My first sign project

An area to upload images of pieces cut using VCarve Pro

My first sign project

Postby NewAgent45 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:42 pm

Several firsts for me on this project:
First sign project
First tiling project (2 tiles X 18”(x) X 17”(y) for a total of 34” long)
First time using foam material - Professional foam board was a little bet to costly so we decided to try common foam material (Dow Chem. 2 inch thick Blue foam board)
First time painting foam board
First time using the Create Texture Vector Tool for wood grain background.

I learned a lot during this project and know there is room for improvement. I think the sign is adequate for the intended use for local craft shows.

CGT Sign 5.jpg
My first sign


Things learned:
(1) Foam board machines very easy and can run maximum tool feed rates. I’m listing my tool setting values for the slowest part of the job and would like hear how I might improve the time.

I’m cutting a pocket ½ inch deep between the text, 3D model and border so there is a lot of material to remove. I’m using a 1/4 inch diameter end-mill. A larger diameter bit I would lose detail.

Current Tool Settings are:
Tool” 0.25” 2-Flute Up-cut carbide endmill
Cut depth: 0.5”
Pass depth: 0.125” for 4 passes. Not sure if we could increase pass depth without sacrificing quality.
Stepover: 0.1 (40%) I think I may be able to increase this as I’m adding a separate texturing step to the bottom of the pocket to achieve a woodgrain effect. Any advice would be welcomed!
Spindle speed: 20,000 RPM
Feed rate: 250 ipm. Doesn’t the controller limit this to about 200 max?
Plunge rate 100 ipm
Tool path takes about 4 hours to complete.
At this point in the project the foam has taken all my more aggressive moves.
Someone on another forum has suggested selecting use large area clearance tool. Can someone comment with details on use of this feature?

(2) I learned that common foam board he some surface anomalies that should be considered. I ignored them for this project. These are most visible in the larger uncarved area like the outside boarder of the sign. One thought to eliminate this problem is to surface plane the entire face of the foam first. I’m not sure the material would handle a large (1 ¼ inch dia.) surface plaining bit. Any thoughts!

(3) Create Texture Vector - I had to stop the machine and change some settings for this tool path as follows. When I first started it the tool was overcutting the texture. As I understand the tool is running to the end of the vectors so I assumed I neglected allowing for the tool radius. I created offset boundaries for the boarder, text-curves and 3D model. Offsetting by 0.125 or the radius of the ¼” endmill. This helped but did not completely eliminate the problem. Am I missing something or do I just have to increase the offset? In this case I saw the small errors as adding to the rustic look of the sign. I used some standard wood filler to patch the outside boarder.

(4) I share my foam painting technique as follows. I used only water base latex paints applying the primer and background color coat with a commercial type airless sprayer with a 0.013”tip. None of the paint was thinned. I applied one coat of primer to the entire two sided sign allowed the primer to dry about 1 - 1.5 –ours. Then I applied one coat of color and allowed to dry overnight. The 3D bear was painter by hand with a brush with Black semi-gloss latex paint. WE used the same black paint to paint the face of the letters using a small 1” dia. by 3” roller. I minimized the paint loading on the roller. I took a 1” wide piece of ¼” MDF and loaded it with some paint using a brush then rolled the paint onto the roller I did this several time to control the amount of paint on the center portion of the roller. The paint I used was thick and did not have any tendency to drip. I hung the sign while painting it so the surface was perpendicular to the ground. I was delighted no touch-up of the color coat was needed.

(5) Tiling – Worked well here and the match line between tiles was almost invisible. I clamped a piece of aluminum to my table parallel with the y axis. When I slide the material to line-up for the second tile I positioned the material with the cut x boundary centered with the tool position at (x, y) = 0.

I’m kind of a retired hobbyist and welcome all constructive comments and advice.

Have a great day!

… Rod
User avatar
NewAgent45
Vectric Apprentice
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:09 am
Location: North Florida
Model of CNC Machine: CNC Shark HD - Black Diamond

Re: My first sign project

Postby knowlzy0791 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:48 pm

Hi there, I like the sign!

Did you check to make sure the over step of the bit wasn't due to a loose belt? I run into this quite often.

Also what can happen with up-cut bits is a chip will make it into the gears that your motor is running and you can get mis-steps from that.

Outside of that I don't do much sign making, although the boss says we are about to start :shock:
knowlzy0791
Vectric Craftsman
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:01 pm
Model of CNC Machine: PAE 110SD Series/Mach3 Software

Re: My first sign project

Postby FixitMike » Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:55 pm

Suggestion: Before posting the picture resize it so it won't take so long to download. (Right click on file and resize.) Or you can use Paint.) 480 pixels high is fine for desktop display.

