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Old 21st December 2014, 03:10 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Default CNC Router

Hi there everyone,

A few years back I built a CNC router capable of 63" x 100". If any of you need anything done please let me know. Your design, my machine. I am only looking to help the community so NO CHARGE other than material and shipping, or if you have something that takes a rediculous amount of time to design/cut.

I am located in 91344 (SoCal).

Happy holidays,

Joel
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Old 21st December 2014, 01:55 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Default Software?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jblauvelt View Post
Hi there everyone,

A few years back I built a CNC router capable of 63" x 100". If any of you need anything done please let me know. Your design, my machine. I am only looking to help the community so NO CHARGE other than material and shipping, or if you have something that takes a rediculous amount of time to design/cut.

I am located in 91344 (SoCal).

Happy holidays,

Joel
What software suite are you using to convert drawings to tool pathas?

What CADD packages does it support?

Regards,

WHG
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Old 21st December 2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Originally Posted by whgeiger View Post
What software suite are you using to convert drawings to tool pathas?

What CADD packages does it support?

Regards,

WHG
I use a combination of tools but rely on Vectric v-carve pro. Basically it will import a DXF, PDF, DWG or I can draw the parts manually from a sketch or anything else like sketchup.
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Old 21st December 2014, 06:29 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Auburn, CA
Wow!
I love this place.
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Old 21st December 2014, 07:01 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Default Whoa

Wow... that's an incredible offer. Given my proximity, a lack of "advanced" power tools, and a desire to play around with some new stuff, I might have to hit you up.

That notwithstanding--props!
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Old 21st December 2014, 09:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Derfnofred View Post
Wow... that's an incredible offer. Given my proximity, a lack of "advanced" power tools, and a desire to play around with some new stuff, I might have to hit you up.

That notwithstanding--props!
Let me know. I am really hoping that this may help foster development on new ideas.
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Old 22nd December 2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Default my experience in CNCing a synergy horn

Quote:
Originally Posted by jblauvelt View Post
I use a combination of tools but rely on Vectric v-carve pro. Basically it will import a DXF, PDF, DWG or I can draw the parts manually from a sketch or anything else like sketchup.
Can we talk about the Sketchup to CNC path and handoff interface? Importing someone else's design might be more work than you think! (to say nothing about shipping parts across country) Here is my experience with the process so far.

I drew a design in Sketchup and worked with a local cabinetmaker with CNC to make a prototype. That prototype cost me way too much - about 10 hours of his time. I think we can do much better on the design import next time but its a learning curve and we need to learn to trust each other and the tools to be comfortable.

I drew each piece of wood is a separate component in Sketchup. I exported each component as a separate (3D) DXF file. At the CNC guy's insistence, I manually added dimensions to each DXF file. (they apparently don't export from Sketchup) He imported each file, converted it to 2D and removed the dimensions after verifying them. He had a lot of trouble with lines not being joined which I think can be attributed to the 3D to 2D converions process and removing of dimension lines.

This is what I think would work much better:
*** strip each component down to a 2D outline dwg in Sketchup,
*** cut and paste it onto a cut sheet drawing leaving adequate (1") cleareance
*** export the Sketchup cutsheet dwg to DXF or import directly into VCARVE or ASPIRE (both seem to work based on my playing with Aspire trial edition)

Cutouts and holes in a component would be covered by the 2D projection but I haven't verified that yet.

The bevels in a horn are a special problem. The design intent is best conveyed with a 3D Sketchup drawing. Theoretically, bevels can be done by CNC but it again requires manual import and tool path programming steps. My guy simply cut the bevels on his Unisaw, which worked, although somehow we got slightly off on one piece. That was a disappointment to me because the horn flares is where I wanted the accuracy of CNC. I've since bought a V groove bit to do the 45 degree bevels that are common in my corner horn design but the horn has some non-standard bevel angles in it as well.

If this design import process can be smoothed out to where it takes only about 2 hours for a complete design, then I think its well worth the cost. If it takes 4 hours, I'll probably still do it but I would grumble. I don't mind my time in Sketchup doing extra work; that is play for me, but standing around watching someone else work is excruciating!

