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Latexgurl
07-03-2005, 05:35 PM
Hi

I am sort of a newbie but have built my first CNC foam cutter based on the plans by Danny L. Ray but with switching out the MDF with Extrusion so I am not a complete CNC DIY veeergin!!!! :-)

I Have made up many foamie RC's but now I want to try a different project.

I want to build a CNC Foam cutter that I can cut and shape Surfboard blanks so that I can glass them and finish them off my self. The Board blank would be less than 8' Ft long 96 Inches lets say 4 Ft deep. Accuracy 1/32 or as best as I can get for my money about $700. Dios Mios I hear you say!!!!!!!!

Well My questions are sort of numerous,

1. Can I use my gecko and other electronics 4 axis controller for doing this?

2. Can I use my Nema Motors or would I need something bigger?

3. What should I use to build this extra long frame system so it doesnt flex too much? Aluminum Extrusion, Kevlar, .... hmm titanium?

4. Ball screws that are accurate through thier length without breaking the bank too much?

5. Should I be looking at building a foam router system to carve the length of the surfboard?

6. Any plans like Mr. Ray's that I can follow or just extend the lengths?

The blanks would be out of our old friend EPS. I just dont want to burn out a motor doing such long cuts or blow the wire or the controller overheating yaday yada yada
I have seen a guy that has built a machine he uses to make plugs for Kayaks and my length would be shorter than something like that.

Thanks for your help in advance and happy independce day!

Remember out troops and veterans

Ashley
Latexgurl

Mac T. Knife
07-03-2005, 06:16 PM
We just bought a foam cutter from Demand Foam products, and are waiting for them to show up and do the initial setup and show us the ropes on the machine. (a requirement for the 5 year warranty) The machine will do 8 ft cuts, and all they are using is extruded aluminum frames,,, Nema23 stepper motors, and a rack and pinion system, where the rack is some sort of plastic,, and the pinion is directly driven by the motors. We are only planning on cutting architectural shapes, so it isn't a 4 axis machine.The way they describe how foam cuts, I don't see where the expense of ball screws would be necessarry, since the wire never touches the foam,,,, you just need enough force to drive the cutting assembly, without having to worry about cutting forces. Here's a link to the machine we received. http://www.demandhotwire.com/c844_.html

Latexgurl
07-04-2005, 08:09 PM
The the design seems pretty easy actually. They are just using extruded aluminum also.

Mac you hit upon my other interest is Architecture(Applying for Grad School as we type. Portfolio stuff). Would be interesting to set something up and try some architecture stuff also.

I like thier design because it eliminates the whole table thing to keep everything straight.

The only thing I might worry about is some movement of the large blank for the surfboard as the cut moves along but I was thinking of this more as a semi rough cut blank cutter and finish the smotthing and final finish before glassing by hand. Of course the closer i could get it to the glassing stage would be great.

Luckily my dad was a blacksmith so I have some "toys" to work with i.e. Mig welder and other things. Besides having him around to help build it.

I am sure he is disappointed in his girl!!! I have Four older brothers and I turned out to like and be interested in many things they are and he is!!!

Although my former boyfriends never seemed to mind I was girly enough for them, cept for me wanting to drive the cycle!!! :rolleyes:

Anyway keep up the suggestions and happy 4th!!!

Dont forget the troops!

Much Luv Ashley

ViperTX
07-04-2005, 09:17 PM
hmmmmm....CNC veergin......*chuckle*

Ashley, I don't see how you can accomplish what you want with a "straight wire" foam cutter....it seems like that would still involve alot of manual massaging to contour the blank. I'm thinking that if you added a 4th axis to slightly rotate the surfboard blank you could achieve something that requires a minimum amount of hand work.

Do these cutters use nichrome wire?

Troops are always in my prayers.

So, you must be from one of the costal areas.....hmmmmm.....Redondo beach?

GeorgeRudd
07-05-2005, 12:16 AM
We just bought a foam cutter from Demand Foam products, and are waiting for them to show up and do the initial setup and show us the ropes on the machine...


What do you think of your Demand Hotwire Cutter?

Where did you buy it?