You could increase the pass depth setting to reduce the cutting time. Try a sample with several settings to see what happens. I suspect you could cut the foam in a single pass.
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.
User avatar
FixitMike
Vectric Wizard
 
Posts: 1492
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:21 am
Location: Renton, WA USA
Model of CNC Machine: Shark Pro Plus (modified)

Re: My first sign project

Postby NewAgent45 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:37 pm

Hello Fixitmike:

Thanks for your advice.

As for increasing the pass depth I already increased it to 0.125" but I'm not sure how much the common foam can take without "tearing out" I think I will need to take a scrap and run some tests with increasing pass depths and try the large area clearance tool option with a larger endmill. I do have a 5/16 inch bit.

Have a great day!

... Rod
User avatar
NewAgent45
Vectric Apprentice
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:09 am
Location: North Florida
Model of CNC Machine: CNC Shark HD - Black Diamond

Re: My first sign project

Postby NewAgent45 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:56 pm

knowlzy0791:

There are no belts on the machine. I have a Next Wave Automation CNC Shark HD and the drives are sealed stepper motors directly to screw shaft drives. The couplings are all tight and I have never be observed slipping. This only showed up on the last step of cutting the texture.

I believe this is something to do with proper use of the Create Vector Texture tool which is new to VCP version 8. This tool creates open vectors within defined boundaries. A good thing when I go back and zoom in on the simulation I can see the issue. I haven't had a chance to make adjustments yet. This probably wouldn't have been a problem if the texture wasn't at the bottom of a pocket. It you were cutting the texture on a "top" surface you would probably want to cut to the edge or a boundary that you might cut through later.

I think all I need to do is make a copy of the boundaries and off-set those boundaries more and recreate the texture vectors. Have you used this tool yet? I don't believe I have a full understanding of the tool yet. Since this sign is done I will be cautious the next time and examine the simulation carefully.

Thanks for our interest.

... Rod
User avatar
NewAgent45
Vectric Apprentice
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:09 am
Location: North Florida
Model of CNC Machine: CNC Shark HD - Black Diamond

Re: My first sign project

Postby knowlzy0791 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:38 pm

It would appear you are way above my skill level. :shock: I don't have V8 and have never used the tool you described!

Sorry!

NewAgent45 wrote:knowlzy0791:

There are no belts on the machine. I have a Next Wave Automation CNC Shark HD and the drives are sealed stepper motors directly to screw shaft drives. The couplings are all tight and I have never be observed slipping. This only showed up on the last step of cutting the texture.

I believe this is something to do with proper use of the Create Vector Texture tool which is new to VCP version 8. This tool creates open vectors within defined boundaries. A good thing when I go back and zoom in on the simulation I can see the issue. I haven't had a chance to make adjustments yet. This probably wouldn't have been a problem if the texture wasn't at the bottom of a pocket. It you were cutting the texture on a "top" surface you would probably want to cut to the edge or a boundary that you might cut through later.

I think all I need to do is make a copy of the boundaries and off-set those boundaries more and recreate the texture vectors. Have you used this tool yet? I don't believe I have a full understanding of the tool yet. Since this sign is done I will be cautious the next time and examine the simulation carefully.

Thanks for our interest.

... Rod
knowlzy0791
Vectric Craftsman
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:01 pm
Model of CNC Machine: PAE 110SD Series/Mach3 Software

Re: My first sign project

Postby BArnold » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:50 pm

Very nice sign, New!

I like your use of the texture tool. I've used it on a couple of items so far: a box top to simulate a rocky bank around a pool of water and a plaque to simulate the bark of a tree around the border. I'll have to keep your sign in mind when I'm ready to do something with a wood grain.
User avatar
BArnold
Vectric Craftsman
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 12:20 am
Location: Thomasville, GA, USA
Model of CNC Machine: SO2/XCarve hybrid w/NEMA23 on all axes

Re: My first sign project

Postby mswrites » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:21 pm

how do i do a new post?
mswrites
Vectric Apprentice
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:52 am
Model of CNC Machine: v90

Re: My first sign project

Postby ezurick » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:34 am

mswrites wrote:how do i do a new post?


When you are within any thread, you can only reply.

Look up above, but below the User Control Panel you'll see this

Board index ‹ VCarve Pro & Desktop ‹ VCarve - Gallery

click on the word "Gallery"

You'll then be at the index of the Gallery forum and it will list each topic. Then look at the top left to see "New Post"

Hope that isn't too confusing.
User avatar
ezurick
Vectric Apprentice
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:27 pm
Model of CNC Machine: Chinese 6040


Return to VCarve - Gallery

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests