in the working directory of eSIGN2D before the first program start. For subsequent modification the fonts must be copied into the working directory and reinstalled. For the installation of the fonts for programs using Font-Editor  select Font Editor . Import Font . install HZE. For eSIGN2D (l,ly) exit the program, delete the file  HCAMHZE.PAR in the working directory of eSIGN2D and start eSIGN2D again.

The milling data setting.

eSIGN2D is a universal milling/engraving program. Using this milling data can be created via several paths:


Layer allocation.

The milling data are saved as ‘Graphic’ in individual layers. Each layer is allocated a tool from the tool library (Tool 0 to Layer 0, Tool 1 to Layer 1 etc.). The milling data are automatically created with export using File . Direct Mill from the layer and tool information. This path is ideal for 2D milling tasks such as labels, simple front plates, simple engravings. The milling task can be easily monitored through the layer colour and milling path visualisation already during data input.

Milling objects in milling layer.

Milling layer is a layer, which is occupied by milling data only.

Milling objects in several milling layers:

In the menu CAM graphic objects are converted into milling paths and saved in target layers using the functions MillCorr 2D/3D, Graphic > Millpath, Hatching, 3D Cycles etc. Here various target layers can be used and processed similarly as with the layer allocation. The results from AutoCorrection and Relief (using TLayer/PLayer > Target layer) can be saved in this milling layer. Thus several milling procedures (2D/3D engraving, cutout, projected, partial relief) can be combined and milled together. This technology is expedient for straightforward 2D/3D milling tasks.

Milling objects in one milling layer:

In the menu CAM graphic objects are converted into milling paths and saved in one target layer (milling layer) using the functions MillCorr 2D/3D, Milling Path, Hatching, 3D Cycles etc. The results from AutoCorrection, Projection and Relief (using TLayer/PLayer > ActLayer) are also saved in this milling layer. Here the milling sequence should already be observed. The data in the milling layer can be modified using CAM . CAM – Edit. This technology is ideal for comprehensive, complex milling tasks and combinations of all milling procedures. Milling is completely prepared at the programming position. With the aid of the functions CAM . Norm/Zoom Projection and Volume view complete views of the milling tasks can be created and thus the overall work monitored.

Direct milling data export from the modules:

For simple 3D tasks (e.g. the complete tasks is a cutout stamp or a relief milling), the milling data can be exported directly from the modules AutoCorrection and Relief (with TLayer/PLayer Export:).Thus one is spared making unnecessary program commands.

Automatic arc creation.

The program has automatic arc creation for milling data. This reduces the amount of data and improves the quality of the milling. With this it is entirely immaterial from where the milling data originates, whether it is texts with splines, vectorised data, automatically calculated paths etc. The program always calculates the optimum arcs for the program for the milling machine. For input comp. Aids Input Parameter . Arc Tolerance.

Export aids.

In addition to the various export paths to machines and exchange formats, the export menu has Export aids. Here there are a selection for repeat milling, 3D viewing, examination, printing etc.

Tool edit export:

The export data/data of a milling file are examined and possible incorporated tools are listed. The tool data can be edited and saved.

Save tool list:

Help for the production of a work sheet. Saves the data of the export (file name, dimensions, tools etc..) in an ASCII file (.txt).

Tool string:

Sort the milling sequence of the tool object according to various criteria. Sorting can be inverted usingReverse sequence.

Output from mark:

Input of a start point for repeat (post-) processing.

From cursor contour/position: Using the cursor select a start contour or start position.
+/- Tool object/Contour/ Position/Milling path: Relocate the start position forward/backwards.
Tool object: Select and export only one individual tool data set.

Vector filter:

Some machines react unfavourably to high resolution milling data (milling supporting points are so dense that the transmission or precalculation times of the processing time is exceeded). The processing is jerky. For these machines the supporting point density can be reduced according to an adjustable limiting value. Please note that, with this, the accuracy of the milling data is changed. Removal of supporting points takes place in the range 0.001 .. 10 mm. Here, the shape of the milling path is, as far as possible, unaltered.

Smooth milling paths:

Approximate (smooth) the milling data in the range 0.001 .. 10 mm. The repeated smoothing of the milling data produces no advantages.

Graphic print:

The current drawing is printed out on a standard printer.  

Match to page: The graphic is matched to the sheet size.
Fill contours: All closed contours are as far as possible filled in black/white.
Paper margin and offset: Additional margin around the graphic.
With frame: Print with graphic frame.
With dimensions: Print dimensions of the graphic frame.
Upright format: Select portrait/landscape.


Indication for the testing of the vector and tool data. The display can be advanced in steps using and page-by-page using .

Standard/Zoom Projection:

The (3D-) data are shown in perspective. With setting in plan view (all angles = 0) the 3D paths are shown in grey- (colour-) steps. PosA: colour setting for emersed movements. With input PosA without colour the perspective indication takes place with high level marking.

Volume aspect:

The milling paths are displayed as volume aspect of the processed workpiece. For this a cuboid is processed, as if it has been milled. Valid tools in the data set are required for this display.