We purchased one recently (their Twister model with turntable and lathe) and I have been pretty disappointed with it so far. Their software absolutely stinks. It looks like they spent about a week writing the code (while drinking excessively). I am half tempted to build one from scratch and compete with them. I am confident that I could do it in about two months and end up with a product that is about a 100 times better.

I am a Macintosh user so I was already pissed off about having to get a Windows PC just to run the stupid thing. It comes bundled with "Corel Draw" (another heaping pile of crap software). I have to save my Adobe Illustrator files in a format that is about 8 years old just to import them into Corel Draw... just so I can import it into their terrible controller software.

Latexgurl
07-05-2005, 12:21 PM
Hi Yall

Viper using a 4th axis to rotate the board within the frame was something I am thinking about also then there probably wouldnt be the problem of slumping of the blank when you cut.

Is there a way to make a system where you switch out the Wire with a router and route it down to close to a final shape? or would be making something that does both would be too hard to get the alignment right?
How would you be able to set it up on the software? My 3d brain is a little slow hvent had my triple espresso yet!!!

As for using wire and buying wire for hotwire work as well as other fun things :-) Aircraft Spruce and Specialty is welll ...... for lack of a better more updated term .... da bomb!!! Prices can be high on some stuff but other stuff they have is really hard to find.

Viper as for the support thing well my family has had more than one member in every major conflict i.e. war since the revolutionary war. My dad was one of the last flying sargents P-47's my brother was a spook and My great Great great hmm Uncle Charlie was a Surviving member of Custers Seventh Calvary he lost an arm before the fateful battle and wasnt there. Saw his burial site in Arlington National Cemetary when I was a Brat!!!! Well still sort of a brat!!! My Grandma passed down his Calvary sword. Dont know how proud I should be of his participation in the 7th though.

I am a midwest girl went to UW Madison early and moved out west to take a job in the Investment Banking world. Hated it although the two things I loved the most were the Cheap Mangoes and Learning how to Surf. Now I am stuck in Wisconsin and I am jonesing bad to surf Lake Michigan but sold my board. To buy another and have it shipped is like $500 to $600 dollars and there are no gaurantees that it will get here in one piece. SO I wanted a CNC foam cutter to do RC Plane parts and plugs for Carbon Fiber parts and noticed that bringing the size up to cut blanks for surfboards was a possibility so.......

Love the coasts though but in Cali I am more of a San Diego girl than LA girl. Right now I am a "better get my protfolio done girl so I can get my masters in architecture girl". But a girl needs exercise and I look good in a wetsuit :-)

SO now that all of you are BOARD TO ALL HELLL AND I AM WAY OFF TOPIC AND EMBARRASED AS HELL. I should go run(or plod in my case) and do my situps. Much Luv ASH

ViperTX
07-05-2005, 03:52 PM
Ashley,

I don't believe it's easy to modify a "hot wire cutter" to add something like a trim router to finish the contouring....it can be done but probably not very feasible. What I see as more feasible is modifying a gantry style router by adding a hot wire assembly. Basically you would center the gantry axis, remove the router and attach an aluminum beam (inverted u shape) with the hot wire strung between the the tips of the "u". Do you get the picture?

I've been to Madison....like that lake arrangement.

Ah "war stories"....let's see my dad was actually in the 7th....how did he state it....he mentioned the campaign ribbons on their battle flags and one was of Custer's Little Bighorn campaign.....I think the mentioned the 7th, the 3rd and 1st Cav Division....he was actually a WWII veteran did his time in the Pacific at Leyete....Bronze Star and such. Actually rode a horse and had a pack mule that carried his 30 cal H2O cooled weapon....When shipped to the PT the horses were retired and it was on it's way to becoming the 1st Cav-Armored.

SD is definitely nicer then LA....no doubt.

Wet suit...hmmmmm....must be a software product....*smile*

Al_The_Man
07-05-2005, 04:01 PM
Uncle Charlie was a Surviving member of Custers Seventh Calvary he lost an arm before the fateful battle and wasnt there. ..........

.......Actually I had an ancestor that died at the Little Big Horn....As it happens he wasn't on either side....... He was camping near by and went over to complain about the noise............ :violin:
Al.

Latexgurl
07-05-2005, 05:23 PM
CANT Stop laughing!!!!

Viper I think I get the idea for the U loop. I think I saw a commercial unit like this when looking around on the web.

