Still a newb and have a few question

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turbocvette
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Still a newb and have a few question

Post by turbocvette »

My fist question is about the best way to make templates etc to engineer parts.
I have been manufacturing some covers and other misc items and the way I get the templates is I take tape and outline the part I want to make off the original part.
Then I take the template and literally sit and take measurements to get it as close as possible. I was thinking if I could somehow scan the piece on my printer and upload it somehow it would save me a ton of material and time. Has anyone been able to do this on cut2d? Or is there any way to do it like that?

My second question. I just got my bits for routing aluminum. Its a single flute 1/8 bit. I ran it at 30ipm with some ok results then I plunged it .030 into the material and ran it at 90ipm that resulted in a much nicer mirror finish but the chips are very small!! The router I am using right now only goes up to 6000rpm I plan on upgrading soon but need to do more research. This is my first cnc machine and my first experience with one. So I have about 3 weeks experience so far. Sorry for the newbie questions but I cant seem to find a guide on imp without punching in a credit card.
So main questions on this on would be
depth per pass?
ipm?
And any other tips and tricks would greatly help me out. Once again everyone thanks for the help!
The manufacture of the bit did not seem to have much info on the bit.

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martin54
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Re: Still a newb and have a few question

Post by martin54 »

I bought cut2d originally but upgraded to vcarve within a couple of weeks so can't really remember that much about it. I generally photograph parts import the photo & then either manually or auto trace it to give me the vectors I need to be able to toolpath parts. Not sure if cut2d has a bitmap trace function though. If it doesn't then you would need to either upgrade or use some other software for drawing to be able to do that.
Photograph square on, without using flash & with a ruler or something of known length lying by the side of the part or on it. The ruler allows me to scale the part up to it's correct size easily.

For cutting speeds & feeds have a look at the onsrund website, lots of very good info on there, worth checking out some of the other tool manufacturers websites as well as you can find useful info on quite a few of them, you should be aware though that the figures they give are really only a starting point, machines vary so much that you are best spending some time fine tuning speed & feed settings to find the optimal values for your particular machine.

https://www.onsrud.com/xdoc/FeedSpeeds

ozymax
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Re: Still a newb and have a few question

Post by ozymax »

If you use Mach3 to run your machine, then you can purchase an addons licence and that will allow you to use the "Copy Cat" wizard that's in Mach 3.
I have a small usb microscope mounted to my Z axis. I then place the template on the router bed and using the video output from the microscope, I jog around the template to create a gcode file.

Again using Mach3, another possibility is to download the program called "Scanything" from other software. It uses the same camera to auto trace a template.
I have been experimenting with it and it looks like it will be ok, but I can't get other software to answer my emails, so I don't have full access to the program to fully evaluate whether or not to buy a licence.
Auto tracing the template requires good contrasting between the template and the back ground and I'm experimenting with different lighting and colours etc.

Or like Martin54 suggested, you could photgraph the template and do a bitmap trace, but not sure it can be done with Cut2D. The photo idea has some issues to overcome in regards to parallex error.

JimG
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Re: Still a newb and have a few question

Post by JimG »

ozymax wrote: Or like Martin54 suggested, you could photgraph the template and do a bitmap trace, but not sure it can be done with Cut2D. The photo idea has some issues to overcome in regards to parallex error.
Or you can import the picture into a CAD program like Draftsight (free to download) and trace round the outline then export the drawing to Cut2D either as a .DWG file or a .DXF file. The image can be adjusted in Draftsight to be the correct size using critical dimensions in the X and Y directions.

As noted, get the picture as accurate as possible. It should be square on to the part and the camera should be as far back as possible and be zoomed in to minimise distortions caused by the lens - i.e. don't use the camera close up with the lens at its widest angle.

I've tried several programs over the years to convert bitmaps to vectors and found that I had to spend so much time cleaning up the resultant output that I would have been quicker doing it by other methods - like tracing as suggested above.

Jim.

turbocvette
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Re: Still a newb and have a few question

Post by turbocvette »

I have a friend that has the scan anything and he basically said he cant get it to work in a way this is no super time consuming.
I didn't think of taking a picture next to a ruler that is a fantastic idea! Sounds like I just need to try all these techniques and see what works best. Most parts are simple but I do heat up acrylic to form it so it does shrink up. This was some very helpful info here guys/girls Thanks a bunch for all the help. I really like the fact that these machines have so much things and products you can use I am always learning with it every day. Also thanks for the link posted up I am going to check it out now. If I can get the machine to make a decent income I will defiantly be upgrading to better software etc. I am really not experienced in cad programs so I am slowly learning when I have time. Once again thanks for all the help!

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martin54
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Re: Still a newb and have a few question

Post by martin54 »

Taking decent photos does take a bit of practice but a couple of other things you can do to help as well as what has already been mentioned is to try & use a solid colour background, colour will depend on part colour but you should be looking for contrasting colours to help the software with edge detection, try to avoid flash photography, use natural light as much as possible. Spend some time learning how to node edit because no matter what you do there will always be at least a few tweaks you will need to make after you have auto traced something.
With a bit of practice you will actually find it is quicker to manually trace some parts from scratch rather than trying to clean them up after an auto trace.

As for making a decent income well that's really down to how you price things, charge correctly & you should find you can make a good return on the work you do, charge beer money & it is never going to make you enough money to be able to upgrade or buy new equipment.

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deadgoodcharlie
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Re: Still a newb and have a few question

Post by deadgoodcharlie »

Hello, try and lay your original part on graph paper that has 1/4 inch square grid lay your template down in the X Y plane that you would machine from in your cad. I have done this before and it got me real close. Hope this helps.

kstrauss
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Re: Still a newb and have a few question

Post by kstrauss »

I don't believe that you mentioned the size of your original samples. If they are small (8.5x11 inch or so) using a flatbed scanner is perfect. No parallax issues and the sames are very accurate.

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