Preparatory inputs:

Limits: Workpiece: the operating limits are the operating frame and the milling paths. Milling path: the display limits are determined by the milling paths.
Resolution: Setting very fine to very coarseVery fine requires long calculation times, very coarse creates a coarsely gridded aspect.
Creation: The aspect is calculated.

Setting of the volume view:

Palette selection: Selection of the grey shades/colour palette.
Graphic: Graphic setting for the grey shades/colour representation.
Posn height: Shows the 3D relief position and gradient angle at the cursor position. RX, RY, RZ: relief position in mm. AngZX, AngZY: gradient in degrees at the relief position for the directions Z-X (horizontal) and Z-Y (vertical).
Height line: The height line is shown from a horizontal section through the relief. The intersection line is positioned in the Y – direction using the cursor.
Standard/Zoom Projection: 3D aspect via grid, vectors, points or surfaces. The viewing direction can be set in 5° steps. With PosA you set the line presentation colours. Inputting PosA without colour the perspective display takes place with adjustable height level marking.
Save relief: Save the volume aspect as relief.
Render: Calculate the picture of the graphics in the aspect angle and with defined illumination source (render).

Aspect angle: Adjust aspect angle.
Light angle: Angle and separation of the illumination source.
Resolution: Picture resolution marginal .. high.
Drawing: Setting soft/hard.
Contrast: Grey grading marginal .. very intense.
Graphics: View calculated picture.
Save relief: Save picture as relief.
BMP picture: Save the picture in a BMP file.

Save graphics:

Help for the production of a work sheet. The current graphic is saved in a picture file.

Setting of working area/Graphics area:

limits of the graphics detail. With the working area setting only the tool within the working limits is saved. Note: with zoom only the visible area can be saved. With Graphics area setting the complete area planned for the graphics is saved.

Tool input.

Input of tools and technology data for the calculations. For the creation of milling complete tool information is required. The tool data are entered in the tool list. The tool list can be reached for example using Parameter . Tool Input or the layer tool in CAD by clicking the buttons 2D/3D. Each tool requires a geometry (cutting radiustip radiusangle and possibly spherical radius) and valid technology data (immersed depthsafety heightworking feed XYimmersed feed Zspindle revs and changing station). For track characteristics Technology Data II (max. layer depth, chip lift, smoothing offset) is additionally required. If the tool data are incomplete or has errors, then false milling data can result.

Tools are differentiated by the change station. Tools with the same geometry can also have the save changing stations. This is, for example, applied if a tool with different technologies (immersed depthsafety heightworking feed XYimmersed feed Zspindle revs) are to be employed.


Engraving in Layer 0

using layer tool 0:

Engraving in Layer 1

using layer tool 1:

Immersed depth 1,0mm 1,5mm
Safety height 0,5mm 0,5mm
Working feed XY 1,0m/min 0,8 m/min
Immersed feed Z 0,8m/min 0,6m/min
Spindle revs 30000 40000
Changing station 1 1

The geometry data of the tools 0 and 1 agree completely! If the layers 0 and 1 are exported one after the other using File . Direct Mill, then no tool change is created, the technology data are, however, changed.

For extensive automation it is sensible to lay down standard tools which are employed for all similar machining. The first tools (#0..MaxLayer) are allocated to the layers (comp. produce milling data. Layer allocation). All other tools are planned for the milling offset calculations in AutoCorrectionRelief etc. Here up to 200 tools are entered.

Tool list


The tool list is shown in the upper area of the display. The lower area shows the current tool.

Display current tool.


Geometry data area.


Geometry data:

Tool colour + Number (Far): Serial number according to the sequence of the data set.
Tool name (Nam): Optional text for the tool – also used as layer name.
Cutting radius (Snr): tool dimension for the graphic.
Tip radius (FrS): Radius at the tool tip.
Angle (FWi) of the cutter measured to the tool centre line.
Radius (FrK) of a sphere at the tool tip.

Area Technology Data I.


Technology Data I.

Immersed depth (FEt): Immersed depth: milling depth of tool measured from the tool tip to the surface of the material.
Safety height (Off): safety separation of the cutter tip to the material surface with withdrawn movements.
Working feed XY (VXY): milling feed for XY and 3D movements.
Immersed feed Z (EVZ): immersed feed for vertical movements downwards.
Spindle revs (Spd): tool spindle revs.
Tool life travel (Stz): path up to automatic cutter change.
Changing station (WSt): Changing station: for every tool, independent of the geometry data, a changing station (CSt) must be allocated. Tools with CSt = 0 are switched OFF. A tool change is carried out only with a change of the CSt# . On the other hand tools with the same geometry, but with different technology data (milling depth, feed,…) can have the same CSt# . In this case no tool change is carried out, but the technology data are modified.

Area Technology Data II. Only for cycles.


Technology Data II.

Max. layer depth (Smx): max. milling depth which is carried out in one layer using this tool.
Chip lift (Sbh): chip removal movement with vertical drillings (no milling).
Smoothing offset (Sof): separation for an additional smoothing run. With 0 there is no smoothing run.


Operating/display elements:

Tool select +/- (1/5 lines).
Selection typical tool.

Tool preview:

Schematic tool representation with marking of the milling depth and display of the cutter radius (Res.) at height of relief surface.

, : Selection of the current cutter in the tool list.
, : Selection within the current tool.