I dont understand how you would keep it so you could get accurate work from it. hhmmmmmm.

Looks like build it all and work out the kinks when I get there!!!

Ashley

Mac T. Knife
07-05-2005, 07:33 PM
The U wire idea,,,,, Kinda sorta how the Lathe feature works on their wire machines,,, However, the machine we bought,(and is not setup yet) doesn't come with the Lathe,,, just the turntable. When we start kicking with the foam (we are currently a Structural steel fab shops,,,,,and there are architects that will draw a square peg, want it installed in a round hole, construct it out of aluminum, and want it welded to a piece of steel..... I'm tired of structural steel.) Hmm, went long with that rant,,,, anyways, once the foam settles,, I have an idea for a lathe, that would actually be a 4 axis gantry router thingy that would use a U shaped wire instead of a router,,, which should eliminate sweeping up foam dust. The key is to have a tangental control of the wire, so that it always faces the way its cutting. I wanna be able to make totem poles with minimal labor!

Mac T. Knife
07-05-2005, 07:54 PM
What do you think of your Demand Hotwire Cutter?

Where did you buy it?

We purchased one recently (their Twister model with turntable and lathe) and I have been pretty disappointed with it so far. Their software absolutely stinks. It looks like they spent about a week writing the code (while drinking excessively). I am half tempted to build one from scratch and compete with them. I am confident that I could do it in about two months and end up with a product that is about a 100 times better.

I am a Macintosh user so I was already pissed off about having to get a Windows PC just to run the stupid thing. It comes bundled with "Corel Draw" (another heaping pile of crap software). I have to save my Adobe Illustrator files in a format that is about 8 years old just to import them into Corel Draw... just so I can import it into their terrible controller software.


We bought it from Demand Foam products out of Georgia, after we visited their showroom, The computer equipment was shipped from them, and the machine was drop shipped from europe,,, the manufacture of the machine is Omegaplot I believe.

The mechanics look sound,, the gantries ride on steel ways, and roller bearings,,,, If the software truly sucks,,, then I'll deal with it until I install a seperate controller, and run it with Mach3, I did ask about using dxf files, and they did tell me that it would process them,,,, Time will tell. 22,000 for a machine is a bit much when when you can build it yourself for less, but going from steel to foam, I look at it as having an inside source of information that I wouldn't have if I built the machine myself.

As for having issues with windows versus mac,,,, I've always thought of macs as being great for pretty pictures and such, but I haven't run across any cnc applications for them. I'd be curious if therewere.

Mac T. Knife
07-05-2005, 07:59 PM
CANT Stop laughing!!!!

Viper I think I get the idea for the U loop. I think I saw a commercial unit like this when looking around on the web.

I dont understand how you would keep it so you could get accurate work from it. hhmmmmmm.

Looks like build it all and work out the kinks when I get there!!!

Ashley


You would need a rigid plade such as these http://www.demandproducts.com/hotknifehd_blades.html

ViperTX
07-07-2005, 12:23 AM
Ashley, which part don't you understand? Just envision using only the z-axis...height.....and the y-axis...length.....that will give you a slap with those contours....rotate 90 degrees.....cut one of the sides....rotate 180 degrees cut the 2nd side.....if you wanted to contour even finer you would index the rotation with movement in the z and y-axis.....you might even get away with not using a router...what da ya think gurl....*smile*

Latexgurl
07-08-2005, 06:16 PM
Hey Viper thanks to you and the others for being such a source of info and looks like therapy for a less than happy purchse of a Demand machine
:o :wave:

I think I get it.

Would the rotating section that holds the blank also be cnc controled?

As for using the U type blade like at Demand Foam I am a little snarky on that? Just dont know how I would attach it and set it so it would work for the cnc part. Partially maybe I dont know the setup software well enough yet but I have access to a number of CNC programs from different manufacturers.

Any suggestions on the best software to use for cutting the surfboard blank or does it really matter?

Wish we had a white board.

Mac T. Knife
07-08-2005, 08:46 PM
Hmmm, Depends on what you come up with for a machine,,,, If you were to go with a gantry router type machine,,,, you could try Meshcam,,,, its only 150 bucks,,, sometimes on sale for a 100.