So what are your thoughts on this process?

Jack
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Old 22nd December 2014, 05:15 PM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2011
One place that might really benefit from CNC 3D machining is the round to rectangular conversion where the CD mounting plate mates to the horn. I started with a .25" CD mounting plate but ended up with one .75" thick to optimize bandpass change for the mids (long story). That long a hole through the plate would optimally have a conical or exponential taper. If you could figure out how to do that on a CNC it would definitely be an advancement. OTOH this might be better suited for 3D printing. In any case, we'd need to standardize a mating surface at the back end of the horn to take advantage of whatever we arrived at.
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Old 22nd December 2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Taking you up on this is a long shot, but if I ever did, you would be *well* compensated per hour of your time. You're a DIY hero for offering this!
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Old 22nd December 2014, 08:36 PM   #10
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by nc535 View Post
Can we talk about the Sketchup to CNC path and handoff interface? Importing someone else's design might be more work than you think! (to say nothing about shipping parts across country) Here is my experience with the process so far.

I drew a design in Sketchup and worked with a local cabinetmaker with CNC to make a prototype. That prototype cost me way too much - about 10 hours of his time. I think we can do much better on the design import next time but its a learning curve and we need to learn to trust each other and the tools to be comfortable.

I drew each piece of wood is a separate component in Sketchup. I exported each component as a separate (3D) DXF file. At the CNC guy's insistence, I manually added dimensions to each DXF file. (they apparently don't export from Sketchup) He imported each file, converted it to 2D and removed the dimensions after verifying them. He had a lot of trouble with lines not being joined which I think can be attributed to the 3D to 2D converions process and removing of dimension lines.

This is what I think would work much better:
*** strip each component down to a 2D outline dwg in Sketchup,
*** cut and paste it onto a cut sheet drawing leaving adequate (1") cleareance
*** export the Sketchup cutsheet dwg to DXF or import directly into VCARVE or ASPIRE (both seem to work based on my playing with Aspire trial edition)

Cutouts and holes in a component would be covered by the 2D projection but I haven't verified that yet.

The bevels in a horn are a special problem. The design intent is best conveyed with a 3D Sketchup drawing. Theoretically, bevels can be done by CNC but it again requires manual import and tool path programming steps. My guy simply cut the bevels on his Unisaw, which worked, although somehow we got slightly off on one piece. That was a disappointment to me because the horn flares is where I wanted the accuracy of CNC. I've since bought a V groove bit to do the 45 degree bevels that are common in my corner horn design but the horn has some non-standard bevel angles in it as well.

If this design import process can be smoothed out to where it takes only about 2 hours for a complete design, then I think its well worth the cost. If it takes 4 hours, I'll probably still do it but I would grumble. I don't mind my time in Sketchup doing extra work; that is play for me, but standing around watching someone else work is excruciating!

So what are your thoughts on this process?

Jack
Hi there Jack,

I haven't found the secret suace that makes this a "just hit cut" operation yet. My experience is that I can import DXF's and DWG's, but sometimes, they need a lot of extra work to join corners and perform general cleanup on them. My preference, is to simply start with a detailed sketch from whatever program, sketchup is nice, and then I can look at each part and basically rebuild it manually in vcarve. By building it in vcarve, I know that it "works" and is true to size. tedious? Yes, but it is reliable and it means I can add tool paths easily. So working from a projection in 2D is generally just fine.

Angles, bevels, compound curves are getting into 3D which are something that I am glad you brought up. I am happy to add any angle/bevel that I can do with a standard router bit (90*, 60*, 45*, etc.). Odd angles though are a problem for me. A) I dont know how to program them in an efficient manner, and B) because I dont know ho to program them efficiently, they end up taking hours to cut , and C) I cant make any promises on them if I do them. I would rather use the CNC to rough cut something and then finish by hand.

For right now, lets stick to basic 2D shapes. I am offering this for free, so lets start simple I am open to ideas though. If we can figure something out...great...we all benefit!
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