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  1. #1311
    dkj4linux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael763 View Post
    After seeing your setup in person at Flite Fest East 2017 on Saturday, I am so very impressed with the upgraded parts that I now know that I must update my MPCNC soon. Downloading the print files is underway. Thank you for answering my questions and sharing your talent with the Flite Test community.
    That's right!!!! Moebeast... you took your MPCNC foam cutter system to FliteFest again??? And offered cutting services to a plethora of interested RC folks??? Goodness, it's been a year already??? I/we would love to hear of your experiences and get a report on how things went.

    Without doubt, you've got to be one of the bravest and most prolific needle cutter users out there... and I see you're still using the needle cutter in its most basic configuration! How did it hold up? Were you as busy as last year?

    Nice remix on the cutter BTW... thanks for doing it. -- David

  2. #1312
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you like the vids David. I did the same thing at first trying to remove all the extra stuff. Then it hit me that I simply didn't have to use all of them to setup cuts - was a major ahha moment. Sponz actually sent me the "raw" dxf files for the pietenpol since they have all the different types of cuts on separate layers and I figured that would make it quicker and easier. It was kind of nice, but really didn't make it that much easier for me. I actually found it somewhat harder to work with since the different types of cuts were harder to tell apart unless I viewed it only one layer at a time (or took the time to color layers differently or something.)

    And yeah, I was really worried when making that video because my needle has NEVER sounded THAT bad before. I actually don't have a problem tightening the grub screws as I can tighten them to the point that they squish the motor shaft and start to bind the motor. I've just never had good luck with that style of mount even on planes. They seem to go from too loose and will come apart to too tight and will bind the motor with no "just right" zone for me.

    I've actually been changing my workflow the past few days to try and improve things a bit more. When I built my test cub I noticed that things weren't quite 100% square. So I printed a set of these: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1755510 to help square the machine before each cut.

    Those ALMOST work...on my pre-525 parts they don't quite work on the X axis because the center part hits the left Y roller before the X rollers hit the alignment tools. Would probably work to align to the right...but that would mean doing a lot of moving the machine with the steppers engaged and that's kind of annoying since I run untethered and have to use the LCD to do those moves which I don't really enjoy. I'm kind of tempted to grab an arduino and some buttons and make up a controller I can plug into the RAMPS to send my most commonly used commands without messing with the LCD - will probably do it at some point but lower priority for now.

    Anyway - alignment. It turns out my X axis is pretty good. I just added a spacer to the alignment tools to move them out a bit further and my X axis is almost always square. But my Y...not so great. It's always about 1/4"-1/2" off. So that explains a few issues I've had.

    But I'm starting to think this WP foam or the cub have it out for me. My DTFB version went just fine - other than one bad cut due to me forgetting to zero the machine between sheets. My own mistake no doubt. But with the WP foam...every other sheet I cut is failing

    That first failure was totally my fault with the short Z wires. Fixed that. Cut another sheet...no problem. Then went to cut the next sheet...that went ok. Then tried to cut the 3rd sheet...and...ugh:

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    I'm not 100% sure what happened here but I have a theory. I think it's a bug in Marlin where the command to reset the machine position doesn't always work properly. I've heard reports of this and been told it's why people like to reset the RAMPS instead of giving a command to set zero. But with the alignment stuff I need to keep the steppers powered. The way I do the alignment is:

    1) Pull the machine against the "stops"
    2) Use the Prepare-Move Axis to power up an axis and position the machine at my workpiece origin
    3) Print before the steppers timeout so the machine stays square

    So doing a reset on the RAPS in #2 would cause the steppers to power down and loose lock/square so isn't a viable option.

    But it seems doing that zero command more than once without powering down can often result in Marlin's coordinate system getting confused. (at least in the old RC6 version I'm still running on this machine.. I should update it this week but want to get this cub cut before I go messing with it that much.)

    So what happened there? Well. I first started the cut but had forgot to reset Marlin's coordinates to 0 on XYZ before doing #3...so it immediately started moving off the workpiece and I stopped it before it even touched the foam. I then did the square/home setup procedure again making sure to zero the axes this time. And the cutting started ok.

    First two cuts were the score cuts in the lower left piece. Just fine. Then it went to cut the piece above that...and seemed to do fine...but...cut it way too short. I figured it must have been a mistake I made in the gcode and let it keep cutting. But then it went to cut the bevel in the horizontal stab to the right of that...and again they came out way short? Now I was curious what was going on and let it keep cutting...and for a bit it did just fine. Seemed like as long as it stayed below a certain Y coordinate all was fine.

    Until it go over on the long horizontal cuts on the wing...when it did the same thing in X. If it went past a certain point it just suddenly decided it was done. But I still let it keep going out of curiosity. Then it got to stuff above the Y coordinates it didn't like...and it just went crazy doing those triangles. I let it keep going thinking it may get back on track after the cut it was doing (should have been the outside of the wing) but it just kept doing goofier and goofier triangles. Finally I decided it really was a lost cause and stopped it.

    All I can figure is that it was the resetting of the zero point that got the machine confused. I called it a night at that point. Well...almost. I saw Ryan's video of etching aluminum and had to swap to my laser and give that a try. Grabbed and SVG of the rotor riot logo and setup a 50mm/min burn on the back of my wattmeter. Nothing Must be some TOUGH anodizing on there! Put my trusty accucell6 charger under there instead, figured it's black anodizing may be easier to etch. And...got results but not nearly as nice as what Ryan got...I really need to swap to a 3 element lens, I think the larger spot of the G2 is really hurting me on this kind of stuff:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (BTW hard to tell scale but the whole logo is less than 1" across)


    So...today...gave sheet 3 of the cub another go. Didn't have the odd problems from last night...but something else went horribly wrong:

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    The cut started in the lower left and went clockwise around the part. I know exactly what happened...but before I reveal it I'm curious if anyone can guess. Big hint - it had nothing to do with the gcode, or MPCNC.
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  3. #1313
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    So just fixed the problem that caused the last issue...and now...