ViperTX
07-08-2005, 11:41 PM
Ashley, yes it would be the 4th axis and under CNC control. You would most likely want to use what everyone here is using Mach 2(3) to control the steppers or servos which are driving each axis. For creating the profile....you could use whatever CAD package you've used in the past......if none then I'd look at one of the packages that supports 3D modeling.....

Whiteboard....yeah...wouldn't it be nice to run your nails against it.... :cool:

Latexgurl
07-10-2005, 08:19 PM
any suggestions on the size and type of stepper motors? :idea:

Thanks Ash

Cold Fusion
07-10-2005, 09:48 PM
Some 700oz Nema 34 steppers would work great, and wouldn't run too hot. I think oversizing them a little bit would be a wise idea, rather then running on the edge of a nema 23 motor's capabilities.

Latexgurl
07-10-2005, 10:52 PM
700 OZ Would I need something with that much torque to do foam slab?

Any brand suggestions? pac Sci etc? or specific motors?

Cold Fusion
07-10-2005, 11:00 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=78196&item=7528675680&rd=1

You don't need that much torque, but it is nice so that you don't have to worry about missing steps while doing high speed rapids and such.

Have I misread? Are you doing a hot-wire cutter or an actual router with a spindle?

Latexgurl
07-11-2005, 11:05 AM
Well the general plan was to use a U shaped HotKnife blade so it would be more like a hotwire system.

Actually I was looking at the possibility of using hotwire to get the blank down to size and then do the hotknife thang but Viper is right about going with the hotknife and having it almost finished maybe.... :banana:

The Hotknife/wire system would be mounted on a gantry and the blank would be rotated as it cut.

I am wondering if I would need the stronger steppers for the rotation system and not as strong for the other axis's.

Suggestions and setting me straight always welcome!!!!! :p

Ashley

ViperTX
07-11-2005, 05:06 PM
How much does the unshaped foam weigh? Yes, the rotation axis will require more torque then the other axis...hope that straightens ya out....*smile*

Latexgurl
07-11-2005, 07:42 PM
But I am 5'9" and 127 pnds ..... and the foam I want to cut will be dimensions

8 feet X 2 feet x .5 feet so with eps at like 3 pnds heavy per cubic foot so under 25 pnds definitely to get all scary. Basically want to be able to do a blank at least 7'10" by 20" wide and with the curve of the board(lot like making and airfoil)would like depths of at least a Foot 1Ft so it is basically sculpted out of the foam.

Hope that helps

Ash :wee:

Latexgurl
07-12-2005, 11:26 AM
Just wanted your opinion on whether these motors will work for this project.

I just bought four of them on Ebay and I am wondering whether I will just have to turn around and sell them cause they are not strong enough or for other reasons.
Thanks once again for all your help I dont think I would have the experience neccesary to do this without help and suggestions from y'all on the board. Much Lub
:)
cheers :cheers:
VEXTA 2 Phase STEPPER MOTOR PK268M-01A
Speed vs. Torque Characteristics

Size 2.2inch
Holding torque 191oz
Rotor Inertia 2.6 oz/inch
Rated Current 1Amp/phase
Resistance 8.6
Basic step angel 0.9

http://www.orientalmotor.co.jp/cgi-bin/WebObjects/UPOMStep.woa/wa/F3?typeNameId=3&modelName=PK268M%2D01A&seriesId=2PK&frameSize=56.4

Latexgurl
07-12-2005, 12:39 PM
Ok post above made me think that I might need to reiterate the full idea.

I want to have a larger scale machine for cutting prime EPS blanks for surfboards, cutting plugs for composite vaccum bagging, and at most in the future I might retrofit it for cutting balsa although that is a secondary concearn.

The actual machine will have a MIG welded steel frame that will sit on the concreate floor and will have demensions on the order of X x Y x Z of around

8ft x 4ft x 5ft in a configuration like this but with a few adjustments in the cutting, materials, and layout for better stability and to eliminate flexing.

http://www.demandhotwire.com/twister.html

My primary questions now are

Size, type, torque, power of stepper motors?

Driver boards? Can I just build up 4 or 5 of the boards from Electronic Utopia? or do I have to go with something better like Gecko or Other?

Ballscrews or something like the Ball linear track system ?