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    I think someone is trying to tell me I should do something else this weekend :P
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  4. #1314
    dkj4linux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhitesma View Post
    ...
    The cut started in the lower left and went clockwise around the part. I know exactly what happened...but before I reveal it I'm curious if anyone can guess. Big hint - it had nothing to do with the gcode, or MPCNC.
    Needle guide wear through?

  5. #1315
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkj4linux View Post
    Needle guide wear through?
    Very close but not quite
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  6. #1316
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Took a little break and figured I should make that video I said I would like a month ago about how I work with STL's in onshape:

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  7. #1317
    dkj4linux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhitesma View Post
    Took a little break and figured I should make that video I said I would like a month ago about how I work with STL's in onshape:

    Wow! You made that look easy, Jason. I recognize the needle cutter body is a fairly simple part but that went far faster than I thought possible. I had learned enough to "use" points in the mesh for reference but not gotten the hang of extruding "in place" and up to the next vertex, as you show. I definitely need to get serious about using Onshape more... and this video is a great encouragement. Thanks! -- David

  8. #1318
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you liked the video. Once you get the hang of it it really does go quick. I've used microsofts 3Dbuilder that comes free with W10 to edit stl's directly - and it's actually pretty good and easy to use. I've also played with tinkercad and fusion360's mesh editing. But for most simple parts I can re-create and modify in onshape quicker. And once re-created in onshape it's a lot easier to do major modifications and add in things like fillets and chamfers. Plus a lot of published STL's are remarkably poor quality, even my own needle cutter body that I used for that demo you can see I didn't render the holes with many points so they show up as clunky polygons instead of circles. But once re-drawn in onshape and then re-exported I get a much cleaner (though somewhat larger) mesh with nicer circles.

    Also, forgot to mention it yesterday...but...I also wish I could get estlcam to run in wine. I've seen reports in a few forums of people who say they managed to get it to work...but I've yet to have any luck. Wine is just such deep black magic to me I get frustrated with it quick when it doesn't "just work". Would love to ditch windows on the machine in my shop but I'm totally hooked on estlcam. I also started using version 10 finally over the weekend and have been pretty happy with it. Though it turns out that the two "new" features I found in it were actually there in 9 and I just never noticed them One being that you can define your work area so you don't have to count grid squares to tell if something will fit or not - and the other being that in preview mode you can click on an operation to see just it in the preview. Defining a work area makes it so much easier to set things up and position the cuts, and being able to view individual operations in preview makes it much easier to follow along with how the cut will go.

    Started working on my new cutter but haven't got very far yet:
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    Still trying to get the hang of working with derived parts in onshape and positioning them - which I need to do so I can get the motor and flywheel accurately positioned in the model to reference where the needle will go. But basically I made it a bit taller again, but also shorter since this motor I'm using has a very short shaft. I may also modify the flywheel so it bolts to the motor with the holes the motor has for attaching a prop shaft since the shaft is so short I'm not sure the "butterfly" will have a sufficient grip on it.

    Also plan on adding some supports to mount more bearings to guide the needle (since as David suspected I have plenty of dead motors with good bearings I can extract.) I don't think I'll go as crazy as Verris did with his bearing guides...but I like the idea of bearings more than sideboards.

    The benefits of going taller seem fairly well established at this point, but making the "tongue" shorter I'm hoping will help increase accuracy as well since it will make for a shorter lever arm. I notice on my current setup that when it does vibrate that long body really makes it noticeable.

    Also, finally snapped a shot of my improved cable management:
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    The shower hangers really work well. I spaced them so that when I push them together the wires between them are about 1/2" above the worksurface. Zip tying the wires to the hangers was key to making this work. So nice not having to worry about my wires anymore, and the hangers were <$1 with enough to do 3-4 machines
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  9. #1319
    dkj4linux's Avatar
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    I haven't read your last post yet... wanted to share this with you...

    I haven't put the polish (fillets, chamfers, etc) on it but here's my basic V2 needle cutter (with sideboard tower) done up in Onshape... using all the techniques you shared in your video...

    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/bc...83008dfff05d9c

    I'm plum tickled! Thanks a ton, Jason.

  10. #1320
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    You know what's way better than thumbs up on a video or even positive comments - seeing someone actually put the info in a video into practice

    Love it David!

    I put a bit more work into my new version over lunch:

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    Already decided I can make it shorter still, more space than I want between the needle hole and the front edge now that I know where the hole needs to go. Also probably not going to do the side braces like that - need to add in bearing/sideboard supports first and see what I come up with...may try to use the support as the braces.

    But things will probably have to change some more since right now there's no way I'd be able to put a nut on the pivot bearing screw as it would interfere with the motor. So trying to rethink the flywheel design a bit more - kind of tricky to keep it printable with what I want to do since I need recesses for the mounting screws on front (so they won't interfere wtih the needle/bearing) and one on the rear so it will fit over the lump on front of the motor and mate up properly. But...got some ideas just need to play around a bit more. Will probably shift the flywheel out another 5-8mm though so will have to move the guide mount as well.

    Idea is coming together though.....
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