Best program to use? I have access to Mach2, DeskCNC, turboCNC? Any suggestions on something that can control the motors and the rotating center section well.

Accuracy the best I can afford for under like a $thousand all together for the project.

I already have the materials for the frame and hopefully the motors above that I bought will work, also have all the computer stuff I need including power supplies(computer and otherwise) but dont have the Driver Boards/4axis5axis Driver setup?

Once again thank you for all of your help so far and the brainstorming and the jokes, VIPER, Fusion, Mac Knife :)

thanks again guys much luv.
All suggestions and setting me straight are more than welcome. Love the pain!!!

:bat:

ashley

ViperTX
07-12-2005, 01:13 PM
...like the vertical frame......so, the welded steel framing was what was on my mind as being the most economical....since we have to rotate a blank that is 20 to 24 inches wide the table frame should be 9 X 3 ft. That would give us the room to place the cutting structure on and it would have an envelope of 8 1/2' x 30" x 30". I'm thinking that anything around 400 oz-in would be acceptable. Drivers....sticking with low Amps per phase allows you to use the low-cost drivers....I would not worry about that at this time...just have a general idea.....Oops you already have the motors...no problem we can always adjust the torques with timing belts and pulleys.

If you really think you need a larger envelope....then now is the time to size that.

9 foot ballscrews are going to be about 150 each.......and another 40 for the ballnuts....

ViperTX
07-12-2005, 01:16 PM
Ashley...just looked at the torque specs....well she'll be cute but slow......torque really drops above 200 rpm....

Latexgurl
07-12-2005, 05:12 PM
I might just have to put them back up once I receive them and get some that are better for the job.

Any suggestions on what I should be looking for in a stepper motor to get not fast speed but adequate speed. I am not going to be a manufacturing facility but would like to be able to do more than one board a day :-)

Thank you once again you have been a real doll about things,

Ashley

ViperTX
07-12-2005, 08:05 PM
I've got the links at work....will get them to you tomorrow....any thoughts if you want to go with ballscrews & nuts or ACME (cheaper, but require more torque)? A "doll"....isn't that like a playthingy....*smile*...yw Ashley.

erase42
07-15-2005, 07:14 PM
wow i have a lot to say on this one. :) tell you what, email me latexgurl. Ive been cutting kayak blanks for a buddy of mine on a machine that i built in my shop. it is possible for you with a 3 or 4 axis machine a very precise blank. all you would have to so is some light sanding to take off the small ridges where one straight wire cut intersects with another. the router aspect really isnt nessesary as long as you dont need to sink pockets in below the surface. a U shaped wire loop is possible, im using something similar on another machine, however for for what you are doing the surface would probably be less than desireable. its almost impossible to "feather" one cut into the next cut. where the cuts overlap and it has to cut that very thin layer of foam, there is no structure for the melted foam to recess to so it sort of goops up on the wire till it drips off melting a deep hard hole into the foam. not easy to sand at all. anyway drop me an email and we can talk thru email if you have any questions or want to see pics of the setup.
Ed Rees erase42@Aol.com florida
ps im a friend of danny ray

anthony-whalen
08-06-2006, 08:30 PM
I have shaped a couple of surfboards by hand and I am not great at it. I don,t want to spend the next five years shaping to become great. I have found a CNC router designed for shaping boards in Australia for about 65,000 witch I can,t afford. I thought I might try to make one. I have a realative with a machine shop that has built CNC machines and can give me sound advise. He works with metal and all I would need the machine for I polyester foam. If anyone reading this knows the motor requirments needed to power each axis. The machine I found at http://www.shapers.com.au/ will shape a board in about 8 minutes. I do not need this router to run that fast, I am going for the most economical machine for the money.
I found a set of plans that look pretty sound to me at- http://www.inshorepowerboats.com/cnc%20stuff/CNCROUTER.htm
The estimated cost of producing this machine is estimated at 5,000 dollars witch is a lot better than 65,000

GAWnCA
08-22-2006, 04:52 PM
Has anyone built their own hotwire controller and/or pendant?

astatue
09-13-2006, 02:26 PM
hey folks I see $25000 is a little much for a 4 axis foam cutter so check us out at www.astatue.com under 10,000 delivered set up and 2 days training.
custom designs for stand alone lathe and table router possible too. call and we will help.